Sunday, April 20, 2008
Malice, Earthquakes, Passover, Real Characters, and Sitting Alone at My Table
I have a lot on my mind today. Look out!
1. Malice Album for their auction-- I complete this darling album to be auctioned off at Malice. The money goes to a worthy cause. Camille suggested I do this--and it was a very smart idea, I think. After all, I want folks who read mysteries to know that I really do scrapbook. I feel like the fact I've been at this craft a long time enriches my work. You'll notice this isn't a traditional album. This is made so you can set it on a bookshelf and display your photos. If you get my ezine, you'll read how to make this. (The next ezine should go out in a couple of weeks.) I made this from two cereal boxes.
2. "I Feel the Earth Move"--Yes, I felt that earthquake. Thanks to a lot of you, and to radio, I'm now much smarter about what happened. Key tips: Keep shoes by your bed because of broken glass, go high (not into the basement, duh!), grab a pillow to hold over your head, and expect after-shocks. Turns out that the Midwest is the place in the world where you'd feel the most shaking because we're on a bed of rock.
3. We Worship the Holy Dog Bone--Okay, Passover started last night, and I have a funny family story to tell: I was raised Episcopalian but I have a Jewish home. When we moved to the UK for a year, a lot of our belongings got jumbled up. I remembered to pack the Seder plate ("seder" means "order," and the Last Supper that Jesus celebrated was a seder), the Haggadah (the service book) and the matzo cover (a special linen for holding 3 pieces of unleven bread, and a lamb shank bone representing the Pascal lamb. When we got home, I finally unpacked all our boxes. Took me years. At the bottom of a box, I found a bone. I showed it to my husband. Turns out that somehow we'd mixed up the lamb bone and our dog's chew bone. (Hey, I'm the NON-Jew here! I plead ignorance.) So we'd had the chew bone on our Passover plate. This is proof that God is kind, just and has a sense of the absurd. Otherwise, had He not had a sense of humor He would surely have visited His wrath on us.
4. Uh, They're Real to Me--I was talking with a friend after Jazzercise about my upcoming mystery series. I told her about Kiki Lowenstein, my protagonist, and her friends. I explained about the problems each person in the book has--in that way, Jon Jordan of CrimeSpree Magazine has pointed out that my book isn't a traditional mystery. I like realism. My friend shook her head and said, "The way you talk about these people. It's like they are living, breathing people...not characters in a book." They are real to me! Honest! If they weren't, I couldn't care about them. And if I don't care about them, why should my readers?
5. The Hostess with the Mostess (Maybe)--I volunteered to be a Table Hostess at Malice. In my usual "over-the-top" way, I've been preparing "table favors." In my case that means: bookmarks (with flowers I add by hand), tiny folding albums, butter cookies (a St. Louis favorite), and excerpt booklets. I'm also trying to put my excerpt booklets online so anyone can download them. We'll see! If you know a friend who's coming to Malice, please ask them to look me up. I have this awful fear I'll be sitting at my table ALL alone!