Beginning the Long Run

Kage Baker never wanted to rush into the winter season. September was, in her mind, far too soon to be thinking about December’s Extreme Christmas. And there was still Halloween to fill October with black and orange, fallen leaves and candles, monsters and ghosts … the last quarter of the ritual year is awfully crowded, and Kage refused to short-change any of the holidays.

But we do have to start somewhere and somewhen: that was always my job. I can start planning Dickens Fair, and still have mad enthusiasm for Harvest Home, Samhain and Thanksgiving. I may be hunting up my hoops and purple satin, but I’ll be packing by the light of orange faerie lights and drinking iced coffee from a skull mug. I have strung holly and ivy on the walls of the Green Man while eating turkey sarnies and pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving. And I’m one of those hugely annoying people who happily sings Christmas Carols all year round.

So today, our fearless, peerless leader Kevin Patterson sent me the first rough bllueprints for our little section of London. We are moving across the street, which will be interesting but not too hard. We can flip the Parlour in mirror image, and warn our guests about the strange entities suddenly appearing in the new angles of the walls … and this will give us early warning, to make sure we don’t accidentally cut a critical yard off the Kitchen width, so the ladies who cook have to imitate paper dolls trying to wedge themselves in there. It’s nice to make sure we have doors and windows, too. One year, those got left off: it was quite a scramble to refit the Parlour so that we weren’t doing silhoettes in a cracker box.

I am especially looking forward to the Dickens run this year, specifically because of the travel. For the first time in 3 or 4 years, I will have my car back in working order. I’ve been renting cars at need, which worked fine; especially as I keep getting too ill to drive for long distances. But at the moment, my health is better. And today, I finally got my beloved PT Cruiser running again! I know the PT Cruiser is not regarded as a classic car, but it was what I wanted from the moment I set eyes on one. Kage loved it, too. And she made sure I had that car, all paid for and completely mine, before she died.

So now it’s alive again – with a brand new transmission, to the amusement of the AAMCO mechanic. They don’t get many manual transmissions to work on anymore, and very few of those are owned by middle-aged women. He was impressed. He also liked my telling him how the LAPD suggests that a manual transmission is the cheapest anti-theft device going – which is true, Dear Readers, as so few of the young, cool, cutting edge thugs have learned how to drive one. Ha ha.

I then spent half the day fighting my way through the webs and illusions of the DMV, and so by next week the Cruiser will be re-registered, re-insured, and on its merry way. And so will I. With a brand new driver’s license, as well, since over the last insane year my license vanished somewhere in the tide of chaos that rolled through our house.

I suspect I threw it out in some frantic cleaning frenzy. Alternately, I figure I will find it in about a month, packed away with my comic pressure socks from the last BayCon and weeks after I’ve replaced the thing. It hardly matters, really; I’ve never had a license that didn’t make me look like an aging troll, so new or old makes no difference. As long as it gets me through Security checkpoints, all is well.

So, round and round we go. I’m trying to establish, once again, old habits that have enriched my life in the past. Like writing. Like having a working car. Like racing the moon’s rising down the shadowed road through half a hundred alternate Universes, in my black pearl of a car, equipped with the pewter figure of a pirate pointing the way forward with his cutlass on the dashboard. And with the zombie bobble-head buccaneer in the back window, draped in multi-coloured Mardi Gras beads. Accessories are everything in a cool car …

Life has always been so very rich. And so it will continue for a while.



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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6 Responses to Beginning the Long Run

  1. gerryccarroll says:

    What a great image, chasing the moon in a cool car.


    • Kate says:

      I love my PT Cruiser. Not to the extant of naming it – I assume that, like a cat, it has its own name and doesn’t need my silly human impulses. Instead, I cherish the idea that the soul of my first vehicle (a LUV mini-truck) has transmigrated into all the vehicles I have had since. We have a long, convoluted, deeply spiritual committment. The Cruiser remembers the road to Fair, and all the amusing disasters we have encountered on it.


  2. Kara says:

    That is the coolest bobble head EVER


    • Kate says:

      Thank you, Kara! Kage picked it. It fastens on to the cargo cover over the way back of the Cruiser (it has a small hatchback area) with museum-quality Velcro. That allows it to be removed to unpack stuff, and change flat tires.


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