I recently went to Los Angeles with my partner and our dog, Paris, to visit family and take a break before the copyedits to the revised ms. of THE LAST QUEEN arrive at the end of this month. Now, I'm a long-term San Francisco boy. I've lived in the Bay Area for over 25 years and am still in love with the skyline, the independent spirit and the openness of the City. I can even contend with our summer fog, which blankets us during the summer months (while most of the rest of the country swelters) and retreats in September to gift us with a truly spectacular autumn. As Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco!" Pity he didn't add that fall here is great and the ideal time to visit.
Anyway, L.A. is the city most Bay Area natives are loathe to admit they like, but I found it pleasantly warm and quite fun. I also found unexpected inspiration while visiting the beautiful Getty Center, which houses a remarkable collection of antiquities and renaissance glassware. Among the enamels, I came upon a gorgeous Limosin enamel featuring Catherine de Medici as Juno, which I'd read about but had never seen. It was made in Catherine's day, during the reign of her son Charles IX (there's another enamel below hers featuring Charles as Mars!), and I could have kicked myself for not having a camera on me, save my cell phone. Still, I have tracked down the official photo of the Charles IX enamel at the Getty Center website: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=1338
Truly fortitious. It got me excited about plunging back into my Catherine de Medici novel, which I've had on the backburner while I focused on getting THE LAST QUEEN revised. Anyway, my trip to L.A. has gotten me writing again, so if only for that L.A. is cool with me.