Saturday, October 3, 2009

Literary Sisters Retreat, Washington, DC - September 24-27, 2009

Can you live an entire year without a Literary Sisters Retreat? Whatever your withdrawal behavior, know that you will not be enjoying the bonding, the laughter, the literary salons, the authentic voices of the authors until July 2011.

So, here are some of the highlights from the weekend in DC! In fact, it started off with dinner, in a private room, at B. Smith's and the delightful surprise of a guest appearance by B. Smith herself with her husband.

Driven by Chuck, and guided by Larry, we explored the city in a new way, picking up historical tidbits, visiting museums, and being exposed to fascinating treasures available for free.

Carolyn is talking with a "co-worker"of Concepcion, a woman who has been living in this structure, directly across from the home of the Obamas, since 1982 protesting wars, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, poverty, and other social ills. The structure has to be continuously occupied or else it will be removed by members of the Secret Service. Concepcion was off for a bike ride, shower, and food, so her colleague allowed us to visit with him. Interestingly, the structure gets moved for the inaugurations and other special events then repositioned after.

Here's the group on the West Lawn of The Capitol Building - where the protests take place, where the Christmas Tree is lit. Not shown in this picture is Lady Freedom sitting 19 feet and 6 inches high, on the very top of the building.  No other statues in DC are taller than she is. Rita Dove, poet laureate, wrote a poem about her - Lady Freedom Among Us.

In 1999, a four acre plot on the north east corner of the Tidal Basin (between the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Monument), was designated as the site for the MLK National Monument. You will be able to see it from the spot at the Lincoln Memorial where he stood to deliver the I Have A Dream speech.

From the Lincoln Memorial one can look directly across the reflection pool at the Washington Monument.

The Korean War Memorial features 19 military personnel, going to battle, from each branch of the military as well as a granite wall with 2,400 images of actual people who served, died, or went missing in action.

A special stop was the National Museum of African Art - one of the newer members of the Smithsonian family of museums.

So, although Mr. Smithson never made it to the USA during his lifetime, he developed such a love of the country that he donated so much money that the Smithsonian Institution was created. In gratitude and deep appreciation his remains were moved to the "Castle" - the first Smithsonian building.

The history of enslaved Africans in America was included in the Museum of American History. Unfortunately there was no mention of the Native Americans, the first peoples.

Of course the reason for being there were the literary salons and learning from the authors.

Linda Johnson leading salon about the works of Toni Morrison. There were also salons about inter-racial love, sister sleuths, and secrets that keep us tied to our past.

Thelma, Debbie, and Estelle getting books signed by author E.L.Rhodes

J. Moffett Walker, talking about her book Muh, dedicated to her mother, and about caring for family members with altzheimers. In 2005 she began a biography of Micheal Jackson. It will be available December 2009.

Sharon Ewell Foster is known for her christian fiction. Here, we get to hear and preview sections of a chapter in her new book about celebrating the life of Nat Turner, even before her editors.

Victor McGlothin reads from his newest book Sinful Too with Gregory Morris, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Sharon Ewell Foster, and Maurice Gray, Jr listening just as attentively as we were.,,

Joyce V. Gray talks about her books, with Dark Karma being the most recent.

Like Greg Morris, she writes science fiction. Greg's most recent book is Next Lifetime

As always all these exciting experiences were punctuated by lots of scrumptious food.

 And the night ended with music - jazz at the Bohemian Cavern

Remember to check out the Literary Sisters website for information about upcoming adventures - cruises to the Caribbean and to the Mediterranean, as well as a trip to South Africa. Looking forward to seeing you soon.


Beverly said...


it was good to see you again.
And thnaks for the blog to re-live a good weekend - discussing books, eating, touring with a wonderful group of ladies.

Take care

Jennifer J. beaumont said...

Great seeing you again, also, Beverly. Of course, as usual, your salon was stimulating and thought provoking. I enjoyed the sentiments and opinions shared. Hope to see you again real soon.


esk said...

Wow, what a trip! Your pictures definitely captured the spirit of your trip. I enjoyed them and the descriptions very much.