Hubbard Hall Writers
By John R. Greenwood
I will lead this piece with a sincere thank you to my beautiful wife who is not pictured here. She was at home baking my favorite apple pie and making homemade meatballs and sauce while I was visiting with three members of the original Hubbard Hall Writer’s Group. I am a very lucky man. My wife realized how strong my passion for writing was a few years ago. I’d filled out an application for membership to a writing class hosted by Hubbard Hall and led by author Jon Katz. My wife encouraged me to follow my dream. She understood my need to find a venue to express my creativity and test my writing skills. Without her support I never would have had the courage to pursue that dream. The writing class was supposed to last a few weeks during the summer of 2012. Those classes ended for us but the friendship and support of our group is alive and well more than two years later.
Today our group gathered in Southern Vermont at the home of Rachel Barlow. Rachel’s blog, “Picking My Battles” is an artist’s portrayal of real life with a twist. It all happens in an intimate Vermont setting but Rachel's posts are a reflection of life in homes across the country.
Hubbard Hall Writer Kim Gifford was seated on the thick leather sofa with a open laptop checking out Rachel’s latest work when I arrived for our Sunday afternoon meeting. Kim’s blog, “Pugs & Pics” is a eclectic collection of posts with Kim’s love of pugs as the primary theme. She also creates stunning collages layered with emotion and beauty.
The last member to arrive was Diane Fiore. Diane’s blog, “Mergansers Crossing” is an inspirational collection of stories about yesterday and today. Diane began documenting the adventures she experienced with her father after he’d been diagnosed with dementia. She found writing about it was therapeutic and began a blog so she could share her stories. Soon others who had family members with Alzheimer's were looking to Diane’s blog to help them cope with the challenges of the disease. She has cultivated a supportive following that grows stronger with each post.
These friends and fellow bloggers were an amateur writers dream team. Their genuine support was instrumental in building my confidence which in turn allowed me to grow beyond what I ever expected the day I placed that Hubbard Hall application in the mailbox.
The theme of this post is about friendship and support. I found them both at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, New York. I consider myself an artist in search of an art. Although I enjoy writing and sharing stories I’m not yet sure writing is the final stop for me. I love all types of visual arts. I love all types of music. I basically enjoy creativity in any format, style, or venue. I don’t think you can truly enjoy your life without it. I want to thank those who have helped me along the way. Jon Katz and his blog Bedlam Farm injected me with an enthusiasm for the future and the undiscovered. Hubbard Hall gave me the opportunity to grow and the place to do it. I am grateful to all those mentioned above for their presence in my life.