Message From The Author

Author's Message

Portraits

I enjoy writing humor. Some of my scenes are based on personal experience. There is an incident that comes to the forefront of my mind, that I can (now) laugh at.

It was September of '94 in Phoenix, AZ. Fellow pal and Pocket author, Sue Rich, and my (fabulous, attractive, generous) editor, Caroline Tolley, and I were in Phoenix for the Desert Rose Conference. Caroline took Sue and myself to a high-class restaurant.

We were shown to a lovely table where I read the menu eager to be treated to such elegance. (My husband's idea of a romantic night out is the Sizzler's all-you-can-eat special.) I settled on a scallion tortellini appetizer to open my meal.

Let me digress a moment to describe what I was wearing. It was a sleeveless black pantsuit. The tunic had buttons down the front. (Dare I admit that under normal circumstances, this outfit is somewhat becoming on me. But when I put on a few pounds-all right, more than a few-the bodice is rather, er, tight. Before you start imagining a Looney Tunes Petunia Pig in a too-tight tutu, allow me to say it wasn't that bad-but bad enough for apparent, um, strain on the buttons.)

While I'm contentedly enjoying my appetizer, there is a ping. I look down. My third button (yes, folks, that crucial one) is precariously close to the tortellini. Horrors! All I can say is, I'm glad this wasn't my first meeting with Caroline. Had it been, I would have taken the opportunity to slither beneath the table.

As it was, I believe I said something to the effect of: "Ohm'gosh, my button just came off." My memory fails me as to what Caroline's reaction was. (Or perhaps I have purposely had a mental block.) Sue, bless her heart, had a safety pin on her. We excused ourselves to the ladies room and Sue fished the pin from somewhere on her person. I can't recall what article of clothing it was suspending on her, but apparently not anything as urgent as my exposed brassiere.

That taken care of, I returned to my seat. Sipping generously of my wine for fortification, I felt my embarrassment begin to abate. It was then Caroline discretely commented to me that I had something green between my teeth. A dreaded scallion. Back to the ladies room for repairs, where at this point, I was considering taking my life by flushing myself (safety pin and scallion) down the toilet. But I managed to get through the rest of the (truly excellent) meal without further catastrophe.

I guess the point in my retelling this is, we writers add dimension to our characters through real life incidents. This debacle might just pop (no pun intended) up (out?) in a future book of mine. Until then, I hope you'll give PORTRAITS a try.

Write to me at P.O. Box 121, Meridian, ID 83680-0121. An SASE is helpful.


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