Stonecoast Writers’ Conference, Part 1

The reason I’ve been silent this week is that I’m in the delightful throes of a writers’ conference organized by the University of Southern Maine. It’s taking place in a great old building called Stone House on a leg of land just west of downtown Freeport (most famous as the home of L. L. Bean). I took this picture of one of the exterior walls. The set-in stones made me think of an abstract underwater scene because of the black-and-white striped piece near the upper left, reminiscent of a saltwater denizen. The metaphor for me is a fish/writer surrounded by lots of other fish/writers. As implied by this picture, this old Stone House provides great atmosphere for what’s going on inside it this week.

There are two days left in the conference, today and tomorrow. My work is being discussed this morning, and I can’t wait to hear from my group what each of them responds to, positive and negative, in the chapters I submitted for comment. The discussions are lively and caring and instructive; we’ve all commented on how much we’re learning. The people are simply terrific. The instructor is Lily King, author of The Pleasing Hour, The English Teacher, and Father of the Rain, in that order. I read The English Teacher prior to the conference and enjoyed it thoroughly. Can’t wait to read the other two.

Lily has been an excellent group leader, and the participants are all smart and committed budding writers. None of us, except Lily, has been published yet (for this discussion I discount my self-publication of The Cleveland Rutters), but I believe all of us, from what I’ve read, are headed that way. Gotta run – more latah!

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