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Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekend Update

Still hobbling around like a crone. The worst thing is the fashion limitations! The only shoes I can get over my ace bandages would not win kudos from Patricia Field or her wardrobe avatar, Carrie Bradshaw. No Manolo’s here.

Speaking of fashion, I spent Saturday marathon shopping for wedding dresses with my daughter, who is getting married next year. Oh, to be young and thin. I’d even settle for thin. Everything, and I mean everything, looked terrific on her. And I swear, it’s not motherly prejudice. In a previous century she might not embody the ideal, but in this one she has the perfect supermodel figure.

This is our fourth or fifth dress expedition, and she’s finally found the one she wants. Describing it sounds like something out of one of my books, if I wrote historical romance: ivory tulle with gold Spanish lace and intricate beading, by Pronovias, of Barcelona! How’s that for romantic? I wish I could show you a picture, but these wedding companies bring out a new collection every year and they don’t always keep pictures of previous collections. Very annoying.

I wore a floor length Laura Ashley dress to my wedding. Remember Laura Ashley? Mine was white cotton with a high, Victorian neck and a ruffle at the bottom. I could have worn it to the beach as easily as to my wedding. With it I wore a silver and amethyst brooch that belonged to my grandmother, no veil, and a band of baby’s breath in my hair. Can you guess when I got married?

How about you? What did your wedding dress look like?

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Le Grand Entrance

I’m a big city girl—Queens, Long Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn—those are my old stomping grounds.

So when I decided to write about a small town in Tennessee I thought I’d better do a little research. Last year my friend, Deb, took me to her hometown, Bradford, a tiny place in West Tennessee.
I had an interesting time seeing the town ( a few blocks long), meeting her “aunties,” some of whom weren’t blood-related, and experiencing a world so different from my own. (You’ll have a chance to see how well my research paid off when my May release, ONE DEADLY SIN, comes out.)
This year, Deb and I decided to return to Bradford to check out their annual festival, Doodle Soup Days. What is doodle soup, you ask? Well…it’s a tasty concoction of chicken broth, drippings, vinegar, and hot (and I mean hot) peppers. Bradford is the self-styled Doodle Soup Capital of the World, and every year the town holds a weekend celebration, complete with parade, carnival rides, and, of course, doodle soup.

When TPTB found out Deb, her sister, and I were returning to town for this yearly event, they tasked us with the vital job of Parade Judge. Needless to say, I was thrilled. I thought—maybe they’ll think I’m a famous author! Maybe they’ll want my autograph! A picture with me! I’ll meet the mayor! Get keys to the city! You get my drift…

So Deb and I drive the 2 ½ hours from Nashville to Bradford, pull in under the huge Doodle Soup Days banner hanging over Main Street, and walk to the parade grounds. I step off the curb, twist my ankle, come down on my OTHER ankle, twist it, and land splat on my hienie in front of the WHOLE TOWN.

I knew my ankles wouldn’t hold me, so I sat in the street for a few minutes while a swarm of concerned citizens peppered me with “are you all right?” as if I could know that fast. Before I could mumble “I think so,” someone called an ambulance, and it came roaring up, sirens and everything. Could it get MORE embarrassing?

How’s this? The EMT—who, of course, everyone knew—determined that what I needed was…a Band-Aid! For the cut on my foot where I’d landed on it. Oh, and a bag of ice for the massive swelling. I spent the rest of the day hobbling around, trying to keep that ice on first one, then the other ankle, and fending off the knowing looks from everyone in town, who knew without me saying so, that I was the clumsy Yankee stranger judge, who fell off the curb in front of the old Bradford Bank.
At least you can't say I don't give my all for my art. And I did get to eat some delicious doodle soup.
How about you? Got any embarassing stories to share?

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Monday, September 22, 2008

It's All About Me

I intend this to be a place where I can rant or rave about my various complaints and obsessions. Expect long-winded tomes on Farscape, why Ben Browder isn’t a household name, people who leave their shopping carts stranded in the parking lot, and text messaging. And maybe, now and again, I’ll touch on less important stuff, like writing.

I want to start off by saying I’m composing this in St. Louis, where I’m visiting my daughter, who is in grad school. I’m sitting in her beat up leather chair, listening to Pandora radio. Do you know about Pandora? It’s the coolest idea. It’s an internet radio station that allows you to create your own “stations” by selecting the type of music or artist you like. My stations range from Vivaldi (what I’m hearing now as I click away) to Amy Winehouse (great for Freecell or Mah Jong Solitaire) with some Nightnoise in between. They also have a great instrumental folk station already put together. If you like Leo Kotke you’ll like this.

I listen to Pandora when I’m writing. Usually because I’m in Panera’s (hmm, Panera’s, Pandora’s. Is there something in that alliteration?) and some goofball’s making sales calls on his cell phone at the top of his lungs (Deep, booming voice: “I can have the A-22s there by tomorrow. The 24s by the day after.” What the hell is an A- 22 and why should I care? Take it outside, buddy). Pandora drowns it all out. And as long as there are no lyrics the music doesn’t interfere with my words.

I never used to listen to music when I wrote. Then again, I used to write at home, in my office. My teeny tiny, very small, two-people-can’t-fit-inside-at-the-same-time office. Then something happened to my back and I couldn’t sit in the fancy chair I’d spent a small fortune on and my office started to seem cramped and closed off (maybe it was all the junk scattered around?) and suddenly I couldn’t write at all.

Weird, huh?

Panera’s saved me, and Pandora’s saved Panera’s. So, for my first blog, I’m passing the word to you. Pandora.com.

(Oh, and by the by, speaking of passing the word, pass the word on this new addition to my site.)

So...do you write? Do you listen to music when you do? Do you listen to music when you don't? If you could set up your own private radio station, what would be on it?

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