clear skies, warm, 75 degrees
Do you like the new banner?? Linda Lyall, who manages the site, put up the photo today. So it's official. Spring is here.
We're in Washington! I'll tell you, after looking at the forecast this morning in Montreal I wasn't at all sure we'd make it out of Montreal, never mind actually land in Washington. But we did and without even a delay. Amazing. There were all sorts of warnings out for Montreal today. Apparently a extremely strong winds hit Ottawa and downed trees and powerlines.
there were severe thunderstorm warnings for much of the East coast of the US, including Washington. So I really did doubt today would be smooth. But it was! Sort of.
I spent the morning writing. then closed the laptop. Very anxiety-making - to leave a first draft for a week. For me it's like leaving a newborn on the side of a road, and hoping it'll still be there when I come back. But, having said that, I'm well into it, have established the place, the main suspects, the characters, the themes. I'm sure I'll be able to get back - though the first day back will be a little stressful. will probably spend that day just editing the previous chapter...and gentle way to re-introduce myself.
then we called a cab and headed to the airport. Got through security etc very quickly, and onto the plane without delay. Amazing. And mainly clear skies all day.
Until we boarded the plane.
We were sitting on the plane, on the tarmac, when the skies opened up - huge rains and winds. And I thought - huh oh. But then it cleared and the plane zipped into the air. Smooth flight, until the last ten minutes, over washington. I thought I'd experienced bad turbulence in the past, but seems I was wrong. Not even sure if what we experienced today was really bad, but it was the worst I'd been in.
It was all incredibly smooth, then we went through a cloud, which is never a big deal, except this time it was like hitting a wall. Suddenly the plane dropped and twisted and jerked sideways. The flight attendant, who was behind me, grasped her way back to her chair and strapped in.
More than anything those few seconds were disorienting. But not, strangely enough, all that scary. Had it gone on more than a second or two I'm sure I'd have been terrified, but as it was, it was over before I had a chance to be afraid. Then, every time we went through a cloud, something similar, though less severe, happened. It was as though the clouds had suddenly become substance.
I grew suspicious of clouds. And quickly developed a dislike of them.
But then we got down low and swooped into Washington, flying right by the White House and the various monuments. So impressive.
the conference - Malice Domestic - is being held this year in Bethesda. Such a pretty drive along the river to Bethesda. The trees are in leaf and in bloom. through the open window of the cab we could smell fresh mown grass. For the first time in many, many months. I'd forgotten what a wonderful smell that is. The sun was out. It was glorious. And warm!!! We arrived, of course, in turtlenecks and jackets and scarves. Stripped down when we got in and are now in short sleeves and light nighttime sweaters.
Bliss to just walk out of the hotel without winterboots or coats or hats.
We met Margaret Maron in the lobby and joined her and Joe for drinks in the bar. Vickie Delany and Rhys Bowen joined us. then Michael and I walked a few blocks to a place called Black's Bar and Grill...for seafood. A few minutes later Margaret and Joe walked in, so we all had dinner together. I had wood grilled peach salad, while michael had half a dozen oysters. Then we both had scallops while margaret and joe shared a cold seafood platter.
Had a wonderful time talking about our all our lives, and hearing Margaret's stories from when she first started writing. Hilarious. And extremely interesting, how publishing has changed.
Got back to the hotel in time to meet Sue Grafton, the guest of honour, and share an elevator.
Off to bed. Will ask for a wake-up, to watch the royal wedding - but not sure if we won't just roll right over and go back to sleep. Watch the highlights later. I suspect we'll be doing that!
I'll be doing an on-stage interview with Janet Rudolph, who's receiving the Poirot Award here. The internew is tomorrow at 3pm. Then at 5 there's the opening ceremonies. And I'm on a panel at 8 o'clock tomorrow evening, of all those nominated for the Best Novel Agatha. So, a long day tomorrow. But not as long as Will and Kate's!
Are you going to watch the wedding? If we were home I definitely would. With my nespresso cafe au lait. Not because I'm a huge royal watcher, but I saw his parent's wedding, and that was fun. And heaven knows, he deserves to be happy. And they seem so much in love.
Off to bed now. sleep tight.