Unlike the trip here, I’ll be doing the homeward leg without a layover for the night. I leave Valdez at 2:00 p.m. AKDT (6:00 p.m. EDT), fly to Anchorage for an overnight flight to Dallas, and connect to my Miami flight that arrives at 1:00 p.m. Monday afternoon.
But what a trip it’s been. I’ve seen at least ten readings (and will see more thanks to YouTube), sat in on monologue workshops where one of my pieces was practiced under the guiding hands of Frank Collison and Laura Gardner, contributed an episode to a five-piece collaboration for the Fringe (Go Team Rabbit Attacks!), and became good friends and admirer of many playwrights and actors. Oh, yeah; they did my play reading too, finally overcoming the technical issues wrought by this new way of sharing with the world.
Eight days of indoor theatre work didn’t take me away from getting to appreciate where I am. It was cloudy and rainy most of the week, but it still had a beauty — and coolness — that I don’t get in Florida (the high most days was around 55 F, which in Miami would be cause for wearing a parka and gloves to some people). And I walked a lot; an average of two miles a day up the hill to the Valdez Convention & Civic Center and around the town. I also did not turn on the TV in my hotel room because I was either sleeping or writing. I didn’t miss it.
Ever the optimist, I have made a hotel reservation to return here next June. Even if I don’t have a play accepted, I want to come back to be among the energy and passion that Valdez generates and has made me a better writer each time. The generosity of spirit and support for this most essential craft is one of the reasons I do it, and perhaps one of the reasons I wrote over thirty plays between my last trip here and today.
Thanks again to the good friends here in Valdez, and as I said the last time I left, it’s not goodbye; it’s just intermission.