By TJ Dunnivant
July 18, 2011 (San Diego)--As an East County resident and local news writer, attendance at the 7th Annual Diamond Literary Festival Authors Dinner Cruise at the Bahia Resort Hotel aboard the “William D. Evans” boat was all but mandatory for me.
East County Magazine’s own writer and book reviewer, Dennis Moore, was the honorary guest speaker and to miss such an occasion would have been a travesty both in nature and professional human interest.
It was a night to remember, as a number of “Literary Greats” from throughout all of California were mentioned and profiled. Many of the greats such as Ilene Proctor, of Ilene Proctor International, a publicist for many of the authors in which books had been reviewed in the East County Magazine by guest speaker Dennis Moore, traveled hundreds of miles to participate in the effervescent evening of good taste and company under the stars.
Proctor came with an armful of goodies to be shared with all. On hand she had copies of her latest book “Divinity of Doubt: The God Question” a book also reviewed by Moore for the East County Magazine and in arms she brought a special invited guest, client of another literary piece “The Bracelet” Akram Arastehjoo, who took a flight down from San Francisco to add to the evening’s tranquil tides of San Diego’s bay. Akram, an Iranian immigrant, is working on a compelling book and screenplay about having to leave her daughter behind in the tyranny of Iran’s political nightmare.
Another special writer in attendance, more than shares a special interest with me, she also almost shares the identical first name meaning of the initials “TJ” with me. Author, TJ Johnson is yet again another published celebrity of a book called “Chapter & Verse: Crosswords and Other Puzzles” that was reviewed by Moore in East County Magazine as well. Johnson enjoyed an evening of participating in the camaraderie of other great writers, as well as, selling personally autographed copies of her latest published works.
As a delectable dinner course of Cabernet Chicken was served, entertainment was served through live music by “Men 4 Christ” and a poetic nurturing performance by author and poet, Burdella “Carmen” Turner. Carmen’s riveting performance included a jaw dropping scene that included a snatching of her hair peace off of her head to display a scar covered metal plate left in her head after surgery following a prolific car accident. The audience was left mystified by her courage of works expressed through personal experiences.
Executive Director, Alice F. Jefferson was the master mind behind the spectacular event that celebrated authors in honor of the annual Diamond Literary Festival (DLF). Jefferson said that it was her desire that the DLF become the heart of San Diego. “A City of this magnitude, with such a large number of talented educators, publishers and writers,” she said, “should have its own literary festival.”
The overall theme and mission of the Diamond Literary Festival is to support and promote literacy among young people. All the professionals in attendance that evening were happy to play their part in seeing that mission to fruition.