Friday, September 7, 2007

Yreka...just because!

Good to know:

at a rest stop just beyond Shasta Mountain, you can still find espresso.

This summer has been full of travel and talks for the newest release in the Art Lover's Mystery Series, Brush with Death.

Oakland-based artist half of Hailey (aka, Julie) spoke all around the Bay Area, including the San Francisco Mystery Bookstore and M is for Mystery in San Mateo, then trekked down to San Diego and Los Angeles to appear at Mysterious Galaxy and the Los Angeles Mystery Bookstore. I also spoke at several libraries, especially in San Jose, in support of the Adults' summer reading program.

The summer whirlwind came to a close with a trip up to the northernmost region of California, in what is known as Jefferson State (see below!) . My parents own 20 acres on a mountain bordering Scott Valley, and I've been visiting the area since I was four years old.

The Cabin

Two views from the cabin

In the Bay Area things change so quickly it's hard to recognize much from one's childhood; but the Scott Valley area has always seemed nostalgic to me -- it looks virtually the same as it did when we used to come into town to use the laundromat, buy Jolly Ranchers from Willard's General Store, and ooh and aah over the two-headed calf in Fort Jones' charming town museum.

Last July I went up to the cabin for a brief retreat with some friends, and dropped by the Yreka Bookstore located on the town's charming, old-fashioned Miner Street -- largely unchanged from its days as a Gold Rush center. The store was closed (it was the 4th of July, after all) but I left a note and some bookmarks. Upon my return home to Oakland, I received the sweetest phone message from Mary Ellen Rock, owner of Yreka Bookstore. "You're our very favorite author!" Mary Ellen declared in a soft south Carolina drawl. She may have been stretching the truth just a tad, but I'll take what I can get....

She invited me to visit the store to do a signing when I went north again to close up the cabin for the winter. On August 30 I arrived to find a table decorated with balloons and beautiful lilies, and homemade cookies and punch. Over the next few hours I met old friends and new -- the Heskett clan, the Enos clan -- and chatted with Pat, Michelle, and Mary Ellen of the bookstore. We were even featured on the front page of the Siskiyou Daily that Friday, complete with a color photo! (Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me--so no photos of the Bookstore Gang!)

Mary Ellen Rock has a wonderful motto (which is in reference to a popular author whose name I won't mention): "I will not stock hatemongers." Words to live by!

Ah, the beauty of a small town. I met so many wonderful people --Annette, Trina, another Mary Ellen, Dori, Deborah-- signed a lot of books, talked art and writing and local memories. Thanks to all of those in Yreka and the surrounding area for the warm welcome. See you next summer!


Michelle said...

You are our favorite author my dear! It was so much fun to have you come to The Bookstore! We're eagerly awaiting the next book and can't wait to see you again!


1/3 of the Bookstore Gang

Anonymous said...

this is very interesting. it looks like a wonderful trip and experience. i was curious, what does the seal taste like? do the honey buckets freeze in winter? also, do you know how to say "good morning" in Yup'ik?