It is November 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author's latest book's *FIRST chapter!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa Samson is the author of twenty books, including the Christy Award-winning Songbird. Apples of Gold was her first novel for teens. Visit Lisa at http://www.hollywoodnobody.com/
Other Novels by Lisa: Straight Up, Club Sandwich, Songbird
Hollywood Nobody, an excerpt...
Friday, April 2
I knew it was coming soon. We’d been camped out in the middle of a cornfield, mind you, for two weeks. That poke on my shoulder in the middle of the night means only one thing. Time to move on.
"Let’s head ’em on out, Scotty. We’ve got to be at a shoot in North Carolina tomorrow afternoon. I’ve got food to prepare, so you have to drive."
"I’m still only fifteen."
"It’s okay. You’re a good driver, baby."
My mom, Charley Dawn, doesn’t understand that laws exist for a reason, say, keeping large vehicles out of the hands of children. But as a food stylist, she fakes things all the time.
Her boundaries are blurred. What can I say?
Charley looks like she succumbed to the peer pressure of plastic surgery, but she hasn’t. I know this because I’m with her almost all the time. I think it’s the bleached-blond fountain of long hair she’s worn ever since I can remember. Or maybe the hand-dyed sarongs and shirts from Africa, India, or Bangladesh add to the overall appearance of youth. I have no idea. But it really makes me mad when anybody mistakes us as sisters.
I mean, come on! She had me when she was forty!
My theory: a lot of people are running around with bad eyesight and just don’t know it.
I throw the covers to my left. If I sling them to my right, they’d land on the dinette in our "home," to use the term in a fashion less meaningful than a Hollywood "I do." I grew up in this old Travco RV I call the Y.
As in Y do I have to live in this mobile home?
Y do I have to have such an oddball food stylist for a mother?
Y must we travel all year long? Y will we never live anyplace long enough for me to go to the real Y and take aerobics, yoga, Pilates or — shoot — run around the track for a while, maybe swim laps in the pool?
And Y oh Y must Charley be a vegan?
More on that later.
And Y do I know more about Hollywood than I should, or even want to? Everybody’s an actor in Hollywood, and I mean that literally. Sometimes I wonder if any of them even know who they are deep down in that corner room nobody else is allowed into.
But I wonder the same thing about myself.
"You’re not asking me to drive while you’re in the kitchen trailer, are you, Charley?"
"No. I can cook in here. And it’s a pretty flat drive. I’ll be fine."
I’m not actually worried about her. I’m thinking about how many charges the cops can slap on me.
Driving without a license.
Driving without a seat belt on the passenger.
Speeding, because knowing Charley, we’re late already.
Driving without registration. Charley figured out years ago how to lift current stickers off of license plates. She loves "sticking it to the man." Or so she says.
I kid you not.
Oh, the travails of a teenager with an old hippie for a mother. Charley is oblivious as usual as I continue my recollection of past infractions thankfully undetected by the state troopers:
Driving while someone’s in the trailer. It’s a great trailer, don’t get me wrong, a mini industrial kitchen we rigged up a couple of years ago to make her job easier. Six-range burner, A/C, and an exhaust fan that sucks up more air than Joan Rivers schmoozing on the red carpet. But it’s illegal for her to go cooking while we’re in motion.
"All right. Can I at least get dressed?"
"Why? You’re always in your pj’s anyway."
"It’s Charley, baby. You know how I feel about social hierarchy."
"But didn’t you just give me an order to drive without a license? What if I say
She reaches into the kitchen cupboard without comment and tips down a bottle of cooking oil. Charley’s as tall as a twelve-year-old.
"I mean, let’s be real, Charley. You do, in the ultimate end of things, call the shots."
I reach back for my glasses on the small shelf I installed in the side of the loft. It holds whatever book I’m reading and my journal. I love my glasses, horn-rimmed "cat glasses" as Charley calls them. Vintage 1961. Makes me want to do the twist and wear penny loafers.
"Can I at least pull my hair back?"
She huffs. "Oh, all right, Scotty! Why do you have to be so difficult?"
Charley has no clue as to how difficult teenagers can actually be. Here I am, schooling myself on the road, no wild friends. No friends at all, actually, because I hate Internet friendships. I mean, how lame, right? No boyfriend, no drugs. No alcohol either, unless you count cold syrup, because the Y gets so cold during the winter and Charley’s a huge conservationist. (Big surprise there.) I should be thankful, though. At least she stopped wearing leather fringe a couple of years ago.
I slide down from the loft, gather my circus hair into a ponytail, and slip into the driver’s seat. Charley reupholstered it last year with rainbow fabric. I asked her where the unicorns were and she just rolled her eyes. "Okay, let’s go. How long is it going to take?"
"Oh." She looks down, picks up a red pepper and hides behind it.
I turn on her. "You didn’t Google Map it?"
"You’re the computer person, not me." She peers above the stem. "I’m sorry?" She shrugs. Man, I hate it when she’s so cute. "Really sorry?"
"Charley, we’re in Wilmore, Kentucky. As in Ken-Tuck-EEE . As in the middle of nowhere." I climb out of my seat. "What part of North Carolina are we going to? It’s a wide state."
"Toledo Island. Something like that. Near Ocracoke Island. Does that sound familiar?"
"The Outer Banks?"
"Are they in North Carolina?"
Are you kidding me?
"Let me log on. This is crazy, Charley. I don’t know why you do this to me all
"Sorry." She says it so Valley Girl-like. I really thought I’d be above TME:
Teenage Mom Embarrassment. But no. Now, most kids don’t have mothers who dress
like Stevie Nicks and took a little too much LSD back in the DAY. It doesn’t
take ESP to realize who the adult in this setup is. And she had me, PDQ, out of
the bonds of holy matrimony I might add, when she was forty (yes, I already told
you that, but it’s still just as true), and that’s
OLD to be caught in such an inconvenient situation, don’t you think? The woman
had no excuse for such behavior, FYI.
My theory: Charley’s a widow and it’s too painful to talk about my father. I
mean, it’s plausible, right?
The problem is, I can remember back to when I was at least four, and I
definitely do not remember a man in the picture. Except for Jeremy. More on him
I flip up my laptop. I have a great satellite Internet setup in the Y. I rigged
it myself because I’m a lonely geek with nothing better to do with her time than
figure out this kind of stuff. I type in the info and wait for the directions.
Satellite is slower than DSL, but it’s better than nothing.
"Charley! It’s seventeen hours away!" I scan the list of twists and turns
between here and there. "We have to take a ferry to Ocracoke, and then Toledo
Island’s off of there."
"Groovy died with platform shoes and midis."
"Whatever, Scotty." Only she says it all sunny. She’s a morning person.
"That phrase should be dead."
Honestly, I’m not big on lingo. I’ve never been good at it, which is fine by
me. Who am I going to impress with cool-speak anyway? Uma Thurman? Yeah, right.
"Okay, let’s go."
"We can go as long as possible and break camp on the way, you know?" Charley.
I climb back into the rainbow chair, throw the Y into drive, pull the brake,
and we’re moving on down the road.
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