Caitlyn Factor

Caitlyn Factor

This happened many, many years ago, but it bears repeating.  I was working in Belgium and I had a long weekend off, so I took my company car and drove alone to Paris.  I walked around, seeing the sights, doing some shopping, it was a fabulous day.  I was kind of bummed that night when I had to eat by myself at a Greek restaurant.

I had been given Tetracycline as a child for earaches, and it had turned my permanent teeth a lovely shade of gray/green.  My smile was not the best.  So a year or two before that assignment I had finally saved up enough money for veneers.  It made all the difference, I felt like I could finally smile.  They made my teeth look pretty and white.  So here I am, feeling a little lonely, but at least I had a nice smile when I talked.  I ordered lamb and a Greek salad.

I’ll be damned if a bunch of Parisians (seven of them) didn’t invite me over to their table.  My French was so-so, their English was almost non-existent.  But we had a great time.  They took me to some of the best hidey-hole places in the St. Germain neighborhood.  A lot of these were underground.  Now, one of the few words they understood was tequila.  So they had shots with Seven-up, and slammed them down on the table, and then drank them.  I taught them about lime and salt.

It was a surreal night.  At one point it occurred to me that they never would have spent this much time with the old Caitlyn with the bad teeth.  But eventually they even took me up to Sacre-Coeur church that is at the highest point in Paris to watch the sunrise.  I was so blessed.  But before that happened.  We were at another bar, with a bunch of English rugby players, they had just won a game, so they were pretty psyched.  One of them bought me a drink as I was trying to get to the bar to get to the bar to buy my round of drinks for the Parisians.

He looks at me and says, “Luv, you have something stuck on your front tooth.  You might want to clean that up.”

Before buying the drinks for the Parisians I go to the bathroom, and check what’s on my tooth.  There is a piece of fricking black lettuce from the Greek salad that is stuck on my front tooth that almost makes me look like I’m missing one of my front teeth.

What the hell?

I peel this sucker off and laugh my ass off.  Oh.  My.  God.

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Caitlyn Factor

Caitlyn Factor

I’ve moved from California to Washington.  To begin with, we weren’t sure where we were going to land.  How fast were we going to buy a house?  How long were we going to be in this AirBnB?  So, I have the following:

My author name.

My real name.

My physical home address in CA.

My p.o. box in CA.

My AirBnB address WA.

My Sister’s address in WA that I first had stuff sent to.

Finally a new p.o. box in WA, when I realized that I’m a picky wench when it comes to buying a house, and I haven’t found anything I like.  Sigh.  (Nobody should ever want to be married to me.  John is a saint.)

So, the state of Washington says that you have to have a new drivers license and car tags within thirty days of moving here.  We got here the first week of August.  I think we are now past the thirty days.  Why are we so late?  I’ll tell you.  You have to go to their website and set up an appointment.  They schedule 30 days out.  Every time we go to it, it’s filled up.  John finally calls.

John:  How am I supposed to get an appointment if they’re constantly filled up?

DMV:  You have to call at a couple of minutes after midnight and make a reservation.

John:  Seriously.

Weary DMV Person:  Sadly, I am serious.

John:  Thanks.  How are you doing? 

DMV:  As well as could be expected.

They both laughed and hung up.

I set my alarm for midnight, and get up wearily and make the appointment for 30 days out.  It isn’t until the next morning that I realize I have set up appointments for John and I on his birthday.  And not just any old birthday, NO, on John’s 50th birthday.  What the hell?  He has to spend his big day at the DMV?

But at least it prompts me to remember to buy him presents…  Thank the Lord.  I even have a card this time.  Plus, I have remembered to purchase him a chocolate birthday cake!

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Caitlyn Factor

Caitlyn Factor

This will come as no big surprise.  The closer it comes to a deadline, the more I procrastinate.  Then, the more chores and errands build up, and then the faster I rush around trying to get other things done.  Well, Monday was just such a day.

John’s been enjoying his job, but it takes up A LOT of his time on zoom calls.  (Thank God I have noise cancelling headphones.)  Therefore I’m the one who does errands during the day.  Do we need groceries?  I’m your gal.  Something BIG, from the office supply store that they might not deliver, like one of those totes, yep, that’s me.  Banking?  Pharmacy?  Go to our mailbox place to pick things up? Me.  Me.  Me.

So, I had all of that piled up, but I even scheduled in a treat.  So here goes.

Staples is the first stop, grab a big plastic tote, because I know that the big package I need to pick up from the mailbox place is John’s cycling gear, and it will need to be organized into something.  Then the pharmacy is on the way from Staples. 

