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Not My First Rodeo

While this does not specifically qualify as a blog post, it is a post about a blog.


In another life, I was an innkeeper. From November 2000 to November 2017, my wife and I owned and operated the Auberge de Stowe B&B in Stowe, Vermont. And because I am a writer, I wrote about it.


I did not, however, write about French toast and bedspreads and afternoon cookies--mostly because we had none of those things. Instead, I wrote about the humans who came to stay with us. Besides being far more interesting than French toast, humans offer complexities rich in the stuff of stories. Their behaviors began to fill my journals and files in my computer, and I soon found myself on the phone with the local paper, an excellent publication called the Stowe Reporter. The Stowe Reporter was an excellent publication for two reasons. First, Stowe is a town filled with intelligent, articulate, sharp-eyed people. Ski bums, yes, but brilliant ski bums. Bartenders with Ph.D.s, school teachers who have led science teams in Antarctica, mountaineers who have scaled Everest, and bus drivers with MFAs in Creative Writing and published books.


The other thing the Stowe Reporter had was a brilliant and dynamic publisher, Biddle Duke. An accomplished journalist in his own right, Biddle Duke had a vision for the Stowe Reporter, a vision beyond classifieds and legal notices and community calendars. That did not mean Gonzo journalism or muckraking; rather, it meant highlighting the diverse culture of the Stowe community. And when I called and proposed a regular column written from the point of view of an innkeeper who also drove a FedEx truck to makes ends meet, Biddle said yes. He knows a good story when he hears one.


And so InnSights was born. It ran for two years, and when it ended, the stories kept coming. The internet offered the perfect format for me to continue InnSights, and with the development of our inn's website, I had a vehicle to which I could attach it. I kept writing InnSights, and over the years it morphed into something more than an innkeeping blog. In the meantime, I acquired an MFA in Creative Writing. I had been well-published before then, but the MFA sent me on a course to teaching, and for over 15 years I taught writing at the Community College of Vermont.


I ended the blog when we ended the Auberge de Stowe B&B, in 2017. But it still has value. The last few years of the blog became a philosophical jungle-gym, a place for me to work out ideas and theories in a playful, insightful--and inciting--way.


So I offer a glimpse back to that blog here. Follow the link to see the life of a writer and an innkeeper and a teacher--and even a bus driver--told through the stories of the people who drove up to Vermont and experience a little bit of paradise.





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