Last week 12,000 writers descended upon Baked Beans City. Well, at least, that’s how many had registered for the conference. When a storm began dumping heavy wet snow on the northeast, some folks were stranded in airports or trains stations, and some chose to stay home with a good book.
By the second morning of the conference, I felt claustrophobic from too many hours spent in windowless hotel rooms with harsh flourscent lights and recycled air. I needed a walk outside. I made my way through the lobby, which was crawling with hungover writers, their nametags swinging as they searched frantically for coffee.
When I burst out through the revolving glass doors, a gust of winter wind blew my hair into my face. The wet snow stuck to trees, to cabs, to my eyelashes. I saw no other humans as I walked the quiet streets, the cold waking me up. I breathed the winter air deeply in preparation for the hectic day ahead of me.