Thursday, April 24, 2008

Salem is Bewitching!

The weather was so gorgeous that I took the girls and one of their friends to Salem, MA, where I met up with Michelle, a writer-friend of mine, and her two daughters. What a wonderful day we had!! The trip was part pleasure, part research. The heroine of my current WIP is an energy healer with her own New Age shop. But in trying to capture the essence of the shop, I came up with a blank, so decided what better place to visit than Salem, with its multitude of New Age stores.

The girls went their separate ways, while Michelle and I began exploring. We went into the Goddess Treasure Chest, where we pored over an assortment of crystals, and sniffed different aromatherapy candles. Michelle bought me a yellow votive for "Positive Energy." I hope it works! We discovered a cool little bookstore called The Derby Square Book Store, where towering stacks of books threaten to bury the unwary browser. Caitlin bought a book here called The Zombie Survival Guide -- Complete Protection From the Living Dead. Hey, there's something for everyone! Here's a picture of her inside the shop.
Michelle had a psychic reading done at Angelica's of the Angels, and said it was very perceptive and made her happy. The woman (Rev. Fredericks) predicted Michelle will publish no less than five books, all centered around one character. Fingers crossed; I hope this happens for her! We checked out The Broom Closet, where there was one wall covered with little bags of healing herbs. I'd never even heard of some of these weeds! Mugwort -- sounds like something out of Harry Potter. So does Dragon's Blood. But very cool.

We had lunch at a little deli, and then explored Pickering Wharf. Michelle shied away from Laura Cabot's shop (she's the official witch of Salem), saying she did not sense anything good in this woman. Of course, that just made Brenna all the more determined to go inside. We took pictures near the Friendship Schooner (sloop?? what's the difference?). Then we discovered the New Age Book Store, which I fell in love with. They had it all; candles, crystals, herbs, wands, music, books...a wonderful store. I purchased a small citrine crystal for creativity and an amethyst crystal for inner peace and balance. Here's hoping they work!

Our last stop was a little chocolate shop that has been in business since 1820. I can attest to the fact they do, indeed, make fabulous chocolate. I bought a pound. I tried to hide them in the fridge after I got home, but my kids and husband found them. We also visited a graveyard on Gallow's Hill, where the infamous hanging tree once stood. There's an equally creepy tree that stands there now that I'm sure is an offshoot of the original. Caitlin, being her irreverent self, insisted on having her picture taken laying down in front of the gravestones. But I told her it was bad Karma. So then, as we were heading back to the car on the roof of the parking garage, she didn't want to take the elevator. She was convinced it was the portal to Hell. Hmmm...obviously we stayed too long in Salem! to write while burning my positive energy votive and holding my creativity crystal, listening to advice on how to survive zombies, and gorging on decadent chocolate. Yep, it was a great day!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Writer's Weekend

This past weekend was the New England Chapter's conference; two days of writer workshops, keynote speakers, book giveaways, good food, and a literarcy booksigning. It was so much fun! Some of the keynote speakers included Virginia Kantra, Susan Wiggs, and my personal favorite, Suzanne Brockmann. I also met so many other wonderful people this weekend -- Geri Krotow, who is a former Naval Intelligence Officer and now writes romantic fiction, Tina Trevaskis who is a marketing specialist for Borders bookstores, Kathryn Smith, who writes amazing vampire romance, Robin Lawson, who is an editor for Red Sage Publishing, and so many more that I can't even remember now. Here is a picture of me and the Moody Muses, my writing gal-pals. From L-R, they are: Cathryn, Michelle, Denise, Nina, Barbara, and Karen.

It was also my first public booksigning, and although I was terrified that I wouldn't sell any copies of Flyboy, at the end of the night, there were just four copies left. So not bad! I have a picture of me and my friend, Denise Eagan, at the booksigning, but am having trouble uploading it. The lighting was bad, and this was the only photo that came out, although we tried so many times! So, stay tuned...hopefully I'll have this up shortly.