WordFest celebrates storytelling through film

WordFest will meet on Tuesday, August 9, 6:00-8:00 pm, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 1428 22nd Avenue in Longview.

Filmmaker Ron Walker of Astoria will discuss filmmaking as a form of storytelling, showing excerpts from films he has made over the past forty years.

Ron began working in films in the 1970s at the Film Loft in Portland as their resident “film composer.” Over the years he learned the craft of filmmaking, involved in film shoots on numerous locations and the editing process. He began making his own films in the 1980s, at first shooting on Super 8 film before moving on to a video camera which expanded what he was able to do. Many of his films have been documentaries about musicians, artists, historians, dancers, and poets, who have told their stories through creative expression.

Long time Kelso resident Dan Myers will be reading from his first novel, a murder mystery titled Kill the Rich. Dan grew up west of Longview and graduated from R.A. Long High School in 1961. A computer programmer and system analyst, he began programming computers in 1964, “when computers filled entire rooms and had less power than today’s smart phone.” He’s lived in Kelso for the last 38 years, serving 10 of those years on the Kelso city council.

In his novel, Dan tells the story of Steve Mattick. Desperate to save his job in a weakening job market, Mattick believes his only option is to kill the CEO who wants to move the company to Mexico.  To avert suspicion, Mattick plots to make it look like there is a serial killer targeting the wealthy.  Detective Stout, relying on his years of experience, suspects Mattick even when evidence points in other directions. The story follows Mattick’s disturbing plan as the hoped-for copycat murders begin to cloud the investigation.

School teacher, songwriter, and spiritual life coach, Cody Rothwell will read from his book The Mystic Shift. Raised an evangelical Christian, Cody underwent a spiritual transformation in 2010, that led to his breaking free from conventional Christianity and embarking on the mystical path of Christianity.

 “Christianity is not about religion, it is about relationship,” says Cody. In his book, he argues that Christianity is at a major crossroads in the 21st century, and that Christians have the opportunity to either implement the relational teachings of Jesus or risk losing credibility in the much-larger spiritual community. In his book, he introduces ten “mindset shifts” away from religious attachment, focusing instead on having a transformative relationship with God. He says, “Once Christians make the conscious shift from religion to relationship, Christianity will once again become an attractive pathway for the modern spiritual seeker.”

A graduate of Seattle Pacific University, he was trained in Christian meditation through the Mystical Church of Christ. He is the founder and director of The Center for Divine Encounter (CDE), a newly-established interfaith spiritual center focusing on interfaith relationships, spiritual and healing practices, and community outreach. He lives in Castle Rock with his wife Krista and two daughters, Elly and Emerson.

The monthly gathering of readers and writers meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 PM, in the fellowship hall of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The events are free and open to the public.

Due to the continuing presence of Covid, it is recommended that people be vaccinated and boosted if possible, and wear masks when not eating or drinking.