So the last weekend of September here in lovely Paonia, Colorado is the time of the infamous Mountain Harvest Festival. This event has been going on for something like six years now--I know because my band played at the first one, shortly before we broke up.
I do not go to this festival, although this year I REALLY should because SMTtF is based on a festival very much like it. I do not go because it irritates me. It irritates me because it seems geared towards a certain clique in town: they're the ones who go and even the ones who perform in it. The Music acts are always the same and I ask myself, "Why should I pay $17 to go see all of them at one time when I can see any of them for free practically any time I want to at other times of the year?" I ask myself, "Why is there never anyone new on the program?"
I ask myself, "Why am I never invited to read my work at the so-called "Harvest of Voices," a gathering of poets, writers and performance artists that usually kicks off the show?
When I was doing my book signing a year ago, one of the organisers of this event was present. She was carrying on a spirited conversation with another woman about how their group is not, in fact, a clique; "We just want to make sure that people with some quality and experience in their work are the ones performing." SHE SAID THIS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, AT MY BOOK SIGNING, NEVER HAVING ASKED ME. I about fell out of my chair. I wish now I had said something to her, like, "Marion, if your group isn;t a clique why have I never been asked to participate in your little parties?" I mean, it's not like she doesn't know I'm a writer. I used to go to open readings all the time and she always gushed about my work when I read it.
The truth is, this year I'm not nearly so upset about it. I think I have halfway convinced myself that the reason they don;t ask me is that they are threatened by my ability and professionalism. I have halfway convinced myself that asking me to read at their little "Harvest of Voices" would be like asking Stephen King to read at the Presbyterian Ladies' writing association social. Anyway, I didn't have my hopes up like I did some years. I spent many of the first years of this festival thing dying to be asked to participate in some way. Now I really just don't care.
This, of course, does not keep me from wishing the whole thing would be visited by a violent rainstorm that would knock out the power during the musical portion of the program. Tee Hee. Unfortunately the skies seem to be clearing from their earlier grey state. Hmm, it IS windy though. I had a power outage from the wind not too long ago. Maybe if I pray to Boreas...
I'm a wicked, wicked woman.