While digging through my hard drive in search of material for a new collection, I stumbled across several old journal entries. One in particular leapt out at me, as it was penned nearly ten years ago during one of my whirlwind vampire-themed tours in the month of October. It's little more than a snapshot of a few moments of calm where I could actually sit and reflect on my work and my life. October 30, 2005 Los Angeles

I'm standing on the veranda of the hotel watching the cars speed by. To my right, over the houses, I can see the rising hills of Hollywood. There are palm trees between the lanes of the streets and little Spanish houses of cream-colored stucco. It looks just like the movies.

We stopped for dinner at a little French bistro. Perhaps predictably, the prices were astronomical, although I felt a kind of soothing familiarity in the rapid patter of French between the waiters. My appetite was hardly prepared for the exoticism of escargot, but they advertised a boulangerie. Everything was whole foods and organic, but the loaves were huge and were just what I wanted. The clerk, in contrast to the waiters, stared blankly at me when I asked for un demi-pain aux noix -- even though nothing in the place was labeled in English. After three or four tries, I finally got my half-loaf, and we headed back to the hotel. The bread was thick and hearty, rich with sunflowers, dates, and molasses. As I chewed thoughtfully, Don asked, will that be enough for you? And I nodded my head. This was a bread that could be a meal in itself, and after a couple of mouthfuls I was full.

We had a long time to wait before Hex started. I was exhausted from the plane ride from Ohio, and so I laid back on the huge king size bed. Although I was used to traveling to California and experiencing a temperature difference of 30 to 40°, for once Hollywood was not much warmer than Ohio. The air was almost chilly, and I regretted leaving my elegant velvet cloak at home.

As I laid back upon the stiff comforter of the hotel bed, I stared at the ceiling and thought, "this is what my life has become." Traveling to a different city every weekend, sleeping in a different bed from week to week, living out of a suitcase. When Jay called, we talked in wonder as he walked through Central Park and I stared out at the hills of Hollywood. I had been in New York with him just the previous day. What a strange life this is turning out to be.

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