Happy Halloween!

I've been posting this every year around Halloween... so why stop now?

Plus, a sweet reader is rereading the "Wilfair" books right now, and texting me, so I'm in a Fair Finley frame of mind. Like... I always kind of am. #truth

Hugs. Hope you're all splendid. xo

Halloween at the Wilfair

     Fair Finley of The Wilfair Hotel Finleys wore a lot of orange.
     I’d found this near-constant sartorial choice to be VERY affected. So affected it bordered on annoying and flirted with infuriating, principally because it was the color found throughout her family’s hotel and hotel-related marketing materials. Brochures, postcards, billboards, advertising? They all contained that special Finley hue. The whole citrus-California-fruit-sunshine connection was a hand they played too hard, I'd always said, when anyone would listen, and by anyone I mean Gomery and occasionally our moms.
     It was brand gone mad.
     But my neighbor's particular shade of orange on this night, whether worn as a tribute to Halloween or as a way to stand out in the dark, a full-body flashlight, was more noticeable than usual. Then I knew who she was: Her hotel’s famous, get-more-guests ghost, the Lady in Sequins.
     Most ghost sightings were the products of jumpy, jonesing-for-fantasy imaginations, but not The Wilfair Hotel's ghost. This otherworldly Lady was no more than a brilliant stroke on the part of the Finley family. I'm not saying the Lady in Sequins isn't real -- I keep a mind as open as two ginormous barn doors with well-oiled hinges -- but far realer than the ghost herself was the business-minded hotel firm that promoted her as a mysterious and elegant symbol.
     “Yo, Lady in Sequins!” I shouted at my neighbor, shouted without an iota of forethought or consultation with my cousin.
      Everyone on the block turned in my direction, including the portrayer of the Lady in Sequins herself. She briefly stepped behind a large oleander bush, then, three seconds later, stepped out and smiled a smile that didn’t have a shade of naturalness or warmth to it.
     Those Finleys are so FAKE. Their fakeness is so fake it is almost authentic, meaning they’ve come all the way 'round from their fake starting place to almost being bearable in their unfettered fake-a-tude.
     It looked as if she might step behind the shrub again, but she instead waved. Her wave, a stiff-palmed royal wave of sorts, contained no trace of fluttery finger action or natural wrist rotation. Her wave, in fact, was no warmer than her smile, which was as warm as the motel swimming pool on the frostiest December morning...

Reader Wedding!

Friends! Readers! Hello!

What a few months I've had. Busy with interesting projects, busy with work, and I've enjoyed some memorable adventures.

The most memorable, and heart-filled, and all-out wonderful? Wilfair reader Caitlin asked me to serve as her Matron of Honor at her wedding last year! It was such a sweet ceremony, and a perfect day for Caitlin and Brett, and I will now cry all over again thinking about it.

Can't say that I knew, back when I was writing the Wilfair series, that the books would one day lead me to a flower-filled backyard in Oregon, where I would have the honor of standing up for a beautiful friend and her kind new husband, but they did, and I'm so grateful.

Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine's Day. Love, Alysia

Reader Visit: Amanda and Kirsti!

Early July was extra joyful 'round Wilshire and Fairfax, thanks to a visit from the wonderful duo of Amanda and Kirsti (holler, Melbourne on My Mind).

Not only did we get our Wilfair photo in, but we jumped onto a fascinating tour at Warner Bros. Studios, visited the beach, and had In-N-Out for dinner. A perfect day with two fun and funny friends.

Thanks for visiting! xo

Also: Check out the amazing facade of the Petersen Automotive Museum behind us. It was under construction for several Wilfair reader photos, as you may recall. Now? Wowza: It's something else, all swirls and neon. (A fittingly whimsical building for a whimsical book corner.)


Friends! Hello. How have you been?

I've been writing lots, enjoy LA's soft, gray springtime, and paying a warm thought to the lovely readers of "Wilfair" at least once a day.

Daydreams are a theme I enjoy pondering -- they figure largely in the world of Fair Finley -- and I am digging this new song (and video) from Radiohead.

Talk soon. xoxo

Song of the Week

I'm a bit obsessed with "Call Off Your Dogs" by Lake Street Dive. It is very Wilfair playlist and a nice song for the weekend.

Hope you're grand!

