Back from paradise

Well, I'm back from a week in Florida with my some of my favorite writer friends at Writers in Paradise. The week of workshops, readings, lectures, and conversations was exactly what I needed to get going on my novel again. Hopefully I can finish this draft in the next six weeks or so... at 34,000 words, I'm about halfway there.

Highlights/Funny Moments from the Trip:

1. Seeing a dolphin in the bay outside our hotel one afternoon

2.  Bonding with my shuttle bus friends during early morning and late night drives

3. Watching the inauguration and commentary with my roomie, Erica

4. Forcing down an entire Bud Light in order to not look like a wimp in front of someone I just met

5. Going into downtown St. Petersburg at 11:00 at night and being able to get a full meal at a sit-down restaurant

6. Using my hair dryer to heat up the leftovers from that meal the next morning

7. Carrying a jar of peanut butter around and making myself impromptu sandwiches the whole week

8. Hanging out with the lighting/sound guy, Anthony, who plants root vegetables at midnight during the full moon

9. Boiling myself in the hot tub at the hotel

10. Meeting Ann Patchett, Daniel Woodrell, Andre Dubus III, and other talented writers and classmates

Clearly, it was an awesome week. And now I feel like I need another week to recover. But there are dishes to wash and books to edit... sigh.

P.S. The weather in Illinois sucks. Let's all move to Florida.