Eight years ago I attended a summer residency at the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program. That’s where I met Stephanie Bodeen and Kirby Larson, both of whom were teaching in the program. (Stephanie would later be the driving force behind creating this blog). Although I found the program on Whidbey to be a very inviting and supportive community of writers, I never had the opportunity to return to another residency or attend any of the many other literary events sponsored by WWW, until just a few weeks ago.
It was residency time again and on the last night there was a faculty reading scheduled at the Captain Whidbey Inn. Carmen Bernier-Grand, a current faculty member and also a member of One Potato . . . Ten, was listed as one of the readers. Carmen had invited me to a reading last year, but I was unable to attend. When I met her at this spring’s retreat, we laughed about how we both traveled all the way to
to finally meet each other, when she teaches only 20 minutes from my
This year, I determined to finally make the trek to Coupeville for the faculty reading. I joined a vibrant group of perhaps 40 people in attendance. During a break in the readings, I walked up to Carmen and said, “Hey, stranger, I finally made it to a reading.” Carmen looked at me for a moment with her face scrunched up in that universal expression of “who is this nut talking to me?” before I reminded her who I was. As the light of recognition dawned on her face, tears welled in her eyes. We hugged and laughed and talked for almost an hour after the reading . . .
And so now, after finally meeting my fellow bloggers at the spring retreat, I have seen both David LaRochelle and Carmen Bernier-Grand on my home turf in the last few months. At this rate, I expect another of my fellow spuds to arrive on the island any day now . . .