Saturday, June 27, 2009

For the Benefit of Conferences

For the second year in a row, I've hosted a writers' conference here at the Auberge de Stowe. While it's true that the attendees were fellow Goddard College alum, plus one newcomer, the conference--which lasted three,four, five, or six days, depending on who you were--put heads in beds, which is what every innkeeper wants to do. And in this unstable economy, every reservation is greatly appreciated.

The idea for the Roundtable Writers' Conference hatched itself several years ago while I was a student at Goddard College's low-residency MFA in Creative Writing program. A diverse group of friends glommed onto each other every breakfast and dinner, at one of the round tables in the cafeteria. We cemented a shared vision that included an intense love of laughter, a devotion to story, and an openness to creativity which fueled our friendship.

A couple of years after we left school, we sought to recreate some of the magic that shaped us during our time at Goddard. Why not gather for a few days to reconnect and rediscover the energy that brought us together? And where would be a more logical place to gather than at one of the Roundtable Writers' inn in Stowe, Vermont?

Innkeepers should look around and ask themselves, "What do I like to do? Where are the areas that I have expertise?" By answering these questions, innkeepers will discover opportunities to capture new, unique markets that will not only put a few more heads in beds, but bring a little love into the sometimes draining job of hosting guests.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Torments of the Spring

If it seems like my posts are getting more spaced out, you're right. May is always a tough month to devote to anything, mostly because I coach Little League baseball, and that takes lots of time. In theory, I'm not teaching in May, so my time should be available. But I was tapped to teach an extra course this summer, and it's proved to be time-consuming.

I also acquired a writing opportunity this month when a friend who is working with a publisher to develop content for the Amazon Kindle called and asked if I had anything (a manuscript, for example) they could use. Of course I did: my book The Innkeeper's Husband. (For more on this, see my blog The Innkeeper's Husband.)

In any event, the summer is finally upon us. That means erratic business and lots of time spent waiting for people to check in. Besides the teaching (one section of English Comp, and the aforementioned Career Readiness class), I've got a to-do list that's growing by the day.

If you haven't checked out some recent photos from around the inn, visit the Auberge de Stowe blog. Enjoy!