thoughts and plans

Just a few months ago, in January and late December, I had such high hopes that I might be attending the writers’ conference in San Miguel de Allende, which took place just a few weeks ago.

Then, just after new year’s I caught the flu, and while resting and doing nothing for a couple of weeks (except reading and writing here on paper and there on the internet) I slowly realized I would not want to be travelling in February and take a chance of suffering a relapse. I was hearing such desperate stories from people of how they thought they were better a week or two later and then WHAM it hit them again for two or three more weeks.

So I did not go to the conference in the splendid old colonial city of San Miguel.

I did, however, enter a contest for a writer’s workshop at Kenyon College in Ohio, and now I find myself trying to figure out just how I will get there if I win.

All of this, however, is truly second fiddle to the truly big event in my life which is coming up in only a little more than three weeks from today.

My mother and I are going on another train trip.


This one, starting on Friday the 12th of April, will take us from Los Angeles, across Texas and into the old south at New Orleans, then up to Washington DC through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas, then, after a day and a half parked at Union Station in the nation’s capital, we turn back south again all the way through Florida to Miami, and finally retrace our steps to DC, then cut across Appalachia to Chicago, and return to Los Angeles. Fifteen nights and sixteen days of splendid railroad travel in a private pullman car.

The same group we went with to Portland, Seattle, and Whitefish last summer. LArail.

That is the truly big thing.

If I win the fiction writing contest, if will only be like icing on the cake, after this. After that.


“Education is learning to use the tools which the race has found indispensable.” 

I remember reading the words of Josiah Royce carved or engraved or painted above the proscenium arch in Royce Hall theater.

Even then, forty-five years ago, I felt uncomfortable with the word “race” — and I still do.