|(With, from left to right, writers Esther M. Leiper-Estabrooks, Karen Dent,|
and Dan Szczesny)
In early 2012, the Saki House Restaurant opened in Milford. We received a menu in the mail that winter, right before my adventure to New York City. I moseyed over the following Tuesday afternoon for the buffet, which is unique in that it's different from your typical set up of steam tables, where you help yourself. At Saki, you order off the menu -- four selections from an extensive list of offerings, plus soup -- and the food is brought out fresh from the kitchen. After the first pass, you can order two more selections from the menu, and two more after that, and two more ad infinitum. My kid sister and I, who made Fridays at Saki House a weekly highlight, never got higher than the 4th Round.
|(Writers from North, South, and all points on the map)|
When the notion of repeating last year's fun surfaced in January, I called around to various restaurants. One famous New Hampshire diner's manager rushed me rudely off the phone, telling me to call back (I didn't). Another didn't understand what I was inquiring about -- space enough to host a meeting of writers. One call to Saki House, and the big table at the back of the restaurant was ours.
|(With the talented, gorgeous Sisters Dent, Roxanne, l, and Karen, r)|
Murder in the Newsroom, and got to enjoy poetry, mysteries, science fiction, gothic horror, a narrative, and work from some of my favorite writers and people. After saying farewells-for-now, we packed back into the car and drove north, through the rain and into that promised mix of ice and snow. On the return trip, the going got hairy halfway up the state, near the exit to New Hampshire's lakes region. But once we were in the state's chimney again, the roads were clear, and the adventure concluded. There's been some discussion about doing this again in six months -- up here this time, and down there six months later. And one member was so impressed with the concept and turn out that he's thinking about organizing a statewide day salon for several writing groups, which would be an amazing and fun event, I think. North Meets South II was a delight, and I can't wait for the next opportunity to break bread with members of my two writers' groups: May 17, at the big birthday bash here at Xanadu to celebrate my 50th year on Spaceship Earth.