We were holed up in San Luis Obispo County from late October until the first of February. The plan was to enjoy friends and family, rest and relax in a world where one takes a car, not a pulled trolley to the market, and everyone speaks the same language, more or less. We ended up doing some of those things, but mostly we worked on promotion for my book, Home Sweet Anywhere, which is to be published April 15 by Sourcebooks, Inc.
Although it is an exhilarating process, in many ways we found that birthing a book is more challenging than gestating a human being. Think about it: there’s not much for the producer of a baby to decide – things just happen naturally whether mom likes it or not. Negotiating the absolutely unknown territory of the book world did not allow us to let anything happen naturally. It required a singular kind of rapt attention and constant decision-making that we had not expected. And birthing a book certainly takes longer than nine months! We were so naive that we thought once the final edited version had been accepted we’d be able to kick back, maybe enjoy doing a few radio interviews, sign some books, and wait for a few dollars to come our way.
Nooooooooooooooo, that’s not exactly so. Wending our way through editorial changes, book cover creation and changes, helping to craft promotional material, hiring our brilliant Caroline Galloway to spearhead our efforts, learning to work with a publishing house, dusting off Tim’s considerable marketing skills, and stretching my ancient PR muscles didn’t give us much time to play in Central California. We worked hard every day. But we certainly found time to play and enjoy our California family, friends and meet some of our great Home Free Adventures readers!
One of our daughters, Alexandra, and her family live on a “gentleman’s” farm in the rolling hills of Central California, which has become headquarters for events and fun for our family and friends. They’ve tried their hand at raising pigs (you’ll note the excellent sausage being made by a gaggle of friends, fueled by copious amounts of the elixirs from our famous Paso Robles wine district). There are chickens a-laying down by the barn, two Parsons Jack Russell terrier who specialize in terrorizing small animals and occasionally bring home a deer leg for mommy, and I’m told that soon there will be critters living in the “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” hen house, too.
Another darling daughter, Robin, lives in Cambria, about twenty miles away, and we enjoyed Halloween fun and a slumber party with Grandmother Nana, her two girls, and the three cousins. It was such a treat for a grandmother to get all of her girls together for an overnight that included chocolate cake with raspberry filling, fancy French face masks with cucumber eye pads, a make up session and finally a movie. Mommy and her girls had lots of lovely Paso Robles wine, and we all stayed up past our bedtimes.
Our time at “home” was terrific in so many ways. Between working sessions, we had delightful dinners, lunches and parties with old friends, a visit from a pal from London, spent New Year’s Eve in Roseville, California, with our dear friend Kaye Lewis, and were happy to meet Home Sweet Anywhere friends Ashwini and Hemant Parulkar there. We even hosted sixteen in our tiny rental house for a Christmas “do”. It was the first party we’d given in a long, long time and we enjoyed it immensely. So did the guests. Some stayed ’til 1 a.m.!
And of course the background for all this fun and frivolity was the exquisite Central Coast of California. Even in its severe drought it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. It certainly was a good choice for a place to hole up, re group, and prepare for our next big adventure – what we’re billing as our L A Homage Tour. A month in the city where we both lived for many years and reared our children seems to be just what we need as we prepare for the countdown to the publication of Home Sweet Anywhere on April 15! Stand by for more from the city of the angels.