Friday through Sunday, we discussed various aspects of the craft of writing, critiqued stories, ate well (thanks largely to Mary Anne and her mother), and spent a fair bit of time lounging on the beach and in the vaguely warmish Atlantic at Sandy Hook. I squoze in a few minutes here and there of magazine work, and managed to check email about twice during the weekend. Had several good conversations and generally had a good time. A bit like a miniaturized version of Clarion, really, a small group of like-minded people intensely focused on discussion of writing. I'm not entirely convinced that it makes sense for me to be present at this sort of thing; there were plenty of really good critiques from the writers, and much of what I know about the industry applies only to our magazine, not to print magazines or to novel publishing. And I think back to how seriously I took the professionals' opinions at Clarion, and worry that writers I workshop with will take anything I say more seriously than they ought to. But on the other hand, Mary Anne and I frequently disagree about things, and I think that's good for writers to see; makes it seem less like there's a monolithic Right Way that editors know and writers have to learn (or guess).
Sunday afternoon, after all the writers left, Alex and Yuko and Mary Anne and I played a quick game of Illuminati (I haven't played in years), then they dropped me at the ferry. I rode it to Manhattan, got off at 34th St., caught a cab to Queens. Even the cabbie was nice to me, telling me in advance about how much it would cost and so on. (I had considered renting a car at an airport, but was shocked to learn that car rental in NYC costs about twice as much as anywhere else I've been. Good thing cab fare seems to be about half what it is around here.)
More (about Monday and Tuesday) to follow eventually.