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Wednesday Night in Santa Monica

It’s Wednesday night in Los Angeles and the Santa Ana winds are blowing.

If you’re not familiar, the Santa Ana winds are the stuff of LA legend and folklore. Mystical and strange things are said to happen, the murder rate supposedly goes up and people go missing. The Santa Anas have appeared in countless novels, including a famous Raymond Chandler short story entitled Red Wind.

There’s something to be said for the nights these winds blow. The city takes on a surreal quality, palm trees bowing back and forth, sand dusting up the coast, strange temperature drops and a rushing sound all through the night that can’t be ignored. I kind of love it.

The winds seem fitting to my life right now. I’m a little moody these days, a little stretched thin. Strange things seem to happen on a daily basis and the unexpected seems practically commonplace. Between clients, writing, book stuff, motherhood and pregnancy, my life is bursting at the seams. I crawl into bed at night positive that seven hours until the next day begins is not enough. And it never is.

Vera is a whirlwind of amazing energy from 6:30AM until 8:30PM. Greg and I just shake our heads. What are we going to do when there’s a baby in the middle of all this?

Speaking of the baby, I’m eleven weeks now. I went for an ultrasound on Monday and was shocked to see how complete the little guy looks. She/he was so active, kicking and swimming and waving, even thought it’s only the size of a medium shrimp, my doctor said. All looks good so far. Vera sat beside me for the ultrasound but was more interested in the ultrasound wand probing into my belly than the image of her sibling on the screen. She talks to the baby every day though, gives it kisses and hugs and tells me what it’s doing. She’s sleeping! She’s playing with toys! She’s doing noni (nursing)! It’s quite amusing and I can’t help but wonder if maybe she’s right, like maybe she has some weird telepathy with the baby.

Anything seems possible these days.

Today a film crew came to the house and shot a book trailer for THE RULES OF INHERITANCE, mainly featuring me, but with a few segments featuring Greg and Vera too. I think it’s going to be a really great little video and I can’t wait to share it with you. I did my own hair and makeup, much to my relief, and got some funny shots of Vera this morning as she insisted on wearing hot rollers like me. I tried just putting one in her hair but she said, “I want lots, Mama.”

Oh, and a reminder: I’m reading at Stories Books & Cafe in Echo Park tomorrow night. And I’m totally nervous. Wish me luck!


  1. Good Luck Claire – you will do an amazing job! Can’t wait to see the dates and where when your in Australia!

    Comment by Emma on December 1, 2011 at 2:48 am

  2. Can’t wait to see the book trailer, and V is just adorable with those hot rollers – she is a girly girl for sure, so precious. These damn winds are spooky!!!

    Comment by Lisa Lilienthal on December 1, 2011 at 6:46 am

  3. Woooo — I’m not the only woman in the world who still uses hot rollers!!! I figured it was just an “old lady who never mastered those dang curling irons” thing. Validation by a young, trendy, hip So Cal mama? Priceless!

    Comment by Carroll on December 1, 2011 at 8:25 am

  4. The wind is wild up here in Northern California, too. We live on a boat in Sausalito, and we were tossed around like crazy during the night, and some anchored-out boats even snapped free (we’re in a marina, where things are thankfully more secure). I love a wild night, but this has been a little extreme!

    Comment by Nora on December 1, 2011 at 9:46 am

  5. Beautiful pictures, Claire. You look great!

    Comment by Nicole on December 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm

  6. Thanks, Nicole!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on December 2, 2011 at 9:25 am

  7. Wow, Nora! Can I just tell you how much I love that someone who reads my blog lives on a boat?! Be careful out there!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on December 2, 2011 at 9:25 am

  8. Oh Carroll, you are so not alone! I am like a toddler when it comes to using a curling iron, completely inept. I love my hot rollers!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on December 2, 2011 at 9:26 am

  9. Thanks, Lisa! Are you getting the winds down there too?!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on December 2, 2011 at 9:26 am

  10. Good luck Claire, I’m sure you will do great!! Congrats about the baby also, I’m she/he will be as beautiful as veonica.

    Comment by Karen on December 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

  11. Thanks so much, Karen! Hope to see you in Ohio later this month!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on December 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm

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