Snowstorm Outside, Good Food & Conversation Inside: Neighborhood Lunch Recap – by Julia Rubin, Guest Blogger
Julia Rubin was the winner of the WNBA-NYC’s first short short fiction contest. Her stories have been published in The Coe Review, The Bitter Oleander,and , among others. Her collection, Longing, Loss and Eggplants, was a finalist for the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award. She is currently at work on the second draft of her novel, The Lutichord.
On January 21st the vast dining room of Saigon Market hosted a very intimate WNBA Neighborhood lunch thanks to the city’s second snowstorm of the winter. The winner of ‘worst commute’ was Liberty Schauf, who endured a 2 ½ hour cab ride from Astoria to belatedly add a fifth place setting to our corner booth.
Introductions led to a lively discussion about copy editing, especially its role in fiction, with Jill Wisoff adding insights from her studies in NYU’s master’s program. Nancy Newman, in the midst of both finishing Raising Passionate Readers and starting a publishing company, expanded the conversation, which moved from websites and marketing to paper weight and indexes. Who knew there was such a profession as indexer? Everyone who knows Janet Mazefsky. Also the organizer the neighborhood lunches, Janet was there in spirit though the snow kept her home.
Susan Knopf, founder of the packaging company and literary agency Scout Books & Media, was a valuable source of information on publishing and marketing. Yours truly, having just sent out a query for her first novel, The Lutichord, took copious mental notes.
The conversation barely stopped long enough to order. Saigon Market’s menu was so extensive and varied that their lunch specials were welcome, not just for the reasonable price, but for ease of deciding.
Liberty arrived just before the Vietnamese coffee, and both offered a good excuse to linger well past 2:00 as the discussion turned to the pros and cons of e-books and the future of print. A turn to social media made all glad that Liberty had braved the weather as she shared her knowledge, especially of less familiar platforms.
By the time the gathering broke up it was closer to 3:00 than to 2:00. Out on University Place it was still snowing.
Here is a time-lapse of the snow.
Here is a video with traffic.