Michelle Buckley

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Spirit of Legends

Author/Poet/Playwright Langston Hughes
Author Zora Neale Hurston

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


"This space is so spirit filled. I will definitely add it to my
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:

Langston Hughes suite

Zora Neale Hurston suite

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?

14 Comments:
Blogger the prisoner's wife said...

heard about these. the one in bklyn is nice, it wasn't too far from my apartment. i, too, would love to stay in one of its lucious room. it just seems like the place that would cure a little writer's block!

10:40 PM, May 24, 2007  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

I stayed at B&B for only minutes. That's another incident with my ex. ;)

These rooms look exquisite and inviting. Have fun on your upcoming vacation!

2:17 AM, May 25, 2007  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

If you have a moment, I need your vote for Top Momma. Check it out! Yes, I have to ask and you'll see the shameless plea posted on Thursday.

Micellaneous Matters

Thanks for visiting and commenting on my mommy blog!

2:38 AM, May 25, 2007  
Blogger Kimber An said...

Cool pictures! That Langston was one major hottie. He had bedroom eyes.

10:35 AM, May 25, 2007  
Blogger Michelle said...

Wife -- The pics of the Brooklyn Akwaaba do look nice. I can just see me writing away on that balcony off of the LH suite...Ahhh...dare I dream?

RoseMarie -- You're right -- they look so inviting. I'll be voting for ya.

Kimber An -- you are too funny...but ohhhh so right! :-)

11:02 AM, May 25, 2007  
Blogger Gwyneth Bolton said...

I stayed in a bed and breakfast once when I visited Lincoln, Nebraska for a job interview at the University of Nebraska and once when I was in Columbia, Missouri for a job interview at the University of Missouri. They certainly were not as wonderfully and culturally fabulous as the Akwaaba. I've seen write ups about these and I would love to visit one or at least have some of my fictional characters visit for a nice romantic weekend. But I should probably research it and visit them myself first... I wonder if I could write it the visit off as research. LOL. If someone where to decorate a suite in my honor, I'd like it to be warm and romatic since I write romance. I love earth tones, so lots of orange and brown and tan. I'd also love the room to have artwork that depicted the best of Black love...

Gwyneth (Who really wants to visit Akwaaba now)

11:26 AM, May 25, 2007  
Blogger Michelle said...

Laffing at you and your b&b stays in Nebraska and Mo. Clearly all bed & breakfast inns are not created equal! :-) When you get a b&b suite named after you -- I want to be the first guest. Your description sounds wonderful -- I especially like the Black love artwork...

11:40 AM, May 25, 2007  
Blogger Ananda said...

blessings sistalove. i discovered your blog when i read prisoner's wife's latest post. i enjoyed your blog post about monique greenwood's bed and breakfast inns. i live three blocks from the dc location. it is wonderful. i do hope you get to visit. the photos of langston and zora that you posted were inspiring. peace and joy, ananda

4:03 AM, May 26, 2007  
Blogger Michelle said...

ananda - thanks for stopping by. if ever I do make it to the dc location, they aren't gonna be able to get rid of me. lol -- too jealous of you living nearby. Seems like a kewl neighborhood. blessings back to you...

9:16 AM, May 30, 2007  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

Michelle are you interested in reading a co-authored book by Rose Jackson-Beavers the writer at Lessons Learned.

MM's Book Club

Rosemarie
Miscellaneous Matters

PS Your book could be on our shelves in the coming months. ;)

11:37 AM, May 30, 2007  
Blogger Dr. Deb said...

Dropping by to say Hi!!!!

12:24 PM, May 30, 2007  
Blogger crzytxbull said...

Love the place I think I'm going there soon for a weekend getaway.

6:48 PM, June 09, 2007  
Blogger Michelle said...

Dr. Deb -- thanks for stopping by.

Crzy -- I'm right there with ya! A weekend getaway to Akwaaba sounds fab!

9:52 AM, June 12, 2007  
Blogger Phatgurl said...

I been telling everyone about Akwaaba, especially my writer friends. I can't wait to visit myself. I'm planning a weekend getaway this fall so I can get lost in my writing.

8:55 AM, June 21, 2007  

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