Friday, March 31, 2017

An April Fool

It has been a killer week. Three seminars in a row. The deadline for the next Molly book is staring me down and I’ve been furiously typing in the early morning before we leave for office time before the evening event.

And at the same time it is my pre birthday week. Yes, I’m an April Fool. It is a milestone birthday, though I don’t really care about the number. I am grateful to feel good and be able to juggle so many things. I usually spend the week already celebrating, but this year it seems like I’ll barely have time on the actual day.

Once the seminars are done, my son, daughter in law and your highness baby Jakey are taking off for the Monterey Peninsula to celebrate my birthday. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest that the trip will revolve around his needs. I plan to sneak off to Asilomar, the hotel and conference center that Vista Del Mar, the hotel and conference center in the Yarn Retreat mysteries is based on. I always think of something an art teacher of mine said. She advised finding a particular tree to draw rather than a generic one from your head. So when I go to Asilomar, I will be checking out the sky on that particular day. It’s mostly cloudy there, but the exact kind of clouds and if the sun comes through is specific and I’ll be taking notes.

I want to look around Pacific Grove which is the real town Cadbury by the Sea is based on. There are an interesting mix of buildings in the main area and I’d like to look at them with a fresh eye. I have some photographs of the Victorian style shops with their bright colors and fish scale siding, but seeing them in person is always better. There are a number of grand old Victorian houses on the main drag, one of which I’ve made into The Butterfly Bed and Breakfast where Dr. Sammy lives. Actually the interior is based on a huge house in my Chicago neighborhood. I babysat for the family who lived there and got very familiar with the interior.

And of course, I’ll be stopping at the restaurant that I modeled the Blue Door after. After spending so much time there in my imagination it will be strange to be inside the real place. I’m sure I will be looking for my characters to show up.

Everything is research. On a previous trip to Pacific Grove, my son went around a corner too fast and a cop pulled him over. He didn’t give us a ticket, but leaned in the passenger window and gave my son a lecture on safe driving in a small town. Meanwhile I was checking out his jacket and his demeanor. Up until then I hadn’t realized that Dane, my cop, would have been a little chilly the way I’d dressed him in just a uniform.

My son warned me we’d have to make stops on the drive to Monterey and back so that Jakey could have wiggle time out of his car seat. No problem for me. I love to stop wherever and look around. It’s always about the journey to me, not just the destination.


ldosborn said...

Happy Birthday! What a wonderful way to celebrate with your delightful family--fun days ahead!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Have a wonderful birthday! I hope you enjoy your family, and your research. I'm sure you will!