musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Summer Inspiration


Here we are in Sun Valley, Idaho, enjoying what feels Iike a summer camp for adults.

One round of activities was provided by the annual three-day Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. We had the opportunity to attend or live-stream many of the free-to-the-public events that the conference offered.  With over thirty well known authors and hundreds of participants, the vibe was electric.  

We heard Javier Zamora speak about his memoir Solito, chronicling his 3000 mile migration as a nine-year old boy from El Salvador to the United States.  We listened to Abraham Verghese speak about his life and books, including his latest Covenant of Water.  Judy Woodruff led a group of writers and thinkers discussing democracy and our divided country; Ed Jong was interviewed about his book An Immense World; and Dave Barry was the conference closer, providing all with at least a hundred laughs.  Thank you, Barry! ( I bought his latest book, the novel Swamp Story, and got it signed!)


And we heard Jake Barton, head of a design company called Local Projects, speak about his design installations for museums.    He said he was not a writer but a “story teller” and then described in words and images the stories his design installations convey.  I would love to visit at least three of them—the 9/11 Museum in New York City,  Planet Word in Washington DC, and Fashion for Good in Amsterdam.  Dream on, girl…I also appreciated his new-to-me suggestions for how we each can counter climate change.

What special gifts of inspiration, knowledge, fun and awe!  If you would like to learn more about the speakers and their works, and even view or listen to some of this year’s talks (some for a limited time only), you can visit the writers’ conference website at

To balance out all the intellectual stimulation, we love dipping into the many other sweet elements of summer in Sun Valley:

—jogs along the meadow with horses waiting for their carrots

—slow, sniff-walks with our doggie Cosi (who I also bought a book for called Hot Dog by Doug  Salati)                  

—coffee beans from Lizzy, our favorite local coffee roaster ( …she ships!)

—an Idaho Mule cocktail with mountain huckleberry vodka distilled in Idaho while listening to a guitarist-singer from Wisconsin (!)

—and our favorite local sound track—Trail Creek, that runs right by our dwelling.  

Gifts, all❤️  

And you?  I wonder what gifts of summer fun and inspiration are coming your way.  I hope many.❤️❤️


10 thoughts on “Summer Inspiration”

  • I cannot imagine a more inspirational event in a more inspirational location. I’m dripping with envy. Not the bad kind of envy because really I’ thrilled for you and John.

    • You dear heart. We are feeling pretty lucky and in awe of so much talent and so much beauty. Wowza💓. And just think of all the inspiration and pleasure you have provided through your wonderful novels. Another wowza💓

  • LOVED seeing you and John today! Thanks for your time. Hope the remainder of your time in Sun Valley is so fun. It’s such a special place you have on Trail Creek at the resort, enjoy!

    • And we loved seeing you❣️ We feel so lucky to know you and are so thankful for the Sun Valley life you helped open up for us.❣️💓❣️

  • back in my late teens I spent several summers in Sun Valley…fishing the Wood River, hiking in the Sawtooths, working on Dale Reynold’s ranch…would like a re-play.

    • Wow, Chad. I never knew that. Fun to think of you rambling around in these parts. I wonder if some of your wordsmithing talents came from that time🤠

  • Wonderful, articulate, fun description of this lovely place and what it has offered up these past weeks!

  • I’m just finishing Barbara Brown Taylor’s book, Holy Envy. Your blog post gives big time me intellectual envy. What a wonderful time you’re having! We just got back from meeting up with family in Mpls visiting from SLC. — both kids! Then a trip to APT to see Merry Wives and Our Town. Wish you were in WI to join us! At least you got to hear a Wisconsin musician. 🤗 Continue the Good Life! Much love to you both, J & D

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