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 “Unpublished” felt as though it was tattooed across my forehead.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.