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Museletter Sunday

museletters.jpg It was a busy weekend. I attended a Dance Free, a Celtic Music Concert in downtown Floyd, worked on a poem in preparation for my Writers’ Workshop Monday evening, and put the Museletter, a local monthly publication, together. Not only did I collect submissions and cut and paste 10 pages of the Museletter together, as I and others have done every last weekend of the month for the past 20 years, I wrote an update article about the history and current status of it for this month’s issue, which I’ve posted below:

The Museletter was a big part of what brought me to Floyd County 20 years ago. I was a Massachusetts transplant living in Texas with a young family and a desire to live a rural lifestyle with like-minded people. After learning about the Blue Mountain School through a Waldorf School directory, I wrote a letter to the school and eventually received an answer from Bob G, who sent me my first copy of what was then called the ERC Newsletter. Once in Floyd, I plugged in right away, writing columns and learning about newsletter lay-out, printing, collating, and mailing options.

The name “A Museletter” came after a visit to Susan’s Weed’s Wise Woman Center in New York and being inspired by a room in her home called “An Amusing Muse Museum, which was plastered with postcards displaying images of women all over the walls. I also thought it was a good play on the word “newsletter.”

In the early days of the ERC Newsletter/Museletter, there was more volunteer staff involved in its production than there is today, and readers and writers of it mostly all knew each other. As far as I know, our paid subscription level has always hovered at around 150. Many of our current subscribers are tried and true longtime supporters, but just as many are newer folks. The Floyd “alter-natives”** have grown in numbers and are more spread out these days. Considering that, it seems like a good time to further the discussion begun last month on the role of the Museletter in the community.

As I see it, the Museletter is nothing more or less than a community forum. What is found in it on any given month, like the community drop-off box under the stairs at the Harvest Moon, is what people put in it. It’s there and ready if someone wants to reach 150 or so people to announce something, share something, or sell something. Whether it be a letter from Pat S on the road, Elisha S writing about her hay bale house, or AL N. telling us about his new Restaurant in Stuart, the Museletter helps to keep us all connected.

Besides regular updates on what’s happening at The Jacksonville Center, The June Bug, Winter Sun, Black Water Loft, The Alpha Learning Center, and The Blue Mountain School, and along with yoga, contra, dance free, woman’s circle notices, a glance through last year’s collection of Museletter reveals the range of what is being offered in Floyd and include: a metaphysical study group, birth meetings, babies music classes, Spanish and Taekwon Do at the Blue Mountain School, Spoken word events at Oddfellas and Café Del Sol, several personal accounts on peace vigils and marches in Washington, a memorial tribute, a travelogue essay, a wedding invitation, a 50 Fest party, a media lending library, song night at Luke’s, and a first annual Organic garden tour. Poetry and Community Bulletin Board ads have always been a Museletter mainstay and we’re always happy to hear from children. Read more…

That’s all pretty cool. But it could be better. The Museletter is a reflection of the community and it can only be what we collectively make it. While we have several fine regular contributors to the Museletter, we would like to hear more voices. Over the years, the Museletter has served as an invaluable training ground for writers like Jayn and me, and I invite others to view it that way. The Museletter exists as a community service with a built-in readership. It’s an opportunity to promote what you do and share what you know for the benefit of all.

I’d like to thank all the new subscribers and all Museletter readers, writers, and supporters who have made the Museletter what it is over the years. I particularly want to thank the beside-the-scenes volunteer collators, most recently head-up by Pat S, Linda P, and now Rain L, and Stella T & Company, as they have the most thankless and time-consuming part of the Museletter production.

Post Notes:
*** Alter-native: phrased coined by Will Bason, a longtime Museletter (now retired) volunteer to describe those, mostly transplants, of Floyd’s alternative community. For Museletter Sunday Part 1, click here. Subscriptions are $15 a year. Checks made out to CERC Museletter can be sent to PO Box 81, Floyd, VA, 24091.


Once again...you are making me wish I live in Floyd! What a creativity mecca.

The Museletter could well have been called a beginners course for aspiring writers, or maybe even an early primer for bloggers (who would have thought?). The phrase "do what you love," comes to mind, for that is what you and others were doing - writing to be heard. And LOOK - you have blossomed into a full blown author alongside a bouquet of other writers.
I remember the old Museletters well, since I used to subscribe in those early years.
I remember too, on a visit to Virginia, watching the preparation for the Museletter. There were cut-outs strewn over your kitchen table, with relavant quotes to be tucked in here and there.
Today we get to savor your fragrance here at Looseleaf. You are a flower rich in color and beauty.

I miss getting the Museletter - which in turn makes me miss Floyd.
When I posted my blog this morning I was remembering one of the Floyd Dance parties that we used to attend (were they at a lodge of some sort?) I took Kevin to one once, a long, long a long time ago.

We used to have dances at the Floyd VFW. Boy, that was back in the day!

I keep forgetting to get my handy dandy map out and look for Floyd and Roanoke and Franklin County (old homestead of my mom's folks). Western Virginia and the Blue Ridge in spring and fall, nothing can hold a candle to it.

I love the name, Museletter. It is perfect. This makes me wish we had a community newsletter.

I knew that Floyd was a special place, but what a really cool thing the Museletter is! You guys got it goin on!!

Here from Michele's tonight! I love the name also - "Museletter" has a certain ring to it :) How neat to put something like that together! I knew you were a great writer, and here I find out you are a publisher too ;) You are one heck of a busy lady! Keep up the great work!

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