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Redwood Restorative
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Whoo. I'm writing this very late on Sunday. There's a chance I'll collapse into unconsciousness before I finish (with luck I'll crawl to bed, instead of dropping right here at my desk), but I'll try to persevere. Short form: the weekend was wonderful, if rather exhausting. We went down to Santa Cruz to visit our dear friends Scott and Lynne, who plied us with champagne (sparkling juice for Heather, natch) and gave us an adorable baby onesie with a meditating banana slug on the chest. So cute!

Saturday afternoon we continued on down to Big Sur to do a reading at the Henry Miller Memorial Library. It was great seeing my old friend Maria, who runs the Ping Pong literary journal and who put the shindig together. Lots of wine and cheese and grapes! Lots of talk about litrachoor! And such a lovely site. Weird sculpture, a funky bookstore, a wonderfully welcoming vibe. The outdoor stage was the most beautiful I've ever read from, done up to look like a living room or study, with couches and chairs and a desk and a typewriter and books and such. Trinie Dalton -- who writes slipstreamy stuff that reminds me a bit of Aimee Bender -- read first, a great excerpt from her novel-in-progress, about a witch and her vampire boyfriend and the joys of Make Out Forest. Then I read a bunch of short-shorts (on the theory that, if the audience hated one of them, there'd be another one along soon enough), and Heather followed, reading several short pieces too. It all went over well, and the crowd was appreciative. We mingled a bit but left around 7:15, because we wanted to get out of the twisty-hilly part of the drive before sunset.

Being in Big Sur is a real restorative for the soul. We stopped a few times on the drive to check out the scenic overlooks. Just amazingly beautiful scenery. I hadn't been down there in years, and it was nice to go back. Only drawback is that I could've done without all the hours and hours of driving necessary to make the trip (adding it up, we spent about 7 hours driving this weekend, which is just too freaking much).

We arrived in Santa Cruz hungry and went to the Saturn Café, where I must have looked very sleepy indeed, because when my vanilla milkshake arrived, it was festooned with coffee beans; I took the hint and tried to perk up a little. We chilled with Scott and Lynne into the night, drinking and chatting, though Heather and I both wussed out and turned in early. We rose this morning, took a leisurely trip to Café Brasil, waited there for about two hours to get a table (ah, Sunday brunch at a popular spot!), but it was worth the wait -- beef a cavalo and a mango mimosa, mmm. After that we did our stroll downtown in the incredibly fine weather. I went to Bookshop Santa Cruz and bought the new Michael Chabon novel and Dishwasher Pete's book, both of which I've been looking forward to reading. Then we returned to S&L's house and played some cards until, far too soon, we had to leave.

Back home, after straightening the chaos our cranky cats caused in our absence, I worked on Flytrap layout and on Heather's chapbook (which should have a pre-order page sometime next week -- it looks really good!). We need to take them both to get printed next weekend in order to have them ready in time for WisCon, which is -- inconceivably! -- only three weeks away! This is going to be a busy month...

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