Who turned on the lights?
I finally woke up and got off the couch late Saturday night. When I say late I mean midnight. I sat up from my Swedish TV Series marathon at 12:15 and thought “I’m outta the woods here”. I celebrated by watching one more episode. 😉
By Sunday I was able to return to my squats, rode my bike up to Lowe’s, changed a shower head and put away laundry. Boy did that feel good to be productive.
Alfonse came over late in the afternoon for a little visit and ran out to Pei Wei and picked up dinner for both of us. That was nice wasn’t it?
My friend Amy and her beautiful daughter Sophie popped by in the afternoon with little gifts and a carport visit. They are so good to me.
Oh, how could I forget? I also did this:
Jazzed up my Kitchenaid with a retro flair!
Now that we’ve gotten caught up on my weekend, let’s take it back to Seattle for the big finish, ok?
Where did we leave off?
Oh, the Grande Dame and my Uggs, right?
I had a little relaxation time in the room and also getting ready time for the big Bedtime Stories event that evening, right there at the Fairmont. This was one of two of the main reasons I scheduled this trip.
I took my time showering and doing my hair and makeup in the gorgeous suite then headed down for the little reception before the dinner. I wish I could say I was feeling perky but my stomach was really killing me right at that moment so instead of grabbing one of the craft cocktails at the happy hour there like I wanted :(, I popped in to the bar anyway and ordered a ginger ale. A very drunk lawyer said “you’re a beautiful woman” to me as I stood there which made me smile even though he was wearing his expensive Scotch goggles. It’s been awhile.
I can tell I’m tired here
I meandered to the reception area which was packed. It seemed most people milling around knew each other so I just kind of people watched. I probably would have been more social if I was feeling better but that’s ok.
Finally I found the table they’d set up for Erica Bauermeister, signing books and being available. I’d planned my entire trip around Erica’s appearance schedule, this being the first of two, so I was super excited to see her.
I moved my way up to her, smiled and greeted her with “Hi Erica, I’m basically stalking you this weekend”. She smiled back and replied “Kathy? Is that you?”. I was surprised she remembered me! I had written her a couple months ago on Facebook telling her I was going to both of her events that weekend and how much I was looking forward to seeing her there.
She then said something that knocked my socks off. Well two things. She said “and you’re staying here at the Fairmont aren’t you?”. I was so disoriented wondering how she knew this, forgetting I mentioned it, wondering why I’d have mentioned that. And she filled in the blank of my disoriented face saying “I’ve read your blog of course”.
I thought I would faint then and there.
Erica Bauermeister, one of my literary heroes, has read my blog?
I tell you I could have skipped the entire rest of the evening and felt completely satisfied right there.
I actually, shortly thereafter, realized I just needed to sit down. That comment….WOW.
I saw the doors to the gorgeous ballroom opening and entered, found my table and took a seat facing the stage.
I really wasn’t feeling well but I was so happy to be there. This was a very cool group of writers mostly and people interested in the Humanities. I was feeling right at home with this group.
I was sandwiched between two interesting women. One a writing student and the other an environmental lawyer who’s husband was on the Board for this organization and a local professor.
I had great conversations with both women and got tons of ideas and resources about moving forward with the notion of writing an memoir. I may start submitting some pieces in some contests just for fun and see what happens. I took a lot of notes. 🙂
The bedtime stories read were all wonderful, intense, entertaining. Of course Erica’s was my favorite.
The dinner itself was very nice but I couldn’t eat much or drink the wine which was a bummer but at least I was there.
I was happy though to just have to teeter in my high heels right back up to my room and get my in my comfy jammies, open the window, stretch out on that King size bed and drift off to Dreamland with all kinds of bedtime stories floating through my mind.
Including the ones I was imagining writing as well.
The next morning I had to check out early and head up to Edmonds! The Writing on the Sound conference started at 9am so I had to get moving! I packed up, grabbed a coffee from the European coffee shop downstairs, didn’t get a pastry out of their gorgeous case as I still had my chocolate croissant from the other day and it was still fresh. I walked in the early fresh Seattle air to retrieve my car from the garage and was on my way.
