Tomorrow I promise to put up part two of my California travel report (The Family Visit, and a final goodbye to Germambie). But for today, I have a special treat. I've been reading my author pal Kate George's first book, Moonlighting in Vermont, and her second book, California Scheming, just came out. So I asked her if she would come say hi, and talk to y'all a bit while I try to get over my cold enough to write tomorrow's blog in a semi-coherent fashion. Be sure and leave a nice comment for her, so she feels welcome, yes?
Take it away, Kate!
When I read that our Deborah was going to San Francisco I was extremely jealous. Not only is she going to a convention I would find interesting and entertaining, Deb is also going to California – The land of golden sunshine where I was born and where the majority of my remaining family live. It seems like forever since I was there, but in reality I was there last summer hanging out with my Aunts Sue and Jude and My Grandma Hilda. Gramma died shortly after I left, which wasn’t a surprise. She was getting close to one hundred years old and she had congestive heart failure.
She was good and worn out physically, but she was as lucid as I am… what am I talking about? She was more lucid that I ever was. Witty and clear headed. Hilda lived a good long life and was spared loosing any part of her mind. Her sight was pretty much gone, but she could still play a mean game of bridge. I will miss her forever but I figure she’s hanging out with my mom now so it’s all good.
You can probably tell by this post I’m not a plotter. I start in one place and my mind wanders around until it seems like a good place to end. I had no idea I was going to talk about my grandma. My thoughts about California were supposed to lead me to my latest book, California Schemin’, which is partially set in California.
I did quite a bit of my growing up in California. I was born in Sacramento and as soon as I could walk I would take off all my clothes and run giggling down the sidewalk. When my mother was alive she used tell stories about how I was a nudist. Of course when I was two we moved to a cattle ranch in the country north of Sacramento and apparently the nudity wore off. You can be nude all you want in the country and nobody says boo. Where’s the fun in that?
My attention getting tactics transformed and I started bringing the feral cats into my bedroom. I am horribly allergic to cats. (My apologies to Deb who has a house full of the lovely creatures. I love them but I cannot pet them.) I tried to hide my nefarious cat smuggling activities but two things would give me away, my eyes would swell up and I’d have a terrible time breathing. I’d be gasping for air, scratching at my puffball eyes and telling my mother “No. I didn’t bring a cat in the house.” She would then go into my room and find the terrified creature hiding in some dark corner. Furious cleaning would then ensue.
There is nothing like the wrath of a mother who is having to sterilize everything in her daughters room. That didn’t, however, keep me from bringing the kittens in the house. I was immune to my mother’s anger. Or if not immune, so enamored of little creatures that I couldn’t help myself. If it was living and I could catch it, I sneaked it into my room.
When I was six my mother bought a poodle puppy who we named Black Molly Brown after The Unsinkable Molly Brown. But the puppy was black, not brown so I insisted on the noir part of the name. I wasn’t supposed to be allergic to poodles, and truthfully I did pretty well with Molly except when I let her lick my face. That tended to cause hives and itchy eyes - but not the asthma, so I guess that was an improvement.
Look at that. I’ve managed to ramble on for almost six hundred words with out really talking about why I set California Schemin’ in California. The short answer? British Columbia Schemin’ just didn’t have the same ring to it.
Award winning writer, Kate George, is the author of Moonlighting in Vermont and California Schemin’ (due out March 1, 2011). She lives in Vermont with Dogs, kids, and currently, snow. You can reach her at www.kategeorge.com. Her books are available at www.mainlymurderpress.com, amazon.com or can be ordered from any bookstore.