Saturday, October 01, 2005

Off to Paradise

Today's the day!

The airport shuttle picked me up just shy of 4:00am Saturday and I was through security and at the gate by 4:45 for a 6am flight. The obvious thing to do while I wait is read… or write. I brought along The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells to read. Somehow, I couldn’t relax enough; I’m going to my first writer’s workshop! First in-person workshop, that is.

I lucked into a first-class upgrade on the longest leg of the journey (Phx to Pittsburgh) for a mere $150, and I was glad I did. It was nice. Really nice. I connected in Pitts to Providence, RI, where I ate lunch and waited 3 hours for my flight to the island. There were only seven passengers and one captain in a tiny propeller plane that seated ten. I really enjoyed that part – but we were only in the air for 20 minutes. One of the VP staffers, Carol met me at the airport, and she and her husband, Bill, drove me to the Island Inn. It was already starting to get dark, so I didn’t get to see a lot, so I look forward to doing a little exploring tomorrow.

It turns out that one of the students had to cancel because her son had a terrible weight-lifting accident that tore his femoral artery! So her roommate, Kate, was without a roommate, and seeing as how my two roommates were both men, Carol asked if I’d be interested in rooming with Kate and perhaps another lady, Pat, who would like to share if someone needed a roomie. So the three of us are piling into a townhouse unit. It took a while to get ahold of Dick and Leo to find out if they were cool with splitting the condo two ways rather than 3, but it all works out great.

The rooms are charming. The townhouse has a bedroom upstairs with a king-sized bed, and a bedroom downstairs with two twin beds, plus a queen sofa sleeper. I don’t mind sharing a bedroom, and neither does Pat, so Kate will probably get the upstairs bedroom. My knees don’t like those stairs. No siree.

Kate – a different Kate, of VP Staff fame – kindly invited me to join the instructors and staff for a meal in the staff room, seeing as how I arrived early and didn’t get a chance to get to the store for food. I, being shy when outnumbered by strangers, was happy to observe from the shadows and get a feel for the incredibly quick minds and creativity of the people I’ll be spending the next week with. Jim Macdonald, aka Yog, is as friendly as he is helpful, with a nice, firm handshake. Teresa Nielsen Hayden is an amazing person, so witty and sharp, and with a personality you can’t help but like. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about everyone as I get to know them, but so far, I’m overwhelmed and excited and deeply thrilled to be here.

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