Tuesday, October 23, 2012

TED Talk Tuesday: Stephen Ritz Grows Green in the Bronx

Stephen Ritz might be one of the most energetic people out there. I'm posting this TED talk today because he embodies what I feel like when I get home from a conference.

I spent the weekend with lovely Richmond writers.

With George Tisdale, who insists that I switch over to Scrivener. I think I shall. :) Thanks, George, for being awesome.

With Vernon Wildy, who is super friendly, kind and all kinds of interesting.

With Rosemary Rawlins, who I admire so much for her grace in putting herself and her work out there. (She speaks about support for care-givers--I would recommend her highly, if anyone is looking for a presenter.)

With Kelsie, who is not from Virginia, but from Seattle. And sweet and cheerful and awesomely funny.

I also heard Tom Robbins speak (appropriately lewd and frank :)), followed Colleen Lindsay to all her workshops (she really has her finger on the pulse of the publishing industry), and pitched to Molly Jaffa (she is truly delightful, intelligent, graceful and kind. Unexpectedly, I was overcome by anxiousness and had some difficulty making words come out of my mouth, but I think it went okay. I had thought I was past the putting-agents-on-the-pedestal thing, but speaking about my Project always makes me wig out a bit. I'm going to have to practice that.)

And, I got to hang out with Erica Orloff, one of my favorite people on the planet. Serious. Favorite. :)

Why do I go to this conference in Richmond? Well, my husband gave me the birthday present of going to see Erica last year, and Erica gave me the birthday present of suggesting I come down during the conference. :)

I love the James River Writer's Conference. Everyone is so friendly. It's a conference with a small town feel. People are gracious and kind, and come from all walks of writing. It's been such a gift for me to attend the last few years.

And, now I feel like this (I dare you to not be inspired!):

Can't see the video? Here's the link. 

All of this talk is amazing. But I love that Stephen says that he is not a farmer, and yet, look what he did.

Green graffiti! Zero miles to plate. Kids pollinating plants instead of each other. Intellectual viagra! Everything to gain and nothing to lose.

What could we accomplish, if we attacked it with this kind of zeal and energy while staying open to opportunity?

Let us all be as crazy as Stephen Ritz.


  1. You will switch to Scrivener. You will say to yourself, "If only I'd known! If only I'd known!" But now, knowing, your writing process will improve - and in ways you did not realize it could. You will realize your potential. You will become a published author. You will go to writers conferences and sit on panels and meet writers and encourage them. You will return for JRWC 2013. I see these things for you, Heather Kelly. I do. And I promise to never pretend to be an oracle again.

  2. Wow, George, since all that is going to happen to me because of my talk with YOU at the conference, then I am LUCKY TO KNOW YOU.

    I'll give you all the credit, of course. "I would have been floundering still, amid unorganized word documents, not knowing which way was up in my manuscripts, if it weren't for George, and his insistence that I switch to Scrivener."

    Seriously, it was such fun to hang out with you at the conference. :)

  3. I'm gonna guess that you've been tagged for this thing before, but in case you haven't, you're the next contestant in "The Next Big Thing" blog hop.

    Do it or I will be sad. (Details on my blog, obviously)