When Did it Become Fall?

I've been busy. Daughter is now back at college and son is back at school and things should be settling down around here, but they aren't. I love my kids, but I've have also always loved the time when they went back to school (my apologies to the teachers who also have to go back). Somehow, when the dust settles it easier to get my thoughts back in line and think about all the things that need to be done before the upcoming holidays. But this year I'm distracted.

Not only am I getting lots of new things up in my Etsy Shop (shameless self promotion inserted here), but I'm editing a book that I wrote some time ago and that has my mind going in a thousand different directions. Last week, one of my most favorite cities was again in danger. I was in New Orleans in the pre-Katrina era, certainly not long before. I'd love to say that the city won't be forever divided in history as pre and post Katrina, but it would seem that the impact is monumental. For me, the story I wrote was based on the city I saw pre-Katrina. Now, I'm charged with going back and rewriting the history I wrote to include a much changed city. One I can only imagine.

In my book, I wrote about the sounds and smells and the feel of a city where the air was heavy with history and rich with opulence, decadence and especially, elegance. I centered a key twist around a scene in the fabricated Hotel Casteleone. There was no such hotel in New Orleans, not to my knowledge, but the essence of it is a compilation of all the wonderful things I witnessed in the French Quarter. Before going to New Orleans my ideas of grand hotels were based on the legendary Waldorf Astoria in New York and the Sir Francis Drake on Union Square in San Francisco. But it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the Grande Dames of the Veiux Carre. The architecture of the city is enough to make anyone swoon with glee, but the history behind that architecture lingers like a viable essence that exudes from every pore of every brick, every chip of stone and every gilded iron balustrade. Ultimately, the Hotel Castelone had the formidable and inspiring entrance of the Ponchartrain Hotel, the formality of the Hotel Monteleone (and a slight nod to the name) and the courtyard somewhat along the lines of the one at the Hotel Dupuy. The Hotel Monteleon and the Hotel Dupuy are still going strong, despite the trials of weather and economy. The Ponchartrain is now a senior living center, an ironic twist for a hotel that once hosted celebrities and travellers who escaped to the city for an often extended stay.

So, I'm off once again to work on my book, hoping to do justice to such a wonderful city and knowing that I could never truly do it justice. Until then, Bonne Chance!

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