Friday, June 27, 2008

A Conferring of Creativity

For the past week, I've hosted a writer's conference here at the Auberge. It turned out to be the perfect space for a gathering of writer friends, a place where we could reconnect after a two-year hiatus from the creative magnetism that drew us together at Goddard College. It was as intense a time now as it was then, and we left simultaneously exhausted and refreshed.
As innkeepers, Chantal and I were happy to get some extra business, so we welcomed the chance to get my writing cronies in here for several days. It also meant that we would have the inn to ourselves, and that was important, because we take up a lot of intellectual space. A lot of great stuff came out of the inaugural conference. I've explored attracting groups to the inn before, but this was one of the most natural ideas I've had. The timing was excellent, too. The middle of June is an uneven time in the innkeeping calendar. Things that came from the Roundtable Writer's Conference included Chris Millis's work on his upcoming screenplay, Lloyd Noonan's Ten-Minute Play workshop, and Nancy McCurry's brilliant new treatment for novel writing, called A Novel Idea.
If the energy that came from this gathering is any indicator, we'll be replete with enough creativity to last to the next one, which I look forward to eagerly.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Makeover for Room 1

Now that it's over, I can talk about it. Now that it's finished, I can step back and admire it, I can appreciate the hard work. Now that it's in the past, I can move on with my life. I'm talking about the bathroom in Room 1, the home of the controversial pink toilet. It's gone, because I ripped the room down to it's studs and built it back up again. Like a drill instructor with a new recruit, I've molded that small space to suit my needs.
This is what it takes: total immersion in the project. And that's what I did. For the past month, I've been up to my neck in plumbing, electric, tiling, and painting. Oh, and there was all that foul language. And profanity became the grease for my machine, lubing the difficult parts. Don't worry, it was the off-season, and I was sealed in tightly.
We're at the level of innkeeping that prevents us from picking up the phone and writing a check to a plumber for the work that needed to be done. I'm also of a certain skill set, which invites me to tackle these projects. Room 1 was begging for it. Everything came out without incident; it was the building up that took real work. Like the plumbing, which took me a week of work. All the water pipes for the shower had to be moved, due to the configuration of the new shower stall. It was more work with the torch than I bargained for. The sink was a challenge, too, helped along by some issues with Lowe's. The first sink/vanity we bought there was damaged. The second one was missing the mirror that was advertised on the front of the box.
We finally managed to get it all together, and there's even a new, turbo-toilet in the bathroom. Some new carpeting and a new air conditioner completes the look. In our room-by-room update, this one is set to become the Green Harbor room, after it's suitably decorated with bric-a-brac that pays tribute to my hometown. But that's another project. For now I'm content to simply gaze at the new tile floor and snappy, clean shower stall. Let the checkins begin.