I have actually tried to find time to compose this post about five million times in the last five days, and have failed, miserably. First of all, if you are in the L. A. area and want to see me, I have finally landed and have two L.A. stops: Glendale tonight, and Montrose tomorrow.
Secondly, I wanted to post photos of my fantastic events at Kepler's, Books Inc, and the El Cerrito Barnes and Noble and realized that I spent all my time talking instead of taking photos. So I have photos . . . but they are of California, not book events.
But that's not gonna stop me from posting some. I went to Los Osos and Montana de Oro State Park before my tour began to poke around and look at cliffs as more research for Secret Novel. And it was pretty revoltingly gorgeous. Also revoltingly cold. Check this out.
After hanging in Los Osos for a day and going to the San Luis Obispo Farmers Market (ahhhh), my dad, sister, and I drove up to San Francisco. It was a four hour drive of wonder and beauty, however, I am forever scarred by seeing a sheep pasture containing two large, white dogs having their way with each other and then with the sheep. Is this a . . . California thing? I don't know. I don't want to know. Anyway, we stopped in San Jose to get Haagen-Dasz. They did not have the Belgian Chocolate Chocolate flavor, which was a crushing blow for morale. But I managed to rally in enough time to sign some stock at the Borders there anyway.
Then, San Francisco. It's quite nice how the whole outside of California is air-conditioned. I could live with that. Here's the Bay Bridge. FasTrack drivers paid $5 in tolls, I think. Regular passenger cars handed over their first born child.
Alcatraz! They say it's haunted. I'm going to do a book signing there some day and find out.
Readers were . . . pretty darn awesome. They came from a million miles away, and they asked great questions, and they laughed at my jokes. They also brought me things like bracelets and bookmarks and cookies and, insanely, giant cakes (like the girls at Eve's Fan Garden). I was sad to have to tell people that I was allergic to preservatives so I could pretty much only eat the bracelets. But it's also the sort of thing that makes you feel so grateful for people's niceness that "thank you" seems terribly inadequate, too. I believe I need a word for "whoa I lack words."
Check out le cake.
Also, food: I ate at Il Fornaio, which I think means: "The Cheese Eaters", and at Samovar, which I think means "Try the Scones" and both were amazing. I also had a bagel with homemade cream cheese with Heidi Kling, one of my author friends (hi, Heidi!). (Heidi also cleverly managed to find me more cliffs to look at while using creative navigation techniques best left to the experts). I had a perhaps unfair expectation of San Francisco food at this point, so when I got a few tacos from a place near my hotel and realized I could not tell what animal the meat had originally been, I was slightly more shocked than I should have been.
I think I also learned a lot about San Francisco. Basically, that everyone who lives there loves it. That every night, a monstrous fog rolls in and drops the temperature like a mass haunting, and everyone is cool with this. That they have high tolls on their pretty bridges. They have good food and steep hills that would not be good for driving stick shifts on. There is an insane number of VW buses and Porsches per capita. They are tolerant, friendly, drive better than East Coasters, and do not drink sweet tea. It was a good place. I liked it. A lot.
And now I am in L.A. There are cars and palm trees everywhere and my taxi driver, upon hearing that I came from a town of 1,200 people, intimated that we must date our siblings. I am looking at you, L. A., with one eyebrow raised. Don't make me raise the other one.