Approximately, once a month, a group of like-minded people, interested in reading and writing, gathers at the Taylor Roasted Coffeehouse in Northampton, PA. This establishment is a perfect locale for our meetings; it has a welcoming atmosphere, with examples of drawings and paintings adorning the walls, musical instruments on display, and bookshelves with volumes for sharing and reading. I love coffee, and I love coffee shops and have been in many in a myriad of places during my life, and I say without any reservations, that this is the best and my favorite coffee shop. The owner John Weber roasts his coffee beans, and the result is the best coffee I have ever tasted. Jackie Livermon is the manager and keeps the place humming. These two lovely people, both of whom I now consider myself fortunate to call friends, have given this small town a wonderful place to gather and drink extraordinary coffee.
In the meetings of the Grounds For Thought Literary Group, we read pieces of our own work or from writings we like. Some sessions have been small with only 5-6 people, but this Saturday’s—the 23rd, was the largest yet. If my head count was correct, 25 people participated. What makes this ongoing gathering so distinctive is the combination of those who meet. We had a wide range from youngsters just in college—forgive me for the age comment, but I am much older—to a retired accountant. I mention these people because they all read poetry they were working on.
It has become customary for me to begin the event with a reading of a chapter from—Evil Lives After—a paranormal thriller that I am presently putting on what I hope is a final edit before sending it out to several agents who are interested. I will talk more about that in a future post. I read a chapter which deals with the grief my protagonist carries with him always, and the audience was, I believe, moved by it.
We had readings from short stories and essays as well as several Civil War letters, one of which was the most extraordinary expression of condolence I had ever heard or read. Two people who were there are historians, one a Ph.D. candidate, and another an adult college student. I was happy to see several of my present and former students in attendance as well.
It was a wonderful evening, and I hope that this group continues to draw a representation of our local literary community together for talk and enjoyment of literature and writing.