Cross-Country Odessey: Writing, Decluttering, Driving, & Cats

Greetings Everyone–What a summer it’s been!  

The excitement of:   1) Winning my first book award (Yes, DRAGON’S HARP is now the WINNER of the 2012 GLOBAL EBOOK AWARD in the Ancient Historical Literature Catagory!!! Heartfelt Thanks to Don Poynter & his wonderful staff, the gracious judges, and my fellow authors for creating such a wonderful event!)

 2) The ongoing success of DRAGON’S HARP–and the kind, insistent wishes I am receiving from fans to hurry up with it’s sequel and–

3) Last, certainly not least—my decision to pack up my earthly belongings and move back out West made for quite an eventful August :)

So here’s the big cross-country moving question: Is it truly possible to organize one’s life so that what matters most to you can actually fit into the back seats of a PT Cruiser–underneath 2 cats and their resulting paraphenalia?  For a book-clutter hound like myself, the task seemed simply impossible.  But, I had determined to save the expense of a cross-country moving van–so my remaining option was to simply “redistribute” almost everything I owned–That & hope my two cats could manage to put aside their differences long enough to share the back seats of a PT Cruiser for slightly over a week?!!! Aaargh!!!

Now I admit to enjoying a certain level of book-art-memorabilia clutter.  Friends call it “colorful”–less sympathetic visitors have been heard to mutter about chaos.  So, for me, this experience was similiar to a pressurized boot camp.  Days and nights swam by in an ever-increasing haze of “Why did I ever buy a waffle iron? For frig’s sake, I can barely manage a pancake mix?” to  ”Do I really, really need a third copy of Pablo Neruda’s collected poetry?” to the 3 am primal howl: “Ye gods, that’s  where  Great-Aunt Maude’s recipe for friggin cheese blintz’s went–why didn’t I think to look in the sock drawer before?”  

It was, looking back, an experience balanced somewhere on the spectrum between a midlife cleansing rite-of-passage and the fourth chapter of an early Stephen King novel, right after you figure out just how bad the monsters are–that they are multiplying, and there is no “out”.

But, it was all completed in under a week–with the kind assistance of my local UPS guy–who saw me coming with yet another box & who managed to heroically resist the natural tendency to roll his eyes and mutter “Jeez, Lady…”

Yes, readers, somehow, I managed to order all my worldly belongings into 6 boxes, & the bottom of a PT Cruiser..even if my packing job originally looked like the ”I Love Lucy” episode when Lucy & Ethel & Fred pack the car to California, (complete with guitars dangling from the back door, etc.), Ricky takes one look at it and explodes in one of his memorable Spanish tirades.  (Trust me, my long-suffering neighbors were treated to several of those too–even if they were in boring old English!)  

The next stop: Driving cross-country with 2 cats who don’t like each other…Now, I should preface this by adding that I have actually driven cross-country several times before, beginning with a Ken Kesey-like experience in the early 70s with several long-haired friends & lovers & assorted hitch-hikers riding in a VW van so ancient that the bottom was half-rusted out. Indeed, ”Ol’ Green” was dependable, but slow, so slow, it was easily outrun by a Midwestern friend’s car-chasing dog.  The snarky collie then had the nerve to look back at our chugging chariot with a mixture of canine distain and confusion–clearly wondering if he needed to rescue us.

But my life path has evolved since those early “Electric Kool-Aid” days and I have traversed this great nation several ways at several times in vehicles with a little more pick-up to them–though, arguably, not as much personal class as Ol’ Green.  Nor am I a total stranger re “traveling with cats”.  Most recently, my initial journey to move East in 2001 involved transporting my beloved feline, Sebastian–whose charisma extended to making friends with everyone who interacted with him–from weary waitresses to chuckling truck-drivers to  bleary-eyed Jersey toll-collectors.  However, the two cats that I aimed to travel with this time around simply 1) did not care for each other 2) did not particularly like cars. 

Did I–and they– make it safely back to the Pacific Northwest in one piece?  Indeed we did–with the help of duck-tape, Motel 6s, the kindness of many friends, & strangers, & the more then occasional appeal to Divine Providence (including, but not limited to large statues of Ganesha, Kali, & my good luck Snoopy who accompanied me in the front seat.) However, the thought of telling that tale as well as the above tonight is enough to have me reaching for the big bottle of aspirin I bought somewhere near Hannibal, Missouri..Please stay tuned for the continuation of Rachael’s big move next week–Plus, I really need to get back to writing Gwenhwyfar & Merlin’s new book–they & all of you are waiting patiently…Love to you all…  


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