Saturday, November 23, 2013

Vermont Reading Series

That Vermont is home to more writers per capita than any other state in the nation is a testament not only to the natural beauty of our surroundings and the possibilities for solitude and contemplation, but also to the great traditions and institutions that support our literary artists when the time comes to share their work.  from: New England        Review, Vermont Reading Series handout, November 21, 2013 

We had a literary outing, the women in the writing group I attend.  We drove to Middlebury, VT, and spent time browsing the Vermont Book Shop, one of those small, independent book shops like I remember from the old days.  (Owning a store like that has always been a part of my fantasy life.)  I did a bit of Christmas shopping.  We went out for pizza at American Flatbread which is in the Old Marble Works district.

The hostess asked if we wanted to be seated next to the large brick fired oven.
Now why would anyone ask such a question of three menopausal-age women?
We sat away from the oven, but within view of it, and had a delicious supper.

Then on to the impetus for our field trip--a nonfiction reading hosted by the New England Review that included Jessica Hendry Nelson, Christopher Shaw, John Elder, and Julia Alvarez.

The venue, Carol's Hungry Mind Cafe,  cozy and standing-room-only, was perfect.

Sometimes, at this time of year when it is dark so early, it can be difficult to roust one's self out of the house for an evening--making it all the more important to do so.  I am grateful to have had this opportunity.

16 comments:

  1. That is definitely my kind of town! So picturesque -- town square/park, the typically New England type church, and books! It sounds as if you had a great day! Thanks for sharing. I'll enjoy vicariously!

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    1. I lived there for two years during a transition period in my life and I did really love it there.

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  2. Sounds wonderful! My fantasy has always been to own my own little bookstore just like the one in You've Got Mail.

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  3. New England does seem the perfect setting for a writer. For one thing it is the perfect past time when winter snows you in.
    "Now why would anyone ask such a question of three menopausal-age women?" cracked me up.

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  4. That is so true that gettng out in the cold and dark is a challenge. Having somewhere to go is an even bigger challenge.

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  5. This sounds like a great outing. I'm glad you got yourself up and out the door. I just finished read "Yo" by Julia Alvarez. I love her writing, but had not ever read this book. I really enjoyed reading it.

    I love Vermont. I just don't know that I could live that isolated life that so many in Vermont live. My dearest friend lives in Vermont. We do FaceTime every two or three weeks for about an hour or an hour and half. She lives in such an isolated area, which she loves, that I think she really appreciates the connection we can have via the internet.

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    1. Julia Alvarez read from her book A Wedding in Haiti. She is darling.

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  6. Good for you for getting out there and having fun with the other writers. It's always wonderful to go out with other women.

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  7. It is very important to socialize when you are widowed, and I am glad you are doing this.

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  8. Sounds like a good time was had by all ... and, you certainly haven't lost your sense of humor!

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  9. Does sound like you had a great time. I am really bad myself about not wanting to go out after dark, I would just rather stay home!

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  10. We loved the small towns we passed through and sometimes stopped in when we visited Vermont a year and a half ago. But I liked being there in late April, when the days were longer and spring was bursting forth. It would be hard to venture out in the dark and cold of winter. Good for you for getting out there with your friends.

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  11. I too admire you for going out in the evening. It is the one thing I dread the most and avoid if I can.

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  12. It sounds like you had a wonderful evening with your friends inspite of the dark and cold. It is good for us older folks to remember that cars have headlights and heaters. I have found myself avoiding going out after dark since I retired and it is ridiculous.

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  13. What a comfy place is the Hungry Mind Cafe! All those pictures of intelligent-faced people!
    And all not 150 miles from me as I sit at my table...

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  14. You have been on my mind so much these past few weeks so when you come by and say hello I am delighted.
    Your so right about a challenge to get out with darkness upon us so darn early. You would think I live in Vermont the way I turn into a hermit this time of the year.
    No wonder Vermont has such a draw to me if it has so many gifted artist there.
    Like you owning a small bookstore like that has always been my fantasy too. I think it came from watching Peyton Place as a kid. Whats her name was always in her cute little book store. haha
    Love ya
    Maggie

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I appreciate readers' comments so much. You don't even always have to agree with me.