Sunday, June 11, 2017

Seasickness, A Singing Cabbie & a Signing in Seattle

Last weekend I got to go to a local signing. Well, local being a relative thing. I still left the country, but instead of packing up and heading to the airport, I got to pack up and head to the downtown harbour to take a catamaran ferry to Seattle. It was three hours of clear sailing, pleasant conversation, and views that were simply amazing. I even got to see a pod of Dall's porpoises swim by, and then we crossed paths with a submarine heading out of Seattle harbour. The sun was shining, the ocean was calm, and we had food and drink delivered to our seats. I got to take my best friend with me on this little adventure, too, so what's not to love?

This is the vessel that took me to Seattle. Pretty, huh?

For those of you who have never been to Seattle, Washington (This was my first trip) it's not your typical coastal city, with nice gentle slopes down to the water. Oh no. It's all hills. Steep ones. Long ones. The kind that are fun to walk down, and not nearly so much fun to walk back up again later, like say, if your hotel is perched at the top of one. (Guess where my hotel was...)

Those kinds of hills make for an interesting cab ride, too. Especially if your cabbie introduces himself as "Ted Narcotic" and has hair that clearly hasn't been restyled since the Grunge scene hit Seattle. We had a thrill-a-minute ride through Seattle's downtown streets, while he shared his opinion on politics, whether magic mushrooms were safer than marijuana, and hey, did we want to hear his CD? "Cookies cookies, cookies, milk, milk, milk" was the title track, followed by the unforgettable "Sarah is a Baristanaut and her coffee is hot." As we departed his cab, we were handed a copy of his CD: "420 on the 520." Somehow, that man is going to wind up as a character in a future book. *grins*

In case you don't believe me... This is his CD cover.

The signing itself was a fun but very busy day. Set up was at 9:30 am, and the event was a good twenty-minute drive from the hotel. I was lucky enough to have a local reader offer to pick me up and take me to the event, which meant I had no risk of crossing paths with Ted the taxi driver again. (Thank you, Kandi!)

It wasn't until the signing started that I discovered that Washington is an "open carry" state. How did I learn this? Many of the cover models were sporting guns, and I'm  not talking about their very impressive biceps. As a Canadian, this was a matter of great fascination for me, and I swear, anytime I was staring at the models, it was purely about seeing handguns up close in public and not the way they filled out their shirts and jeans. Honest!

I had a great day talking with readers and authors, and before I knew it, the day was gone and it was time to head back to the hotel.

Sunday started out beautifully. The sun was shining, the wind was calm, we got down to the ferry dock with plenty of time to wander around the harbour and enjoy the day. The first sign of trouble came when they started the announcements once we boarded. When they mention not once, not twice, but three times that anyone who experiences motion sickness can go get free medication at the gift shop, you have to know it's not going to be an easy crossing. When they started reminding us that if we have to leave our seat, keep "one hand for yourself and one for the boat" at all times and we hadn't even left the harbour yet, I knew it was time to take a second dose of medication. (I get sea-sick at an I-max 3D movie screening, my inner ear and I have a bad relationship.)

Sure enough, by the time we hit open water, the ferry started to pitch and roll like a drunken bronco trying to ditch his rider. According to Google, the waves that afternoon were between 6 and 8 feet, with 20-knot winds. What does that mean? It means yours truly was a remarkable shade of green for most of the trip home, and while I didn't kiss the ground when we got back to land, I may have cheered softly as I staggered to the car.

I will be keeping my feet firmly on the ground for the next two months until I fly across the country to attend Romancing the Capital in Ottawa in August. Until then I plan on writing, enjoying my summer, and staying far, far away from the ocean. (which isn't easy when you live on an island.)

There's one other thing I will be doing this month, and that's celebrating the release of my new book, Three of a Kind, Book #4 in The Drift Series. If you want a sneak peak, check out my website to read Chapter One.

No comments:

Post a Comment