Writer on the Go

This Friday and Saturday I'm hanging out with Reyna Grande (or as she's known around my house, American Book Award Winner Reyna Grande) and Jamie Martinez Wood (a heck of a gal) at the, get ready now 'cause it's mouthful, Latina Leadership Network of California Community Colleges 2009 Conference* sponsored by the Los Angeles Community College District, of which I'm a product. (Go Vaqs!)

I've been to a few events where I've had to tote along my own books, and let me tell you, books, even trade paperback ones, are ungainly if you're carrying more than five. (I always try to be optimistic as to how many I'll actually sell so I bring six copies along with me, two of each title.) I've noticed that Reyna, Jamie and Mary Castillo have these handy thingies on wheels that they pull along behind them with ease and minimal sweat. It keeps all their stuff tidy and makes setting up breezy. So I figure I need something on wheels to make my life easier and to keep me from sweating and bending over so much. (I know what you're thinking!).

It's always been one of my minor fantasies (not that kind) to have a reason to own a granny cart (politically incorrect name, but that's what I grew up calling them). I could have used one when I lived in San Francisco and had to lug my laundry to the local wash 'n fold, but for whatever reason I suffered without one. Not any more!

I'm making a Target run (again) especially to buy a bright red Trimmer Heavy Duty Wheeled Cart, $29.99, left. They also have a smaller version in red, if the Trimmer turns out to be an SUV of granny carts. Once I get it, it means I can bring along loads of copies of my books to events and will be able to roll them back to my car with minimal bending and grunting, but plenty of tears.

I'm also hoping to pick up a pack of black Paper Mate Flair felt tip pens. They're my preferred writing and signing instrument. And they're pretty popular because people borrow and forget to return them to me.


*Reading Reyna's email about the event a little more carefully, I just realized besides trying to entice people to buy our books, we're doing a panel on Friday, no problem with that, and we're doing a reading on Saturday. I avoid doing readings from my books at all costs, they make me dorky, OK, dorkier. This will be my second reading of my career. Let me just take this opportunity to apologize in advance to the attendees of the Latina Leadership Network of California Community Colleges 2009 Conference.

03/04/09 Post Script:
As with many good things, it turns out that red granny carts are a seasonal item. Seems lots of people like to give their granny's grocery carts for Christmas instead of, like, driving their butts over to her house to take her to the supermarket or doing the shopping for her. My closest Target was out of them full stop but did have a Room Essentials Laundry Cart, $19.99.

Dejected, I put the cart in my cart and shuffled over to a checker to pay. I came home and took no pleasure in watching the harpies on The Real Housewives of New York City try to socially out maneuver each other. (Except for Beth, she's almost normal despite all the problems she has.) The more I looked at the picture on the box, the more I knew it wouldn't do. Not only was is not red, but it didn't have front wheels. Sure, I was sort of intrigued by the two level configuration and that it required no tools (!) to assemble. But it wasn't a granny cart and I figured if I was going to be a huge dork and tote my stuff around in one instead of getting what I should, I shouldn't settle for almost good enough. So back it went, today. Except I returned it to the other Target where I found a black (yawn, but falls into my personal motto) Whitmore Utility Cart, $19.99.

Now I need to find one of those little license plates with my name on it. You think I'm kidding? Oh, how I wish I was...

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