Vampire Road Trips

No, I haven’t been away at some Vampire High Council meeting deciding what to do about nasty Vampires from another tribe, or discussing all of those flea bitten, tick covered Werewolves. Screw that. We don’t even DO THAT. All of the blood dripping lofty ceremony laced fiction out there gets people thinking we’re living in the 15th Century, or all dress like Victorians ALL THE TIME. I’ve been busy and we’re in a heat wave from Hell right now.

We’ll be on not one, not two, but three road trips this summer. The only place we’re not going where it is blazing and stupidly hot is Alaska.

Which brings me to a favorite subject: Vampire Road trips

Some suggest we bring freeze dried blood with us. Yes, that can be obtained by our usual sources but why? First of all we’ll just throw a cooler in the car and keep the fresh stuff on ice. We can also be guaranteed of a steady supply of truckers, hitch hikers, and Airbnb hosts.

The main thing we avoid are hookers in small desert towns (I kid you not.) It is seriously sad to see young women out trolling for truckers in the middle of the day wearing cuts offs, fishnet stockings, and heels. I look at them and wonder, “how the fuck did you end up here?”

We give a nod to the Vampires who live along those mysterious roads that seem to lead to nowhere. We give a nod to the lone Vampires in the small towns scattered across the highways. You know those towns where you wonder what people do there, and why they stay.

We will also stop to see friends along the way, both Vampires and regular folks we know.

All of my bitchiness aside, I love road trips. Driving across country with a kid (even if the kid will have just turned 18) is an amazing opportunity for both parent and child.

On our trips we’ve discussed (in-depth) music, history, art, social studies, geology, zombies, politics, cars, interesting people we’ve known, my own personal history, ways to murder someone when writing a novel, serial killers, movies, relationships, people we know, nature, dogs, cats, current events, and we wonder about things we see along the way.

We’ve seen two exceptionally handsome young men at a rest stop and wondered what two exceptionally handsome young men were doing out in the middle of the desert. We’ve stopped at a giant truck stop sort of place near the Colorado/Nebraska border and wondered where everyone was going. We’ve met a woman who said Lincoln, NE was the largest city she’d ever been to. We’ve seen roadside art, weird mysterious monuments, and a giant crater. We’ve gone to National Parks, and city parks. We’ve driven across Indian Reservations. We’ve driven through small depressed towns, and through some of the most expensive real estate in the country. We’ve been to Temple Square in Salt Lake City and stayed with a gay couple there. We’ve been to interesting little coffee houses that serve lavender scented lattes and vegan muffins. We’ve been on roads that seem to go on forever across the deserts and plains. It is hot because it is summer. It is dry because we’re driving through the West, only as far as Nebraska.

We’ll be in Nebraska this year as well. Then we’ll arrive home and a few days later head off for Alaska. But first we have to go to Fresno for an event. There is no other reason I’d go to Fresno. But in defense of Fresno, like all places, we will find interesting things to do.

So take a trip, even a day trip. You’ll learn something, and maybe even see some Vampires. We love road trips. Just don’t expose too much skin or you’ll get either sunburned or bitten.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

This guy looks interesting. Let’s show him something REALLY scary!

 

 

 

 

Crashing and Burning on the Road Less Traveled

It is never a dull moment around my house. I just received a call that my husband Teddy was in a car accident. He is ok. The other car is totaled. Someone pulled out in front of him on a busy street near his business. We don’t know the damage to his truck yet. The last truck was totaled the same way – someone pulled out in front of him. In fact, just about every car we’ve had in the past twenty years has been totaled in a car accident. It has never been our fault. It kind of makes you wonder. Shit happens, but not once every eighteen months. To be honest shit happens almost every single day, but this is big dog shit.

I’d written the title of this blog post before I got the call from Teddy. I was going to talk about being a parent, and how those tiny babies grow up and, well, grow up and go out into the world. I was going to talk about how that feels, and I will. Right now.

My husband Teddy and I have both crashed and burned so many times during our lives that I’m amazed we’re still even here. I’m amazed that we’ve done so well. Then again, we’ve both learned to learn from our mistakes.

I have to admit that his biggest crash and burn was becoming a Vampire, but like a lot of things it worked out great in the long run.

I might take another road. I can still take another road. In fact I am taking another road right now. The great road trip of life is like anything else. You have to plan, be prepared, sort of know when you are ready, be willing to take side trips, don’t go too far over the speed limit, don’t drive when your tired, and have fun.

Being a parent is sort of like an eighteen year-long road trip. My mom (mother of five) would say it is a road trip that never ends. Ever.

So what is the point of this post. I don’t know.

We all have our adventures, good or bad, we can pass on our experience and knowledge in a positive way to the next generation. Rather than giving young people negative input about what to do, or more often what not to do, we need to give them positive input about their dreams. We need to support them. We need to gently guide them. And when they really screw up and get into dangerous territory we can take action because we’ve earned their trust.

Yes, I’m having an opinionated parenting day, but this is a blog, and blogs are opinions for the most part, and you dropped by for some unknown reason. Glad you did.

A long time ago when I was a teen I was sitting outside on a hot summer night with my brother Val we talked about how one day we’d have telephones in our home. This was 1878. We did end up with telephones in our homes.  Just wanted to share that random memory. But there is a point to random memories.

I kept most of my random memories to myself this summer when my daughter Clara and I took a 3,600 mile road trip from California to Nebraska and back. We talked and listened to music. We met wonderful people (both Vampires and other.) We visited old friends and made new friends. And all the while the thought that she was going to soon start her senior year of high school never left my mind. Then the thought that my son Garrett would turn twenty-one in a few months.

