Monday, November 11, 2019

back in the saddle.

Sometime back in early summer I was asked to be the keynote speaker at the Writer Unboxed UNconference in Salem, MA on Nov. 4.  How could I say no?

Of course, I dragged ass about writing the thing all summer, trying to NOT think about the fact that I've never stood at a podium or spoken into a microphone. And the biggie - to say something that mattered. To put a little wind in the sails of the participants. The last time we all gathered here, we woke up to the horror show of the election results. It was hard, but I made and kept a promise to the organizer, Therese Walsh, that I would not utter one political word.

It went well. I didn't die of stage fright. Although I'd brought a case of bronchitis with me, I didn't cough! (Four days prior, I had no voice at all!) After weeks of worrying over how others would take my words, my thoughts, the "what to wear" and "what the hair"? it's finally over.

I was a little sorry I couldn't stay for the conference - a whole week steeped in the nuts and bolts of writing. But there was a very big upside. I got to meet a long-time online friend in real life. How often does that turn out well?

Turns out my hostess is gracious and generous, exactly who she is online, a warm and thoughtful human being.

Instead of a week of hotel rooms, scrounging the town for cheap food on foot, and varying levels of social unease,  I was made welcome, comfortable, and catered to by Dee Mallon, her husband K., and good dog, Finn. My stay a Casa Mallon was the very best part of the trip.

Again, Dee, thanks for the marvelous hospitality. When will your Bed & Breakfast open?


  1. Delightful post. How absolutely swell that you two met.

  2. all so wonderfully good ... and the last picture, I couldn't help seeing Dee's row of she-mice as stand-ins for those of us who would have loved to be there, too

  3. U said plenty that mattered and got the room laughing — more than once! It was certainly my pleasure to spend time with you. Maybe an annual thing?


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