I just returned from a very relaxing, much-needed vacation in New Hampshire. Dan was hired by our alma mater, Franklin Pierce College, to direct a theatre troupe that he created in 1997 when he was still a student. Since he received a free room at the Inn at Jaffrey Center, I decided to come along for some time off. The Inn was very beautiful—huge Victorian house smack dab in the middle of the woods.
     We stayed in the Mitchell room, the smallest guest room in the house that includes a private bathroom across the hall. Since I had so much time on my hands without internet access, cell phone reception, or a television, I had time to do so many great things like:

  • Complete two query letters, one article and a rough draft of a personal essay—that’s more writing finished in one long weekend than the past two years combined. Go me!
  • Buy the newest Writers Market, read all of the great articles at the beginning of the book and jot down a few new ideas for stories.
  • Sit down and truly enjoy conversation with Dan while I ate a delicious cheese board, full of cheeses, fruits, preserves and crusty bread. Yum.
  • Take a drive through the Monadnock region, the area I used to call home. Besides walking all over campus (which makes me get all nostalgic and teary-eyed), I walked through Keene and Peterborough as well. Keene has made several changes that make me a little sick to my stomach. The small city is now home to a Starbucks, Sears mega-store, a Walmart, and a huge strip mall creation that includes a Borders, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Pier One Imports, etc. etc. Yuck. I really enjoyed the fact that during my college years, I became such a member of my community because we were all in the woods together with nothing else to do. I’m sure that current FPC students spend oodles of time (and gas) driving back and forth to Keene’s stores purchasing plastic crap for their dorms and guzzling down frappucinos. Double yuck. On a better note, Peterborough still seems rather untouched by corporate hands. I visited an independent bookstore (gasp), ate lunch at an organic restaurant (double gasp), and enjoyed the greenery. My lungs love New Hampshire air.
  • Finish “Don’t Eat This Book” by Morgan Spurlock, the director and lab rat of Super Size Me. I love his writing voice and really had a fun time laughing and gagging over his research on the fast food industry and obesity in America. Please, don’t eat this book, but make sure that you read it.
  • Finish “History of the Breast” by Marilyn Yalom. Great book! I also recommend her “History of the Wife”—there are so many hidden events in history that directly involve women. It’s always a pleasure to learn about my herstory.
  • Got my hair cut very short!