Kate Whittaker will never get a husband
as long as she keeps shocking
the town with her newfangled inventions.
I’m happy to announce that one of my early books is now available on Kindle and iPad (Nook coming). This book brings back a lot of memories: some good, some bad.
While I was madly trying to meet my deadline, the Northridge earthquake struck and my house was practically destroyed. Even worse, my son’s apartment slid off its foundation and he and his wife and baby barely got out alive. Though many roads were closed, they were able to make it safely to us.
We set up a crib on the front lawn and that’s where we lived while waiting for the city inspector to tell us if the house was safe enough to enter. One thing worked in our favor; though the earthquake struck in January the weather was sunny and warm. I don’t know what we would have done otherwise.
If having your roof practically cave in while on deadline isn’t bad enough, the earthquake occurred five days before my daughter’s wedding. Out of town guests who had already arrived pretty much had to fend for themselves. I was too busy trying to find an open store so we could purchase diapers.
When phone service resumed, we tried rescheduling the wedding, but reception halls were booked for a year and my daughter didn’t want to wait that long. So, we set up “wedding central” on the front lawn next to the baby crib and got busy.
People bent over backward to help us. The church had suffered damages but we were assured it would be ready to go by that Saturday. Same for the country club where the reception was scheduled.
The news wasn’t so good for the severly damaged mall where the wedding rings waited to be sized. Fortunately, management worked with us and we were able to retrieve the rings just in the nick of time. The photographer had set up shop on a sidewalk, but he assured as he was good to go. Ditto for the caterers and musicians. Many roads and freeways were closed and one of the hardest chores was rerouting guests.
On the third day of living on the lawn, the UPS man drove up to deliver a wedding gift, and we were able to toast our good fortune with the only unbroken drinking glasses for miles around.
With the help of friends and family, the wedding went off without a hitch, I wish I could say the same about the house renovations. I called my editor and got a two week extension on my deadline (which made me wonder what would have to happen to get, say, a month.) All local hotels were filled, so we had to stay in the house while workers sawed, drilled and hammered. I lived in a dust cloud for weeks.
While in the middle of writing a scene, I looked down to find a man under my desk pouring silicone into foundation cracks. The smell alone nearly knocked me out, but it was the aftershocks that bothered me the most.