When I met Jane Smiley on West Coast Live, she said she never reads reviews. When I told that to Chip, he said, "she doesn't have to." He has a point. I wish I didn't read them, but I do, especially when they are sent to me, as this one was by the editor of Book Page. (I also like the good ones best, who wouldn't?) Still, it is all easy to put the praise or boos in perspective.
Whoops- in case I told you wrong- or it is printed wrong someplace-- the reading in Juneau is at six on Thursday night at Hearthside in the Nugget Mall. Actually, that is a perfect time, since everyone can eat afterwards and not have to rush dinner. (Also, I hope it is raining. A sunny day would make it hard to come indoors.)
I am finally home, and spent the day taking good care of the dogs, ( a hike to Twin Coves and a good brushing) and the garden, (thinning, watering, weeding) and the family ( cooked a nice dinner and babysat Caroline while Sarah went to a meeting.) It was a pretty good day, the best kind, actually. I meant to tell you this about the organic farm in Petaluma my cousin's daughter works on-- they sell chickweed-- to eat-- it was in a pretty wooden bin right next to the green garlic and lettuce. Really, in California they eat chickweed. Makes you think about all that weeding, doesn't it?
It is definitely tilting toward home, ( I leave tomorrow) but I have to say, the city by the bay is pretty nice, especially the weather. It is sunny and warm. ( I'm staying in a fancy hotel in Union Square- all the bell hops and a whistles. But the funny thing is, nothing works- the TV remote, the Internet, the shower head. Makes me miss the old Jupiter Hotel in Portland.)
Phew, I finally arrived in my San Francisco hotel ( a lot more, er, traditional, than the Jupiter. Chocolates on the pillow here) after a whole day in the Portland Airport, and one delay after another because of weather (fog) and a mad dash over the Golden Gate Bridge at rush hour to Book Passage for the talk. It was a very nice crowd, and in a terrific bookstore frequented by local authors Anne Lamott and Isabel Allende. (Guess they were busy for my reading...
I just got to Portland, after dropping Chip off at the airport in Seattle, and found a complimentary condom on the night table, with the hotel logo on it, along with a set of foam ear plugs. Also, the decor is modern. Well, very mod, in a retro way. Molded plastic chairs, brushed steel, a platform bed. The hallways are outside, and made of astroturf. It is very clean, I don't mean to imply grungy. Just hipper than I'm used to. A lot hipper.
I do better in hotel rooms with company, and Chip is here, which means I've been sleeping in. We went to the Mariners game yesterday. They lost 11-2. I was very glad that I wasn't the mother of any of the Seattle pitchers. If it had been a Little League Game, it would have been very hard to watch. But since I wasn't related to anyone, I had a terrific time. The sun was shining, Safeco Field is beautiful, we had great seats (row 19 behind home plate) ate brats and drank a beer. Last night we had dinner with Mario and Eve, and this morning are off to church.
Just got a note from my publisher, and Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs debuted at # 14 on the Pacific Northwest Booksellers bestseller list for the week ending May 30.
That sounds almost like a country song, doesn't it? It is very nice to be in a place that feels so much like home. It's cloudy and cool and the brush on the side of the Bellingham bay trail is familiar- devil's club, buttercups, wild dogwood- and a little overgrown the way it gets in Haines.
The wedding was outside, at the Terra Blanca winery, high on a hill in the vineyard overlooking the smooth, creased brown hills of Eastern Washington. The winery is new, but had an old world feel, with lawns and gardens, huge wooden doors, stucco arches and broad terraces with slate floors.