A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in Seattle, waiting to board a cruise to Alaska with my family for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. We arrived in town a day early, and during our very short stay in the city, I discovered Chihuly Garden and Glass just a short walk from our hotel. Since Book 4 in the Main Street Merchants series involves a glass artist, I thought I owed it to myself to go. Walking through the museum and its grounds, I found this:

And this:
And, good God, this:
How would Daniel Reed, my Book 4 hero, feel looking at these intricate and astonishing works? Daniel is no Dale Chihuly, but he aspires to be. I think he’d feel both awe and a burning hunger to up his own game in response.
The visit to the museum gave me a greater appreciation for this art form and what’s involved in it. As I pondered questions about how to assemble such a piece; how to install it; and all of the varied dangers implied in working with something so fragile, I felt a new respect for Daniel and for the career challenges he faces.
Here I am in the garden on a beautiful Seattle day:
I can’t wait to bring Daniel and Book 4 to you.

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