So, here’s the thing, mes amies. I haven’t had a moment to write for the past 36 hours or so. So much great stuff planned by the Tule Publishing team and spending time with other authors and eating… Oh mes amies, the food! We’ve been luxuriating in delicious meals and snacks and wine, oh my!
Yesterday started with breakfast–for Carol and me, it was at a darling little place called Ellie’s Table at the Egan House, a few blocks from the inn. We had quiche and Carol also had a chocolate croissant the size of a football, while I added a slice of cinnamon crumb coffee cake that tasted exactly like my mom used to make. YUM!! I couldn’t finish everything, but that has pretty much been the norm here. Sooo much food! Then we met a group of writers and toured the old Mission, which was rich with history and lovely gardens and was just absolutely fascinating.
After we walked back to the hotel, we sat in on a zoom call with Tule’s amazing film expert, attorney Maggie Marr. She had tons of great information for us about books to film and was pretty encouraging. Best advice, which Jane reiterated several times during the retreat–Just write the books you love. And so I am. And is Carol, who also happens to be writing the books I love–her mysteries are fabulous!
We had a session with Jane and the other editors and then at 2 p.m., we all dressed up and trooped over this darling tea house for, what else? High tea. But what a tea! So much food! We ate and ate and then ate some more–delicious finger sandwiches and fruit and other lovely nibbles, champagne, and a scone the size of my head! Plus they ended with little petite fours that I couldn’t eat because I was toooo full from all the other great food.
We had a break after tea and then we all headed out for a pizza party with Jane–Nemo at Pizza Amore was a sweetie pie–patient and efficient with a whole restaurant full of chatty writers. Lots of time for thank yous to Jane and the team for the amazing retreat. When we got back to the hotel, Carol and I stopped by the bar to pick a couple of glasses of the delicious tempranillo, took it up to our room, got into our jammies and spent some time sipping and chatting and rehashing this wonderful retreat!
This morning, we had a quick delicious breakfast of avocado toast, then spent time with the group, just closing out our time together and saying goodbye. I confess to tearing up a little as I hugged all my writer buddies and editorial team partners. I hated having to leave them!
Neither Carol nor I had to catch a train until afternoon, so we walked down to a hair salon and indulged ourselves with a wash and blowout–it was decadent and wonderful! Our Lyft didn’t show up afterward, so we our hairdresser offered us a lift back to the hotel–what a sweetie pie she was and we both loved our hair! Wechecked and then went to the bar for a lite comfort lunch of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. It was nice to see Mitch the bartender one last time. Then we were off to the train station in the little electric cart that is the hotel shuttle. Too fun!
Sadly, we had to go our separate ways–Carol to the south to visit family in San Diego and me north to meet up with my sister and brother. I miss her already! I’ll share the train story another night…it’s getting late and I’m sleepy.
But I will close tonight with these thoughts: Carol and I sure felt special staying in such a luxury hotel with all the wonderful amenities and charming staff. There was lots to learn and discover and talk about in our sessions. But the very best part, besides rooming with Carol, was meeting my Tule author buddies in person.
Writers, I’ve been FB friends with for almost five years, seen on Zoom calls during Covid, and copy edited since 2019. One lovely person told me that they loved my copy edits and learned so much from me and especially were touched because I was so nice when I edited–they appreciated that I complimented their writing or pointed out when I thought they’d said something really good. Of course I do that–it’s mean to just point out the stuff that needs editing; writers need to know when they’ve really nailed it. I love editing for Tule almost as much as I love writing for Tule.
Until next time, stay well, stay safe, be kind, and hey, stay tuned…