Thursday, March 16, 2017

"Write Out" at the Denver Botanic Gardens

I have a group of children's book author friends, living all over the Denver/Boulder metropolitan area, who love to do "write-ins" at each others' houses. Today one of them hosted, instead, a "write-out." Five of us met at the Denver Botanic Gardens for a day of writing together - well, writing, and talking, and walking, and eating.

We arrived as the gardens opened at 9 and set ourselves up in the indoor cafe.
I used my writing time brainstorming ideas for a brand-new book. I have a long way to go before I can pen the first line, but today I got as far as tentatively deciding that the book will be "the best, truest portrait of a friendship ever." I even have an idea of the theme - and the characters - so all I need is a plot: that is to say, every detail of the actual story itself. Still, I was pleased with myself by the time we set out for a walk through the gardens at 11:30.

Spring was much in evidence:

But even if the weather hadn't been balmy, we could have restored flagging spirits in the tropical conservatory.
One of the most magical parts of the day, for me, was that I found my way to the gardens via bus - actually, three different buses. First I took the local Skip bus from my house in Boulder down to the connection point for the Flatirons Flyer express bus to Denver, and from Union Station in Denver I walked just two blocks to get the #10 bus which delivered me just two blocks from my destination. I felt so plucky! So light and unencumbered! I do love navigating the world without a car.

On the way home, I got off the #10 bus at the Civic Center and continued on the free Sixteenth Street Mall Shuttle. There a rapper dude on the bus struck up a conversation with me. He and another rider wanted to know the day's date; when I told them, he said to me, "You look like an author." !!!! Which is exactly what I am! He said that there was something about the way I enunciated my words that gave me away. He proceeded to recite one of his own rap compositions to me. I thought it was terrific. 

Back at Union Station, I bought myself a black raspberry ice cream cone before boarding the bus to return home to Boulder. If your project is joy, as mine is these days, you don't pass on the ice cream. You give yourself the gift of writing with friends, wandering past spring flowers, bus rides galore, AND ice cream. 

It was, after all, that kind of day.

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