Monday, October 20, 2008
Life, Love, Messy Houses, Decorating, and Books
Today is my 30th wedding anniversary, and my wonderful husband just walked in the door with 30 pink roses. But before I go off and celebrate, I wanted to explain about yesterday's blog. I've been receiving emails about it, so I thought I'd clear up the confusion.
Several bloggers, who are also avid fiction readers, figured out that I write books for a living, lol. I value freedom of speech more than I value privacy. But if you read my blog, then you already know this. And this blog was created to bring people together, not apart--so let's all eat some Swiss chocolate, or drink chocolate daiquiris.
Me, I prefer chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, and if anyone has a recipe that EXCLUDES sugar, please let me know. Because I'm DONE with sugar, my thighs are killing me, I could break a man's neck with them, but I am not a violent woman, and besides, I'm digressing.
Digression is what I do best. I don't write design books. I write fiction. When I am not writing, I am decorating, chasing goats, and traveling. I talk to book clubs and visit some of the greatest independent bookstores in the country, if not the world. My favorite is That Bookstore in Blytheville.
TBIB, as it's known among authors, is in Arkansas, about an hour's drive from Memphis. So if anyone lives withing driving distance, go visit this store! No, I don't own stock in it; I just know a darn good bookstore. Obscure Southern writers like myself go there, along with megabestselling authors like Grisham.
Here I am signing books with the owner of TBIB, Mary Gay Shipley.
I also love The Blue Willow in Houston.
and The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina:
While my books aren't eye candy books like Charles Faudree's (and I'm still waiting for his answers to my interview questions), some of my novels have eye candy in them. In Mad Girls, one character is an interior designer, with a degree from Ha'vard School of Interior Design. I have studied interior design--not at Ha'vard, though. I also majored in elementary ed and English--it took me 10 years to get a BS degree, and I finally ended up with a B.S. in Nursing. So if anyone gets a headache while visiting my blog, I keep a stash of Tylenol.
I have written 6 books under my real name, Michael Lee West--five novels and one book about Southern food. I write Southern fiction. My work has been called "wacky" and "irreverent." So if you like that sort of thing, you might like the books. One book even comes with its own warning label (She Flew the Coop: A Novel Concerning Life,Death, Sex, and Recipes). It was a big, fat metaphor, but metaphors can still be offensive to some, so consider yourself warned.
The writing life isn't glamorous. You have to love words more than you love getting your eyebrows waxed. Or shopping for clothes. My husband took this picture at the Peabody Hotel during the January 2008 book tour.
The last two books (Mad Girls and Mermaids) have quite a bit of "eye candy" in them. That way I could write and decorate, and I didn't have to get dressed, shop, or hang art. I didn't even have to brush my hair, which does create problems--but here I go with another digression. If you don't like digressions, it's best to skip my books.I am Southern to the bone, and, well, I just digress. It's in the genes, or maybe the air. My mother says it's a family curse, but she's prone to hyperbole. Just the other day she wrote me a birthday card and forgot my address. So she addressed it to "the white house on the hill with lots of goats and jack asses in the front yard." And the postman delivered it.
Last winter, before I broke my leg and took up blogging, I went to Texas on a book tour. I was in Houston, and in Jefferson, Texas, at the "Girlfriend's Weekend," which is a Pulpwood Queen's book club convention. I don't know if that's near you, Buffie, but it's a lot of fun. And they sell neat things, unusual jewelry and handbags.
If anyone wants to start a book club, check out Pulpwood Queen Book clubs and write to Kathy Patrick, founder of the clubs. She is so much fun! You will love her. And she'll tell you how to get a book club started in your town. She's written a non-fiction guide to book clubbing, The Pulpwood Queens' Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life.
Kathy has a store called The Beauty and the Book--it's a hair salon and bookstore. How great is that? Kathy and I met because I am addicted to coloring my own hair, and I'm always having to buy stuff that removes orange.
Anyway, this picture was taken at the convention last January. Lots of writers go there, and Kathy throws a Big Hair Ball. Everybody's welcome to attend the Girlfriend's Weekend.
More pictures from the tour.
I spoke to Girl Scouts in Jonesboro, Arkansas--here I am with one of the girls.
Every now and then I'll take a break, clean my house, and hit the deli/bakery at Publix. Then I throw a party. This was taken at a Halloween party last year with some of my writer friends--Mister is wearing a diaper!!
Okay, I'm going off to write, and to stick Post-it notes everywhere--the other day my Yorkies were running around with Post-its stuck to their fur. I would love to be decorating, and I need to paint the basement; but for me, writing and decorating don't mix. I decorate in spurts. Then I go off and write for a long time and eat cheesecake. Incidentally, I wouldn't have even started blogging if I hadn't broken my leg--but I'm so glad that I did. Funny how a broken leg can open your life and introduce you to so many wonderful people.
Well, I hope this clears up the mystery a bit. If not, here is a link that might make it clear: Gollum's Website.
So, now there are no more mysteries...well, except one. I just finished a book (and I'm revising it) under a pseudonym, but maybe you all can help me think of a catchy pen name. Then I will write three more books under my real name--this trilogy has food and decorating! Something tells me that my basement will not get painted this year--and the faux deer head will remain in the box. For now, anyway. To tell the truth, I'd rather be writing, and not just because cheesecake is involved...although that helps. A lot.