What a mind-blowing event. The Woodstock BookFest (formerly Woodstock Writers Festival) was held in Woodstock, unlike that long ago festival which should have been named Bethel instead. My favorite part, of course, was being on the Fiction Panel moderated by Ann Hood, with other writers whose work I admire: Maggie Mitchell, Robert Burke Warren and Sunil Yapa. I discovered that Maggie and I had both graduated from Cornell–and that both of our books are about a kidnapping. Perhaps something to do with cold, dark Ithaca winters long ago that made one almost wish to be abducted. Another treat was hearing Mary Norris, Comma Queen at the New Yorker, share her thoughts on writing and editing. Nancy Jo Sales wowed a packed house with insights on social media habits of teen girls. An articulate 13 year old was in the audience and initiated a back and forth that enlivened the Q&A and called into action all of moderator Carla Goldstein’s prodigious negotiating skills. What I’ll never forget is breakfast with Abigail Thomas and Bar Scott, where each of them shared not only spoken word, but song. Hear Bar’s rendition of her amazing Grace by clicking below. Thanks to Martha Frankel for maestro-ing this event. And to Kitty Sheehan for helping to pull it together.