New Mercury Readings in Baltimore

Last Saturday night I was one of four nonfiction writers who read at the Windup Space in Baltimore as part of the monthly New Mercury Readings series. Many thanks to Deborah Rudacille and John Barry for inviting me. I read from my book in progress on Eliza Scidmore, describing some scenes from her 1883 journey aboard the steamship Idaho when it visited Glacier Bay. I find it’s always helpful reading aloud to hear the rhythm and storytelling qualities of a piece of writing.  

Getting there turned out to be a frantic experience after the area’s intense storm Friday. I was working on my piece at 10:30 Friday night when we lost all power. Fortunately, I had plenty of draft printouts so I was able to cobble together some text. But when my husband and I got ready to leave for Baltimore on Saturday afternoon I realized I didn’t have the address or even the name of the location — it was all in my computer! My friend Kathy Stoner saved the day by using her ingenuity to call her mother in Pittsburgh, who found the details online.

A pleasant surprise: A fellow reader that evening was Sue Eisenfeld, a talented writer and essayist who’s work has been widely published. She’s also a terrific teacher, as I can attest after taking an essay-writing workshop with her at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Md. Plus, we found out we’re practically neighbors in Northern Virginia.


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