De-Mondaying Monday

     “Monday mornings aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh,” I made a face, then straightened my gloves while stepping around a puddle of pool water.
    Monty scoffed, then set his textbooks down on an inflatable pink pool float, then scoffed again, not satisfied with his initial effort. “Everyone always complains about Mondays. It’s predictable. It’s yawn-worthy. It’s like the big fight scene at the end of a blockbuster, which the audience can see from five miles away. Or the sun setting. Or the cherry in a Shirley Temple. Why not just say the sky’s blue, Fair? Monday-complaining, pah! It’s the worst. Aren’t you glad you’ve been granted another week to get things done? To make things right or start anew?”
    Gomery strode by. A pile of folded towels teetered in his hands as he, too, stepped around the same puddle of pool water. “Time--”
   “—is a social construct,” I finished. “I know the old trope. And if we don’t observe the days, and their defined edges and proper names, how do we know when to, like, go to the dentist? Or when we’re having lunch with a friend? We can’t exactly make up day names, willy-nilly, now that we’ve all agreed that Monday is Monday.”
   “So take the good with the Mondays,” suggested Monty. “Or de-Monday Monday, somehow.”
   Monty and I watched as the towel-carrying young man suddenly placed the soft tower on the ground. Gomery pushed Monty’s books from the inflatable pink float, tossing it into the shallow end. He then proceeded to fall backwards onto the inflatable, trust fall-style, soaking much of his corduroys in the process. Closing his eyes, he hand-pedaled towards the deep end.
   “De-Mondaying Monday!” Monty shouted at his cousin, before shrugging at me. Then he gathered his textbooks and sauntered back inside the Fairwil.


Hotel Pool by Night

Few things are as mysterious and beautiful. Lit-up squares or ovals of water that promise fun and leisure and an hour of quietly floating on your back, staring out the sky.

Here's one from La Quinta Resort & Club that I rather like.

Cheers to you and 2016 and mystery and beauty and good things to come!

Season's Greetings from The Wilfair!

I did nurse a small fret, while writing the Wilfair books, as to whether readers would believe that a plucky and cheerful modern young woman like Fair Finley might exist, and whether they'd buy her whole vintage wardrobe.

It was a fantasy stretch, but not by much. Los Angeles is home to a lot of vintage-sweet residents, people who rock frocks and fedoras and look really swell doing so. Add to that a certain pluckishness, and pluckiness, that you often see 'round here, and voĆ­la: Fair Finley is found.

The Living Sisters, one of my heart-happy, mostest favoritest singing groups, captures both the plucky spirit and retro style of the city I'm mad about. They're based here, too, and their ditties delightfully capture that sunny-as-orange-juice, breezy-as-a-palm-tree LA vibe.

Here's a Christmas tune for you, one that could play in the lobby of The Wilfair Hotel this time of year.

Hugs and cookie-scented kisses from Southern California, Alysia

Wilshire & Fairfax Transformed

If you've seen any of the reader visit photos at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles -- or you're a reader who has visited me -- you've likely seen the building in the background undergoing big changes.

It's the Petersen Automotive Museum, and it stands kitty-corner to where The Wilfair Hotel and Motel Fairwil sit (in surreal spirit, of course). And a major renovation has just wrapped up at the car-filled institution.

In a word: wow. I thought The Wilfair was the most whimsical building at that intersection! Our little fictional hotel has just taken a backseat in the amazing visuals department.

Bet Sutton and Monty'll go check it out next week, when it is officially open. Prior Yates, of course, hopes one day that one of his many splashy vehicles might be displayed within its hallowed halls.

Here's a before/after (with sweet reader Rachel in the before). Same building. It's a mysterious and magical intersection, I tell you. It is.

cr: Petersen Automotive Museum

The Infinity Room Inside Us

Wilfair Friends,

I've been quite busy of late but know I've been thinking of you and the Wilfairverse and new stories and future fun.

For now, I share these (blurry) photos with you of a walk-in artwork I've fallen for: Yayoi Kasuma's 'Infinity Mirrored Room -- The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away' at The Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles.

It's a small room that's seemingly endless in space, which makes for a most spectacular illusion. There are many tiny lights, too, among the vast recesses of darkness, adding to the general wowness.

So many people want to see this recently opened installation that there is typically a several-hour wait. You get your place in line, go have lunch, and return for some mind dazzlement.

Mr. Painter and I recently went. Here's a photo with the flash on, and off (which I might like better).

Is this how you feel inside sometimes? I hope so. I suspect we all have interior infinity rooms somewhere in the vicinity of our hearts.

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