Edmonds is only 12 miles North of Seattle but it seemed longer only because I didn’t know where I was going. Know how that is?
I got a little turned around looking for the venue but found it and arrived at about 9:15. I was able to slide in to the first presenter I signed up for which was about how to market your writing, which, to me seemed as much about the presenter illustrating how she was using the conference to market herself. I wasn’t that impressed but that was ok, I had two full days of presenters and it’s always hit or miss in situations like this.
The next hour was Erica so I got there early and got a great seat.
Unsurprising, her presentation was fantastic. It was informative and engaging. She really knows her stuff. I took TONS of notes which I will refer to when life settles down a bit.
She is clearly researching the world of perfume and scent as she used that allegory in her presentation: the base, top and bottom notes of memoir writing. I loved it but I love everything she writes and the ways she thinks. I just totally resonate with her and am completely psyched to see what she comes up next in her next novel, which I think will be highly infused with the perfume industry. I can’t wait.
I just loved very minute of her 90 minute presentation and got a ton out of it.
But at that point my stomach was just killing me again. I decided to leave on the lunch break and find my hotel.
After some hunting around I pulled up in front of the Best Western there and went inside to check in. I was checking in early again but I seriously wanted to lay down and rest a bit so was prepared to beg to get in my room early.
I was so surprised they couldn’t find my reservation as I’d planned this trip so carefully. I finally pulled out my confirmation number and this semi bitchy lady informed me I’d reserved it for yesterday and didn’t show up. That they’d try to run my credit card and it was declined.
I was shocked. How did any of that happen?
I went over the dates with her again and sure enough, I’d messed up my dates and reserved the two nights just one night off.
What a difference a day makes.
I think another worker noticed my obvious distress and that this was clearly an honest mistake so he went about fixing it. When he told me about my declined American Express that made perfect sense as I’d recently canceled that card entirely. Of course I intended to use a different one to actually pay for the room. I had zero recollection of having used that card to hold this room all those months ago.
He found me a room for the two nights even though the bitchy lady had told me they were “fully commited” that weekend. He also told me he wouldn’t charge me for the missed night. Another bit of good luck shining on me because I was fully anticipating being charged for that, and they would have been right to do so.
I moved my car, then hauled my suitcase in to the room. Clean, comfortable, a far cry from the Fairmont. But that was totally ok. I was just so happy to land there.
I stretched out on the bed, drank some tea and looked at the afternoon schedule for the conference.
I decided there wasn’t anything I was desperately feeling a need to get to so decided to rest and explore Edmonds instead. Basically play hooky on myself.
It was just such a gorgeous day and I couldn’t imagine sitting inside feeling crummy. I figured the fresh air and a walk would do me good and I was right.
I set out wandering around the charming town on foot. Found the Walnut Street coffee shop I’d read about, ran in to one of the best Farmer’s markets I’ve ever been to (unfortunately didn’t need any produce but bought a couple gifts and some earrings for myself), the cutest little cozy store in an old house where I bought a candle that she wrapped in an old Simplicity pattern for tissue, a fancy cheese shop, a huge candy store, an old restored one screen movie theatre, etc.
I finally landed on the patio of a homey Italianish restaurant with a gazillion happy hour options “all day Sunday” for $5 each and braved getting something to eat and a cocktail. It was all delicious.
I then went and wandered around the shore, relaxing, enjoying the sunset, taking photos.
Imagine my shock when I got back to my rental car and realized I’d left my purse and ipad sitting right there on the passenger seat, below a completely opened car window. Boy was I lucky. This place must be a very safe place to live.
I did come up with a breakthrough that evening though. Laying there in some significant discomfort in my belly and working on myself, relaxing, I had an aha moment.
