August 1, 2009 10:36:00 PM
In Mississippi talent flourishes like kudzu. Maybe this is because of the lush fertility of the land. Or perhaps it is a result of generations of oral tradition. Whether the artist''s flair is visual, or musical, or poetic, the results are almost always narrative. On some level, every one of us is a writer, spinning tales with pen, or brush, or song.
But, sometimes we get the feeling that real talent is only appreciated after death. It also seems that other people have the most interesting stories about encounters with the likes of Eudora Welty or William Faulkner. How much fun it would be to have our own personal anecdote about meeting a wonderful writer. Well, it is not too late.
The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau will host a series of Sunday afternoon salons to meet real live authors. They will be free, and open to the public, and will be presented once a month. This is an opportunity to hear a writer read from their work (as only they can).
Haven''t you always wanted to ask certain questions, like, "Where do you find inspiration?" or "Is this story autobiographical?" Now is your chance.
Everyone thinks they have a novel in them. I''ve often wondered how authors muster the discipline to complete an entire book. Maybe I can get some pointers about that.
The first guest author will be everyone''s favorite, Sylvia Higginbotham, Aug. 16, 2 p.m., at the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center at 300 Main St. You know her from so many books about the South, and especially about wonderful Southern women. Her subjects include everything from architecture, to recipes, to sage sayings.
She has written 14 books, numerous articles in national travel magazines and chapters in Fodor''s guide books.
I particularly love her books that feature photos of the beautiful people in Columbus. Who needs that faux Hollywood glam? We''ve got beauty that is bone deep and cultivated for generations. That West Coast stuff is shallow and nouveau-chic. Surely you will recognize some of your friends smiling from the pages (and, yes, even the covers) of her work.
She will sign those books that I know you have. And, the ones you are longing for will be available, as well. Some of Sylvia''s books are already at the Welcome Center. You may want to stop in ahead of the salon date, just to pick up a copy before the rush.
Sylvia will also appear on WCBI''s Midday show Aug. 13 for a quick preview. You won''t want to miss that.
But, the real fun will be Aug. 16. Meet Sylvia Higginbotham at the Welcome Center. A great Columbus author, reading from her own work, and cookies, too. What a lovely way to spend a sleepy Sunday afternoon. I hope to see you there!
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.