San Diego

So I got here to my hometown of San Diego and have been doing two things: eating Mexican food/In n Out (animal style!) and signing stock. When I sign stock, I wonder if anyone will ask me for ID or at least look at my book jacket photo, but no one has yet. What if someone impersonates me and signs my books? I said I might pretend to be Clive Cussler, but what if Clive Cussler walks in and says, “Hey, Margaret Dilloway is my pen name,” is anyone going to call him out?

I was terrified that I’d forgotten how to drive on the very fast freeways. In Hawaii, the top speed is 50. People do go faster than that, but not too much faster, because it’s cramped and narrow. In California of course everyone’s doing like 80. Or at least 70. And no one stops to wave you around like they do (sometimes to traffic detriment) on the islands. In La Jolla, whilst crossing in front of an irate-looking soccer mom in a Range Rover, anxious that SOMEONE ELSE WAS TAKING HER RIGHT OF WAY so I could cross and edging ever closer into my crosswalk (really, what if I tripped?) I thought about throwing her the shaka sign, Hawaiian-style, but could not muster up the goodwill necessary to do so. Sorry. It’s hard to muster goodwill when you know that this woman would rather run over your foot than wait the extra 30 seconds necessary for me to hobble across the street in my strappy sandals.

But anyway, I had no problems on the freeways and was amazed at how quickly you can get from one point to another. I mean, in an hour I can go to La Jolla, out through PB (wow, traffic is really bad through La Jolla) and then to three or four malls. I go to the grocery store and wander about in a daze at the low sticker prices. The things you just do not appreciate when you live here.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

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