Greetings from St. Louis

I have one pressing question: why is hotel ice so wet? It melts in about four minutes. What's up with that. Also, an example of irony: the ice machine at my hotel in St. Louis is Scotsman brand. This is ironic because good luck finding a friggin' ice cube in Scotland, let alone an ice machine. I'm in the ol' Lou for a few days for a Free Candy weekend, with a couple of extra days tagged on there. Thus, I am lying in bed, propped up on about 50 fluffy pillows watching a TV with actual's too much luxury for one person.

And in between eating bon bons and having foot massages ordered up from room service it occurred to me that I haven't brought y'all up to date on all the great stuff that went down KWF-style last week. Last Wednesday, we had an extra informal seminar at the Wallace House when Fara's agent, Anna, was generous enough to come and talk to us about the crazy world of publishing. She answered our myriad questions about writing books, finding agents, and the book market in general. Very interesting stuff.

Thursday's seminar was a departure from the usual. Eisendrath brought in Bob Milne, a ragtime pianist, to entertain us. It's Eisendrath's favorite seminar of the year and it coincided with Bob's birthday, and he was feted with a lovely piano-shaped cake.

Chris and I then headed over to the Butters' house to watch the Butter Beans (Ruth, 5; Zoe, 3; and Bebe, 15 months, I think). We were only there a couple of hours and much fun was had. Also, kids are insane and take a lot of energy. I bow down to Amy Butters and the routines she must have down pat so that bed time, I suspect, is not nearly as confusing for she and Jamie as it was for us.

The weekend was a good one. I worked on my treatment for screenwriting class, which I'm enjoying. It's a completely different approach to writing for me. I also had decided not to continue taking the Women & Islam class - the teacher is fantastic but it's simply too much of a challenge for me.

Most importantly, Gail found some victims to play Apples to Apples with her and, yes, we'll admit it - it was fun. For the first few hours... Poor Rainey, on the other hand, practically passed out on the couch in a Nyquil-induced haze, suffering as she is from the cold that keeps getting passed around.

Monday, I returned to 826 like the ghost of tutoring past and wound up working with a very cool high school kid on a poetry explication. I'm no poetry expert and can barely pronounce "explication" but we had some good conversation and I swear I learned as much from him as he did from me. Love it!