So I’m down in sunny, gorgeous St. Pete’s Beach. A couple of weeks back, good friends from Chicago called and said they were coming here for a couple of weeks, did I want to join them? These are friends that Stupid and I saw every Oct here in St.Pete’s when we owned our timeshare at the Breck, now part of the huge TradeWinds resort. The timeshare ended two years ago and I haven’t seen Chuck and Lucy since then, though we email and talk on the phone all the time…but somehow that just isn’t the same. So I hesitated…about one half of one second…and woo hoo, here I am and have been for the past few days. As it happens, the NINC conference is being held here at the same time and, as luck would have it, at the TradeWinds hotel. So off I wandered yesterday to see if I could meet up with some buddies in attendance, and yep….Virginia Henley was there, Heather Graham, Kasey Michaels, Thea Devine, Mary Stella. I met Pat Rosemoor, who is on the Ebook Authors yahoo group, and while I still haven’t managed to catch up to Kelly McClymer, I know she’s here somewhere. I shall persevere and track her down.
It is good when people remember you. Even better when people in the industry ask: why the hell aren’t you writing again?
Well, I’m getting closer to that day, honest. I still have a bit of business to take care of…aka…getting my backlist books live and available again, and, because I was up the other night until 3am putting the finishing touches on Bound by the Heart and uploading it to Smashwords and Amazon, I only have the big kahuna left to do..The Wind and the Sea.
So, here I am reminiscing with great friends, seeing author friends, being back on “my” beach again ( Orlando is terrific, but St. Pete’s will always feel like home away from home) and it’s finally sinking in that yeah, life does go on even though it gets turned upside down every now and then. I thought it would feel awkward or sad or something being down here without Stupid, but no…the three of us have laughed and carried on and eaten our way through our fav restaurants as if nothing was missing. Well, most of our fav restaurants. The Reef is closed, dammit, for no good reason we can figure out. The food was great, the place was always packed, and it was right on the beach, so pfffffft. Philthy Phils is still there but renamed and under new ownership and the “new” buffalo shrimp suck, so that place might be off my list. I mean really, why mess with the best damned shrimp on the beach??? The nerve! The prime rib at Cody’s was melt in the mouth tender, and their allyouwannaeat salad is still the best on the beach. Cajun on the Bayou is still terrific, thank goodness, and the lips still burned for a half hour or so after noshing the blackened shrimp. Yummm. The etoufee was fiery hot, and the dirty rice was great to the last grain chased around the plate and finally skewered on a tine of the fork. We picked up two gynormous bags of king crab legs (6.99/lb!!!!!!!!!) and some lobster tails to toss on the bar-b-que tonight so by tomorrow we should be ready to just roll ourselves onto a lounge chair and lay there like beached whales. But wait! We still haven’t been to Gators or PJ’s or Vinny and Maries or Gigi’s…..pfffffffffffft so much for diets.
Just sitting here now and watching the most amazing sunrise off the deck…took a short video and if I can figure out how to download the sucker off the camera I’ll post it up when I get home. I’m not normally a sunrise type of person, preferring to wake up when the sky looks different than it did when I went to bed…but there are exceptions to every rule. I don’t want to waste a single moment of the time I have here. Have to make some noise soon, in fact…discreetly of course,like dropping a pot or crashing a plate on the floor cuz I’m the first one up and the other two are still snoring behind closed doors. Hmphf.
Hah! it worked…lol…they’re coming out of the room, eyes all squinty, faces wrinkled, feet shuffling, bed-hair sticking out all over the place.
Gotta love it.