Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Einstein’s Bagels kindly agreed to give us all their leftover bagels on Friday for our Gathering of Writers on Saturday. At the last minute, though, we found out we weren’t allowed to take any of our own food into the venue.

What to do? I felt kind of dumb calling them up and saying we didn’t need the bagels, after all and I thought it would be rude to just not show up. How many bagels could there be, I thought. I’ll just pick them up and we can all take some home and freeze them.

I got there. There didn’t seem to be that many, some of the trays were empty. But when 5:00 arrived and the employees dumped them all—along with probably a dozen plastic cups with “bagel poppers”—in them, they filled a gargantuan garbage bag. One of the guys had to carry it out for me.

Within five minutes my whole car smelled like garlic.

Anyway. We had the Gathering of Writers the next day, at which the caterer provided those crummy little wrapped muffins that get all sticky from sweating in their cellophane packages.

Nonetheless, Marian University was a lovely place to have our event and a good time was had by all. Elizabeth Stuckey-French gave an inspiring keynote, tailor-made for this year’s theme, “Unlock Your Voice.” Tom Chiarella, Skip Berry, Alessandra Lynch, Jill Christman and others gave sessions on fiction, screenwriting, poetry and the memoir.

Cathy Day’s session jolted me out of my confusion about the novel I recently started—at least temporarily.

Of course, I brought our fabulous prize wheel—featuring photos of the day’s presenters. Elizabeth was the best prize, a tee-shirt. I got to be a notebook!

As always, the best part for me at Writers' Center events watching writers connect with one another.

The evaluations were overwhelmingly positive.

The bagels, however, were still in my car.

I’d bought a box of bags and I opened up the hatch and sort of bullied people into taking bagels home with them. I made up a bag for our freezer, then took some to my daughters.

My son-in-law, Jim, packaged up the rest to drop off at a shelter the next day. Which, I know, is what I should have done with them in the first place.

Still, they made an such an amusing little subplot for the day that I can’t quite make myself feel guilty about it.

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