Big Excitement for the Day

I’m reading a book about a consortium that is about to release a virus that kills with acute respiratory distress. The victims gush blood and die. I was thinking about this book in relation to what is going on today, but it sounds a lot like my own novel, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, which was published the year before this one.

In my book, the disease is full-blown, and Colorado — where the disease originated — is quarantined to keep the pandemic in check. In the book I’m reading, there have only been a few test cases, and the consortium has yet to unleash the virus on the world. They’ve been working for the past ten years on a cure, and after releasing the virus into the general population, they are planning on holding the cure hostage until their demands are met. Or maybe they’ll just spring into action with a cure, which would then afford them millions in sales and stock. Either way, it’s a planned pandemic for money.

A couple things about the book interest me more than the possibility of that scenario being played out in the world today. One, the book is a Robert Ludlum book, which is why I started reading it. Not that I like his books. The truth is, I’ve never been able to get past the first chapter or two of any of his books, but I figured this was a good time to struggle through one of his books since I have nothing better to read. Only it’s not a Robert Ludlum book. Oh, it has his name on the cover, but it was written eight or nine years after his death. A true ghost writer!

The other thing that interests me is the hero took a transport from Andrews Air Force Base that landed in the Southern California Logistical Airport near Victorville before taking a helicopter to Ft. Irwin.

So many books, movies, television shows take place in Southern California or touch on the area in some way, and now, having lived there for so many years, I know what these places are. I remember watching a CSI show many years ago, and somehow the Las Vegas crew ended up in Victorville. I’d never heard of the town, hadn’t a clue where it was, and then, in a strange twist of fate, there I was. Well, not Victorville itself, but the Victor Valley area.

And several times I happened to drive the Air Expressway that took me past the turn-off to the Southern California Logistical Airport.

Not that it matters — I have read thousands upon thousands of novels where I couldn’t correctly place the story (and didn’t care) but still, it’s fun to know where places are. And for some reason, Victorville shows up a lot in stories — perhaps because of the nearness to the desert wilderness where bodies can disappear forever. But then, how to explain Bear Lake? That’s another place that often shows up in books. In fact, it was mentioned in the book I just finished, whatever that was. (Obviously, the story was utterly unmemorable. See why I was willing to take a chance on a Ludlum book?)

So, that’s the big excitement for the day — coming across “Southern California Logistical Airport” in a terrible book by a writer who is published under the name of a dead author I never liked.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

California Dreaming on Route 66

I am in Victorville. California at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, signing books at the Route 66 International Festival. Route 66 enthusiasts from all over the world are here to celebrate the Mother Road and a world gone by.

Ruins along Route 66 in California near Bagdad

The road that fueled dreams of a better life is mostly absorbed into the modern world of interstate travel, but there are still some remembrances of those nostalgic times.

Bagdad Cafe from the movie of the same name

The original Bagdad Cafe is long gone. This structure was the Sidewinder Cafe, renamed for use in the movie, and is located 50 miles west of where Bagdad once stood. Odd to see the screen come to life in this dusty, out of the way place.

Roy’s Motel and Cafe in Amboy on Route 66

Roy’s Hotel and Cafe in Amboy, California, is being restored to it’s former glory (if such an elemental structure can be considered glorious.) The route beer I got at the small store at the gas station was glorious, or perhaps I was simply thirsty. I’m sure you’ve seen similar photos before, but I took this one. Well, I took all of them.

Route Beer. What writer could resist such a pun?

Getting My Kicks on Route 66

Each year,  the California Historic Route 66 Association selects one of the eight states through which Route 66 runs to host the Route 66 International Festival. This year, the festival will be held from August 9-12, 2012 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, CA. Making it an even more historic event, the fairgrounds are on old Route 66!  With the theme “California Dreamin’ on Route 66”, the Route 66 International Festival 2012 will attract thousands of Route 66 enthusiasts, historians, fans and custodians of the “Mother Road” from across the country; including international visitors from 17 different countries, as well as local residents. And me.

I’ve been accepted as a participant in the festival, and I’ll be there signing my books on August 10th and 11th. Except for Daughter Am I, the story of a road trip from Colorado to Chicago, my books don’t have anything to do with Route 66, but I’ve had little luck with writer’s conferences and library presentations, so I’m going to try something completely different. It should be interesting. I’ll have to stay for the two days rather than do what I normally do at festivals — walk around for a few minutes then leave. (I never did know how to have fun. At least not what other people consider fun.)

So, if you’re going to be in Victorville on August 10 and 11th, be sure to stop by the fairgrounds and look me up. I’m at the Alaska Pavilion, table 10. I’ll be waiting for you.

Getting My Kicks on Route 66

Each year,  the California Historic Route 66 Association selects one of the eight states through which Route 66 runs to host the Route 66 International Festival. This year, the festival will be held from August 9-12, 2012 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, CA. Making it an even more historic event, the fairgrounds are on old Route 66!  With the theme “California Dreamin’ on Route 66”, the Route 66 International Festival 2012 will attract thousands of Route 66 enthusiasts, historians, fans and custodians of the “Mother Road” from across the country; including international visitors from 17 different countries, as well as local residents. And me.

I’ve been accepted as a participant in the festival, and I’ll be there signing my books on August 10th and 11th. Except for Daughter Am I, the story of a road trip from Colorado to Chicago, my books don’t have anything to do with Route 66, but I’ve had little luck with writer’s conferences and library presentations, so I’m going to try something completely different. It should be interesting. I’ll have to stay for the two days rather than do what I normally do at festivals — walk around for a few minutes then leave. (I never did know how to have fun. At least not what other people consider fun.)

So, if you’re going to be in Victorville on August 10 and 11th, be sure to stop by the fairgrounds and look me up. I’ll be waiting for you.