Thursday, March 15, 2012

Creative Atmosphere

(I feel like the posts lately have been Serious and Helpful. Weird.)

This past summer, my family went on vacation to Port Townsend, WA, where we stayed in The Palace Hotel. It has a super awesome history, mostly because it was a brothel for 8 years of its existence (1925-1933). Each of the rooms is named for one of the girls--"Miss Claire," "Miss Abigail," etc.

We stayed in Miss Lily.

Shown is the bedroom, but there was also a huge living area (with a futon where my sister and I slept), a kitchen, and a bathroom.  The ceilings hung high above us, and the windows, as you can almost see in the picture, displayed a view of the ocean. The brick wall and antique furniture, though, were what truly entranced me.

I spent much of our visit, inspecting every desk, table, and dresser for hidden compartments, to find lost stories. I even, at one point, prodded the bricks in the wall, searching for a loose one and a treasure thus hidden. My wonder was further fed by the fact that we were allowed to explore any of the rooms without tenants, so I wandered the unorthodox set-up of the halls, fingers slipping into any space I thought might hide a secret from the past.

Even if I had found those antique treasures for which I searched, I don't know if they would have been that which I most prized from the trip. It was, instead, the atmosphere which I took away with me. Nearly a hundred stories flitted through my mind during our stay, all rich and vivid. I haven't written one of them yet, but I will. And it is likely to be one of my best works.

Learn more about The Palace Hotel.

Have you ever had an experience like this? Where do you go to fuel your creativity?


  1. Oooh, this is so cool. It gives me shivers. And I love your serious and helpful blog posts! Keep 'em coming. I felt like this when I walked through Paris when I was nineteen. My friend, this middle-aged French lady, walked me down old alleys--places the average tourist wouldn't go--and told me stories from the past...murders that happened there, trysts...I was in heaven getting lost in that old, hidden world.

  2. Yes. I know that feeling. There's a building in Fairhaven that does that to me. . .

  3. Oh wow that is really cool! I totally pictured you inspecting the bricks;) I would have too!