All Write 2013:Beyond Expectations on Slice of Life Tuesday

photo Before I take a ride back to Indiana, let me first take a  moment to RAVE about the  work of Alan Cummings, known for his Cabaret, his work on the Good Wife as Eli Gold and now MACBETH. Last night I dragged Tuvia with me on a sweltering Monday night to live through a night of Macbeth, just one more time.  Yes it was hot outside and inside as well.  What happened to the AC?  Maybe, it just added to the power of play.

WOW!  A one man Macbeth!  I had to see it and like the All Write 2013, I was taken beyond my expectations.  I never took on the “Scottish Play” myself when I was directing high school theater, but it was on the list- a Star Wars version :).  Alan Cummings made this monster his own and took us to a new place with a play that we know well. His setting fit perfectly, in a psychiatric ward complete with TV screens and guards.  I hope there’s a  way that it can be recorded for everyone who can’t get to New York City in the next few weeks.  A true Tour De Force.  I could see it again and again.  I think once was enough for Tuvia.  Shakespeare’s words are lost for him but he did love watching Alan. It’s the morning after and I’m still with Lady Macbeth descending into her bath, naked. Later her descent into madness, his descent into evil will remain with me.

Okay… I could say a lot more about this production and maybe I will somewhere else, but I need to marshal my energy and do some reflecting on my thrilling adventures in Warsaw, Indiana, okay?

So I was ready for this adventure.  My Hudson Valley Writing Project was picking up the tab (YES!) and I was set for hours of travel without the convenience of a direct flight.  Yep, I am very spoiled living so close to Newark Liberty Airport, a hub of United and direct flights everywhere.  Okay enough complaining.

I arrived at the Fort Wayne airport met by a very sweet driver who was waiting for me and a trio of education superstars: Carl Anderson, Jeff Anderson(no relation) and Terry Thompson.  Can you imagine the conversations in that van?  I was right in the middle of Carl and Jeff and it was non-stop talk.  Sadly, I learned more of the details of the recent settlement agreed to by the powers-that-be for teacher assessments designed for the NYC teachers.  UGH!  If you haven’t heard, I don’t want to bring you down now right now.

So we arrived and Mindy was on hand to give us a minute to get our rooms, wash our faces and join her for a ride to the opening dinner arranged by Ruth.  A room filled with SLICERS and interested teachers.  No we didn’t break into a Slicing prompt,  but we did take the time to introduce ourselves and I was overwhelmed, trying to recognize people that I’ve been writing with for years now, just from their blog pics.  Yes, I was overwhelmed as I shoveled down my salmon as everyone else was already on their last courses.


I sat across from Linda and close to Elsie, two Slicer buds who I counted on throughout the past year of mourning my close friend Eileen and my mom.  Every day I posted an entry they were right there with a comment.  And I would be remiss if I didn’t include Tara into that trio.  Three friends who always had something wonderful to leave me with.  Tara and I live close by and we do meet for coffee, dinner and movies.  It felt complete to spend quality time with Linda and Elsie throughout this intense three days, even though by 9PM I was ready to get back to my room, unpack a bit and change into PJs.

The next morning we were up early and picked up by Ruth with a small group of Slicers, Ramona and Nanc,for a quickie breakfast and then off to the opening of the conference.  Let the photo ops begin:


I was starting to feel comfortable and we were off with a shot of Starbucks and a bit of  muffin.  Our conference  space was a gorgeous school, with students still engaged in the last days of the year as we moved from space to space.  The auditorium was filled with 650 teachers as Carl Anderson, my bus bud, kicked off the conference.  Just was he was feeling his mojo and rolling along: FIRE ALARM and we headed outside and the conversations continued 🙂 with Deb, Christy and Tammy and when we returned Carl finished up and we were off to explore ideas with a wonderful variety of teacher leaders.

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I learned throughout the next 48 hours from Jeff A.,Jennifer Serravallo, Ruth Ayers and her partner DEB, Chris Lehman, even though I realized that there’s another Chris Lehmann that I had thought would be there.  Oh well, there’s two great Chris Lehmans.

I wasn’t expecting to buy any new books but then, not everyone is on Amazon’s Kindle section so, yes, I added to my library, like everyone else 🙂 And as we finished our dinner with Kate Messner and Mary Helen, my ace in the hole, encouraged me to pick up one of Kate’s books from my favorite 6-year-old Mia.  On Saturday, at our family barbecue she and her brother walked in reading books and I had one for her, autographed by Kate with a picture of us and the book.  She was blown away!

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And last but not least let me send a Shout Out to my Slicer bud, Mary Helen who offered me peace of mind when I was figuring out how I would get back to the airport on time. She had her charming son and his cousin drop me off at the airport and I could then enjoy her company and our Slicer group for one last evening of fun and one last day of conference learning.


I did love being with all these Slicers, face-to-face.  We seemed to pick up from where we left off from our online writing community . Yes, there is power in sharing writing in cyberspace.. KUDOS again to Two Writing Teachers.  Stacey, we missed you!

