Monday, 5 April 2010


partly cloudy, mild, temps 16

Well, I'm sitting in the Hotel le Crystal in Montreal! What bliss.

Michael and two of his sons are in New York City, having a fun "boys" week. Staying close to Times Square. Just got an email from Michael to say they'd arrived, sorted out a problem with their hotel, headed to Rockefeller Square and been up to Top of the Rock...for a fabulous view of New York. And are now sitting down below, having a very late lunch and watching the skaters.

The forecast for NYC this week is sunny with temps ranging from 70 to 79!!!

Michael's son's arrived Saturday and we had such fun celebrating Easter. Our friend Wilder dropped by for a steak dinner. Pat, God bless her, made scalloped potatoes and a wonderful apple and pear crisp.

Then up at 6am for the 2 hour drive to Burlington Vt airport. Such a civilized airport to fly out of.

When this trip was coming up I wondered what to do with myself. I could, of course, go with them to NYC and stay in a different hotel - let them have their fun and I could see loads of people I adore in NYC. But the priority is to write. So I thought about it...and decided I could have the best of both worlds. Stay in a fabulous hotel, and write. And the way to do it was to go to a hotel in Montreal.

Yes, I know, we have an apartment here. But I just love hotels...such a treat. I remember when I was 8 my mother took me for our only mother-daughter expedition...and it was a doozie. We were living in Toronto, and Mom took me to the best hotel in the city at the time. The Royal York. Just for one night...but now, almost half a century later, I still remember it. The awe of walking through the grand lobby. The huge bed and soft sheets. Room service! Wow.

I've loved hotels ever since. As you might realize from reading this blog, I don't really visit cities, I visit hotels. In Scottsdale, Arizona I visit the Valley Ho (I know...quite a name - but fab hotel), in NYC I visit the W Union Square. In Toronto I visit the Soho Met. I honestly am not all that interested in what is happening outside the walls. This is not totally true. But a great hotel in a mediocre city is a wonderful experience for me. A bad hotel in a great city is a bad experience for me.

Michael, though, doesn't much care. A cardboard box is fine.

I sometimes wonder if he knew what hit him when we fell in love and married. That God for forgives so much.

So here I am, trying out this new hotel. Brand now...opened a few months. I've never stayed here before, but the rooms looked huge, and not terribly expensive. And right downtown, on de la Montagne.

The arrival at the hotel was a bit disappointing. Nothing huge. I just think when your car rolls up you shouldn't have to wait for a doorman or bellhop. I had to wait...though I could see him through the glass doors, chatting. I got out, popped the trunk, waited...wondered if maybe I need to take out my own luggage - which I'm capable of doing since I got it in. It was just sort of baffling and disconcerting. but the man finally arrived. And then into the room. Very nice. some small, odd, oversights...but I think as I settle in things will feel better. it is certainly a wonderful hotel in a fabulous location.

And - did I mention - it has a spa!! Guess what I'm doing tomorrow.

As soon as I arrived and unpacked I hooked up the computer and spent the next 5 hours writing. Editing a bit to get back into the swing. I'm finding this situation - being quietly at this very nice hotel - wonderful for writing. Relaxing. I also had the benefit of the 2 hours drive from the Burlington airport, with music, to think about the book. hear some of the conversations.

Am now writing quite a difficult series of scenes. Pivotal. Lots needs to happen, without appearing to. Such bliss to be here until Thursday.

Speak to you tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful. But can you sit and write for five hours? Or do you get up and move around in that time? I'm sure you must. Anyway, it sounds like a wonderful way to relax. Hope the scenes turn out well.


carol cambareri said...

next time you see a LUSH store, get a bath bomb...then bring it to the hotel w you! pure luxury :)

Jodi said...

Room service and a spa sounds divine.

Actually, the weather here in NYC is predicted to go up to 85 (!?!). Hope Michael brought shorts (and left his snow boots at home).


Brenda B. said...

Dear Louise,

What a great idea to go to a nice hotel to burrow in and focus on something like writing a pivotal series of scenes.

Not that I've ever done that, but I can imagine doing so.

Enjoy and be productive!


Brenda B. in Maine

Darlene said...

Oh, may I contribute a great writing hotel? (I'm in no way connected to it.) Painter's Lodge in Campbell River on Vancouver Island. It is one of the old great hotels, home to many movie star fishermen and women. It looks out on Discovery Passage, the Inside Passage where cruise liners and whales go up and back from Alaska. Across the passage, 10 minutes by motorboat, is April Point Spa, which shares the same view from the individual cabin rooms. The hotel is posh; the spa is serene. Someday I hope to take my writing there. Meanwhile I wish you many, many completed pages, full of suspense and intrigue!

Reen said...

The Valley Ho in Scottsdale! That is where I stayed while at my "assistance dog boot camp"-- had to learn how to keep from ruining Kendall's two years of servy-dog training.

Diane said...

How wonderful for you to be in Montreal, in a beautiful hotel, no distractions, with lots of time to create away on that book we are all looking forward to.

Anonymous said...

Room service. Spa. Words that instantly transport me to a feeling of tranquility.

If you watch a pay for view movie, while eating in bed, Bliss!


Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,


What more needs to be said. This is the sigh at the end of the day.

And I love your comments! Yes, I think this is something I will be doing more of. Of course, being who I am, I'm thinking we should just move into the hotel...but I realize what makes it so amazing is that I've never done this before. Not in Montreal. I've traveled and written...but that's different. It increases the stress, not decrease.

but I think maybe once each book I should do this.

Cann't begin to tell you how fun it was today to write, and this afternoon to hop out of the shower, dress and head out the door right into downtown Montreal. love it.

Reen - how great that you know the Valley ho - isn't it a cool hotel... and i love that you were there trying to not 'break' Kendall. ha.

Darlene, thanks for the writers hotel idea. Michael and I are going to be at the Sunshine Coast literary fest in BC this August. Might check that hotel out.

And yes - pay per view - room service, in bed,


Reen said...

Yes, Valley Ho is definitely a very cool hotel and spa. I am a huge fan of the their retro sleek 'n chic 50s style!

Darlene said...

Thanks for the heads up about the Sunshine Coast Festival. I must try to be there.

Painter's Lodge Sunday Brunch is awesome, if you are in the vicinity. Just a hop, skip and a sail across the water from the Sunshine Coast. Maybe a quick flight,depending on time constraints.