by Jennie Bentley
Twenty three years ago yesterday, my husband called his sister and said, "I'm getting married tomorrow."
It was April Fools Day, so of course she refused to believe him, even though he swore up and down he was telling the truth. As a result, I got married - at the Queens County Courthouse in New York - with no family in attendance. Mine was in Norway, and wouldn't have been able to come anyway. His was in Pennsylvania and thought he was joking.
We got married on a Thursday, because that was the only day my husband had off work. I took the subway to the courthouse. After the ceremony, I crawled into the back off a painters van and drove out to New Jersey, where my husband had a recording session. I ended up leaving my wedding bouquet - sterling silver roses - in the back of that van, and never got them back. We were dropped off in midtown Manhattan sometime after dark, and took the subway back to Queens, where we had an apartment, stopping to pick up a mushroom pizza and a bottle of Diet Coke on the way. Wedding dinner. I refused to let him carry me across the threshold because I was afraid he'd throw his back out.
Swear to God.
Eleven years ago today, I worked a full day at the last job I held - for the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau - before I went home and got changed preparatory to go out and celebrate my last wedding anniversary as a childless person. I was hugely pregnant, three days past my due date, and ready to have some fun. Then my water broke. Instead of going to dinner, we went to the hospital. By 2 pm on Saturday, April 3rd 1999, I was a mom.
In other words, this is a big weekend for us, with an anniversary, a kid birthday and accompanying sleepover, and Easter, not to mention that everyone's favorite cross dresser, Freddy, is in town. I'm desperately trying to figure out a way to get together with him, but with school out for Good Friday, don't know that I can. Not much writing is getting done either, which is why I'm cobbling this post together out of bits and pieces of personal information you probably wish I'd just keep to myself.
The weather has finally turned warm in Tennessee. We had so many snow days this year that I thought the kids would have to stay in school until Midsummer. Not so. They're adding to the school day instead: thirty minutes a day for a month and a half. And instead of making it easy for me, they're starting one school thirty minutes early, and letting the other out thirty minutes late. Instead of gaining thirty minutes of writing time, my day just lost an hour.
I'm fretting. DIY-4 is in the can and in New York with my editor. The release date is January 2011, for those of you keeping track. I have to write DIY-5 by September, and at the moment it's heavy going. I'm just not feeling it. I'm sure I will, once I get into it, but I'm already at the end of chapter 3 and ought to be feeling something by now. I like the idea, and the way I've got things set up; I just can't seem to get a handle on the writing of it. Most likely it'll all come together in the end, but at the moment, it feels like book 5 will be one of those disasters that never come out right.
I could use some title ideas, by the way. The prevailing thought these days seems to be that my titles should be based on the example of This & That, as in Spackled and Spooked, Plaster and Poison, and Mortar and Murder. (I wanted to call book 4 Island Getaway. It sums the story up perfectly. My editor disagreed. Not renovatey enough.)
Anyway, book 5 is when my protags, Derek and Avery, film a TV show called Flipping Out, the basis of which is flipping a house - i.e. doing a quick renovation and putting the house back on the market - in a week. It's enough to drive anyone to murder, believe me. I need a title that suggests renovation, murder, mayhem, and television. Just in case anyone has any ideas.
I guess that's it from here. Have a wonderful April, everyone. See you next month!