They rented a large SUV that hauled seven--Mike, Tina, Kelly, Katrin, Ryan, me, and Ryan's five-foot telescope to set up on Ron and Debbie's dock.
Ryan positioning his telescope for best night-time viewing.
Calvin would have been right at home. Me? I was in over my head and I'd yet to reach the lake. When I did, some adult beverages would most definitely be in order to clear my mind.
At a local Mexican restaurant--Tina's Dad, Ron, Mike (aka Baby Boy), and Margarita Momma
(note dazed and confused look from ride to Lake Marion).
The days were filled with zipping up and down three lakes connected by channels in Ron's new boat or walking through historic Charleston just an hour away. Nights brought star and planet gazing. I saw Venus and Mercury. Ryan would play on the trumpet as we sat on the dock. Neighbors in this gated community would cheer and applaud.
AND I woke up one morning with a series idea! One that involved a book I've slowly been working on. Getting away and seeing new things really does help the creative bent of the mind. Mine had been in a tight knot of grief. Evidently it's starting to loosen.
I'm hoping my next trip will waken the Muse. Two weeks from now I'll be in Paris. Calvin had told me several times before he got so sick that he wanted some of his ashes sprinkled in a green space in front of 21 rue Galande. He'd lived there for almost a year while on sabbatical in a fourth floor apartment. Kelly thought it was a perfect idea. He's flying in from Berlin so we can do it together. Here's a picture of Calvin in front of the building, reminiscing.
I'm staying in Paris for a week. Since this will probably be my last trip there, I have a few art galleries I want to meander through. Once I leave there, I'm flying to Edinburgh, Scotland. After writing six books set there, I figure it's about time I got a look at the country. All my research has been done online or in travel books. Finally, I'll get to see the real thing. I've got day trips booked for the Highlands, a whisky distillery with a wee bit o' tastin', and Loch Ness. If my energy holds up, I want to take a train ride to Glasgow and check it out. Aaaaad a day at the Highland Games where guys in kilts do "manly stuff." Mainly because a woman would have more sense.
Since Edinburgh is home of the deep-fried Mars Bars, I'll be forced--forced, mind you--to eat a couple. All the while, I'll be soaking up sights, customs, and local color for future bear shifter books. Och, aye.
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