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  • Christine Almstrom

Right 2 Write

Some time last summer I debated whether or not to attend my (year is not important) high school reunion. How many of my classmates will attend? Is it worth it? After all it was only a casual get-together at a local restaurant/pub.

I'm so glad I decided to go. In addition to catching up with former classmates, I was included in a project thanks to the reunion (and thank you Shannon Hopkins!).

The Newport Native Writers Group was a still burgeoning "club" in its infancy with a plan to converge upon the library in May 2017 to host workshops and share knowledge. I wrote to them and was graciously accepted as a fellow author despite my own personal doubts on my success. I am a self-published author, after all. Who was I to offer any insight into this elite world of professionally-recognized veterans.

Turns out I have a lot to offer and learn. Meeting the others in person (Derek Catsam, Bob Stanhope, Matt Guenette, and Susan Cunningham -- Shasta Grant Huntington was unable to attend) was like coming home to a family I'd never realized I was already part of. Like-minded artistic souls with ink in their blood and words filling their synapsis. And, it turns out, the world of self-publishing is quickly becoming a recognizable and respectable choice for independent authors and artists who are tired of the commercial publishing 'waiting game.' (Not that I'd turn down a contract!)

Our first day was inspiring, energetic, and enriching. The students from the Newport Montessori school were brilliant in their creations. Their vocabulary was rich and colorfully expressive -- a boon to their class and teachers. The adults were no less enthusiastic in their approach. A huge thank you to Andrea Thorpe and the Richards Library and Library Arts Center for bringing this all to fruition.

I am re-charged and ready to embark on new and greater creative endeavors with several new ideas brewing. I have every right to call myself an author. I have every right to write. And so do you...

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