Author Life

Recently I had the pleasure of going back to California for a Meet the Authors fundraiser. My mom is on the Library Foundation board, and invited me back home for the event. I thought I'd document my experience.

First of all, I took my eldest daughter to school, and then hubby, the 4yo, and I drove to SLC Intl Airport. I was afraid I wouldn't make my flight, because the line through security was like Disneyland, no joke. But the guards came through and announced they were bringing on the morning K-9 team and we'd start moving pretty quick after that.
I wanted to take a picture of my vibram boots, suitcase, and sexy computer bag when I got closer to X-Ray time, but the line really was moving fast.
I got through without a hitch, and felt a lot better once I made it to the gate.
I've been flying almost my entire life. I started flying alone when I was 6 or 8, I forget. I'd go from Utah to Boston or New York (and then to Boston) every summer to be with my family. So I'm no stranger to traveling. The only thing I can say is that having been a student of Taekwondo for the past year has giving me a lot more confidence, and lessened my anxiety (the prescription drugs help too, lol)
Anyway, my first plane was to Vegas. Now you'd think gate C would be close to gate B, but McCarran is a whole other beast! It's literally a half mile walk from C to B. I had an hour layover though, and was thoroughly delighted to see Jersey Mike's Subs between the gates. So I stopped and got a nice, hot Reuben. They also have these super cool kiosks all over the airport that have ACTUAL FOOD. I'm pretty sure I even saw sushi in one. So I swung by and snagged a vitamin water, and pretzels & hummus too. It was a feast
Oh, by the way, step had been going around my town, and I was sick. So that hot reuben was pretty fantastic.
Then it was on my way to LAX, California.
I don't know about you, but whenever I see LAX, I think LAXATIVE.
Now, being sick, I was carrying a few packets of Emergen-C with me and liked to mix them up with sprite. So when the steward came by to take my order, I asked for a can of sprite. He asked if I'd like him to shake it up for me.
He was trying to be funny.
The irony was that the flight was so turbulent, it probably did the job for him. No sooner had the crew taken our orders than the captain ordered them to their seats for the duration of the flight.
Once we landed, I met my mom as the bottom of the escalator and we were off.
Guess what? She was sick too!
Don't we make a pair?
From LAX it is a 3 hour drive to the little urban-rural town of Lompoc ("lawm-poke", not "lamb-pack")
Finally,  I get to show you a little diddy on the drive. When you think of California, you probably think surfers, palm trees, and sunshine.
I had forgotten how green the place was this time of year. When I posted this on my Facebook page, I joked "Ireland or Cali?"

That's my mom talking & coughing, and me demanding Sushi! I was started really looking forward to finally meeting my mom's friends, Bill & Lynn. Plus Asian food. Plus SUSHI!

We stopped for a few things on the way home. My mom had to work, and I didn't want her to have to worry about feeding me, so I grabbed some protein powder & coconut milk, and went on our merry way. 
We went to Applebees for dinner, and that's when I got the first chance to call home. Hubby answers, and proceeds to tell me how all Hell broke loose!
The 4yo proceeded to puke in the car on the way home. Poor man pulled over to the gas station and did the best he could until they got home and he could get her comfortable. They had to pick up sissy (the 8yo) later that afternoon, and 4yo started puking again. Yay?
A day later the 8yo would come home early from school with the gambu (local bug) and slept the rest of the day. Sheesh! My poor husband. Doesn't he get punished enough putting up with me?

Anyway, Ma & I were pretty beat after dinner and went to bed. The following morning I parked my butt on her couch to get some work done, and couldn't help staring at the voluptuousness of the neighbor's orange tree!

I seriously could've reached through the window and grabbed one. Later on, my mom said the neighbor lady didn't care, so I totally scored a couple. 

Even though we were sick, Ma & I did a lot of running around. I started feeling a little bit like her prize pony as I got shown off to all her important friends. My mom's always been good at making the right connections, and sometimes it's phone calls like:
"Who was that?"
"Oh, that was just the Mayor."
"JUST the Mayor?!"

Friday I got to visit my old high school and talk to the kids about the importance of writing and how being an indie author/publisher these days is a legitimate career choice. Still trying to wrap my head around the fact that these guys were infants when I graduated.

Saturday was the big event, and I helped Ma & the library foundation set up for the event. 

This is before I realized:
"Hey, May, y'know what would be hilarious? If we got a GIANT CHICKEN for the centerpiece."
She was kinda flustered at that point, and got down with her New York accent. "Where the $#@% are we going to find that?"
"Um... at a lawn decoration store?"
"There's no place like that 'round here"
Until her friends reminded her we could check the dollar store. My mom is a dollar store hound. She instantly relaxed. "Oh, oh. Okay. We could do that."
And y'know what folks? We found that giant chicken. And some real egg shells, dyed and filled with confetti. I wish I had a picture of the finished table, cuz it was adorbs!
Also I do this trick with a dish rag where I can fold it to make it look like a dead chicken. So when it was my turn to get up and speak, I told everyone to look for a dead chicken under their table. I hid one of my folded chicken rags under a table, and a little boy found it. He won a copy of A Piece of Sky and started reading it right away! I was thrilled.

And y'know what else was in that room besides awesome authors & patrons? ART! I just had to take pictures of all the best ones.

I love those metal pieces with the birds. My grandma used to do something similar with copper.
I made sure to take a picture with the names on the tags of the artists, so if you enlarge the pictures you'll see. I saved the best for last though. I was absolutely in love with this piece:

Raccoon gryphon. By an EIGHTH GRADER!  I was floored. Keep an eye on this kid. They're going places. 

By Sunday, my journey drew to an end. Ma had to work again, my flight was really early, and so I took the bus from Santa Barbara to LAX. 

That's me. Unamused to be awake at 5 in the freaking morning. I got up at 3:45a so I could make the 5a bus, an hour away from my mom's place.

But, I did have this to enjoy on the way to LAX. Sunrise over California:

And again, it was back from LAX to Vegas. This is me being a dork in McCarran, making that long-@$$ walk from B gate to C gate. I'm lip syncing Danke Schoen which you can barely hear if you turn the volume up.

And because I'm a dork, I completely walked past my gate. 

I do things like that when I have too much time on my hands between layovers. When I was 15, I had a layover in the Atlanta, GA airport and I rode the train for an hour, because I could. 

But here comes my favorite part, you guys. 

πŸ’–πŸ’–There's no place like home πŸ’–πŸ’–

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