So one day (a few years back), I was having lunch with a dear and cherished friend, and mentor (her name is Jean T.). As we sat talking, she mentioned that she had been reading her grandfather’s journals and had come across an interesting little tidbit.
Jean explained that her grandfather and his little family had been living in Espanola, New Mexico…and that her grandfather didn’t like the way some of the young men there were ‘pursuing’ his daughters. It worried him for various reasons, and so he moved his family to Albuquerque.
Jean told me that in his journal, her grandfather explained that he was able to rent a house for free down in Corrales in Albuquerque. (Though, if one is renting a house for free…is it really renting? Hmmm.) Well, it turns out that the reason Jean’s grandfather was able to rent the house in Corrales without paying rent, was that it was haunted! That’s right! A real haunted house right there in Jean’s grandfather’s journal! Naturally I was intrigued.
Well, as the story went, Jean’s grandfather quickly discovered that the house wasn’t really haunted at all (I was disappointed at the news myself)…but that there were actually just bats living in the attic and everyone heard the bats banging around up there and assumed the house was haunted. A little bit of a let down for me perhaps…but a great story…and I was, of course, instantly inspired by Jean’s story of her grandfather’s not-so-haunted house and the bats in the attic.
“Ooo!” I breathed as the goose bumps of writing inspiration began to wash over me. “Can I use that in a book, Jean?”
She laughed and told me that I could.
Well, Jean and I enjoyed the rest of our visit, and then I promptly went home, sat down at my computer, and began writing The Light of the Lovers’ Moon! No kidding! True story! That one intriguing excerpt from Jean’s grandfather’s journal was the entire basis of my inspiration for my book The Light of the Lovers’ Moon!
However, here comes the funny part…months later, once the e-book was out and Jean had read it (it IS dedicated to her, after all…and deservedly so), Jean and I were again at lunch (this time with other friends). Jean started grinning and explained to me that, once my book had become available and she’d read it, she went back to her grandfather’s journal to enjoy the haunted house story once more.
“I told you something wrong,” she said.
“What?” I asked.
“It wasn’t really bats in the attic that made people think the house was haunted. It was rats!” she explained.
Naturally, we both began cracking up (and of course you would have to have been there for it to really be funny). Here I’d written an entire book based around one story she’d told me…and in the end, it hadn’t even been bats in the attic.
Of course, bats in an attic are much, much, mucho more romantic than rats in the attic, so I explained to Jean that I was glad she’d unintentionally misrepresented her grandfather’s story because I might not have been inspired by rats the way I had been by bats. In fact, I’m certain I wouldn’t have been inspired by rats.
It ain’t much to share today I suppose…just a little behind the scenes story that not too many people have heard. (I love to say “ain’t” by the way…I feel so free and rebellious when I do!)
Jean is so funny! She cracks me up all the time with little remarks like, “Oh I always, always wanted to be a florist and own my own flower shop,” she said one day. Then she shrugged and sighed, “But I joined the Army instead.”
Then there was the one a few weeks ago…Jean and her husband Tom, were at the gun store and as Tom continued to peruse the firearms available, Jean began to get a little bored. Well, she’d noticed that there was a massage place next to the gun store, and so she told Tom she was going to go over and have a foot massage. Jean is 70, looks not a day over 45, and I couldn’t imagine she would ever need a foot massage…but I guess she did.
Anyway, Jean trotted on over to the massage place and went in. She explained to one of the ladies there (who didn’t speak English very well) that she wanted a foot massage. The lady kind of looked at her funny, and even had to go ask another lady where to get the foot massage stuff and how to do a foot massage. Jean thought nothing about it really, and sat down to the worst foot massage she’d ever had in her life!
“But it only cost me ten bucks,” she explained, “so I figured, it wasn’t a total waste of money.”
Well, you’ve probably guessed it by now…but a couple of weeks later…that “massage place” where Jean received the worst foot massage she’d ever had in her life…yep! Busted for prostitution!
Oh you should’ve heard the comments flying back and forth between Jean and me! She said she was glad she hadn’t been in there when the place was busted, and we made jokes about what would the newspaper headlines would have said above her shocked and surprised front page photo! She said, no wonder it was the worst foot massage she’d ever had in her life! Oh we went on and on and on with the smart aleck remarks. It was awesome!
Jean keeps me very, very, VERY entertained and has inspired several threads in several books since the “bats in the attic” story caused inspiration first hit me! (Including Elisaveta Tanner’s remark about the only kind of ring Maxim’s girlfriend would ever get from him would be the one in an antique toilet. Long story…Jean and Tom…new toilets for Christmas…yadda yadda.)
I love Jean…she teaches me soooooooooooo much and has such a great sense-of-humor. She’s totally one of my idols, inspirations and most treasured friends. The stories I could tell!
Now, I don’t know why, but Jean did inspire me for this week’s contest, too (probably because we always “do” lunch). But first…last week’s winner, right?
Carol L. (Lucky4750) you won the Australia DVD! E-mail your snail mail address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll run over to the Post Office and get your DVD sent off to you! Okay?
As for this week’s contest…hmmm. Well, I’m hungry at this very moment (as usual), and I can’t stop thinking about Chili’s chips and salsa! I LOVE their chips and salsa! Those warm, thin, delicious tortilla chips and the FABULOUS salsa! Mmmm! So this week’s contest is for a $25 Chili’s gift certificate! Just leave a comment and you’re entered to win! (You know the drill, right?) Mmmm! Chips and salsa at Chili’s! Perfect for today!