Greetings from Iowa City

Brown Street InnIt's about 9 o'clock in the evening and I'm sitting on the front porch of the lovely Brown Street Inn in Iowa City (pictured above), enjoying the intersection of this place, which evokes a bygone era, and the wondrous advantages of wireless internet connections. It has been hot here the past couple of days, as it has been each year I've come, but the weather has actually broken and there's a cool breeze to be enjoyed.

I'm looking out on a leafy green street, with cobblestone brick roads and beautiful houses showing off their turn-of-the-century architecture. The sky's is the most amazing wash of pink and blue. An occasional car drives past but otherwise, with the exception of the early tree frogs, it's virtually silent. The little black kitty who makes the porch her home has come to perch nearby and keep me company. This is Norman Rockwell stuff, the backdrop for the perfect summer evening.

I'm in Iowa City, as you may know, for my third year attending the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the university in the hopes that some of the decades-long prestige of the Iowa Writers Workshop will rub off on me. The jury's still out on the workshop I'm taking this week. It's called Advanced Short Story and I was actually nervous about whether or not my writing was far enough along to qualify, but we seem to be operating at a relatively tame level. Not sure how much I'll get out of it, but I'm willing to see what tomorrow brings.

We're workshopping three student-written short stories each afternoon, so the homework level is quite intense. Thus, I must sign off this brief update and get crackin' on tomorrow's fare.

It's beautiful here, right this minute. Chris, honey, I wish you were here.