Saturday, January 9, 2016

From minus 9 to palm trees

What a treat it was to spend those cold snowy days in Vermont with my truly wonderful VCFA students and faculty. Now I'm back home, preparing for a new group of students in St. Petersburg, Florida where the weather forecast promises temperatures in the 70s. 

It's my tenth year teaching at Writers in Paradise at Eckerd College and everything from the B and B where we stay to the faculty and our favorite restaurants feels like a home away from home. I'm looking forward to my workshop, the readings and stories I'll hear, the late nights in my jammies laughing with my Jammie clad pals. 

In the chill of Vermont I knit two scarves; I'm hoping to knit myself the mountain cowl from Purl Soho in Florida. 

I've got lots to write in the months ahead. Two non-fiction books due this year, both in various stages of completion. One is a memoir through food, the other a look back at the books that mattered most to me growing up. It's been fun rereading those books, and revisiting that girl I was who loved them. As for the food book, I've been writing about food for years and I'm excited to collect those essays and write some new ones. That's where my writing mind will be turned for the early part of 2016: food and books. Not a bad way to spend my days. 

Lots of other exciting things ahead. My cousins and I just booked a trip to Venice for the week before I teach at the Geneva Writers conference in March. And in May I'm teaching in Cuba, then in the Bahamas, followed by a return to Aspen Words in June. 

What's most exciting is the August publication of The Book That Matters Most! It took me three years to get this story right, and I'm over the moon that it's ready to meet the world. 

My 2016 resolution to read 100 books this year is off to a grand start. Old Filth by Jane Gardham and Outline by Rachel Cusk are both knockouts. Cusk's writing has me flat out dazzled. I'll be sure to keep you posted on the next 98!

I hope I'll squeeze in writing a couple short stories amidst all the non fiction writing. They are pushing at my brain, begging to come out...

Ah well, for now I'm happy to spend the weekend doing laundry, reading student stories, getting a pre Florida pedicure, going to a friend's reading, seeing the movie Carol, doing yoga, hanging with Annabelle, and having dinner with pals. Oh. And thawing out.