* * * * *

You never know what the day will bring

By Olivia Fowler

It’s been years since I traveled to Dahlonega Georgia. The last time was on a gemology quest with an old friend who was trying to find information about her maternal grandmother. Well, we did discover records of her relatives. There were five listed in the Lunacy Book at the courthouse. Now, I cautioned her not to take it too hard because years ago malnutrition could mimic signs of insanity. This was before they started fortifying cornmeal, so that explains a lot. But she decided not to follow up on that particular line.

Last weekend I visited Dahlonega again. This time with friends. We went to the Dahlonega Literary Festival and the Science Festival which were going on at the same time. North Georgia University was running it and it was excellent.

There were free programs, speakers and lots of regional authors there with their books.

One of the programs we attended was about traces of dinosaurs presented by a professor from Emory University. It was fascinating. He is an expert in his field and taught us that learning to track the fossilized paths of dinosaurs by finding and identifying the tracks they left behind was an important clue to these huge life forms.

He explained that because some life forms from the dinosaur era had the ability to burrow beneath the ground they survived the great meteor crash that took out most of their relatives.

That’s one reason the alligator is still alive and well. He showed slides from barrier islands along Georgia’s coast showing the burrows of present day alligators and the tracks that led to them

He’s explored ancient dinosaurs’ nests in the west and their fossilized eggs. He has traveled the world and was a fascinating lecturer. It’s impossible to repeat here even a portion of what he taught, and I could only retain a little of it. But I’m glad I got to hear him.

We had another lecture to attend at the literary part of the festival. There are two professors who have traveled the state, photographing Georgia’s old rural churches, now rapidly disappearing and recording the histories of the churches and their communities in a beautiful book. As we all trooped in to take our seats, a man approached our group and told us Georgia Public Television was filming the lecture as they are making a documentary about the project and were there that day to film. We were asked if we’d be part of the documentary. Of course, we said yes.

They all introduced themselves and we were told to be back at 3:00 for our part in the film.

So, at 3:00 sharp we were all there. We had a handler, Phil, who kept us entertained in the church vestibule which was serving as their “Green Room”.

After 30 minutes we told him we couldn’t wait any longer or we’d miss the next program. So, Phil conveyed that message to the director and they set up our shot.

We were supposed to walk from the parking lot while having a conversation, mount the steps and walk into the building.

We had one practice run. Then they called action and we walked purposefully up to the steps. I said, “Theresa, have you heard anything about this book?” Theresa said, “I saw something about it on the internet when I was looking up things about the festival. It sounded interesting”

JoAnne said, “Come on. Hurry.” Then we walked through the doors.

And that was our part, more or less. It was a take. It may end up on the cutting room floor but that won’t erase the experience.

My only regret was we didn’t get a chance to freshen up a little. Nobody popped up to do our makeup and hair. The wind was blowing so I suppose we looked very natural.

It was a lot of fun. You never know what a day will bring. Now we will rest on our laurels.

* * * * *

It is amazing to look back and view the progress the Dahlonega Literary Festival has made. It has gone from a small celebration of books and their authors to a major event that is recognized by book lovers all over the country. It is getting bigger and better each year and the best is yet to be. I urge everyone who has a love of literature and those who create it, to be part of this festival each and every year.

Jackie K Cooper

Author of Memory’s Mist

The Dahlonega Literary Festival brings together a wide variety of authors with an audience of dedicated readers. Together, we celebrate books and the magic of words, those abstract symbols on the page that–when put together in just the right ways–make us feel real emotions and sometimes change our lives. The Dahlonega Literary Festival makes meaningful conversations about that alchemy possible.

George Weinstein,

Author of Hardscrabble Road and The Five Destinies of Carlos Moreno,

Dahlonega Literary Festival is a great weekend of well-organized and well-attended, lively discussions in the perfect setting.

Kim Boykin

Author of Palmetto Moon

Dahlonega is everything a literary festival aspires to be–and then some! Exciting panels, engaged readers, and a gathering of authors who educate and inspire. I can’t remember the last time I felt so energized to put pen to paper–or eyes to book!–after attending a literary event.

Erika Marks

Author of It Comes in Waves

Dahlonega Literary Festival was an extraordinary meeting of book people of every kind, authors and readers and amazing volunteers who go the extra mile to share their love of books. The panels were enlightening and entertaining. I found so many new books and new authors. If you love story, you should come to Dahlonega. It’s free and open to the public, there’s literally no excuse not to.

Alex Hughes

Author of The Mindspace Investigations series

I participate in several literary events each year, but the Dahlonega Literary Festival is my favorite of them all.  From the readers who attend to the volunteers who work so hard to the authors who come to share, the festival is first-rate all the way.  If you only go to one book event next year, make it the Dahlonega Literary Festival.

– Raymond Atkins

Author of Sweetwater Blues

The Dahlonega Literary Festival of 2014 proved a thoroughly upbeat experience for my wife and me. We were charmed by the city, our  local accommodations, the venues for the various panels and signings, and all the people so hospitably hosting the event. The entire event was well-organized, smoothly run, and invigorating. I can’t imagine any reader or would-be writer failing to relish, as well as to learn from, such a gathering.

Michael Bishop

Author of Brittle Innings

The Dahlonega Literary Festival is one of the highlights of my year–a true celebration of storytelling and run by the nicest people you will ever meet. The staff at the Dahlonega Literary Festival truly loves books. Don’t miss this gem!

James R. Tuck

Author of the Deacon Chalk series

The festival was much fun. I enjoyed meeting other writers and hearing their answers to a variety of questions. The format was unique and kept interest high for both the panel members and the audience.

 – Susan Lindsley

Author of The Bottom Rail

This literary festival offers golden moments the way the Blue Ridge Mountains around Dahlonega offer gold nuggets. The community warmly welcomes its writers the moment they set foot on the streets. The festival feels personal, like every writer matters and every reader matters. I left the event as inspired and excited as anyone about writing and books and words.

Charles McNair

Author of Pickett’s Charge

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