Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barbara Warren, ultra-athlete, author

It’s difficult to digest what happened to ultra-triathlete Barbara Warren last Saturday. Her bicycle accident and suffering a broken neck during the Santa Barbara triathlon on Aug. 23 has rocked the sports community. And her death Tuesday night is sad beyond words. I feel connected to Barbara. Maybe it’s because she was a fellow author. Or maybe it's because she was a fellow cyclist (although she was far above my league). Or that she lived in Cuyamaca part-time and I have a cabin in nearby Julian. Or that my twin sister, Cordelia, dated Barbara's husband, Tom Warren, for about four years (many years before Barbara and Tom married). I participated in Tom's swim-run-swims in Pacific Beach in the '70s and regularly went to his bar and restaurant, Tug's Tavern, also in PB, for the Thursday-night Mexican dinner specials. Or perhaps it's because Barbara had an identical twin, as do I. Cordelia and I rode the 76-mile Tecate-to-Ensenada bike ride together, hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim, ran a 24-hour relay together, ran a half marathon and I don't know how many 10Ks together, and walked the 2006 Susan G. Komen 3-day, 60-mile walk. And, like us, Barbara and her twin are the youngest of five children. I understand the bond she had with her sister. I never met Barbara. But everything I’ve read about her indicates she was an incredible woman who had drive, passion and instincts and who poured her heart and soul into whatever she pursued. She was beyond brave, to the end. I'm truly sorry for Barbara’s twin sister, Angelika Castaneda Drake – I cannot imagine what she’s going through -- and for Tom. The world has lost a remarkable woman.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Book tour goes to Louisiana and Mississippi

I'll be on the road for Pawprints of Katrina for the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. With me will be Mia (so named for MIA -- Missing In Action), rescued by Best Friends Animal Society after the storm from the American Can Company in New Orleans (her owners were never found).

On Aug. 29, the anniversary, I'm participating as an author at a vegetarian luncheon at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel on Canal Street in the French Quarter, for a memorial sponsored by the Humane Society of Louisiana. Then that evening, Mia and I will be at a super-sized Barnes & Noble on Veterans Boulevard in Metairie (a suburb of New Orleans).

On Saturday, Aug. 30, we'll be in Baton Rouge at Books-a-Million, at a new store on S. Mall Drive.

Then Sunday, the 31st, I'll be in Jackson, Mississippi, at Lemuria Book Store, an animal-loving independent book store. Leigh and Terry Breland, who volunteered after Katrina, are having a reception at their home in the town of Terry, Mississippi. (very rural with natural ponds dotting sprawling, southern, green-belt properties).

Then it will be home again until the next one!

Click here for the book events/signing schedule.