Next year?  Who’s coming???

Categories: All Write 2013, Slice of Life 2013 | Tags: , | 34 Comments

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34 thoughts on “All Write 2013:Beyond Expectations on Slice of Life Tuesday

  1. I’m glad you had such a good time. You are really great at creating and furthering community among people. I admire that in you.

    • Thanks Lynn,
      It’s all about the connections we make, like ours from the NWP 🙂

    • It’s all about community and we are in that NWP community together, my friend. I’m remembering our ride up the New Paltz mountains, are you?

  2. I love revisiting the time we had together through your words. Sigh. It was great to be together, time I will savor in my memories. It was the best of times.
    As for Alan Cummings, I saw a profile of him on CBS one morning which highlighted roles he has played. What a talent, and you got to see him! So jealous!

    • Next year, I’d hang out for that last night. Sounds like it was some dinner conversation! Hope to see you again, my friend.

  3. Wow, MacBeth without air conditioning. You are amazing, Bonnie. I will keep a lookout for it. Thanks for taking us down your memory lane. I didn’t know you had that wonderful ride from the airport-a little extra gift! And so glad you were there. It was almost hard to believe we were all talking face to face. Great time!

  4. SO missed not being at All-Write!! I ca’t wait to get together and have a person-to-person information download. Macbeth without air conditioning – exactly as it was at the Globe!
    PS: photographs were awesome!

  5. The excitement and energy just ooze from you post. I can hear the buzz in the room drown out the memories of the drone of the planes and the power of the connectedness in REAL time makes me hope that some day VERY soon, I might too meet up in real time with those I know only through the miracle of cyberspace.

  6. Bonnie, I loved hearing about McBeth also…what a ride you’ve had. Thank you for the pictures. I’m so glad that you got a ride back to the airport…much better than me going home…hopelessly lost on the South Side, taking roads that are not in my street map vocabulary. Loved the conference and even the fire evac. too. I’m glad that you mentioned it. xo

    • Ugh, that’s horrible to hear. I hate getting lost and it did happen to me as I left the airport. I was tired, my last flight was delayed, it was dark, the signs were small and I turned in the wrong direction, but not for long. I felt it was wrong, pulled over and turned on my GPS for home. And I got myself turned right! Ah… technology. Can’t wait to be back next year. What do you think?

  7. Sounds like such a wonderful time. One of these days I will get myself to All-Write and get to enjoy this company also!

  8. Sounds like a great time had by all. Your friend, in the green, has the most beautiful hair. I am so envious.

    • You know, she does! It was great Delaine. I’d love to meet up with you someday soon.

      • Bonnie, if you ever get out to California, let me know. Being retired now, my calendar is mine to schedule and I love penciling in meet-ups with friends

        That would be lovely Delaine. With Lynn 🙂

  9. What an amazing time had in just two quick days! After reading all of the reflections from the conference, I’m noticing the theme of connections. So many connections made and strengthened when meeting face-to-face. It is about the people and the stories and connections — and that’s when learning happens too. That’s what we need to do for our students. Thanks for the slice today!

    • Exactly Michelle,
      Writing is the power of our connections and when you get to meet the writing comes along in 3D!

  10. Terje

    Even though computers are great and blogs reveal a lot about their writers, it’s still great to see that bloggers are humans, not fictional characters. I think that in the slicing community the honesty in the writing has made it easy to find like-minded, inspirational and supportive people. I am happy for all the slicers who met, and for all the thought filled days of the conference they enjoyed.

    • It makes it even more exciting to get back here and slice with everyone. I am more charged up to take on the whole community 🙂

  11. Bonnie, your words and smile have lingered with me since the conference. I am thankful that Wes was able to get you to the airport and you were at ease. I enjoyed hearing about Finland. Your company was delightful and I am so glad we had the opportunity to meet face to face.

    • Back at you friend! Sorry I conked out after our first night and missed your workshop preview. Next year!

  12. You have always been a sort of virtual mentor to me. It was surreal to spend time with you. Thank you for listening and supporting at dinner!

  13. Fabulous! I loved reading every detail.

  14. Oh, it sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing your experiences. Maybe next year…
    A friend was raving about Alan Cummings as Macbeth just the other day. Not sure I’ll get to the city before it closes 😦

  15. So great to hear about how you ave all connected. What a great way to begin summer.

  16. It was a delightful adventure and so fun to meet you in person. Reading these slices of our two days together captures the fun we had. “Beyond expectations” is a great phrase to describe our time at All Write 2013! Thanks again for sharing the pics you took.

  17. I love Alan Cummings and I loved AllWrite!! What a fabulous opportunity to see him perform in MacBeth! And I couldn’t agree with you more about All Write — this year’s sessions were just spectacular – I learned so much, other things were clarified, yet others were validated. Most importantly, I left rejuvenated. Loved hearing about your experiences and seeing all the photo ops you had. Thanks for sharing!

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