I'll bet you wonder where I've been for the past week. Perhaps you imagine that I've been deep in my writing, or pondering how to begin the writing series I've promised you this month, and well, it's true that that's what I should have been doing, but...well...actually I've been on a fabulous and relaxing vacation. I know, I know, it seems as if I'm always going somewhere lately, and I can't quite figure it out. Normally I'm practically a shut in. Maybe it's the empty nest. These days, when someone starts a sentence with "Hey, can you and Ben go..." it's hard to find a reason to say no.
That's exactly what happened last week. One evening while we were watching what passes for television in the summer, we got a call from some old friends, who invited us to spend five days on their boat. Now, as you can see by the photos above, this is no ordinary boat. She's the Olympus, and she was built in 1929. For many years Harry Truman used her as the Presidential yacht. So while I knew I should say no (I'm halfway through the first draft of the book for 2010 and I'm trying to get a big chunk done before leaving next month, I've commited to saying something relevant about writing to my fireflies, I'm supposed to be working on the reader's guide for the back of the trade paperback edition of Firefly Lane, I'm traveling next week for work, and there's still a bunch to do for the trip), I was tempted. I mean, we all know that life is short; we're reminded of that every day. Opportunities and experiences--especially with friends--should never be taken lightly. So I said not only yes, but OH YEAH, and accepted the gracious invitation.
Everything about the Olympus is special. From the moment you walk on, it's like slipping back in time. Her owners, John and Diane, are wonderful hosts who know how to instantly make you feel at home. No one had any problem with the "crazy author" who, even while on this fabulous yacht, needed to work for a few hours every morning. Take a look at the photo above (not too closely please, that's me first thing in the morning with no makeup :) and you'll see a glimpse of what it was like: the flowers by the bed, the customized oh-so-soft robe, the fruit plate and tea beside me. Wow. Big thanks to John and Diane and the great crew of the Olympus for giving us such a special getaway. And Charlotte, if you're reading, it was great to meet you.
The other photo is an example of the kind of place we visited. I believe that picture is of Deer Harbor in the San Juan islands. Those of you who have read me before know that the San Juans are a very special place for me, almost spiritual. Perhaps that photo explains a little bit of the allure. That, and of course the fact that my husband's family homesteaded San Juan island in the days before the Civil War when this was really the wild west. For our part of the country, that's showing up early. :)
So that explains where I've been and why I haven't begun the writing series. Now that I'm home, though, my first job was to post this blog entry, and my second is to read your recent comments and get to work on the writing series. I'll shoot for Thursday or Friday to post the first one, so please, if you have thoughts, let me know. I really want to tailor this to your questions.
By the way, just as an aside, those photos are taken with my new camera---the one I bought to take pictures of animals in Africa. As I think I've said before, my expectations have lowered to photographing sleeping animals. I do not expect to be good enough to get anything that's actually moving, but I have to say that I'm happy with the camera. Hopefully I should bring home some great pictures of a life changing trip to share with my firefly friends.
Also, I was gone for the Stand Up For Cancer special, but watched it when I got home. As you all know, cancer is a particularly important issue for me and definitely one of my causes. My mom was only a year older than I am now when she died. I want us all to join hands as women and march for this fight. I am honestly surprised by how often I hear from women that they didn't know what IBC breast cancer is. I say bravo to all the organizers and celebrities and viewers who made that program a success. We all can help; even the smallest support matters.
On a lighter note: Prison Break has started up again. And I say Hallellulah! The summer tv drought is coming to a close. What programs are you all looking forward to? Anyone going to watch Fringe? Anyone watch True Blood on HBO this week? What did you think?
And what did you all do for the holiday weekend? Anything fun?
Will write again soon, so check back!