Friday, January 9, 2009

New Orleans!

Last Friday I was in New Orleans cheering on my football team. I’m sad to say, my team lost….poorly. It was an awful upset. *shrugs* Oh, well, life goes on and my paycheck isn’t any different. But, as a family, we had an awesome time in New Orleans. Truthfully, I was more excited about going to New Orleans than I was getting to watch the football and I LOVE football. But this city is so gritty and raw, it appeals to me in some strange way, like it’s calling me home. Even stranger still, I feel at home in New Orleans.

We rode a horse drawn buggy. My sons thought that was awesome, being their first adventure and all. We got to see Johnny White's Bar, the one that refused to close even during Hurricane Katrina.

We watched juggling, men doing flips, standing on their hands, and men covered in gold paint standing like bronzed statutes. The human statutes amazed me how well and how long they could hold their pose. I'm sure my ear or armpit would need itching within 30 seconds if I tried to strike a pose for long. lol

Some of the artwork was amazing. But most of the pictures that I liked well enough to photograph had signs posted asking that you not snap any photos of their artwork. That’s cool and I understand it, but that just means you didn’t get to share in the visual pleasure with me.

Our first night there, we came across what I would call a Jazz singer—but what do I know she could have been Blues or something else—and I recorded it. Here’s a YouTube link if you’re interested in listening to her:

Dragon Blood, the current book I’m writing is set in New Orleans, so I was able to get a good layout of the French Quarter, along with visual details, in my head. All the maps I stole from the hotel were in the name of research. ;-) They’ll assist me as I continue to write and my memory fades.

Tell me your favorite vacation. Have you ever made it the setting of one of your books?

6 deadly screams:

Molly Daniels said...

Sort of. I used to spend three weeks in St. Pete, Fla from '76-'89 at my grandma's house. She lived within walking distance to an area of Tampa Bay, and one of my favorite writing spots was at what we called The Point, and area where we could watch the boats pass by and the tide come in and out.

Since the first book I wrote has several scenes in California, I based my beach experiences on Florida, and for restaurant ideas, I simply switched the names to make them sound more West Coast. For instance, Grandma loved a little beach place called The Hurricane; I called it The Earthquake in my book. And of course, switched the sand color from white to brown!

I also used Colorado as a setting, based on our excursions into Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park, Estes Park, and Denver, in a story I wrote last year.

Will I end up putting Vancouver or Ottowa into a book? That remains to be seen:)

Sarah Mäkelä said...

Wow, Gracen! That sounds like you had fun. The video of her singing was really interesting. =) I went to New Orleans a couple of months before Katrina, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity. ALTHOUGH! Next time you go, remember what we discussed. I SO want to go on those tours with you. We're going to do it!

My favorite vacation has to be the trips to Europe I went on, and oh yes, I have made it the setting of one of my books. I really enjoyed writing the book and going there was awesome. I hope to be able to go back soon!

Molly, I live in Central Florida and used to live in Tampa. That's really cool that you've spent time down here. I enjoy it. =)

Molly Daniels said...

I've decided when I eventually DO get to Fla, I'm going to live in Kissimmee and work at Disney!

Or, live in St. Pete and go to the Hurricane once a week ala Grandma:)

And of course, fulfill a childhood fantasy of spending the night in the Don Caesar! Visit the Pier (we never got out and walked around). See if The City Dump (gift shop) still exists:)

Sarah Mäkelä said...

When you make it down, we'll have to hang out! =) I've driven by the Don Caesar, I'd love to stay there, too. And I've been to The Pier. It's pretty cool. I haven't had the chance to take my husband yet. I haven't heard of The City Dump.

Molly Daniels said...

When I was 13, Grandma lived in Sand Cove Apts (across the street from the Gulf...drawing a blank on the condo building on the beach!) and after dinner, my sister and I and a friend would walk down to the Don, cross the street via the bridge, and eat dessert at Uncle Andy's Ice Cream Parlour. Afterwards, we'd walk the beach and carefully jaywalk across the street!

Once we dared to venture into the Don, but there we were in shorts and tees, and we saw people in evening gowns and tuxes. We decided we were unworthy to go inside!

Tierney O'Malley said...

[[All the maps I stole from the hotel were in the name of research. ;-) They’ll assist me as I continue to write and my memory fades.]]

Gracen, I have a backpack loaded with maps, brochures and even menus I stole from places we visited during our summer vacation. Glad to know I am not the only one with sticky fingers. LOL

[[Tell me your favorite vacation. Have you ever made it the setting of one of your books?]] do I share my two month vacation in Europe in one single paragraph. :D Yes, I have a premise written down base on our trip to Italy. I even have the map to go with it. With my latest book, Three Christmas Kisses, the setting is base on our trip to Oregon. I love it there--trees everywhere. Being a tree-hugger that I am, I thought an environmental lawyer would fit right in the setting.
Thanks for the post, Gracen.