“I’ve been thinking,” I said, taking another slice of pizza from the delivery box on the coffee table. Bearbait fed a piece of crust to Scout, the golden retreiver he was watching. We were sitting in the living room of his friend’s cute little house in Noe Valley. “I think I want to take a little road trip, someplace close. I’ve never been down to Big Sur or Monterey in all the years I’ve lived here. You know, get some writing done.” I didn’t tell him that I had the same urge when my mother died.

“That sounds wonderful.”


“Just do me a favor.”


“I don’t want to see any pictures of you walking on the beach in a baggy cable knit sweater and stirrup pants. If something like that ends up as the author photo on one of your books, I’ll know I’ve failed you.”


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