There are some places that are filled with the ghosts of the past, and I was at one today. Our eclectic multi-genre critique group meets every Tuesday morning. Today, we met at the old Grist Mill, where Jack London used to write in an apartment over the mill. We sat out on the patio and had a wonderful catered lunch by Yeti’s Restaurant – Nepalese food. With the sunshine pouring over our red umbrellas and a soft breeze whispering through the trees, we read our stories, sipped tea, ate wonderful curry dishes, and felt the presence of Jack London amongst us.
These are the same windows he looked out of when he penned his best-selling books. Once an apartment, it now is the upstairs to a new restaurant re-opening soon. It would be a wonderful place to read or do an author signing.
Can’t you just see London working at his table, listening to the gigantic waterwheel turning in slow rhythm, the opulent trickling of water? What a place to let one’s imagination grow.
In my former life, as a Realtor, I sold a home for a relative of his, and held in my hands some of his books, probably written right here. Today was like the past and the present all coming together. All six of us hope to be best-selling authors some day. We have helped each other tremendously in this group that has been going on for almost three years. And now we have Jack.
Our critique session was over too soon, and we were off in separate directions, like leaves scattered in the parking lot. Words read, suggestions given, ideas shared, laughter and warm friendship. Everything has faded, except the sharp pangs in my stomach from the deliciously rich food I loved eating, but that haunts me tonight, just like Jack.
How about you? Do you have any special places “haunted” with dead writers or inspired by creatures otherwise? Do tell!