This year seems to have flown by at record speed.
Last February, I spent a week in Miami, FL. I had rented what was advertised as a 39-foot yacht on airbnb.com the ad said it was docked in a marina near South Beach with a working hot tub, sauna, heated pool, and gym. It sounded perfect.
When I arrived I found that the “yacht” was, in fact, a dive boat (you know used for deep sea diving and not a “yacht”), and I was informed that the previous guests had busted the toilet (smelly) and that they had left the galley hatches open so it was a bit damp in the bedroom.
I smiled and decided to stay and give it a chance. My first evening, I decided to go for a swim to find that the pool was unclean, unheated and that the adjoining hot tub was in the same state. I said something the following day expressing my disappointment to the host who said, “Oh it must be broken, sorry, and said he would let the marina maintenance know about it.”
Later that same first evening, I woke up in the middle of the night and had to pee. I got off the boat, walked up to the marina bathroom, and back to the boat, to find that the boat had moved and was now a couple of feet away from the dock. I sat on the edge of the dock and waited for over an hour for the boat to move closer again, as I couldn’t budge it by pulling on the ropes.
The next day I went to a beautiful Argentinean Restaurant in Little Havana.
The next morning, I moved over to the Marriott in Biscayne Bay. I was happy. It finally felt like I was on vacation! At the hotel, I had a heated swimming pool, with a nearby working hot tub, and I had a short shuttle ride to South Beach.
Last April, I moved; I had been living in my cozy yet sunny little basement studio apartment for the past couple of years. Now I live in an enormous one bedroom half a mile from Market Square. I took a long weekend off to go to my grandmother’s 95-birthday party in Ansonia, CT. She doesn’t look 95. She’s Beautiful woman who jokes, smiles, and inspires us all.
I saw Alice Hoffman speak at RiverRun Bookstore. Her novel DoveKeepers had just come out in paperback And I signed up for all of the Seacoast Road Race Series. I was looking forward to earning race jacket number two.
Last May, my friend Tim Horvath, and also former Seacoast Writers Circle member, read from his recently published collection of Short Stories “Understories” at River Run Bookstore and we went and showed our support. Then we all went for drinks after, at the Coat, it was a great night and it was nice to catch up with Hannah Larabee, Tim Horvath, W.B., and Tammi Truax.
Last June, I saw Joan Didion speak at the Portsmouth Music Hall. Her most recent work Blue Nights was the reason for the tour. She was wonderful. She was on the main stage and was interviewed by Terry Gross. When asked what the difference between “Year of Magical Thinking and Blue Nights was” Didion answered, “In the Year of Magical Thinking the character experiences something, comes out of it, and survives it, whereas in Blue Nights, the character experiences something, comes out of it, and you don’t know if she will survive it. Her daughter’s death had a profound effect on her and her honesty and rawness could be felt by the audience in a way like nothing I’d ever felt before.
Last August, I saw Joshua Cohen read from his collection of short stories entitled “4 NEW MESSAGES” at River Run Bookstore. And then went out for drinks at the Coat of Arms afterward with Tim Horvath, Joshua Cohen, Kevin Blahut, and a few whom I didn’t get to speak with or their names.
In September, I took a CPR & AED first responder course and became CPR & AED certified. I was invited to join the Board of the Seacoast Writers Association.
In October, I took a photo a day for 31 days, a personal challenge that I accomplished with the aid of Instagram. I watched the Annual Portsmouth Halloween Parade from Market Square, I spent most of this month and the month prior debating whether or not to fix or sell my car. A credit rejection notice from VW made my decision for me, and I had my car repaired and inspected and was back in wheels by the end of the month.
In November, Amanda Chatel, who is a brilliant writer, and friend divides her time between New Hampshire, Paris, and New York paid me a visit.
The Board of the Seacoast Writers Association decided to dissolve. I attended the World of Poetry Beat Night Gala at the Pressroom.
In December, I founded the Portsmouth Writers Salon, which will hold its first meeting on January 13, 2013, at Portsmouth Book and Bar.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and wealthy 2013!