Monday, November 18, 2013


This blog was submitted by one of the attendees: Bill Fietzer

What I like best about writers' conferences and this one in particular are the interesting people one meets. Not only the headliners like Jeffrey Deaver and Allison Leotta (See my blog page on the conference at: but the attendees I rubbed elbows or broke bread with at the breakfasts, luncheons, and after-hours soirees all had interesting stories to tell.

Allied with this is the serendipity factor. Though Baltimore is something of an outer-ring satellite of Washington, D.C., I never expected to meet the mother of a son who works for the U.S. Foreign Service. Turns out that Lane Stone and I both have sons in the diplomatic corps working in the Far East, hers in Beijing and mine in Osaka. Such a small, intimate, intriguing world globalization has created for us!

The other thing I enjoyed about the conference was the opportunity to explore the Baltimore area via the light rail line. At other conventions such as in Atlanta and San Antonio, taking the light rail or bus lines permits me the opportunity to get a feel of the city, if only through a window as a passing traveler. Never having been to Baltimore before, the hour and a half trip provided ample opportunity to witness the magnitude of Baltimore Harbor, the location of the Baltimore Orioles stadium, the rebuilding historic downtown, and the extensive sub-urbanization of many industries and manufacturing plants that reach almost to the Pennsylvania state line.

The trip also revealed that a two-story high berm or bridge need not be the environmental eyesore that opponents of one of the proposed local spurs to the light rail line in Minneapolis claim it could be. All politics, they say (whoever "they" are), are local, and the anecdotal evidence gleaned from my ride to and from the airport showed that an elevated rail track is not the odious monster some locals claim is sufficient reason for stalling a multi-million dollar transportation project.

The link to my Facebook photo album of C3 highlights is:
I'm looking forward to an even more provocative, inspirational time at next year's event.