It seems Washington is a beautiful place, even in late January. Having lived in California most of my life, I naturally thought that the best way to prepare for my twelve days in the Pacific Northwest was to fill my suitcase with thermal shirts, scarves and of course, plenty of flannel. But when I stepped off the plane, I found myself flushed and sweating in my jacket. The sky was blue and the temperature was at least five degrees warmer than Sacramento. This blatant disregard for the normal cycles of nature in the midst of an underdeveloped wilderness makes for a powerfully relaxing and inspiring venue for authors.
After a wonderful, four-day frenzy in Seattle, I was off to Whidbey Island, where two of my good friends and editors from the Los Angeles Review joined me in speaking to the Just Write group on the Coupeville pier. The view there is stunning, and the sensation of writing while floating is difficult to match. I highly recommend it if you find yourself nearby on a Wednesday afternoon. It’s free, you don’t need to sign up for anything, and the coffee at Local Grown is quite tasty.
Tomorrow, which will soon be today, fellow agents Andrea Hurst, Rob Daniel and I will be teaching an intense, all day seminar in Freeland: Crafting Fiction that Sells in Today’s Marketplace. This seminar, as well as the advanced, eight week course of the same name, is made possible by the wonderful folks in the Whidbey Island Writers Association. If something here impresses me more than nature’s proliferation or Kelly’s delicious chocolate tart, it’s the level of dedication and cooperation among the local writing community. I love it when artists help each other out. We all need it from time to time.
All too soon, it will be Monday and time to leave. I say “leave” because I’m not so sure about referring to it as “going home.” I think WA WA Land is starting to grow on me.