Okay, so mostly this was a driving day. And most of that was a blur since I was listening to a book on tape. It's not a great book, so I won't even say which book. I listened to half of it and will listen to the rest on the way home.
I got into Sewanee about 2:30 local time and the airport bus got there right before I did so I ended up standing in line. But once I got to the check in it was nice to see staff members Juliana, Cecily, Carrie and others whom I know from previous years. I picked up my workshop materials and confirmed that I'll be with Tim O'Brien in a workshop co-taught with Erin McGraw, someone I've met several times at Sewanee and AWP, but have not worked with. I also found my dorm, which is sweet. It's a newly renovated building and my room has a private bathroom, so that's great. Once I got settled I went out to the bookstore, the library and got my bearings, and in the process ran into several people I know from Sewanee and other conferences and from Zoetrope.
Dinner was at 6:45 at the Inn, but people started gathering much earlier outside in the parking lot, and there I saw even more people I knew. I feel a little odd, having been here twice before, knowing the answers to lots of questions that people have. I should probably keep my mouth shut and let them discover things on their own, but I suppose I appreciated the "old hands" when I first came here, so I ramble on.
The first event of the conference was announcements, one of which was that reading assignments for tomorrow's workshops are posted. (I have homework, as I'll mention in a minute.) Then Jill McCorkle read a brand new story, "Another Dimension," which she had to cut a little as she was reading because it was quite long. But it has all the hallmarks of a McCorkle story--it's funny, but poignant--and I liked it very much. At the reception afterward I spoke to her and also to other faculty members I knew from previous years.
I'm looking forward to a great conference.
So, as I say, my workshop meets tomorrow. (Half meet tomorrow, half meet the next day.) And so I have three stories to read tonight, and I better get to it. More later!