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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Writer's Block? Get to Ojai...

“Writer’s block is only a failure of the ego.”

― Norman Mailer
Good old Norman had a lot of Hemingway in him. Direct and strong, no time for weakness. You could say he was very Hemingway-esque. No matter, because he pumped out some great work. Most us though can't power through the writers block and put our egos aside. それらの言葉は、単にあなたのアメリカのキーボードの日本人のように見えたとき、When those words simply look like Japanese on your American keyboard, maybe you have to get away like one of those Southwest commercials:

When the Media Guy feels like that [yes! I just went third person], I zip out to Ojai, California.
In peaceful Ojai, tranquility shimmers in the air with inimitable, artful panache. Whether you’re on one of the world-class golf courses, browsing one of the funky art galleries or amidst the fascinating history of the idyllic valley, you’ll always feel at home with smiles in the heart. Here’s my Friday to Sunday writer's block relief guide for your senses.


Ted Gall (805/646-4273; cut his teeth in the sixties as an animator and evolved into an international bronze and stainless steel artisan. Evoking power and grace, his metal sculptures must be seen to fully appreciate the scope of his work.


The renowned Ojai Culinary School at the Lavender Inn (210 East Matilija Street; 805/646-6635) lets you prepare your own meals with cooking demos from visiting chefs and local artisan cooks. Your class is tailored to your skill levels and the type of meal you crave.


Beatrice Woods iconic Blandman's Ball Artwork
The Beatrice Woods Center for the Arts (8560 Ojai-Santa Paula Road; Ojai, 805/646-3381) is the place to hear your heart beat. Frightening quiet with panoramic views of Happy Valley, the one-time home of Annie Besant, the area’s quintessential supporter of progressive movements, is now a center for arts and enrichment. Take the docent tour for an insight into the wild times there.


The tranquil garden retreat that is the Emerald Iguana Inn (110 Pauline Street; 805/646-5277, from $198/night) welcomes you with majestic trees and the sounds of water at this romantic getaway.


Boccali’s (3277 Ojai-Santa Paula Road; 805/646-6116) is an organic dream, featuring menus consisting entirely of fresh produce picked and delivered daily from the family’s Upper Ojai farm. The most incredible tomatoes and freshly prepared pasta dishes this side of Tuscany. Don’t forget the vine.


Lilacs and lilies mingle with the aroma of pine, oak and citrus in the International Garden of Peace at Meditation Mount (10340 Reeves Road in Ojai; 805/646-5508; Open Wed-Sun only).

At the end of it, you can channel your inner Mailer or Hemingway or Ogilvy and produce brilliant works like so:

Perhaps "brilliant" is overstated, but it pays the bills. Enjoy Ojai.