I am in California with Patty for four days, accompanying her to a reading a book signing in Marin County, just over the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco. Apart from the fact that I keep calling it 'Frisco, which Patty finds very annoying, I think she's glad that I am here. Actually, I know she's glad. We had a great time last night in Sausalito, at Studio 333 and its Why There Are Words reading series. There were six readers, all of them very accomplished writers. But I think Patty sold the most books at the end. Tapas at a nice restaurant/bar beforehand. Strolling outside in the night afterwards, the indigo shapes of the darkened mountains visible darkly against a sky of visible stars.
Today, we drove the short distance to Mill Valley, one of those older northern California communities of brick and wood buildings organized around a square -- like Sonoma, most famously. It has a loose, informal feel, which on closer inspection you realise can only be sustained by very high levels of local disposable income. Patty was signing books and promoting "The Temple of Air" and Elephant Rock Books at Depot Bookstore, in the middle of town. Result: more books sold, lots of cards handed out.
I love California.