This Life...,  Writer's moments

A Mini-Vacation

This weekend I didn’t work. I know, shock of all shocks, Nan left her little garret and went out into the world. Well, it was time, trust me. I’ve been working pretty much nonstop for almost a month, getting practically no writing done and keeping unholy hours. But, that is the life of a freelance editor. You work when the work is available, so I’m not whining, just stating the facts.

It felt lovely to get away though and I’m indebted to my dear friend, C.L. for whisking me to Cincinnati, where we took in the Newport Levee, Main Strasse in Covington, St. Mary’s Basilica, the Newport Aquarium, and the Freedom Center, as well spent a day shopping. We found a Crabtree and Evelyn store—life was pretty much perfect. I got some yummy Lily of the Valley hand cream and cologne and a nifty tote bag that’s very flowered and girly. Woot!

St. Mary’s Basilica is a gorgeous cathedral in the heart of Covington, Kentucky that seriously rivals some of the churches I saw in France and Ireland. Soaring ceiling, incredible stained glass windows, mosaics, and beautiful wood carvings took my breath away. We lit a novena candle for C.L.’s little neighbor baby, who is quite ill, and prayed for all our loved ones as we sat in the old pews and soaked in the atmosphere of peace and beauty.

The Aquarium was a treat (see the googly-eyed fish that cracked me up!) and we wandered in among the sea life and fishes for about three hours. Lunch was an Irish pub and then on to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. What a powerful experience. The museum dealt with not only slavery in the United States and the plight of African Americans since the Civil War, but also with slavery all over the world, even up to today. The exhibits and films were fascinating and terrifying,  sobering and uplifting, and tragic and joyful all at one time. We were exhausted physically and emotionally when we headed back to the hotel. If you get to Cincinnati, don’t miss this extraordinary museum.

But, no question, the highlight of our trip was lunch on Friday when we met fellow writers Lani Diane Rich and Alastair Stephens. I know them through the Bettyverse, and I’ve felt an affinity for Lani from the very first time I read her Lucy March blog. I’ve read all her books and I’m such a fan that meeting her was an amazing treat.

Lani’s a smart, classy lady and her husband Alastair is charming and very interesting. C.L. hit it off immediately with my writer buddies and we had a delightful lunch together. They even discussed our meet-up on StoryWonk this morning and gave me and my book a shout-out. Merci beaucoup, guys!! Lani was just as much fun as I imagined she would be and within ten minutes, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. Meeting Lani and Alastair and talking about writing and books and actually, plenty of other things was the best, and even though C.L. isn’t a writer, she had as much fun as I did visiting with them. Thanks, Lani and Alastair!

The weekend getaway renewed my spirit and gave me a much-needed break, but now…I’m back to work…well, maybe tomorrow, I’m back to work…




  • Nan

    It was a great trip and meeting Lani and Alastair truly was the cherry on top! Yup, Braless–she’s the cat’s meow fer shur!

  • robena grant

    What a wonderful trip, Nan. I love hearing every aspect of it, but especially your meeting up with Lani and Alastair. I only “think” I know them. : 0 I’ve met Jenny and Krissie several times, but never Lani. I’ll bet you had a ton to talk about. I’m going over now to Storywonkto catch up. : ) Glad you got to have a fun trip away from work.

  • Judy, Judy, Judy

    I loved the Newport Aquarium when I was there.
    And Betties got to meet each other! Sweet!

    Glad you’re back to work, though, cause we’re going to need the next Nan book soon.