Wheat. That’s what’s killing me here. Wheat. More specifically, bread. 😦
I’ve been doing my best to reduce or remove wheat from my diet as an experiment for a few months but as you can tell, I feel like when I go on vacation all bets are off and I have a great time doing/eating/drinking whatever I want.
Well, that evil wheat got the best of me. And funny how once I figured that out and adjusted my diet for the entire rest of the trip, my symptoms disappeared entirely. Oh well, I guess I just need to adapt to this ever changing body in it’s evolution in age. That’s ok. I’ll take comfort and energy over a slice of warm bread with butter anyday (wahhhhhh).
It was a good and smart finding and I’m ok with it.
The next morning I woke up feeling much better, grabbed some yogurt and fruit from the free (mostly wheat based) breakfast in the lobby area and headed back to the Conference.
The second day was great for me. I loved all the presentations.
The two that stand out in my mind most are the one about Humor writing in Non fiction (I ended up having lunch with that presenter. Craig English; what a nice man. And he did a fantastic reading from his new novel after lunch) and the last one which was about writing about your personal experiences. That’s the one where this little piece was born.
I left the conference feeling so energized and optimistic about continuing my writing dreams.
I drove back to little downtown Edmonds for a Happy Hour snack then wandered around a bit.
I’d decided I wanted to go see the movie Prisoners at that little theatre in three hours so just walked. I walked down to the ferry, back up, stopped for a tiny ice cream cone, then at a beautiful French restaurant for a bonafide dinner–maybe the only really dinner I had on my entire trip of food crawling. It was delicious that steak with Bernaise sauce and vegetables that seemed to have just been picked that afternoon. And I enjoyed the sunset right from my window seat.
I made it just in time for the movie but had realized my plane check in would be 15 min. after the movie started. Hardly anyone was in the theatre so I picked a row all to myself, pulled out my phone and credit card and fired it all up before the movie started to the check in page. I just wanted to be first in line in case that First Class option came up again (which it didn’t).
As I put my things back in my purse, in the pitch black, I wasn’t sure if my credit card actually made it in to the purse so bookmarked that to make sure before I left after the incredibly intense scary disturbing bone trembling movie was over.
What was I thinking? I said to myself as the theatre vacated, I was alone in the still darkened space waiting, waiting, waiting for what seemed like an eternity of credits for the houselights to come up, which they never really did so I rooted around in my purse kind of freaked out and found the card embedded between my glasses case and something else.
I quickly slipped out of there still feeling the effects of that creepy disturbing movie all over me. As I exited the old theatre on to the quiet dark streets alone I had to laugh thinking “I’m basically actually in a scary movie myself right now”.
I would have felt entirely safe on that street if not for years of grooming and it’s own brand of PTSD living in a big city. Hypervigilance came with me in my carryon. Funny how it came up in Edmonds but not Seattle.
I blame it on Jake Gyllenhall, Hugh Jackman and that movie.
Then I remembered my purse and Ipad safely on that passenger seat.
I made it back to my room, safely of course and crashed.
I don’t have time to finish the entire trip here as I need to get ready for work now but just to fast forward a bit.
I sat down on the plane next to a nice gentleman and when I told him I was fantasizing about getting back to Edmonds for a month to work on writing a book, which was/is 100% true, his jaw dropped.
He shared with me he was just leaving his condo he’d purchased in Edmonds after spending the weekend there having a new fireplace installed. So he can come back over the winter and work on writing his book.
He lives in Tucson, has a business in Phoenix, is in town tonite and invited me to dinner.
Now don’t get all sparkly eyed, he’s a married older (than me) man. But we made such an undeniable serendipitous connection on that 3 hour flight that he asked to stay in touch and invited me to dinner. I’m excited to pick up our conversation as we’re both kind of nobodies in the world of writing but embarking on a very similar venture, from the same place and to the same place. It’s a connection worth exploring.
So….I’m glad I feel well enough to go tonite.
And I’ll fill you in on that, when I finish this story as well. Which are totally interwoven anyway.