Feb 29, 2008

The Starting Gate

People have been asking me for a while now, "Do you have a blog?" "When are you starting a blog?" "Why don't you have a blog?" I've been resisting it with all number of excuses: I don't have time, who cares what I have to say, I'm too old for this kind of stuff, etc. etc. Plus, if I start a blog, what inevitably happens next? A My Space page where I start poking other moms from the elementary school? You Tube videos of my tricks for solving fifth-grade math equations? I don't think so. Then just yesterday I moved my office from a little complex in the heart of Pacific Palisades to a very cool, funky space on the grounds of the Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon, not far from our house. The Theatricum is an outdoor theater that puts on plays and concerts in the warmer months. It was started by Will Geer and his family back around the McCarthy Era when he was blacklisted in Hollywood. Being an off the charts leftist (Go, Kucinich) I feel like the place has just the right vibe for writing my next book. Still, the new office is far enough off the beaten path to mean that either I wholly embrace the spirit of Topanga or I'm going to be sitting in my little 120-square-foot room six hours a day longing for a Starbucks and a Citibank. So partly to chronicle the next year, and partly to occupy myself in this self-imposed isolation, I figured I may as well blog about my time here, in this strange and wonderful canyon, raising two daughters; being a post-boom, dot-com wife; writing a book; and driving my minivan all over L.A. Although I'm hankering for a Prius. Because this is Topanga, after all.

Here's a link about Topanga Canyon for those of you who aren't familiar with it:

I'm calling this blog 455 Girls because a) I'm planning to write about motherhood some of the time, and I've got two girls; and b) because both Topanga and my older daughter figure prominently in my next book, which is about taking her to a Mayan shaman in Belize when she was three to get rid of her aggressive imaginary friend. (True story.)

Why the 455? Because Topanga is small enough that all of our local phone numbers begin with the same exchange: 455. So when you go to the dry cleaner, or order food from one of the local restaurants, and someone asks for your phone number you only have to give them the last four digits. It's a little like living on a modern-day Walton Mountain. With a New Age twist. Kind of addictive, in its own way.