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Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Thursday, July 01, 2010

From Sasebo to Chicago in 20 Years


Late last week and early this week I was back in the Windy City. No, it wasn’t research for a revision of TRACKS, my novel in stories that takes place on a train traveling from Baltimore to Chicago. I was in “Second City” for a reunion.


Alongside friends I hadn’t seen in person for more than 20 years, I tasted Chicago (Taste of Chicago being the city’s biggest tourism draw), was educated on an architectural cruise along the river, glimpsed the world’s largest stained glass museum, visited the Art Institute, stopped by the Drake and the Lake, enjoyed a drink in the Hancock’s Signature Lounge, dug into the original Chicago Deep Dish, and sampled some local brew.


But the highlight of the trip was reconnecting with these people I practically lived with day in and day out for two years of my life in a foreign country some 23 years ago.


We were all in the same boat, so to speak, as we embarked on a dinner cruise and an evening of reflection. Way back when, all of us had been transplanted for a few years in an American school in Sasebo, Japan with about 50 students in middle and high school combined. Everyone knew everyone. Maybe that’s why this gathering of people (now scattered around the world) who met at Navy Pier felt more like a family reunion than a class reunion.


The cruise, dinner, fireworks, limo, VIP access to the rooftop club … it was all nice. But best of all was how at home we felt in a city not our own — because we came back together after so long and picked up as thought we’d never parted.


Much has changed. More is the same.


What does this have to do with writing? Well, the Sasebo reunion inspired me to write this, didn’t it? There’s a lot of emphasis these days on looking forward and being in the moment. But don’t forget the value in reconnecting with people, places, and things that are a part of your past. It may give you something to write about.


Need inspiration? Reconnect.


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