I'm a novelist

Friday, November 30, 2007

I did it. I'm done with National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 words in under 30 days.

I am so freaking happy right now. I really didn't know if I could do it.

But now? Now I'm a novelist.

Taking flight

Monday, November 26, 2007
Flight to SFO

I'm back from Thanksgiving vacation.

It was a whirlwind trip to San Francisco, then Sacramento, then Lake Tahoe, then San Francisco and finally back to Palm Springs.

I was so happy in San Francisco, like blindingly, breathlessly happy. I'm in love with that city and in love with how it inspires me, amazes me and fills me with pure joy. It's no wonder that all the great writers, chefs and artists have lived in San Francisco. It beats with creative juices.

I almost kissed the sidewalks. And I probably would have, if it wasn't for the urine.

On a jet plane

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Leaving tomorrow for a Thanksgiving trip to San Francisco.

My father flew out to Northern California earlier this week, so he's already there waiting, with my brother, my sister-in-law and my three beautiful nieces.

After a couple days of hearty family time, Jason and I are spending a couple days in the city by ourselves. We're staying at the coolest hotel -- each floor is decorated like either earth, air, water or fire. There's also a meditation room, which will be so nice and calming after an especially hectic week. (Isn't that a fabulous idea? I wish more places had a meditation room. What would the mall be like with meditation rooms? Or schools? So much nicer, I bet.)

We're also going to be eating our way around the bay. Dim sum for brunch, oysters at the marketplace for lunch, organic soul food for dinner, plus huckleberry margaritas, pear sidecars and saki martinis. Lovely.

Oh, and there's this candy store in Japantown that we discovered during our last trip into the city. They sell these amazing chocolate-filled marshmallows -- and I don't even like marshmallows, if that tells you anything about how good they are. I'm totally going to stock up on those.

While we're gone, our wonderfully kind neighbors, Chris and Jeff, will be taking care of the cat and checking in on the house.

I'm thankful for so many things.

A new perspective

Thursday, November 15, 2007
I'm working on a long-term project about a local family and I'm spending a lot of time inside their home.

Today they showed me freshly-developed photographs that the 3-year-old snapped with a disposable camera.

They were marvelous, the whole world as seen through the eyes of a child. Most of the shots were of kneecaps or shoes. One was a crotch shot in a highchair. Another was a picture of mom driving, taken from the backseat of the car.

When I was little, I used to hang upside-down off the couch or bed, just to change my point of view. I used to wonder what it would be like to be big. Now sometimes I forget what it feels like to be small.

Southern Hospitality

Friday, November 09, 2007
Marilyn and I were in the lobby of our hotel in Memphis. We had already called three cab companies, and even though each one of them assured us they would be there, after 45 minutes we were still waiting and waiting ...

Finally the hotel receptionist said, "Y'all still waiting?"


"Hold on. I'll get you someone."

About five minutes later, she surfaced with the maintenance man.

"This is Mitchell," she said. "He's gonna drop you off."

Mitchell walked ahead to his car to clean out the back seat.

Marilyn, who hails from San Francisco, hissed at me, "I don't know about this. Getting into a car with a strange man ... it just feels weird."

"It's OK, sweetie," I said. "This is the South,"