Presenting At My First Academic Conference!

I can not believe I just wrote that headline! Honestly, not a sentence I ever imagined I would utter in my lifetime – that I would be showing my work at an academic conference. Ever! But it is true! After nearly 4 months of very hard work, I am happy to announce that my animated short – A Star Named Carson – is ready to debut at Carson McCullers in the World: A Centenary Conference at John Cabot University in Rome! I am super happy with the video too! Relief!
Being the daughter of a University Librarian, I grew up around books. The Ballad of The Sad Cafe was my first grown up book. I think I was 12 when my mom brought it home for me to read. I fell in love with her writing style. The characters were strange yet relatable. Very relatable. Shortly after I read it. Mama brought home a copy of Dr Virginia Carr’s biography on Carson. As soon as I read the first line, my mind was blown.
It opens up with a young Carson and best friend going to the fair to see the midway sideshow. As a kid the fair was my favorite time of year as well. I lived for it. Of course the sideshow had nearly died out by the 70s, but my dad had lots of books. In fact after years of my daily handling of his copy of We Who Are Not As Others – the binding disintegrated and was just a pile of loose papers. It wasn’t just being born & raised in the same town, and the love of the fair and similar young obsessions, but being an oddball in a Deep South Bible Belt Town. Where people laughed at you for not falling in line. I hated growing up there, it was stifling and lonely. But as a 12 year old young person, reading her biography, it was almost like a lifeline to me. I thought “Look, she grew up here and managed to leave and do great things with her life, I can do it too!” It saved me.

I never imagined one day I would be animating her life story! Incredible! It’s come full circle. I am planning on releasing it online sometime in fall, as well as a digital music download, with remixes. Yes I did music! After a 7 year break – I’m back! Woo! Well I better get packing! Mamma and I leave in the morning! I jokingly told her “Hey, maybe this will be my new thing, doing the academic circuit, then I’ll be awarded an honorary doctorate in AWESOMENESS! Ha! More soon! oxo gd

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