|Posted on March 5, 2015 at 10:05 AM|
It’s been a while. There are several reasons, but the most pertinent has finally become obvious to me:
I was raised to be a good Flemish housewife.
On reflection, this may be the answer to the question I have seen in others’ eyes when I am expounding on some subject or another: “If you know so much, why ain’t you rich?”
Well, it’s hard to get rich when you’re busy scrubbing down the front porch steps, tending to the laundry, the children, the pets, the shopping, preparing meals, and working full time at someone else’s typewriter.
I have never been able to work in disorderly, unattractive personal surroundings.
I have laid more linoleum tile, hung yards of wallpaper, painted enough walls to equal the interior area of Versailles, refurbished or physically designed more gardens and yards (including creating railroad tie stairs without help), than most people of your acquaintance.
When the new domicile was completed and ready for company, I have finally felt free to sit down of an evening with a guitar, or pen & paper, or typewriter, or at a computer, to be creative.
Of course, that was before arthritis in feet, lower back and upper neck, sixty extra pounds, a disappearing mouth (but few crow’s feet), and orthotic shoes.
No excuses, just not enough energy throughout the day, sleeping in hour-and-a-half chunks at night, and, recently, the need for lengthy naps after midday. My serious concentration level seems to have peaked at two hours, which is why KING’S GAMES: A Memoir of Richard III has taken so long to get out into the big world. It may also be the reason that, when I opened email on January 19, 2015, and saw that, out of something like 14,000 entries for a total of maybe 600 seats at two reinterment services for the King in the Car Park, I had received a ticket, I began to weep.
I also knew I could not afford to go.
I had filled out the ballots on whim, never for a moment thinking that it could happen. With some kind of screwy prescience, I even booked a hotel for the week of the celebrations, not knowing if I would have to cancel.
I had not been able to respond to the Richard III Society’s appeal to match suddenly withdrawn funds just as the dig in Leicester was about to begin, but when the reinterment service was announced, I knew that the one thing I could give was my talent. David and I have long been lectors at our church and, with the encouragement of our pastor, I called the office of the Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles. He agreed to send a letter to the Dean of Leicester Cathedral on my behalf. I figured it was the only reason I could have for asking others to help with the funds to get me there.
There has been no response from Leicester. (I’m not surprised. With BBC 4 covering it live, not to mention the announcement of the attendance of Royals, they’d have no time for Dame Judy’s chubby, younger American pseudo-sister-look-alike.)
And now, here I am with a ticket to the event of a lifetime and no way to get there without help.
Daughter Patti has created a GoFundMe campaign with a wildly optimistic headline.
Of course, there are a couple of caveats.
Even though GoFundMe goes live the moment the initial connection is made, it was not possible to get the site completed and up and going until five days ago, so it’s a very short campaign. Right now it’s important just to get me there and know there’s going to be money available to get me through to a return flight on April 1st.
Monies collected are deposited daily in the designated account, but are not available until the following Friday.
I am advised by my doctor that my ancient-er body clock fully needs the four days of acclimation flying that far East requires. Basically, that means I need to leave on Sunday, March 15.
The price of a plane ticket increases closer to departure. However, GoFundMe allows Offline Donations to be credited online; no fees are deducted from an offline donation, so if enough folks participate directly, or someone gives an outright gift of the cost of a plane ticket or hotel room, it will make a huge difference.
Jane and Lara Hart have offered the kindness of a roof and eats in London – but there’s the train to Leicester - a hundred and fifty miles away - the hotel, cabs and busses, entry fees for some of the events, and general what-ever-may-turn-up funds.
It’s probably too late to hire someone to arrange book signings for me in London or Leicester, but if there is the miracle of extra funds, I will apply them to public relations representation for KING’S GAMES.
The best of bonuses in all this is that Lara Hart is an Egyptologist and has offered to guide a tour through that section of the British Museum. This I would do if I had to crawl.
Swimming to initially get there has become too much of a challenge.
Going to spend the majority of the day trying to let my immediate world know about all this and hope most everyone helps and shares the information everywhere possible.
If you stuck with me, this far, Thanks and God Bless.