Thursday, June 24, 2010


Apparently, it's a little difficult to speak to a serial killer.

I didn't think I'd just walk right through the prison gate and have a cup of tea with Mr. Norton. I did know that for this to work, he'd have to agree to speak to me and then there's the whole "Silence of the Lambs" thing.

How am I going to react to coming face to face with my friend's killer?

I have learned that not only am I required to undergo a background check that can take up to 60 days to complete, also, I am not allowed to speak to a prisoner if affected by his crime.

I'm not sure what that means, but I'm afraid if they find out I was that close to his victim, they won't allow me to visit. So, do I tell the truth?

"Media access" takes only 24 hours as opposed to 60 days and I would have much more access to the prisoner. This status is given to: reporters, freelance writers, producers, book authors or independent filmmakers.

My book is about the very drastic impact the crime had on me personally, so I can't say "I'm a freelance writer writing a book about this serial killer that changed my life" because I can't be impacted by the crime.

Another option, tell part of the truth-"I am a writer who used to live in the area and heard about the crime."

I don't know. I'm a horrible, horrible liar. What do you think?


Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The Popular Aviation magazines were kept hidden in the barn under an old feed sack. This way, I could tinker privately with the lawn mower in my quest to turn it into an airplane like those pictured in the back of the magazines. Someday, I was going to fly out of Oakland, Oregon. Any...way...I...could.

I guess I've always had the wanderlust, or, it has had me.

I did eventually fly out of Oregon, not in my own homebuilt Ultralight, but in the family car. The rest of them soon tired of California and moved back to Oregon, but I continued on, exploring San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, London, Berlin, Madrid and Rome.

Yet now, for the first time, the desire to "get away" is taking me home rather than further from it.

From June 23rd through the end of July 2010, I will be traveling up the California Coast to my hometown in Oregon pulling my 1957 Airfloat travel trailer, Lucy. I'll be surfing along the way in spots like Morro Bay, Pacifica, and Santa Cruz, but the main point of the trip is to reconnect with my family, whom I usually see briefly only at Christmas, and also to research an event that changed our hometown, my family and me forever.

The death of my best freind, Kelli, at the hands of a serial killer made me question at fifteen what it meant to be female, the very nature of men, good or evil?, what community means, and whether I could have saved her.

I have spent my life trying to save her.

First, there was my friend B. I drove from Los Angeles to San Diego to protect her when she asked her boyfriend to move out. A few hours later, he had me pinned to the floor with his hands around my throat, squeezing until I passed out. A's boyfriend was slightly less bold. He was only vaguely menacing until he shot himself in the head. When that wasn't enough, I found a violent man of my own, who I would save with only the force of my own true love.

Steinbeck says "We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us." I'm ready to take my trip. Perhaps I'll never find peace, but maybe I can finally do a little to save myself.

At the very least, it will make a good story.