20 years ago this month I sold my first book. Back then hardly anyone in my life was aware I was writing. And for some time after that sale I kind of kept my head down, preferring to work in isolation. I recall once saying to someone, “I don’t hang out with other writers.”

Well, that changed. I’ll be spending a good chunk of this anniversary month submerged in the company of other writers, beginning tomorrow when students and faculty in the Hamline MFAC program begin gathering on the ice-bound campus in St. Paul, Minnesota. We’ll argue, laugh, learn. I’ll pontificate and I’ll admit ignorance. We’ll whine about bad food and savor good writing. No one will get enough sleep. With luck, no one will take a header on the ice.

My wardrobe is hardly presentable for the occasion, but I had my hair cut yesterday, so I guess I’m ready. Time to hang out with some writers.