Pulitzer-prize winning author Jane Smiley and Jack (her significant other) who live in Carmel, California, now, but Jane is an Iowa graduate and taught at Ames for many years.

I’m here in balmy Hawaii on the 18th floor of the Hilton Hawaiian Village and tonight was the Welcome Cocktail party, which had rumaki, crab cakes, and many other delicacies I was not able to identify. (Drink tickets, too). I enjoy it immensely. Not only did I get to meet the great Jane Smiley, who wrote¬† “1,000 Acres” and won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for same, but I found out about the December 15th New Orleans Writers’ Tour of that great city (a fundraiser, primarily) and met Gary Braver of Boston, whose class I so wanted to take back when the last Hawaii Writers’ Conference under John Tulius was held.
This is a “new, improved” Hawaii Writers’ Conference, with no Mr. Powers (thank the Lord) but Gary Braver is still here and many new and equally gifted writers, including F. Paul Wilson (whom I shall referemce as Cousin Paul henceforth, to his eternal consternation), Jane Smiley, Gary Braver and others. I cannot think of all the names of all the luminaries, but Heather Graham and I talked at length about her wonderful fund-raising efforts to aid New Orleans and how that will go down, again, on Dec. 15th, this year, with Jonathan Maberry and David Morrell in attendance. I hope to be there.

Author Jane Smiley, Writer James Strauss (“House,” “Deadwood,” “John from Cincinnati,” the novel “The Boy”) and his wonderful wife of 44 years, Mary) in Hawaii at the Spellbinders’ Welcoming night cocktail party, which James helped helm.

The weather has been balmy, slighty windy, about 80 degrees and typically Hawaiian. I always wanted to retire to Hawaii, but was soon dispossessed of that delusion after the reading of the will. (“Well, you can RENT a place for a couple of weeks but you can’t LIVE there.”)

Here I am, however, on my 6th or 7th trip to the Islands and scheduled to present (with others) tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. till 2:50 p\.m

A wonderfu; time.