Except for Kate, whom I met two years ago, I have only known the rest of my fellow bloggers as many of you do through their photos and posts. You can imagine my excitement, then, when some of us decided on a face-to-face—a Black and White dinner we dubbed it—while we were attending the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference in Bellevue, Washington last week. The instigators of this get-together were Black Ink, White Paper’s founders and co-conspirators, Kate (left) and Lisa (right).
We started the evening at Joey’s, Bellevue, a slick, upbeat restaurant-slash-lounge attached to the Hyatt Regency where the Conference was held. Ostensibly, we were going to have a scotch tasting and I wondered how far and how fast the evening would slide, since this particular spirit has a subtle way of sneaking up on one. Although I am a devotee, I usually hold myself to a drink or two and scotch tastings frequently involve a range of labels.
I shoulda knew not to concern myself. The ladies began with wine, and by the time Wally and his wife, Belva, appeared with the bottle of the twelve-year-old Islay he intended to treat us to once we had returned to the hotel, it was clear we were going to become acquainted on a—fortunately—less-intimate level than a spirit-induced haze can induce.
For those of you who haven’t met her, Kate, is a high energy upbeat woman with a large, definitive range of interests and discerning tastes. If you’re looking to publish, as am I, her depth and history in the book business—let alone the writers, agents and publishers she knows—can keep her on top of the conversation ’til the wee hours of the morning.
Lisa’s no dummy either and I can see why she and Kate are buds. I’m sure at some point she must show a down side, but that evening—the entire Conference for that matter—I’d have sworn she was born with a smile on her face. Her cheery posts are an accurate description of the woman I met.
Wally and Belva chose our restaurant and couldn’t have done much finer. The , serves up a unique and well-priced dishes like malbec demi-glazed oxtail, steamed clams in white wine broth or marseilles-style, gruyere emmentaler beet gratin with mache/rocket and brie leek french-country pesto flatbread. Add to that their extensive well-priced wine list and dinner for five with gratuity came to $38 each.
As for Wally, the former president of the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, has supplemented the handlebar moustache with a beard and added a ponytail. He’s a story teller par excellence, although considering the nature of this blog, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Not to ignore Belva, y’oughta check out , a compendium of what to do and where to go around Seattle. Although quieter than her husband—any of us for that matter—Belva piped in when she felt it appropriate and the conversation never lagged. Not a bad night for an out-of-towner like myself. Wondering where the next one’s going to be.