Friday, October 7, 2016

Two Dinners

          Life feels as though it’s zipping along, although I’ve had large swaths of downtime so I fear my absence here is due more to lethargy than pressing obligations.
          The past week included a visit to the hills of New Jersey to visit grandchildren (and their parents) where we stood on a succession of wet soccer fields in unrelenting mist. Still, it was pleasant – isn’t that what the Irish call “soft” weather ? -  and brought back memories of other fields with my own children galloping up and down.
          We also managed a grown-up dinner at a newly opened local restaurant that, sadly, was so excellent its success will likely move it on to a larger venue.

I mean, pork chops with an expresso hazelnut demi-glaze and mustard spaetzle, heirloom carrots and baby kale? Or my chkoice: wood grilled shrimp with creamy heairloom grits, smokey bourbon butter, braised greens, and jalapeno jelly?
Hackettstown, New Jersey never had it so good.  

          This week I met for dinner with a newly-formed gathering of mystery writers of Western Massachusetts where I found myself becoming uncharacteristically quiet, surrounded as I was by writers much more accomplished than myself. “Unpublished” felt as though it was tattooed across my forehead.
Among those in attendance –

Lisa – cultural and intellectual historian, author of at least six books, subject of
          several interviews on National Public Radio, and absurdly pleasant and
Lee – former television writer and producer (Edgar Award for best television
          teleplay, author of several fiction and non-fiction books.
Glenn –author of 15 mysteries, professor of philosophy
Ray – our organizer and representative from the Boston branch of Mystery
 Writers of America, author of God-knows how many Boston-based
 mysteries, winner of this award and that award. Also absurdly pleasant and self-effacing.

          I just tried not to use double negatives and pick my teeth. My degrees, years of teaching English, and 2 ½ (mediocre) books were mere foothills to their Mt. Everests. Still, it was helpful to be surrounded by writers and be reminded that this was something I enjoyed and should stop neglecting. And my pasta was excellent.


  1. The whole restaurant business is so tricky. The public's taste changes on a dime.
    Enjoy your writing companions.

  2. I am pretty certain I would have succumbed to an attack of the inadequacies, before I left the house.
    Yay you. And excellent pasta is a bonus.

  3. kin of like the way I felt at the International Artists Symposium.

  4. That's an unusual plate design in the photo.

  5. I am right now at a writers' retreat and learning the craft. Some are published, but we all write blogs. And that's how we met. The pasta sounds wonderful. Enjoy! :-)

  6. Ah but I have read one of your books and found it very enjoyable. Hope you do keep up the good work.
    BTW, this is the first blog I've read where grandchildren were mentioned that their parents were also acknowledged (if only in parentheses). Grands usually have the power to clear the landscape of all but themselves. I remember those gloriously powerful days.

    1. Funny how easy it is to skip over a generation! :o)

  7. How cool, that you got to meet with all those other writers. I imagine everyone feels some trepidation in such gatherings, even those who have been professionally published. Sounds like an amazing opportunity!

    "Soft weather" -- I like that phrase. I could use that a lot here.


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