Thursday, March 5, 2009

Love Mercy Tour -- Bakersfield, CA

Wow, I forgot how beautiful this part of California is in March! On Highway 46 from Paso Robles (where I signed stock at an adorable new quilt shop–Wine Country Quilts) things are green and blooming and absolutely gorgeous. At one point on the drive there was a flock of mama sheep and lambs on one side of me and an orchard of pink-white almond blossoms on the other. I listened to Willie Nelson’s “Stardust” CD, which seemed entirely appropriate for this drive. I checked into my hotel and was able to relax some before my signing tonight. So, I was feeling pretty good–watched a little television, read the USA Today, the San Luis Obispo Tribune, looked through the room service menu (always important, though I suspected I would just drive through Taco Bell after my signing). Then I started getting ready. So, I’m brushing my teeth and (truly, I have no idea how this happened) toothpaste squirted up into my left eye. I mean, really, what’s with that? Have you ever gotten toothpaste in your eye? It hurts! And it makes it red. Ay-yi-yi. So I washed it out and, luckily, I had some Murine (because I travel with a whole drugstore in my luggage). But it took a few minutes for it to stop hurting. I just thought that was weird. So, my signing was fanstastic, as it always is in Bakersfield. There’s something about the Central Valley that just feels like home to me. I think it’s because, like me, many of the people who live here had parents and grandparents who were from the South and the Midwest, who were sharecroppers or migrant workers like my grandparents. I know that my readers in the Central Valley are gonna “get” the character of Love Mercy Johnson. She’s a special to me and I really want people to take her into their hearts. I suspect the Valley people will. If you have never been to California, if you ever do visit, try not to leave the Central Valley out of your travel plans. You just can’t completely “know” California if you don’t visit this place. And make sure to go to Dewar’s for some of their famous taffy. It is not like anything you have ever eaten. I never come here without spending forty or fifty dollars there buying it for my friends and family. Oh, I finished the recorded book ”The God of Animals” (it’s in the car and I cannot remember the author’s name–yeah, ironic). You have to read this book. It was such lovely writing and such a heart-wrenching story. It’s very serious, but I just loved it. And the last scene ruined my mascara. So, off to bed now. Fresno, tomorrow!

Happy Trails, Earlene p.s. Though the room service menu looked good, I did go to Taco Bell. I just wanted to get comfortable and not wait for my food. My publisher loves me–I’m such a cheap date!