49 Writers Write-a-Thon
The most remarkable thing was to hear Snow City so quiet, more silent than a library, or a church at its most solemn moments. Maybe fifty people sat for the best part of four hours with nary a note of music, not a cell phone begging for attention. Now and then silverware clattered against plates, or the heating hummed a warm tune.
The sun made its way across the evening sky, shining in from the southwest at 6:00, flashing in blinding at 7:00 and 8:00, shifting northwest and lower, until dusk crept into the street, and the inside of the cafe grew cozy with overhead lights.
On the hour, Maia set off a little ringy-ding-ding on her cell phone for break time, and people looked up from their work. At 7:00, we ate -- crispy brown salmon cakes, spicy noodles, roasted carrots, potatoes, parsnips tinged pink from the neighboring beets, and squares of creamy desserts. At 8:00, she led yoga stretches, with half the writers bending back and forth like kelp stalks in a lazy sea. At 9:00 she kept it short -- a few announcements. People clapped distractedly, their eyes on the words that were coming alive on the pages in front of them.
At 10:09 p.m., everyone looked up, scattering applause and cheers as Linda and Maia announced the winners of prizes for the most funds raised, the most people involved, and more. Then they stood up and pulled on coats, chatted, bundled up their journals, their pencils and pens, their iPads, and bade each other farewell.