For the first time in about 2 years (possibly more), your Boulder Writing Examiner is in Avon, Colorado, exploring the writing venues there and thereabouts. Since the last time she reported from this little Vail Valley town at the gateway to Beaver Creek, there have been a few small changes on the writing venue front...
The Denny's appears to be gone, replaced with a Walgreens. It is difficult to write in a Walgreens. The Irish pub, whose name I forget, is gone too, replaced with a BBQ smokehouse called Montana's. Whether it's a good place to write depends on how clean you can keep your fingers and the rest of your table. Loaded Joe's is still there and going strong, now offering a full dining menu along with the usual selection of drinks and a steaming cup of blindingly fast wi-fi.
But the place I'm blogging about today is actually just a few miles down the road in Edwards, Colorado. About 4 miles by bike path, actually, which translates to about an hour and change on quad skates. I meant to just get on the path at West Beaver Creek and turn around when I'd "had enough"--I did not actually expect to go all the way to Edwards. But having done so, I came off the path at the Riverwalk looking for somewhere to chill with an iced coffee and some internet.
And I found the Bookworm.
If they sound familiar, that's because, if memory serves, Bookworm was the book seller at Sirens when that conference was in Vail in 2011. (It was there in 2009 and 2010, too, but I have no idea whether Bookworm was selling books there in those years.) They provided a startlingly wide selection of books despite having only a couple of tables to spread out on. Lots of copies of all the titles by the guests of honor, to start with, and then a bunch more hand-picked to appeal to the attendees of a conference for, by and about women in the fantasy literature industry and art form.
Once I was in there, of course, I had to buy some books. And the staff were enormously helpful when I asked their aid in locating certain titles. (It would not be fair to blame them for my reading Robin McKinley's Shadows rather than getting any writing done, would it?) They also helped me locate the A/C outlets in the cafe--one by the ice water dispenser, another by the arm-chairs--where I did indeed make myself comfy with a tall iced coffee and their high-performing wi-fi. (I wasn't just reading hardcovers. I was reading the internets, too. All of them. It really was nobody's fault but mine that didn't write.) Also, nobody looked at me funny--at least not noticeably--for walking around in roller derby stockings and pro kneepads.
Bookworm's menu features a wide selection of crepes and salads, the majority of them whimsically named after authors, book titles and characters. It is a little surreal to hear the cafe staff announce "Eat, Pray, Love for Mike" or "Annie, your Yertle the Turtle is up" (to choose two potential customer names at random). One or two items pay homage to the stunning view out the cafe menu, like the Vail Hiker on the dessert crepes menu (it's essentially a s'more in thin pancake form). And hikers were definitely among the clientele population, some of them anxious to get back out onto the patio before their dogs got lonely. (Come to think of it, sportsy attire was not at all out of the ordinary, though I don't think anyone else was knocking kneepads with the bar stools.)
I spent a very pleasant couple of hours there before packing up, swapping out of my tennies and into my skates, reapplying sunscreen, and heading back to Avon. If the weather holds, I'd like to do it again. And this time I will use the time to write. Any Bookworm staff who happen to be reading this--you can totally nag me about it if I look like I'm slacking.
Although if a copy of Valente's latest Fairyland book does happen to turn up, all bets on productivity are off.