As a writer, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed spending three days immersed in the writing community at the 25th annual Pennwriters Conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. To be surrounded by like minds who really get each other, was exactly what I needed in this season of change in my life. I felt like I belonged in a way we writers don't always experience. Plus, I was able to stay in a beautiful room at the Eden Resort, enjoy really good food, share stories and laughter, meet new friends (and some old ones who I only knew electronically), rejoice in others' success, and lead some workshops -- one of my very favorite things to do in life! It was a good weekend.
As if all of that wasn't enough, I also was honored that my poem, Prodigal, tied to win 2nd place in the poetry competition. Little happy dance. I was surrounded by so much incredible talent, that this was truly an honor!
Our keynote speakers, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Maria Snyder, inspired and motivated me. Hank shared something especially meaningful to me ... as an investigative reporter in Boston, she didn't get around to writing her first novel until she was my age (as of today). So, I've decided this is my year!
Topping off my incredible weekend with Pennwriters, was the time I was able to spend with my mother on Thursday night and Sunday through Monday. I never take the time we have for granted. I know how blessed I am to still have my mother with me, even if she doesn't understand my passion for leading a life with less chemicals!
And then there was dinner on Sunday night with my best-friend-for-50-years, Dawn. She treated me to a birthday dinner that was both delicious and soul-soothing. Dawn has always had a knack for making any problem in my life seem smaller and any success in my life seem sweeter. Always. I treasure our friendship.
I drove back to Pittsburgh yesterday, listening to the second book in Richard Paul Evans' The Walk series, and was left wanting more. I was so disappointed when the final words were read, that I popped the first CD back in and started listening to the book all over again! I love Evans' work.
Bill and I made dinner with the groceries I brought back from Lancaster County -- fresher, cheaper and simply more delicious, and sat down to watch the final two hours of my favorite television show. I wept as the last credits rolled for HOUSE, knowing that, this too, is a change I have to adapt to.
Although it was a Monday, I did not work yesterday. And so, Monday was my Sabbath this week and this is my accounting of my Sabbath Experience. It was sweet. It was relaxing. It was necessary. And now, my friends, it's time for me to get to work ... oh, after I go eat my free Build Your Own Slam at Denny's. Aren't birthdays wonderful?