The Spirit of Legends
As I'm working on my next novel, I find myself looking for inspiration from wherever it comes and I've been thinking a lot lately of writing legends before me like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Dorothy West et al. Where did they find their inspiration? What were their writing rituals? Did they ever suffer from writer's block and if so, how did they deal with it? Did they ever doubt or question their gifts?
Last summer, at the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta, someone mentioned to me a bed & breakfast spot in D.C. that I think is filled with the spirit of writing legends and I long to check it out. It's called Akwaaba, which means welcome in the Ghana West African language. This chain of bed & breakfast inns was started in 1995 by author and former Essence editor-in-chief, Monique Greenwood and her husband, Glenn Pogue, when they refurbished a dilapidated mansion in their Brooklyn neighborhood. Their restoration work was documented by the popular HGTV series "Restore America."
Over a decade later, the husband and wife team manage the following five inns Akwaaba Mansion (Brooklyn, NY), Akwaaba by the Sea (Cape May, NJ), Akwaaba at Buttonwood Manor (Cape May, NJ), Akwaaba D.C. (Washington, D.C.), and Akwaaba in the Bayou (New Orleans, LA). They have many fun packages available, including discount rates for "girlfriends" who rent out whole inns, couples spa treatment packages, a bridal package and a Whipped Cream & Pleasant Dreams package that seems uhmmm...tasty! :-)
"Staying at Akwaaba D.C. is like reading a good novel
you never want to end." -- Shelley and Eric
list of special life memories." -- Deborah.
After seeing these quotes on the Akwaaba bed & breakfast website, I knew I was destined to visit. I hope to do so by the end of the year. I would particularly like to visit the Akwaaba DC location which features room environs related to writing. These suites include: Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, Walter Mosley, Romance, Science Fiction, Poetry and Inspiration. I've only stayed in a bed and breakfast once and it was the most peaceful and relaxing experience I've ever had. I'd love to recapture that feeling again. One day in the not so distant future, I'd love to visit the Akwaaba by the Sea location and I'd like to stay in either of the following Akwaaba DC suites:
These rooms have such personality. They seem to be divine visions torn from the pages of history destined to transport one back in time. And although neither Langston nor Zora have ever been in these rooms, from what I can see from the pictures -- both their presence and great spirits seem overwhelmingly powerful -- and I can't wait for that feeling of legendary literary greatness to surround me and wash over me.
Questions: Have you ever stayed at a bed and breakfast? What was the experience like? If someone were to decorate a bed and breakfast suite in your honor, where would you want it located and how would you want it decorated?