A conference hangover – moving very slowly today. Luckily it’s a stunning day so I can move slowly outside, listening to birds. Wayson is here. He has been asking to take me to dinner to repay the meals he’s eaten here, and I called him and said, Today’s the day.
People have been sending me ecstatic emails about the conference and there are lots of postings on FB. Best of all, we had a fantastic farewell event here last night, a dinner with champagne and lots of toasting and rehashing of key moments. We like each other really a lot; they are just fine fine people, a great group, a pleasure to be with. And we created something powerful and fine for more than a hundred others; that means a lot.
I spent the morning transcribing my notes and will write more about specifics; I’d like to share some of the best thoughts and moments with you. But I’m still digging out after four intense days, and a nice man is waiting to take me to dinner. And then I have to get ready to teach Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. So, for now, some pictures and an email from Mary, who wrote, today, “I so enjoyed it all! It was exhilarating and it was a special bonus to spend more time with you, sharing stories and our craft. Beth, thank you so much for all the work you put into this weekend and mentoring your many students (this one in particular). The confidence to celebrate my efforts by sharing them with others last night was wholly due to the encouragement and guidance you have provided. Grazie mille.”
You could not be more welcome, dear friend.
Patty, who took my course years ago, with Margaret and Mary, who are working with me still. This is in the great Hogwarts-like hall where we had dinner and the Saturday cabaret.
The old bag introducing Dinty Moore.
When I got home Friday, completely spent, there was a letter in the mailbox addressed to Glamma. It was from Eli, hoping I’d had a good weekend and asking when he could come over to play. “I love you,” it ended. I showed it to my colleagues at dinner here last night, saying, “I just spent four days with some of the most gifted authors in the country, and this is the best piece of writing I’ve ever read.”
Not a sentimental bone in my body.
PS A post on the CNFC website just came in: “Great conference. Exceeded my expectations. Fabulous presenters. Came away thinking about writing, and life, in a very different and inspired way. Thanks everyone!”