Clicking through my pictures as I prepared for this post, I longed to be back in New Orleans. When I step in that city, I feel like I've come home. This was my fourth visit, and I intend to visit several more times in the future. Heck, if I ever win the lottery (my husband keeps reminding me we have to actually play it to win it), I'm buying myself a house in the Garden District!
New Orleans has been an inspiration to many writers, and it is for me as well. I already have the stirrings of a short story idea set in the bayou--it's such a gorgeous place! As you can see in the picture on the right of Manchac Swamp. We saw a lot of alligators and some cute little 'coons on the swamp tour, and we even got to hold a baby alligator.
This was also the first time I had the chance to visit some plantations while in the area. And I'm glad I did! Just walking around the plantation houses, I felt like I was in another world. We visited Oak Alley (pictures above), as well as Evergreen (pictured to the left). Evergreen actually still has some of the original slave cabins. I'm hoping my visit to these plantations will help some later scenes in Dead As Dreams
come alive more when I revise.
My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Monteleone
in the French Quarter. It's a gorgeous hotel with a lot of history, supposedly haunted, and has had many famous writers as guests, including Ernest Hemingway (there's actually a suite named after him--if only we could have afforded it). I did make sure to have a Hemingway Daiquiri in the famous Carousel Bar (pictured at right).
There are so many other things we did while in New Orleans and so many pictures I'd love to post, but I don't want to bore anyone with the details. Of course we spent a lot of time in the Quarter, enjoyed a lot of great food, drank a bit on Bourbon Street, and visited some of the Cities of the Dead. I also had the chance to meet up for lunch one day with my lovely crit partners, J. Gunnar Grey
(and her wonderful husband) and Melanie Card
(and it was mere coincidence, originally unplanned, that my husband and I vacationed down there when they happened to be in town as well).
Oh, and I did eat beignets at Cafe du Monde (twice), took some awesome shots of Jackson square and the St. Louis Cathedral, drank a Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's, and avoided a real hurricane (although I was a drowned rat from a storm one day, and we witnessed Bourbon Street turned into a river).
Right before we left, we did manage to catch part of the Red Dress Run
. If we didn't have a flight that day, we would have gone to watch the parade, but it was at least nice to see the revelers on Bourbon Street in their Red Dresses (men and women alike). The Red Dress Run started out mainly to raise money for breast cancer research.
As I mentioned in a past blog post, one of my friends is undergoing breast cancer treatment. All proceeds from the anthology Hazard Yet Forward
go to her, so please consider buying it! There are a lot of great authors that participated in this anthology. This Saturday, I'll be posting an excerpt from my story "A Little Bit of Magic", which can be found in the anthology.
NEXT UP: SFFS Snippet - 8/25/12