I’ve also loaded up my iPod up with podcasts to listen to during the drive up and back. One of my besties recently turned me onto NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour. I also have back episodes of Film Sack, NASAcast, ESApod, WDW Today, The Instance, and Car Talk. The question of the hour: What am I forgetting?
My travel plans for the year are starting to take shape. It’s been over a decade since I last ate a beignet at the Cafe du Monde, so I’m really looking forward to “Fantasy on the Bayou” in New Orleans. I’m glad that the FF&P chapter has built in time for a walking tour, but I also hope to squeeze in time for either the Audubon Zoo or the The National WWII Museum.
RWA Nationals in Anaheim is a bit more complicated. It’s going to require a change of rooms, if not hotels, after the conference. Theme park junkie that I am, I’ll be heading to Disneyland for a couple of days. I absolutely want to see World of Color before I leave. I’m also looking into the Getty Center and the Natural History Museum. I wish I had time to visit the San Diego Zoo, but that will probably have to wait for a future trip.
I had planned to go to RWA Nationals this year, but when the FF&P chapter decide to host it’s first conference practically in (the far distant corner of) my backyard, I knew I had add that to my itinerary. It’ll be fun and I hope to generate momentum behind Starcatcher and Dream of My Soul. If I get positive responses to those two manuscripts, I’ll be in a better position to pitch Bloodsurfer later this year in California.
I recently spent a lovely afternoon at the magnificent Castillo de San Marcos National Monument to do some research for Dream of My Soul. If you’ve never visited, I highly recommend it:
My first impression of the Castillo was how small it was. The Castillo isn’t tiny by any means, but it didn’t quite reach the towering heights I had imagined from looking at pictures and drawings online. I tromped around the dry moat (which, due to recent rain, wasn’t as dry as I would have liked – my poor sneakers!) taking snapshots of the coquina walls covered in moss. The shot furnace is still there, but the flood gates are covered in concrete.
After a half hour or so in the dry moat, I joined the crowd for the live-fire cannon demonstration. Ouch! Need to bring earplugs next time.
One of the volunteers gave me an up close and personal demonstration of a 1752 fusil flintlock with paper cartridges and a .65 caliber ball. He also let me handle several different types of cannonballs including a glass shot, star shot, and chain shot.
Another volunteer asked me if I was a plumber because of my intense curiosity about the floodgates and pipes the Spanish used clean the dry moat (where animals were slaughtered) and la necessaria (the latrines). When I confessed that I was writing a novel, he asked if the Castillo would be invaded? Of course, I replied. He then asked, are there zombies involved? Naturally, I said. He thought that was funniest thing and insisted on giving me his name and email in case I had more questions. National Park volunteers absolutely rock!
The rumors are true: I was run over by a Big Wheel this weekend. Here’s the proof:
Hee! My friend took this while we were staying at Pop Century this weekend. We spent the rest of the day at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival eating and drinking our way around the world. My favs: the lamb slider with tomato chutney at New Zealand, the Belgium waffle, the beef empanada in Argentina, pumpkin mousse at Hops & Barley, and Xante Sunshine in Scandinavia.