Monday, August 15, 2005

Writers are suckers. It's in our nature. We crave our craft to the exclusion of everything else. We think of writing more than we think of sex or of drinking. And we're willing to do anything to improve, to make that leap to the next level. This makes us vulnerable to scams, and when it comes to writers, scam artists have rich grounds to mine. As an innkeeper, I naturally want to get in on the scamming of writers. But how?
If you ever read any literary magazine, you'll find an endless supply of offers for writers to improve, among them retreats. You can cruise the Caribbean with Robert Olen Butler, hike the Rockies with Richard Ford, and go whitewater rafting with Maya Angelou. Well, maybe not whitewater rafting...maybe book hunting in Paris. But the point is that there are more ways for writers to be parted from their money than there are writers.
My little innkeeper mind has been hard at work. Here's what I'm thinking:
November and April are tough months in the innkeeping business. Old timers call those months "shoulder seasons." Most innkeepers are wealthy--that's how they stay in business. So they simply close their doors and head south. Alas, the aubergistes of the Auberge are not even remotely close to wealthy. "Hand to mouth" is the box we check when filling out our tax returns. So what can we do to put some heads in beds during the off season, and make a few bucks?
The answer is: writers. So willing to part with their money for a little advice from other writers, and they get to do it in a quaint little Vermont inn. But there's a lot of planning involved. First I'll need qualified instructors. No problem: Goddard friends to the rescue. I'll solicit Scattershot to lead the poetry sessions. Noonani the Great will handle playwrites. And the Blade Sisters will work the short fiction and giggle requirements. I'll pay them in room nights. But there has to be some recreation. Hmmm.
November should be a cinch: deer hunting. They won't need guns. I'll just position them strategically in the woods, and have them drive the deer to me. That should give them something to write about. April's a little trickier. The weather is hideous, most of the restaurants are closed. I've got it: painting. They can help repaint all the rooms I've got scheduled for rehab. Brilliant.
I'll have to think of a clever name, something like, Write For Your Life. But I think you get the idea. So look for my ad in an upcoming literary mag. I'll be between self-publishers and the contests with hundred dollar entry fees.