Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Day in the Life

I went by Schooner Wharf this afternoon to grab a quick lunch of blackened mahi-mahi and cole slaw, drank a couple of beers, and verified that I (still) can't get wireless internet there. Michael McCloud was doing his usual solo.

Greer came in with her parents, Don & Sarah, both of whom work at a college in Maryland (I didn't catch which one). Nice people, friendly, interesting to talk to. I also talked a little with a woman, Joie from New York, who's here for the Key West Literary Seminar. Don and Joie discovered a common interest in education and they talked about that. Sarah told me tales of Greer's growing up in London (England), riding to school on The Underground, and how it was a shock to her system when they moved to Hanover, NH and she had to take a school bus.

The Seminar begins tonight and runs through Sunday. It is now in its 24th year here. It's a smallish event as Key West events go, but it sells out every year and always gets good reviews from the participants in it. They pay up to $750 to attend the seminar, or writer's workshops, or both. The theme this year is "The Literature of Adventure, Travel, and Discovery". I usually try to catch the Sunday afternoon sessions of the Seminar, which the organizers generously throw open to the public. Unlike other years, I recognize very few, in fact, only two, of the writers reading and speaking at the Seminar. One I recognize is Rosalind Brackenbury, a local author whose latest work is a throwaway book titled "The Story of Henrietta Penelope Hen", a skinny book illustrated whimsically by her daughter, but with a story that is a pale imitation of Katha Sheehan's far more interesting "Tales of an Island Rooster". The other writer I recognized is Linda Greenlaw, a fishing boat captain in Maine who wrote "The Hungry Ocean" , and followed that surprise best-seller with several more books, including a cookbook.

The weather today was great, cooler, drier than it has been, yet warm enough to be out in shorts and short sleeves. Temperatures are going to drop again on Friday afternoon. We're in for a cooler weekend, maybe long pants and sweaters. It's still the best time of year of all, in my opinion. A bike ride doesn't feel like you've been been through a steam bath. We leave the doors and windows open, don't need to run the air conditioner all day and all night. The night jasmine blooms. It doesn't get much better.

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