Studly Doright and I decided to get away for a couple of days. Our anniversary is on the 30th, so it seemed a good way to celebrate 45 years of marriage. I was going to say “wedded bliss” but that count is only around 20 years. I jest. Mostly.
We left Doright Manor under sunny skies, but about an hour from our destination we ran into a torrential rainstorm complete with lightning and thunder. Visibility was down to about fifteen feet and I had a firm hold on what we lovingly call the “oh shit” handle.
We’re headed to Jacksonville where we have reservations at the Margaritaville Resort on Jacksonville Beach. Hoping the storm isn’t a harbinger of what’s to come. Of course Studly is sick of hearing me sing “Stormy Weather,” so he might just pull over and kick me out. If you see me hitchhiking on Interstate 10 west of Jacksonville, throw me a towel, please.
Okay, so “We’re Number One“ is a lot cooler and easier to chant, but for one brief shining moment on Sunday morning my first novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, came in at number 384 on Amazon in the Women’s Action and Adventure Fiction category.
And I know what you’re probably thinking—“Leslie, dear, there are likely only 384 entries in that very narrow category…”
However, having tracked my book since it was first published I can assure you that’s not the case. I broke into the top 500 about a month ago after being well above 1,000 for the longest time. And even as I write this I’m back to #505, so it’s always changing. I can’t get too cocky.
I’m wondering if there’s a category in which Mayhem might be number one? How about Women’s Action and Adventure Fiction Featuring Quirky Jugglers? I’d almost bet I’d be in at least the top five.
In the past six months I’ve had four flat tires—the most recent one just last night. I’m closing in on 65 years on this planet, and I’ve been driving since my 16th birthday. Up until this year I’d had a total of one flat tire. One.
Being the excellent amateur detective I am, I looked at the whole flat tire situation analytically. What location or locations do I frequent where one might end up with a nail in one’s tire? The logical conclusion is my favorite lunch spot. Damn. I’m there almost every day. And their parking lot isn’t great.
I guess I could park in the meat market’s lot next door to the vegan cafe I love. No irony there, right? I’m just tired of spending time at the tire repair shop.
I’ve always been a worrier—the kind of person who worries if she doesn’t have anything to worry about. And now that my life has been turned upside down, I realize how useless my worries have been.
My daughter, who might be the strongest person I know, tells me she’s taking life one day at a time now that her oldest child, my oldest grandson, has been diagnosed with a persistent and stubborn neuroendocrine tumor.
I think that one day at a time thing is a mighty fine idea. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t think about what we might’ve done differently the day before or the day before that. Just live and be grateful for every day.
I want a small camper van. It’s become my obsession. If I had one I’d drive it to Illinois where I could stay close to my daughter and her family without being in their way. I’d park it at the hospital where it could be a home away from home for me or whoever else in our support group needs one.
The only requirements for my camper are a bed and a potty. Actually I need a potty. The bed is optional.
Today I began actively shopping for a camper van, and let me tell you, they aren’t cheap. In fact, they’re the opposite of cheap. Even the cheap ones aren’t cheap. I told Studly Doright how much the one I really want costs. His response: “Sell more books.”