Saturday, January 24, 2009

What Dreams Become

Earlier in the week I went up to Northern California to refresh my memory for the fourth crochet mystery that I’m currently working on. The specific spot is called Asilomar Conference Center and it’s located on the outmost edge of a peninsula situated between Carmel Bay and Monterey Bay.

Asilomar is somewhere between a resort and a camp and is set in a forest of Monterey Pines and bordered by plant covered sand dunes. The beach is a short walk away. The sand is silky and white and the waves are huge and sea foam green.

My first trip there was also the first writer’s conference I’d ever gone to. The California Writers Club used to sponsor a yearly long weekend there. All together I went three times. As I walked through the grounds this visit, I was filled with memories of those conferences. I passed the wood framed building where I’d heard some guy speak about a blueprint for writing the best selling novel. If only it was that easy. As I walked the grounds thinking of what I’m writing now, I saw shadow memories of myself sitting in the living room of the Scripps building listening to Ruth Cohen talk about finding an agent. Another shadow of me was in Merrill Hall, the auditorium, hearing Olivia Goldsmith describe her bitter story of how she’d gone from living off her credit cards to being the best selling author of books like First Wives Club. I pitched agents and yawned through a late night session on the inside dope from a Hollywood producer.

As I was taking photos of the dining hall and taking notes about the pine scent in the air and the way the wind feels on your face, I was suddenly stuck with the wonder that the dreams of that yesteryear me had come true. My young adult mystery found a publisher. Two crochet mysteries out already, with another due out in June, and another I’m busy writing, and more after that.

All I could so was smile.


Linda O. Johnston said...

That's definitely worth smiling about, Betty. It's also fun to be able to incorporate times and places that were important to us into our writing. Congrats, and many wishes for your continued success!

Betty Hechtman said...

Thanks, Linda. The nicest part about writing about Asilomar is that I get to spend all that time there in my head.

Terri Thayer said...

You didn't call? Dang. I'm just doing the final edits on Ocean Waves, which is set at Asilomar. It is truly a special place.