“What do you mean you don’t have my thyroid medicine, it said on the app that you did.”  I asked nicely, even though I was frazzled.

“I’m sorry ma’am, it’s this other med, that starts with a “T”.  You didn’t ask for a refill on your thyroid medicine.”

I grit out a smile and ask them if they could put in a refill for it. 

“It will be ready in an hour.”

Okay, I’m going to my next errand.  The mailbox place, which is next door to Panera Bread where I can get a cinnamon roll. 

I whiz into the UPS store and smile.  “I’m just collecting my mail, but you have a package for me.  I’m number 65.”

The man checks his screen.  “No we don’t.”

I go and open my box, and grab the mail, there’s the slip that says I have a package.  I hand it to him.  He gives me my huge package.  I say thank you.  I take it out to the car and shove it in next to the tote.  I walk over to Panera Bread and pick up a cinnamon roll.  I dig around in my purse to see if I have enough in cash, nope, only three dollars and no change.  I pay by credit card.

I put it in my car, then walk over to the bank to deposit two checks into the ATM.  Then figure I could use some cash.  I ask for $300 in cash first, all twenties.  I throw that into my purse.  Then I think better of it, and figure I should put it into my wallet, so I grab it out, and start to put it into my wallet.  But it’s doesn’t feel thick enough.  I count it.  Only $120.

I go into the bank.  At least I can see my banker, Bac, she is so cool.  But most of the time I’m thinking I’ve got to get back to writing my book and eating my cinnamon roll.  I go up to the teller, and explain my situation.  She tells me I need to see a personal banker.  Perfect, I ask for Bac.  She’s notarizing a client, but I play on my phone and wait.  (Still dreaming about my cinnamon roll, and figuring at least I will have killed enough time to pick up the thyroid meds.)

When I get over to Bac’s desk, I explain my tale of woe.  She said that had just happened to another customer, and she gets on the phone and is put on hold.  We chat for a bit.  I had given her two signed books for her sister before Christmas, and apparently her sis had loved them.  After a while on hold, Bac’s transferred to someone else, then put on hold again.  We’re talking about insurance agents, and I told her about mine.  I said I’d give Bac his card.  I look in my wallet, it’s not there.  I go fishing in my purse. 

Damn.  Damn.  Damn.

“Bac.  I am sooooo sorry.”

“What, Caitlyn?”

“I just found the money.”

I pull out the $180 in twenties and show her. 

“Are you sure you didn’t have that money before?  Maybe the ATM really did short you.”

I laugh.  “You are so sweet.  Trust me, I only had $3 to my name.  Yep, I’m just a dumbass.”  I hand her the insurance guy’s card, and swipe up the $120 that had been laying there, and take the new $180 and start to throw it in my purse.  Bac politely clears her throat. 


“Do you think you might want to put that in your wallet?”

I thought tears would stream down my face, I laughed so hard.  

I love her.

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Caitlyn Factor

Caitlyn Factor

I love my readers, here’s just one reason why, I GET them.  I’m as much of a big ole goofy fan as they are.  I devour books, and during a deadline I make my husband hide my phone so I can’t read during the night, instead it forces me to write.  (Yes, I have the willpower of a six-year-old.)

One of my readers, who I communicate with on a regular basis through Facebook, asked me this question.

“Hi Caitlyn sorry to disturb you but I think I losing my mind and now need to find a book the thing is the only thing I can remember about the book is a scene where a team is sent to retrieve a family they believe the father to be a traitor it turns out to be the mother and when the camp is infiltrated to save them one of the team is injured by a grenade the father is injured and almost dead the mother cares for nothing but a password the husband changed father dies and mother slaps one of her daughters when she asked about her dad please say you can help me find this book and reread it. Ps I am never good at remembering book names but I usually am about authors this time I wasn’t I already messaged one other who had informed me it might be yours sorry”

I tell her that it’s not mine.  But that there is this great group of diverse readers who read all kinds of romantic suspense, where she could post the question. 

She thanks me.

I then say, I’m 98% sure it’s not my book, and if it is, I’m going to be really embarrassed.   But if it is, it’ll just be another Caitlyn Factor. 

I can laugh, because I know for sure it’s not.

(Do you see where this is headed?)

She Facebook messages me:

“You so pulled a Caitlyn factor lol it’s her devoted hero I will be starting this series again in the morning lol xxx”

I go to the group I had recommended to see her post.  Somebody had taken a screen print of the page of the scene. 

Head slap!

Now I remember it.

I tell my husband John that it had been nine books ago….He just shook his head and said.

“You totally have to own this one.  It’s sad.  It’s very, very, sad.”

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