Five amazing days–October 16-20–at the Marconi Center in Tomales Bay for Writing By Writers‘ first conference with Dorothy Allison, Ron Carlson, Pam Houston, Fenton Johnson (Fenton the Human), Antonya Nelson, and Carl Phillips. Morning workshops. Afternoon panels. Evening readings. The food was unbelievably good. And on Saturday afternoon, along with Jodi Angel and Tom Barbash–oysters and wine.
I’m on the board of Writing by Writers and was volunteering at the conference. My first duty was to collect Ron Carlson from the airport and deliver him safely to Tomales Bay. I lucked into a convertible (Hertz’ answer to a tiny problem) and so Ron and I could actually hear crickets and notice drops in the temperature as we made our way, directed by Siri (who deserted us five miles out). But with only one wrong turn we made it.
During workshop time I worked on my novel, except for Saturday morning when I went for a walk at Limantour Beach, recently featured in the NYT Travel Section. On Saturday afternoon, I had the pleasure of introducing Ron, who has a wonderful new novel, Return to Oakpine—more on the novel coming soon.
Then on Sunday morning I did something I’ve never done before. To make a flight at SFO, I left at 6:30 a.m. in the dark, trying not to wake my roommate (Practical Karen). I drove for twenty minutes, debating whether I had enough time to stop at Point Reyes for coffee but decided to risk it, and made the turn off my route hoping the coffee place was open. When I reached for my purse–no purse. I had no choice (ID) but to drive all the way back…where I parked, woke Karen (who, being practical, had advised me to start 3o minutes earlier than I had planned), and grabbed my thin black purse, which still sat by the door, invisible in the dark, then back into the car–no stopping for coffee this time. I did make my flight, going around the city because of the marathon and crossing over on the San Mateo Bridge.
Enjoy the photos!
Writing By Writers Tomales Bay
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Cynthia, I was at WxW and in Ron Carlson’s workshop! I didn’t know you were going to be there. I would have said hello. Thanks for helping to make it a great experience!
Tracy, I can’t believe we went all the way to the west coast and let that happen! And that we both veered off course a bit : )
***I’m adding a link here to a couple of your wonderful posts on the workshop:
Sounds wonderful! Love the photos.
Cynthia, there’s one word that comes to mind for this place and your experience: idyllic 😀 How lovely!
It was, Donna–thanks!
Good thing you made your flight! You should write a book about writing conferences full of helpful tips.
Thanks, Sarah. Helpful tip #1-when leaving, make sure you have your purse : )