Last month my daughter and I took off on adventure – in our own back yard! Inspired by an article in the Seattle Times by literary critic Moira Macdonald, we took the challenge to visit 19 different bookstores in the Seattle area in ONE DAY, thereby qualifying for a 25% discount ALL YEAR at the bookstores on the tour. Wow. We started at 7:55 in the morning on Saturday morning, riding the Washington State Ferry to Bainbridge Island, where we visited two bookstores on the same street, including Eagle Harbor Books (our photo above). For fun, they had tiny muffins for us to munch on, – and! they took our photo beautifully for posting on Instagram. So fun!
Fast-forward through 18 more bookstores, we visited Poulsbo, Edmonds, the Eastside, and then several bookstores in a variety of Seattle neighborhoods. Taking a break for lunch at another ferry terminal – yummy crepes! – and an afternoon tea break at Petit Pierre Bakery – scrumptious French tea! – before winding up at Ada’s Technical Books on Capitol Hill at 8:00 pm. Whew! We were exhausted. Luckily for us, right next door we had a delicious and well-deserved meal at Coastal Kitchen. I had savory Arctic Char, and my daughter had hearty Wild Boar meat pie, from their “Quebec Touring Menu” and I can still taste the delicate and robust flavors we enjoyed at that meal. – Not to mention an illuminating conversation together about all-things-books!
What I remember most about our day together is the feeling of visiting bookstores we had never been in before. We visited a colorful cookbook-store, an inviting poetry-only store, several local- and welcoming-stores, old favorites, large and small spaces, places with old-fashioned typewriters set out to type on, and lots more. It was truly an adventure – although also a very long trek, lots of driving and parking and walking and driving and parking and walking and . . . you get the idea.
But, I’m already thinking ahead to next year, when I’d love to “cherry-pick” our favorite places and go back there. If you visit three or more shops and get your passport stamped, you get a one-time 30% off discount, and that will be enough. It’ll be fun to really stop and enjoy our favorites over the day without the mad rush to visit all nineteen!
What a lovely gift of a whole day together with my daughter. Just in time for Mother’s Day!
Where have I been?
Where have I been, where have I been? I’ve been enjoying catching up on other bloggers’ posts, even while I’ve been somewhat absent on my own blog recently. I have been putting all my focus on my “Little Book of Lies” collection, during the last part of April, and even before, striving to get the complete manuscript done. This is my small-book-sized collection of stories involving various kinds of lies and lying. I’m delighted to report I completed the manuscript on May 1st. Hoorah!
What a wonderful feeling, to have a whole complete set of writing that you’ve invented and developed, edited and polished, to read each story and feel a sense of satisfaction that you’ve got the story doing what you wanted it to do. It can take a long time to get to this point; I first started drafting this set of stories back in 2016, as all flash-fiction, and then I came back to the stories last fall (2017), to evaluate which were ready and complete, and which need strengthening. All winter and early spring I’ve worked on bringing these stories along, so that I could have a complete manuscript ready for submission. It’s a great feeling to see the nearly-85 pages in one chunk on my desk, to leaf though them and recall the sense of wonder as I recall each character, the settings and the stories, and to feel I’ve done my best.
The manuscript is a short one – only about 22,000 words – where a novel-length book runs about 60,000 to 80,000 words. However, I’ve got a couple of other companion projects in the pipeline, which I’m calling “The Little Books of Monsters” and “The Little Book of Fables.” Assuming those projects run about the same length (20K-25K words), I may be able to present all three books together for a publishable project. How fun. Wish me luck on these two upcoming projects!
Remember those lobby photos I’ve posted about before? Here’s an updated photo! When I walk through the lobby of this building every week I think of all of you on my blog. Thank you for your interest!
For cat lovers
My friend and fellow writer and blogger Luanne Castle often posts about her cats, and I always enjoy catching up on her cat household. Here’s a photo of one of our cats, Pickles. She’s looking very hopeful for getting attention.
A postscript about bookstores
Why are we celebrating independent bookstores?
Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity. They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well spent. – from the “Independent Bookstore Day” website
Do you have a favorite bookstore? Or how about a favorite library, even better! Are you working on a writing project of your own outside the world of blogging? I’d love to hear from you. Happy May!