Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snowed in!

How hard to leave balmy St. Pete and land just as two feet of snow got dumped on little Rhody! But in the count my blessings category, at least I wasn't in transit and stuck in Charlotte or Philly. (though truth be told being stuck in St. Pete at the Water Garden Inn, where Bill and Wilder take such good care of us would not be so terrible). Ah! Palm trees! Sparkling ocean! Flip flops!

And the best faculty a writer could ask for, including Laura Lippman, Andre Dubus III, John Searles, Les Standiford, Sterling Watson, Lori Roy, and David Yoo. The keynote speaker JessWater, who only wrote one of my favorite novels of the last decade Beautiful Ruins, made everything even more wonderful. Yes, Writers in Paradise was a love fest as usual. And lots of that comes from the students, who are brave and talented and funny and smart and hardworking writers. At the end of the week, Johnny Temple and Lisa Gallagher and Bill Contardi arrived, bringing Ridge zinfandel and even more merriment. Andre made pomegranate margaritas. Kimberly Standiford baked challah and we had our traditional shabbat on Friday night. Henry made sure we got where we needed to get, and did so with elan and humor. Norris had to step into Christine's shoes--Christine, we miss you!--but managed somehow to get all my xeroxing done, an onerous job indeed. Anthony kept us miked and lit. Jackie Mitchard closed the show.

And then just like that, conference over and here I am, snowed in, drifts so high I can't remember what's beneath them. Second day of no school, Annabelle helping me get final manuscript of Knitting Pearls ready to send off to publisher (have I shared that list of contributors with you? No? Get ready: Steve Almond, Anne Bartlett, Cynthia Chinelly, Melissa Coleman, Michael Collier, Stephanie Danler, Jared Flood, Nick Flynn, Diana Gabaldon, Debra Gwartney, Jane Hamilton, Cathi Hanaeur, Lily King, Perri Klass, Christina Baker Kline, Ann Leary, Caroline Leavitt, Laura Lippman, Maile Meloy, Stewart O'Nan, Clara Parkes, Jodi Picoult, Robin Romm, Bill Roorbach, Michael Ruhlman, Dani Shapiro, Samantha van Leer, and Lee Woodruff!) I know you just swooned when you read that list because I sure did!

Snowed in, I've cooked up a storm. Pork chops and fried rice and corn Monday; flank steak, rice pilaf and sauteed carrots last night; spaghetti carbonara tonight.

Plus I am happily happily knitting my confetti scarf, which is absolutely gorgeous. I cannot wait to finish it and wear it! You can too: