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Top Ten Highlights of the 2014 San Miguel Writer’s Conference

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1. Sitting elbow-to-elbow with Calvin Trillin during the round table and seeing the King of Deadpan finally crack a smile at his own escapades.

2. Feeding oatmeal to Yann Martel’s ten-month-old son, a cheerful tow-headed little fellow named Felix.

3. Pitching April Eberhardt in the ladies room while she put on her lipstick the first morning. Having her subsequently pitch my book at her panel The New Era of Publishing: Making it Work for You the next day.

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4. Hanging out with my friend, travel writer Tom Swick, and showing him some of my favorite haunts in San Miguel (including a lovely supper of conchinita pibil at Posadita on a nearly perfect night).

5. The Saturday night soiree I hosted for a dozen people at Casa Chepitos for the second year. I’ve decided to make it an annual affair.

6. Talking about everything that night, from feminism to our favorite authors, with the brilliant Brooke Warner, founder of She Writes.

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7. Sharing a late night taxi with the lovely and vivacious Amy Ferris and the queen of memoir, Laura Davis.

8. Listening to Laura Esquivel’s wonderful talk about love, compassion and how Water for Chocolate is being produced on Broadway. I listened in Spanish and understood at least 80%!

9. Tina Packer’s performance as Shakespeare heroines in “Women of Will.

10. Jumping in the river, metaphorically speaking, with the inimitable Dinty Moore in his workshop: A River Runs Through It: What Makes a Story Whole. I’ve wanted to workshop with Dinty for a while and I wasn’t disappointed!

Oops! There is actually one more:

11. Selling every single copy of my memoir The View from Casa Chepitos: A Journey Beyond the Border at the conference bookstore.

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