Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag…

Heading off to Nye Beach this weekend to the Sylvia Hotel with my critique group book buddies. We’ve all been too much challenged by day-to-day problems of late and are seeking an opportunity to focus on good company, good reading, writing and respite.

The Sylvia Beach Hotel is a gem – dedicated to book lovers. “There are no t.v.’s, no radios, no phones (although 1 public phone is available.) It is a quiet place on most days. Except for the glorious storms. Then the wind howls, the building shakes, and the rain pounds down. Some days it’s warm and sunny and the sky is bright blue. Some days there’s morning fog. Some days the wind makes you stay inside and read! Some days are rainbow days, the weather just can’t decide. The ocean is always present. (The hotel is on a 45 foot bluff right above the surf.) You move into the rhythm of the sea. Perhaps that’s why time seems to slow way down, almost to a standstill.”

Each room is named after an author, though we’ll be bunking (literally!) in the women’s dorm. It’s a cheap night at $30 with a great breakfast thrown in. Check out the details at: http://www.sylviabeachhotel.com/home.cfm?dir_cat=39281

I recieved a new manuscript from my editor at Henry Holt, Reka Simonsen, which I’m very excited about. It’s the second in Wendy Orr’s Rainbow Street Shelter series and I look forward to uninterrupted time to give it the initial, fresh read – awaiting the characters and pictures which will surely pop to my mind’s eye.  This one features a cat! I find cats much more challenging to illustrate than dogs, as their faces tend to be more static (do cats smile as dogs do?), but what can’t be expressed facially with a cat be reflected in posture and body movement.

So, ladies, start your engines. Fasten your seat belts. Turn on the windshield wipers and off to the beach we go. Don’t forget your kit bag full of books, paper, pencils, erasers, manuscripts and sweet dreams. Oh… and smile, smile, smile!