This last week was like drinking from the proverbial fire hose. On Labor Day we flew to Orlando to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with our son, daughter-in-law and two of our grandkids. The travel went well, uneventful and we actually arrived ahead of schedule. We stayed at the Loew’s Royal Pacific which was within a short boat ride or walk of the Universal Studio Islands of Adventure where the Harry Potter rides reside. We had a three day pass and by staying at on onsite hotel we were able to get into the Harry Potter part of the park an hour early each morning as well as have express passes to avoid the longer lines on many of the rides. The town of Hogsmead and the Hogswart castle were impressive. We had butter beer; I particularly liked the frozen version which was like a cream soda slushy with cream on top. By getting in early we avoided the long lines through Hogswart castle and could enjoy a leisurely stroll through the castle. Since our grandson is sixteen months old, we did the child swap where one of us could wait with him and then swap out to go on the ride. I had done my homework the week before and finished the seventh book in the series. The ride takes you swooping through the castle, out on a quidditch pitch, chased by a dragon and dementors, spit on by giant spiders and all you could ask for in a four minute heart-pounding adventure.
We got back on Friday, again a flight that arrived early, and then I was off the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference in Denver. This was an opportunity to catch up with friends, meet a number of new people, attend workshops to improve my writing craft and promotional skills and to enjoy a few laughs. A couple of sound bites. One of the speakers quoted Nora Roberts: I can fix a bad page but not a blank page. Another: one of the rules of writing: Just do it from the philosopher Nike. When I have a chance to unbury, I’ll review my notes and post some more observations.