Debra Moon, the author of "Chico: Life and Times of a City of Fortune," is a self-described "freelance photojournalist and educator." In her varied career she worked on the Hopi reservation in Northern Arizona to preserve native language and traditions, got her start in newspaper reporting with the weekly Chico Times almost thirty years ago, and now teaches language arts to high schoolers. The itch to write has never departed.
Moon's new book features more than three dozen vignettes that "were written from notes scribbled on napkins, maps, backs of flyers, or checkbook registers." She calls it "Parking Meter Blues" ($14.95 in paperback from Page 1 Press in Chico), a kind of "travelogue of my life." While some of the pieces have been published elsewhere, most of them are original with the book, and they reveal a writer with a thirst for the poetic and a talent for offbeat humor, especially when it comes to romantic relationships.
The author will be signing copies of "Parking Meter Blues" tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Lyon Books in Chico; the public is invited.
The selections range from "Revisiting Robin Hood" (on the 2005 Bidwell Park centennial celebration which featured a showing of the 1937 Errol Flynn movie filmed in the park) to "Colors For a Hostile Nation" (a satirical proposal for hostile crayons, like "ambush apricot", "punch-out purple," and "bloody-knuckle red").
The Parking Meter Blues, she writes, "is is a melancholy song. It begins with the dirge to the space that was lost to the guy that was quicker, and moves on to the wailing stories of the meter that cheated. It rambles to the day without a dime, and ends with the time that paying the dues did no good."
Then there's "The Language of Love." In the midst of a romantic embrace, it's okay to say numbers. "'One more kiss.' 'Meet me in room 354. . . .' Don't say letters. . . . Do not start an outline process, or refer to anything by letter when feeling romantic. . . . Do say: Sugar. . . . Don't say: The Atkins Diet. The Atkins Diet can never be mentioned when trying to light a romantic spark."
Moon's own spark burns brightly.