Spotted: My Next Protagonist

284009567_5f48feb20bA tiny woman with long, straight, blunt-cut blonde hair walks down my street most afternoons. She wears tight white jeans with a belt of silver medallions, silky white shirt, hat as big as a dinner plate and dark sunglasses. Her pace is slow. Something drifty about her stride makes me wonder about her. It wasn’t until recently that I saw her close up as I passed her on the sidewalk. Her face is pale and without a wrinkle, her jaw line is sharp—almost painfully so—over a silver necklace. I’d guess she is seventy years old or more, a good example of the idea that, for a price, (the new) seventy years old is thirty-five.

Of course I know nothing about her but she has unknowingly wandered to the head of the list of people I want to write about.

Why? Isn’t she only dupe to some cosmetic surgeon? Doesn’t the world laugh at her once she’s stepped out the door? Don’t all kinds of sycophants smile and call her pet names and tell her what they know she wants to hear? And doesn’t she reward them with big tips?

Maybe, but that’s not all. The rest is human. Once she gets a name and a history and one or two husbands, she’ll look me the eye, cough—a smokers’ cough? And set me straight.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/11827916@N00/284009567″>A mush have read for one and all</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Slamming Soup

1399835759_9cd88121b1_s   I love the research. That’s why writing historical fiction is fun, but also more challenging. Research takes me down some grizzly paths. Last night I was enjoying the scrumptious butternut squash soup at a little cafe, using my lone dinnertime to look up both big and little story details on Google. I was immersed when an acquaintance called from across the room. I went over to say hello. When I returned I found I’d left Apple open to a page describing the technical aspects of “slamming” cocaine into a neck vein, including graphics. Do you aim up or down? What size needle? What difference does it make? As I reseated myself, I was greeted with a variety of looks, most on the quizzical side, fortunately. No one seemed concerned. I don’t present as addict material. Not that kind, anyway. In case you’re wondering, never ever aim down, towards the heart. That will be the last thing you aim anywhere. Soup for Dinner