Saturday, August 18, 2012

Diamond, OR

This past week poet friend, Kate, and I drove to the Hotel Diamond in Diamond, OR, population 5. Neither of us had even been, and I wanted to check it out for dinner because our friends, Bronwen and John, are coming for a visit next weekend. The hotel serves lunch and dinner, and it turned out to be a nice place, good food, pleasant kitchen staff, they accommodate vegans, and the atmosphere is great. Fine wines and beers available. Dinner reservations are required. I snapped a few photos of the hotel and surrounds. Diamond Valley is a jewel. The hotel has about six rooms on the second floor. They are small but very clean and nicely decorated with two shared baths. Price is $81 a night and includes breakfast. The whole place is charming. It is closed in the winter. People come from all over to relax there including birders, hunters, and city folk from the west side.
Road sign with horse eating trees - not much green around right now.

Intersection where signs are looking north.

Hotel Diamond

Big old trees around hotel

Back of hotel. Lunch room on left, old ice house in middle

Gust relaxes in the cool living area on a hot afternoon. Kitchen in background.

Diamond Craters are on the road to Diamond Valley

Round Barn

On the way back from the Hotel Diamond we stopped at Dick Jenkins' Round Barn Visitor Center. He has a really nice gift shop and that day Anna Ruth Davis and her daughter, Shaylyn, were minding the store. The Round Barn has some interesting history involving Pete French. It was where he trained horses in the late 1800s. 

Anna Ruth and Shaylyn (modeling her new school duds)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dry and Dusty

Smoky sunrise

Midnight on the dusty trail back to the house

Rabbit brush in bloom

Yoda and Blitzen come in for water

Blitzen the ham

Harriet poses

I took a walk out into the pasture one morning this week with the cat, Midnight, who likes to accompany me on these little forays.  Rabbit brush is blooming which the bees like. It's about a month early this year. There's not much green grass for the horses. Everything is dry and dusty. There's a line of smoke along the horizon from the wild fires to the south and west of us. I got a photo of the sun rising over Stinking Water ridge through the smoke. The horses came in for water as I got back. Blitzen always the ham, still bites and likes to run and kick up his heels. He hangs out with Yoda, his aunt, more than his mother Harriet. It has been hot, hot, hot. In the high nineties it seems like forever. Next Thursday the weather may break to the high eighties. Chance of thunderstorms this weekend which could be bad because of the lightening which usually sets off the wildfires.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Willamette Writers Conference 2012

John Ellis tells us why the web was made for writers

Waiting to pitch

Busy conference organizers

Jennifer and Amber

Derya and Perla

Peg and Tegin at Happy Hour

The Happy Babes from Burns
The annual Willamette Writers conference was held in Portland this past weekend. Screenwriter friend Peg and I went to attend Friday and Saturdays workshops. We learned a lot, had a lot of laughs and met new friends. It may be one of the best writers' conferences I attend. In terms of being well-organized, quality of workshops and speakers, opportunity to meet other writers, agents and editors, it can't be beat. I attended mostly indie publishing workshops and came back with new ideas. I think. Or maybe they were old ideas, recycled. The Film Lab on Friday night was the best. We saw five short films produced by Portland film makers and they were excellent.This conference is about half literary (books) and half film with lots of producers and agents from Los Angeles looking for new talent. The Portland Airport Sheraton where the conference is held is a great facility and in a good location.  Good food, too. And microbrews! What more could a writer ask for?