For all who wander are not lost

In the past few weeks, Jennie and I have taken a couple of road trips relating to my historical novel, Five Hundred Moons. These were short, two-day excursions—just long enough to feel rejuvenated and offer some relief from our daily routine.
Our first getaway was to the small valley town of Colusa, located about sixty miles north of Sacramento, just west of the Sutter Buttes. Why Colusa? Well, my editor has a good friend, Cynthia, who lives there and is in charge of arranging speakers for the local library. Cynthia contacted me and asked me to give a book talk, to which I wholeheartedly agreed, as my book talks are far and few between.
After leaving Highway 80 in Vacaville, we drove a straight shot up Highway 505 and 5, accompanied by intermittent rain and wind. We saw miles and miles of agricultural land, vast orchards of blossoming almond trees, and expanses of rice fields. It was a type of beauty we don’t get to see much in Santa Cruz County unless you count the strawberry fields in Watsonville and the Brussells sprouts farms on the North Coast.

Cynthia and her husband Jim treated us royally. Before the event, they took us to dinner and later introduced us to the many guests at the library. About forty people attended. My fifty-minute talk was well received, with lots of interaction between myself and the audience. I spoke a little bit about my personal life, explained the basic storyline of the novel, discussed my writing journey, and read three passages from the book. I also entertained a long question-and-answer session. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed myself! And, Cynthia gave me a check for speaking! My first (and probably last) paying gig!

Our second trip was to the Monterey Bay Peninsula and Big Sur. For the past year, a friend of mine who is very social-media savvy has told me I need to post a series of videos on Instagram to get more followers and boost my book sales. I figured now was a good time to visit some of the physical sites in Five Hundred Moons and give a short recitation as to their importance in the storyline. Jennie filmed five segments—the Carmel River mouthMission San CarlosGarland Park in Carmel ValleyMonastery Beach, and Whaler’s Cove at Point Lobos—all gorgeous spots.

It was a fun exercise and made for a good excuse to visit and explore these environs. The hike in Garland Park was especially fun, and Point Lobos is always inspiring. The Carmel Mission is where we were married, which brought back some great memories, and the Carmel River Mouth holds a prominent place in Ohlone-Spanish history. It’s too bad that after viewing the snippets my voice is barely audible in some videos due to crashing waves and/or strong winds.

Jennie and I don’t fly much, not really to help save the planet, but more so because we like to take small road trips in and around California. Jennie finds it hard to be away from the grandkids for very long, and now that they are getting older, there seems to be a never-ending parade of soccer, baseball, football, ballet, gymnastics, and surf events which require our unwavering attendance and encouragement. Such is our wonderful life right now, as long as we can get away for a few days here and there!

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Photos by Jennie and Buzz Anderson. Copyright 2024. All rights reserved.

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