Kage Baker habitually ran North when things were difficult.
Not tangible things, things she could work on and solve; not the sorts of things that would yield to A Plan. She ran from the foggy things, that cheat and won’t come to grips with one. The unworthy adversaries, like writer’s block and depression and other people being nuts. She always said, “I’m not a terrier, I’m a gazelle. Time to scarper.”
I was the gazelle’s chauffeuse.
But the last week or two have been difficult. I seem to have slipped back to one of the earlier stages of grief, and have been floundering in the Slough of Despond. My dreams are bad. Nothing tastes good. I can’t write; I can barely read, and my nose in a book is usually the default state of existence for me.
So I’m running North. I have an excellent reason: the first birthday celebration of a friend, Alexander Kage Paladini. He is just about ready to become a Toddler of Terror, and there is nothing like some time with a happy baby to make one feel better.
The long drive through weirdness and myth will help, too. I-5 demands all one’s attention. I always cheer up when I’m on it, because there is just no room or time to brood. Autumn will be leaning lightly on the long fences out there; the floating islands of cotton will have begun to surface, and the newly harvested fields will smell of corn and melons.
So off I go. Hopefully, there will be dispatches from the road. But first and foremost, I must run.