Intellectual Blind Dates — Finally Meeting A Few Fellow True-Slanters

Two street vendors taking time out for lunch a...
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What better way to spend a rainy, gray Tuesday than to meet someone congenial for lunch in the battered wooden booths of the Old Town Bar, one of Manhattan’s coolest and most ancient of lunch spots? Hanging beside our booth was an autographed book cover by one of my favorite authors, the late Nuala O’Faolain, marking a good spot for two writers to settle in.

It’s one thing to read someone on-line, at their putatively witty and edited best. What happens when you meet face to face? Fun!

Today I hung out with Scott Bowen, who writes Beaufinn, and got to put a face to the name and a personality to the byline. We’d emailed privately a few times and anyone who uses the word pelagic gets my vote. It was great to have a chance to trade freelance and Manhattan staff war stories. Yesterday, in brilliant fall sunshine, I lunched with Fran Johns, who writes Boomers and Beyond, who was here visiting from San Francisco. Like Scott, I knew nothing of her work before we both started working for True/Slant and had never spoken to her. It was all the pleasure of meeting an old friend, plus the commonality of our shared work here, plus the chance to talk books, writing and ambition with a smart, skilled woman.

Next week, lunch in the city again with Todd Essig, at another of my favorite spots.  I’m really enjoying meeting some of my new virtual colleagues. I’ll try to squeeze some work in as well…

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