June 26-27, 2009


Today I decided that my career is definitely bizarre. I’ve thought this for a long time. (My literary agent knows why I think this, but my life insurance agent does not. We keep my “adventures” a secret from him, for he’s delicate and lacks imagination.) But today as I stared up in horror at the threatening mound that used to be my desk, I was struck by a most odd contrast. Perched atop the Anhinga Writers’ Summer Workshop files, the boxes of research that will soon be a new book, notebooks of things that are alarmingly behind schedule, and the shot sheets for a new script … were silly little faces with huge eyes staring back at me. Puppets. Insane puppets.

On June 26, I will be headed back to the Generations Gallery at the Village at Indian Springs Village in Flovilla, Georgia to teach. www.thevillageatindiansprings.com Well, I say that’s why I’m going. In reality, I’m going to be with wonderful, lifelong friends—Kathy Socha and Andi Kulp. They own the gallery and are tireless promoters of Indian Springs … not that the job is hard; Indian Springs Village is magical.

The three of us and a gang of puppets are going to teach storytelling to children. As kids create their own puppets, they’ll naturally create stories. Somewhere from the glue and felt and googly eyeballs will emerge creatures and critters with outrageous tales to tell. At the end of each class, the kids will put all their puppets and themselves together in one single story and show off for each other. Of course, the busy children will not have been aware of the continuous, subtle listening for protagonist, antagonist, character, plot, dialect, back story, and relationships. Only Bev will have concerned herself with figuring out how to put pirates and pigs and fairies and “lizardonkeys” into the same adventure. It can be done, my friend. Oh, yes. It can be done.

And I’ll tell you the other reason I’m excited to be going. On Saturday, the 27th, right after the second puppet workshop, I’ve been invited to sit in with writers who meet every Saturday at Generations. I met some of them a couple of months ago at the writers’ conference led by Anne Jones, a novelist and writing coach who lives in the area and sets her mysteries there. Anne is a study in Southern contrasts. Funny and gracious and magnolia-like, she writes about murder and mayhem with a suspicious skill. I hope she will be there on Saturday. www.annebjones.com But even if she’s not, the gallery will be filled with familiar, talented kindred.

I’m just beginning to discover writers’ groups. I’ve been in the profession for twenty-five years and never knew they were there. Who knew?!? But now that I know they exist, I’m trying to figure them out. And until I do (or even if I never do), I’m enjoying little snippets of time with writers (pro and early career) who work together to hone their craft and share their information. Even though my experience is limited, I can say with conviction that the writers in Indian Springs are exceptional.



Friday afternoon, June 26th, 2:00 – 4:00


Saturday morning, June 27, 10:00 - noon



  • For kids from 6 to 10 years old (or grownups that refuse to leave childhood far behind)
  • Taught by Tootle, Tykie, and Froggie


For educational specialists, this course is described as a supervised amalgamation of ancient art forms: puppetry and storytelling.  But in reality, it's an insanely hilarious, rollicking free-for-all with glue and googly eyeballs and stick-on antlers and wings.  Young puppet makers create a cast of characters ... all with pasts. When the puppets meet each other at the end, the story they create together is outrageous and amazing.  Guaranteed. The puppeteers take their puppets home. (Who would trust these puppets to stay together and behave in the Gallery?)


Tykie and Froggie are award winning designers. Tootle is a professional writer and editor. In spite of international credentials and a lifetime of achievement in professional realms, none of them has ever really grown up.


All supplies are provided; a donation of $5.00 is appreciated, but not required. Email andi@phaseonedesign.com if you would like to make advanced reservations.



The Village at Indian Springs

1834 Hwy 42 South

Flovilla, GA 30216

Phone: 770-775-5350

Fax:  770-775-5358


DIRECTIONS: From I-75 southbound, take exit #205 at Griffin/Jackson; go east apx 8 miles; proceed south on Ga. Hwy. 42 six miles south of Jackson.  Follow the signs to Indian Springs State Park.


From I-75 northbound, take exit #188 at Forsyth; proceed north for 12 miles on Ga. Hwy. 42.


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