What to tell and where to begin? I’ve read a lot of guest blogs where authors are asked about what inspired or inspires them and everyone seems to find pretty uniform answers; going to the mall and observing the people with closer scrutiny than non-writers, but when I think about inspiration, I come up with something totally different.
I grew up in an upper-middle class village. Our homes were not miles apart the way mansions are, but we had a healthy distance between us. No property for the most part, had less than two acres of land, so there was room.
Two doors down from us lived two eighty plus, octogenarian, ladies, Katie Sickle and Mary Powers, who along with my maternal grandmother, (who was more my mom than grand-mom) had a very profound influence on the woman and writer I would become.
Katie and Mary lived in the smallest house in our whole town, which thinking back, was weird since Katie was the daughter of our Town’s founder Elias Kirk. But Katie and Mary worked well together, or at least that’s how it appeared to this wide-eyed seven-year old.
I loved going down to their house, plunking myself down on the floor at their feet and listening to them weave amazing stories from their lives. History had color, depth, and a vitality that no text book could duplicate. They lived through prohibition! Mary was an honest to God Suffragette, and Katie traveled the world to places so exotic my little girl eyes were wide from her stories.
But the most profound moment with Mary and Katie had very little to do with the stories they kept me enthralled with, although that is how the day began.
There I was, in my usual position. It was summer. I was wearing shorts, a little t-shirt, and had my three day old paid of Keds on my feet when Katie stopped talking, turned to Mary and a look passed between them that I was too young to interpret, but there was a level of absolute certainty in the look they shared.
They both turned back to me and Mary said, “We have to go now. Hurry, to your house.”
For eighty plus year old women, they moved like they had power jets attached to their feet. I had to pump hard with my little girl legs to keep up with them.
We bypassed the house, aimed for the garage, flew up the stairs and found my brother Don, four years my senior, had set fire to a bag of oil dry in the far corner by the loft door. Mary zipped, without ever having been there before, back down those steps for the water hose. Katie grabbed some old tarps tossed them to Don and me and commanded we start beating the tar out of the flames with those tarps. Mary returned with the hose, twisted the nozzle and in no time the fire was history.
How did they know? No smoke had spread to be captured on the very slight breeze that day. How did they know? To this day I have no “logical” answer. Well, yeah, I do sort of, Mary, Katie and my Grandmother were really angels sent here from Heaven to guide, love, and enchant one seven-year old girl, and instill in her the desire to make those women proud.
Today I weave stories that I hope enchant and enthrall
Nonnie, Mary, and Katie are my inspiration in everything I do, and the last thing I want to ever be guilty of is letting them down.
On December 1, 2010, my first novel, SANTA IS A LADY will be released by Muse It Up Publishing. I’ll include an excerpt at the end of this posting. It has been edited but I don’t know if it is the final edit yet.
This is the first of eight contracts I have so far from MUSE IT UP and its erotic side MUSE IT HOT. I will list them according to house beginning with MUSE IT UP first:
1.) SANTA IS A LADY 12/01/2010 (Christmas Miracle Series)
2.) TWILIGHT COMES 05/01/2011
3.) BEYOND YESTERDAY 09/01/2011
4.) THE CHRISTMAS WAR 12/01/2011 (Christmas Miracles Series)
MUSE IT HOT
1.) FOREVER WITH YOU 02/01/2011
2.) THE PENDULUM SWINGS 03/01/2011
3.) IN FROM THE COLD 06/01/2011
4.) THIS TIME FOREVER 08/01/2011
SANTA IS A LADY
Angie lifted the decorated cane from the passenger’s side of her car and gave it one final once over before lowering it to the ground to support her as she made her way across the macadam to the rear entrance of Beck’s store. Beck must have been watching. Angie barely put her foot on the first step when the door opened and Beck stood framed by the weathered molding with a smile across her face. “You made it,” she yelped. “I was afraid you’d change your mind and leave me absolutely stranded.”
“I did promise,” Angie reminded her friend letting Beck tug her inside, closing the door on the winter chill behind them. “But I want that promissory note.”
Beck dropped her guiding hand and stalked across the room to her heavily laden desk, grabbed the top page and virtually thrust it at Angie. “I still can’t believe you made me do this,” she bemoaned.
“That last guy you set me up with wanted to see if he could pole vault onto the balcony of the governor’s mansion using my cane,” Angie reminded Beck, “and the one before that thought it would be really nice to use my big house, to breed mice in , so he could feed his pet cobra for free.”
Beck had the good grace to look embarrassed. “Okay, twice I made errors in judgment.”
“Twice? Have you forgotten Jason Ledbetter?”
“We were kids,” Beck complained. “Besides he was the captain of the Chess team.”
“Yes he was and he thought he was being cute when he told me that he wanted to pawn my knight so he could diddle with my queen.”
“Okay, okay. You’ve made your point, and I signed the damned paper. Can we move on?”
“Sure. Where’s my new Santa suit?”
“I got it right here,” she said reaching for a long box on the shelf to the left of the exit door. “Oh by the way, great idea about the cane,” she added nodding at Angie’s walking device. “I shoulda thought of that.”
“You were too busy browbeating me into this.”
“I promise you are going to do great. Come on. I’ll walk you to the bathroom.”
Mmmm,’ Angie thought, ‘you just want to make sure I don’t take one look at the costume and run screaming into the morning gloom.’
An hour later, Angie was dressed. Her face itched from the annoying beard and her belly sloped out before her thanks to three pillows tucked securely in her oversized pants. Her tiny breasts were wrapped then encircled with what seemed to be miles of wool batting, her hair had been pulled up harshly so the white wig would completely cover any sign of her red-brown hair, and her eyebrows were painted white with something that felt terribly like flour based paste. Her tiny feet stuffed into a dozen thick man socks were then jammed into the patently shiny black boots completing the Santa look. If she hadn’t already needed her cane, she’d need it now with all this junk weighing her down, She waddled into the North Pole Throne chair set up for Santa Claus near the back of the store.
“You look terrific!” Beck praised after eyeing her from all angles. “Better than terrific.”
“I look like an overblown Pillsbury Doughboy,” Angie grumbled.