It was my great pleasure to conduct a panel at One More Page Books celebrating the publication of Amazing Graces: Yet Another Collection of Fiction by Washington Area Women from Richard Peabody’s unstoppable Paycock Press. One More Page is a very special place. It’s cozy, bright, comfy, and in addition to books they sell wine and chocolate. You gotta get there some time.
One of my stories appeared in the previous PP anthology, Gravity Dancers, and so many of my friends are in the current volume, it was a real treat to moderate this special, and well attended event. The panel consisted of Bettina Lanyi, Patricia Morningstar, and my long time friend/colleague/fellow MFA survivor, Colleen Kearney Rich. As I mentioned in my opening remarks, these anthologies are jam packed with great stories covering all sorts of thematic territories–great value for your literary buck. The discussion was lively, with lots of laughs and gasps, and at one point Richard sort of wandered out on a limb, declaring that men write in a straight line and he found that pretty boring, whereas women wrote in circles, always surprising him. Okey-dokey sir. You’re the publisher.Here he is explaining about his poison ivy. He got it from a cat.
After introductions, each of these writers read a few pages from her story in the anthology, and then we opened it up for a casual chat, mainly about what being a Washington Area Woman Writer meant. I liked Patricia’s answer that what it meant to her was support. That everyone’s success was shared in our community. I buy that.
Here’s a fave image from the event. I’m biased, but Colleen really hit it out of the park, answering each question with warmth, wit, and authority. However this image shows her (left, Bettina is on the right) surprise at being asked questions after the event and also to sign so many books. I’m not kidding, there was a line. I got in there ahead of the crowd, and Bettina told me this was her first signing.
And sure, I sold a book, too. Also, if you were at the event, thank you so much for ignoring the fact that the hem of my sweater was all ripped out. Happened at the store, don’t know how.