Three Weeks on The Road

Jun 24, 2009 by

Three Weeks on The Road

I spent the last three weeks on the road. The first two weeks I was in Saratoga Springs, NY at my favorite annual summer event–New York State Summer Writers Institute. I get to hang out with the likes of Robert Pinsky (who is a great joke teller), Marilynne Robinson (who giggles) and Mary Gordon (who I have a huge crush on), and many other National Book Award, Pulitzer, Literari Emeritus award winners and nominees. Why I am there? I can tell a pretty good joke at the dinner table too. Or at least I think that’s why they keep asking me back. This was my ninth year.

As part of my job as writer-in-residence I read student manuscripts. This year I read five novels-in-progress, each one unique and intriguing in its own way. I love the way human beings have these engrossing tales to tell. I especially love that I am lucky to get to read so many. This was my second year on the staff, and so no more dorms for me. But my writer friends did come to my faculty housing and eat M&Ms, drink Saratoga Seltzer water, and gossip until the wee hours of the night.

The third week of my road trip I ventured into Manhattan to meet with my agents, Meg Ruley and Christina Hogrebe of the Jane Rotrosen Agency. Meg gave a big thumbs up to the publishing industry and said it was doing well, and would always find its way in this world.

The last few days I spent in Texas on what my paramour, Eber Lambert calls Redneck Country Safari. I’ll have to blog about the barbecued goat and pecan groves soon. But we were there for my Dad’s 80th!

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