As Clara talked I recalled in my head old adventures, old friends now gone, stupid things I’d done, fashions we’d never wear again, and plots to stories I’d write. Then I’d be back on her. Back listening to talk of politics, music, school, history, and talk of family and friends. It was a road we traveled together.

It was a road I was glad we were traveling. It is a road I think I’ll stay on for… well, I’d like to say forever.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

night drive

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skipping the drama and skipping town

I’m skipping anything political tonight (pathetic speeches by a long list of D list celebrities with an insufficient number of brain cells, plagiarized passages, and general self congratulations of people who are lower than the worst soulless Shadow Creeping Vampire) and watching Preacher (which I recorded from a few nights ago), and America’s Got Talent. Or we might go out, or take the dog for a walk in the woods under a full moon, or we could do anything, except partake in the spectacle of something which both puzzles and maddens us at the sheer waste of time and stupidity of it all.

We’ll not doubt skip the other convention as well.

We vote, but we are not like them.

Saturday was my husband Teddy’s birthday. Someone suggested I cover my mouth with frosting and ask him to lick it off. As you can imagine, I politely shrugged off that brilliant idea for something a bit more subtle.

I spend the evening among a band of Vampires from France and America. The flow of languages was like music. We talked of outrageous adventures, and plans for more outrageous adventures. All of the teens left to play Pokemon Go in the historic old central street of town.

New friends and old gathered. We were all the same in our common love of my Teddy, but all so different. That is what makes it interesting. That is what makes us adore each other even more. It is that discovery of ideas and stories that makes us make our magic together.

Clara and I are busy packing for another road trip, half way across the country to the USA National Roller Skating Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska. In all of the novels and movies Vampires just sit around in the dark looking for warm necks to suck. All they do is lurk and act creepy. In reality, we’re on the go. Warm necks are everywhere, so that is never a problem. Why lurk around in the shadows where there are places to go, people to meet, obscure sports to be champions in. 

We’ll keep you posted from the road. My husband Teddy and son Garrett are staying at home – holding down the fort and the cats. They’ll get in some male bonding time, you know, beer, blood and belching.

In the meantime I’ve been interviewing my old friend John on what it is like growing up next to Vampires. His family has lived next to my kind for generations. It makes for some interesting viewpoints.

I’m also edition, doing damage control, and figuring out some new projects. I’ve had a lot of suggestions about making some of my series into books. The most often mentioned by my readers are “Vampire Diary” featuring Vlad the Vampire King, and the Austin and Elizabeth stories (The Hunter.) Then there is that science fiction story I need to finish.

I need to finish a lot of things. Don’t we all.

And Nigel the Ghost. There is a lot more to come out of that guy.

So like I said, I’ll be sending blog cards from the road, plus more random thoughts about teens, parenting, Vampires, modern life, and other stuff.

One more thing… Do yourself a favor and turn off the TV news. Radio too. Stick to music you can sing along to and gardening shows.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

cat-tongue-catster

 

 

 

 

What we talked about on the way to school with my teens…sad events, road trips and helping others.

What we talked about on the way to school with my teens…sad events, road trips and helping others.

On the way to school/work we always have the news on the radio in the mornings (my choice but if the story is boring or pisses me of I tell them to change to music).

Hawthorne Nevada. The explosion that killed so many Marines was tragic. I didn’t go into it, the young lives, the what if factors. It was too sad to start off the morning with. It is still too sad. My heart goes out to all of the families of those who died and to those injured.

We did discuss where Hawthorne is. We’ve driven though Hawthorne. We’ve stopped for gas. We’ve discussed the high school. What WOULD it be like to go to a high school in such an isolated place? Is it that isolated or does it just seem that way from the highway or Googlemaps?  And yes, that is relatively close to where mom got the ticket for not stopping at the stop sign after driving for 150 miles and only seeing one other car. Mom DID stop but since she had a California plate on her car she was fresh meat to the two law enforcement thugs who ticked me about a mile after the stop. Yes, the kids remember her stopping and talking about where the next highway would lead and we all laughed about the most isolated road in America and how next time we’ll think twice about blindly following directions from Googlemaps. We were all shocked to see those blue lights. Yes, I was in the right but I paid the $76 in blood money.

Had it been a B horror movie I could have gone into full Vampire mode but I had kids with me and I was tired and just wanted to get to Las Vegas before the sun came up.

I avoid going into full Vampire mode – ever. You know, just like out of a B movie. It isn’t pretty or classy. But if you are going to go into full mode the desert is a good place to do it. Don’t tell my kids I said that.

Today the Middle School students (7-8th graders) are going to volunteer at one of the larger food/clothing closets in town. Clara took 2 bags stuffed with old clothes.  Old to her but barely worn and cute and fashionable. She said that the clothes she’d help sort out the year before were ugly. She wanted the girls who came there for help to look good and feel good about themselves.

That made me think about getting girls together (boys too) and giving their old almost new or just slightly used clothing to teens who are in need. All kids need to look good. To teens fitting in means looking good and feeling good. Something to think about.  There are so many foster kids, homeless kids, and in this economy kids who live in homes where things are tight. My kids have 54,000 shirts between them (or so it seems that way) – so do their friends.  Maybe every time they buy a shirt they have to get one for someone who REALLY needs a shirt. Think about it.

I told them that I loved them, they blew me kisses. Everyone got off to school ok.

Don’t forget to talk with your kids. Make the effort and it will be the best investment you’ll ever make.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Click here for previous “what we talked about” post.

night drive