Here's what I learned on my summer vacation:
* Communal dining is heaven, especially if it's on a porch. Somehow, the second night at Omega we made our way to a table of people we really enjoyed and spent the next four days eating meals with various combinations of our new friends.
* Being in a place with no cell phone coverage, no phones in the rooms, no televisions, no radios, no music that wasn't a live performance, no alcohol and no meat might be the perfect vacation.
* I'm slow. I have a hard time making transitions, and I'm often late.
* I've needed a good cry for a long time.
* Fiction-writing came more easily to me than autobiography, which was a surprise.
* Lynda Barry's most recent book One Hundred Demons, part novel, part comic book, part therapy, part writing instruction, may be the best book about navigating the path from childhood through adolescence to adulthood I have ever read. Just wonderful. As Lynda would intone like a chant or a blessing: "Go-o-o-od. Good. Good. Good." Because life is good, all of it, even the really painful parts.
* Lynda Barry rocks. If you want to take her course, Writing the Unthinkable, she's offering it Chicago on Labor Day weekend. (You can sign up on eBay.)