Category Archives: travel

Cafe Selmarie, Chicago Illinois


I am a sucker for any place with tasty baked goods, and Cafe Selmarie is the bakery in my Lincoln Square neighborhood. My favorite time to dine here is early mornings when you can get a plate full of turkey sausage, a fried egg, home fries and cappucino and have a nice leisurely breakfast. There’s a relaxing view of the Lincoln Square fountain and mini-park just outside the cafe. 

If you find yourself in Chicago by the Ravenswood/Lincoln Square area chances are you’ll catch me there haunting that bakery case. I strongly suggest the German cheesecake or the banana eclair. There are literally thousands of places to get a good breakfast or pastry in Chicago, but none of them are as close to my home office with this kind of quality. 

Cafe Selmarie isn’t really a place to write articles (there are plenty of places right down the sidewalk for that) but it’s a lovely oasis where you can take refuge from deadlines, second drafts and queries. Recommended.

Writer’s Getaway: The Artist’s Loft, Julian, CA


I’m thinking warm again and found a spot I’m hoping to go to one day–it looks amazing and inspirational! The new Artist’s Loft in Julian, California. This getaway has a private loft space so that you can go with your spouse or even your whole family and still have a little “getaway” to do some work–along with a spectacular view to court the muse. It is a private cabin in an amazing setting. This photo is one of many of the property that illustrate the beauty of the area.

Great Bookstores: Centuries & Sleuths


From time to time I’ll feature a bookstore here that is deemed “worthy” of making the trip if you are in the area. Centuries & Sleuths is such a place…

History, biography or mystery? If one of these topics gets you excited, then so will Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore. Located just outside Chicago in the suburb of Forest Park, Illinois it is an easy side-trip for those sightseeing in the area and a good place to browse with plenty of choices. Continue reading Great Bookstores: Centuries & Sleuths

Travel For The Writer: Oak Park, IL


This is a great place for writers! (And we know from experience–both Joe Wallace and I have lived there.) The photograph is Pleasant Home, a grand house that is owned by the park district and open to the public. The grounds of the home are a great spot to set up camp with your laptop and write on a warm summer day. The village borders the city of Chicago to the west, so endless material for great articles is a short train ride away.

While you are in the town, visit the Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the area (there are many) and make sure you stop in at the Hemingway Museum and take the tour of the famed author’s birthplace home as well. Oak Park has a fantastic selection of dining options, and if you are looking for a recommendation, I’d say check out Mama Thai on Madison. If you want to have a drink and unwind, take your computer with and go to the Avenue Ale House to hit the rooftop bar for some great atmosphere. For more info, check out the Visitor’s Bureau or drop us a line in the comments section and we’ll be happy to give you the skinny on the best hot spots around.

Travel for the Writer: Philadelphia’s South Street


Philadelphia’s South Street is a great place for writing inspiration. A haven for creatives, this street has a huge selection of stores, eateries–and most importantly–plenty of atmosphere. Although some feel that the area has become too commercialized, the people-watching can’t be beat, and there are still a lot of interesting places to check out, as well as some outdoor dining spots that are perfect for a cup of coffee and a laptop session. I went there in the summer and had a total blast. The city is a great mixture of old, historic buildings and fun, hip culture; I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it, and South Street was one of the highlights of the trip. Bring your camera–there is a lot to see there, and some good opportunities for travel writing as long as you think outside the box. And make sure you have a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich while you’re at it!

Writer’s Getaway: Belton Chalet, West Glacier, MT


Something about the west has inspired writers and artists for as long as it has been settled and The Belton Chalet is truly an inspirational place. An updated, yet still old-fashioned feel makes this a wonderful place to settle in and write. Sit on the amazing decks and gaze out at the mountains, take your laptop down to the resturant deck and sip a glass of wine as you type, or simply curl up by the fire and make the most of the atmosphere.

There is an on-site spa if you’d like to indulge yourself. Box lunches are also available if you want to take a ride to Glacier National Park–only a short drive away if you need an even more dramatic backdrop for your writing. A popular spot–so reserve ahead of time. Another one of my favorites!