Barbara Kingsolver in Asheville: “I’ve never had time for writer’s block”

Barbara Kingsolver spoke tonight at Asheville High School. Here’s the event, via Twitter.

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Rich Rennicks tweeted, “800 people going to Kingsolver’s event at Asheville HS right now & not one is tweeting? C’mon people. I want pics.”

What Rennicks got was stream of tweets from @MountainXpress, who was on hand to cover the event. Here they are, pretty much as they happened, 140 characters at a time:

Hiking a mile to get to Asheville High, which is slammed with barbara kingsolver fans.  6:55 pm

kingsolver is making her first stop on her new book tour here in avl. She is reading from her new book tonight — “the lacuna.” kingsolver’s book is partly based in asheville. “Lacuna” means “what’s missing”.

barbara kingsolver has taken the stage at asheville high. malaprop’s is the sponsor. asheville high auditorium is packed to the gills with book-toting fans of barbara kingsolver. let there be no doubt: Asheville is a town of book lovers.

kingsolver says she specifically asked her editor to allow her to open her book tour in asheville. She says half of her novel takes place in asheville, with scenes right here in avl high auditorium. She’s celebrating a birth, really, and asks all to hold up their books and wave to her.

“ashvegas loves you,” someone yells to barbara kingsolver.

kingsolver says her novel is presented as a series of journal entries; a diary. kingsolver, in calf-high brick-red boots and long, blood-red scarf around her neck, starts to read. She tells the avl high crowd she’s thrilled to read to an audience after years of writing her novel.

kingsolver now reads a section of her new novel, “The Lacuna,” set in asheville. kingsolver character describes the biltmore estate in ‘41;

The AVL high crowd listening to Kingsolver is the definition of “hushed.” She finishes reading her 1st section.

kingsolver says she loves criticism from her braintrust during revision process. Revision is my favorite part of writing. It’s where the art happens.  The best thing is that nobody sees first drafts. For me, writing fiction feels like being in love, kingsolver tells asheville audience. 

kingsolver is now taking audience questions.
“If you want to pay 50 cents to see a million dollars, you can.”

kingsolver on who she reads: doris lessing… steinbeck, dickens, jane austen, george elliot.

kingsolver: my meditation is: i knit. 

i’ve never had time for writer’s block.

kingsolver on being a working mom: you work when you can. when i get to my desk, i dont waste time

kingsolver says many parts of her book have easily been rewritten more than 100 times. Nov. 2, 8:42 pm

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About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism.

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