Third Weekend of Dickens

Kage Baker never worried about how long we would be on the road. She didn’t want to still be there in certain conditions – storms, the dark, UFO attack, seismic events, caterpillar migrations (ever been in one?) – but the duration of the journey was not one of her concerns. As she said, “We drive until we get there – what else is there to do? If we want to get there at all, we have to drive. There is no use complaining about it.”

Ah, a wise and mature statement. Surprising, for one who in childhood was the High Priestess of “Are We There Yet?” The older she got, though, the more interested Kage was in The Process, and that made our endless journeys a lot more interesting.

She never worried about getting on the road in time to arrive at a given destination ON time, either. For her, time was fluid and she moved through it like a pearl through Prell – stately, unconcerned, uninvolved. Slowly. I used to keep all the clocks in the car and the house 10 minutes fast, because otherwise we never got anywhere on time. Kage knew I did it, too, but her grasp of time was so amorphous she never worried about it – she took all clocks at face value. It was why the trick worked at all …

But I worry about all these things. I can’t blame Kage, though I did spend the last 25 years making sure The Author got places on time. No, I just have this picky, paranoid attitude.

This is the third weekend of performance for Dickens Fair, which means the 6th weekend driving North. This is the weekend when I begin wondering if it isn’t time I took up cross-country skiing, or some other less stressful hobbies. When the sight of my corset makes my ribs whine. When I realize my main goal for the New Year is to sleep until the flowers bloom and little singing bunnies appear outside my snow-cave with hot coffee in a pretty cup …

It won’t be until next week that I look around the Parlour and contemplate domestic arson.

But today I have to pack (make sure I have clean linen for three days! Pack some real underwear this week!) get the beef roasts in the cooler and the tea in a box, fill the gas tank, go to the bank, replenish the bird’s travel cage. Get a long stick and poke my nephew-copilot awake.

Then drive for 6 hours to lovely Vallejo and the incredibly hospitable Rettinhouses, and brave the dog storm that is Curly … no one is quite sure what Curly is, except he’s shiny jet black, has curly fur everywhere but his long hound nose, is larger than a coffee table and can fly. I think aliens left him. Aliens who did poor research on how to make a dog. He has feet like a Clydesdale horse, feathers and all. He saw his toes  for the first time last week and was surprised. He’s wonderful.

Anyway – I am off. Who knows what wonders await me on the Kessel Run through the San Joaquin Sea?

Tomorrow: one of those entries with adrenalin depletion and Whomp Rolls.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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2 Responses to Third Weekend of Dickens

  1. Mark says:

    And while you are driving like the Dickens…
    I’ll be trying out the Amtrak service North via some hoarded bonus miles, which will let me write (but not post) from the lounge car. Pity I don’t have a smoking jacket & a fez.

  2. Kate says:

    Well, they wouldn’t let you smoke anyway, alas. And I shudder to think what wearing a fez might get you. Have a good time, though! Wave at the emptiness for me!

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