In another zone

For a period of time, my husband attended real estate seminars.  The slideshow would begin with copies of checks shown, and the preliminary talk of riches without concrete methods cited, coupled with the boisterous rah-rah’s was such a turn-off; I’d leave the room.  As a result I spent a lot of time standing, pacing or seated in the hotel lobby.  We traveled to Mississippi, Massachusetts, California, Florida and Texas.  Up until then my only time in the Lone Star state had been in Houston years prior.  Dallas with so many big-shots garbed in their suits and cowboy boots, was so different from the rest, that it left the biggest impression.  At that time I was working on a novel, which didn’t sell, but from which I took the character, which went into a short story that I did sell. I felt my main character would have a high- moral background and be a force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.  And so while my husband and his buddies listened to real estate tycoons, I read Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, which was very long, but interesting. I can safely say I was the only person at the seminar, reading material not related to real estate, but people were friendly and, when they came up to me, seeing the length of the book, they would say, WAR AND PEACE? That always struck me funny. As though there was only one long book in this world.

These seminars took place before the recession.  I would watch the attendees (the majority were men) as they spoke of a strong economy and the great country we were living in, of guns and hunting, and I knew I was around Republicans. Although my liberal sensibilities were ruffled, I felt they were worthwhile conversations.  Some of them were also idealistic and poetic. The luxurious hotels smelled strongly of marble, wood and leather and one of the men looked at me once and said, “Money smells better than candy.”

I was thinking what a gift it was to be forced out of my comfort zone. My natural habitat consists of my office, my meditation corner, my classroom, libraries, book stores, zumba class, doggie parks, hiking trails, art galleries, museums, theaters, concert halls, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Anthropologie, and Trader Joe’s.  I love those places. But for a period of time, it was seminars at upscale hotels, and I think I’m a better writer for it. How about you? Have you ever wound up anywhere unexpected and truly enjoyed it?  


  1. Thanks for taking the time to write this and for again proving that passion can overcome almost anything,
    boredom included.

  2. it’s nice that you share this information and it’s kind of fun too. looking forward to reading more.

  3. Hello there. I discovered your blog site in google. This is a good write-up when looking for something else bnut I took note and had to say you’re doing a terrific job and hope you get noticed@

  4. Once again you’ve taken an experience and made it into a clever story, and nuzzled in a cliff-hanger.

  5. right. how cool and nice your blog looks! it is a pleasure to read the valuable stuff you talk about.

  6. I agree that it’s broadening to leave your comfort zone and see other ways of being/living.

    Having new experiences in nature is uplifting and healing, and that’s the kind of new experience I value the most. Encounter with nature in new places…. Most often, I’m glad to come back to my little sphere and sort of idealistic view of the world. And to my art pursuits.

    I just read your profile and I think we have a lot in common!

  7. I thought so too, on deeper levels, besides the obvious LL.

    Thanks for your comment, please get on my RSS feed.

    All the best!

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  10. You are very intelligent. You recognize in terms of this (real estate) matter, and between men and women so many varied angles. I believe you! Your own stuff is great.

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