Last week I had the honor of presenting at the State of Sequoyah Conference in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, during the Cherokee National Holiday. I was on a panel with distinguished scholars -- all PhDs or ABD -- which was more than a little intimidating. Still, I always have fun talking about the history behind The Revenant.
Here's a newspaper article about my talk. Thank you, Betty Ridge!
I also have to thank Brandi Barnett for inviting me over for breakfast the morning of my presentation. It was very soothing to spend time with you, my friend!
Thursday night the presenters and attendees were invited to a hog fry at the Cherokee Heritage Center. It was sooo hot, but the food and company were great. Got to spend some time with Karen Cooper (one of my Tahlequah-based critique buddies) and her husband. And I finally got to try frybread!
Here are members of the Cherokee National Youth Choir. You can see a short video I made of the young ladies singing here.
During Friday's banquet I sat with Richard Allen, policy analyst for the Cherokee Nation, and his lovely wife Shelly and daughter Emma. Richard read an early draft of The Revenant and was generous with suggestions. Emma is a graduate student at Northeastern State University, and she told me that Seminary Hall gave her some creeps after she read my book. As you might imagine, that MADE MY DAY.
This lovely lady is Dr. Lynda Dixon, professor at Bowling Green State University and member of the State of Sequoyah commission. She is gifted with a warm personality that instantly puts one at ease.
And this is Dr. Ellen Cushman, professor at Michigan State University and another State of Sequoyah commissioner. She introduced our panel on Thursday and went out of her way to make me feel welcome.
It was a privilege to sign books with Jim Northrup on Friday. He shared thoughts and several moving poems about Vietnam during that morning's session on "Warriors and War."
Overall, the State of Sequoyah conference was quite an illuminating experience!
Tomorrow I will be speaking at SCBWI OK's fall conference in Chandler. Hope to see you there!
[Cross-posted from Livejournal]