I want to give a hearty welcome to the next new Murder She Writes blogger, Deborah Coonts! (Cheers, applause, whistles.)
I met Deborah first through her books. Maryelizabeth from Mysterious Galaxy recommended her 18 months ago when I was in San Diego speaking to the RWA chapter. I bought her first two books and shipped them off to my first reader–my mom. My mom gave two thumbs up to Deborah’s LUCKY series, so I was thrilled when Deborah introduced herself at the RWA conference in New York last year. Then, we further bonded at Left Coast Crime where we shared a bottle of champagne during our “Sex in Mysteries” panel. I hope you enjoy her first blog post for us, and welcome her into the MSW family!
By Deborah Coonts
Being a grown-up can really suck…especially when the mercury rises.
I used to like summer. Of course that was when I thought nothing of running around town in cut-offs, the top to my bikini, and flip-flops. When I could take three months off from life, park my brain and play. Now, most decency laws prevent anyone with my thighs from wearing short shorts and my publisher still believes in deadlines. I know, go figure.
So here I sit, fingers poised over the keyboard, summoning the muse. The only problem: that muse of mine apparently didn’t get the memo. Even my give-a-damn has taken a hiatus. And inspiration? Well, she packed her bags as well, and, when she left, apparently she took all my imaginary friends with her. I sure wish they’d tell me where they’ve gone. I keep calling but they don’t answer. No, I am not feeling the love. But, to be honest, this isn’t the first time they’ve left me.
Out of ideas and abandoned by inspiration, I decide to take my normal cure: I repair to bar to sip away my sorrow. Ernest Hemingway used to say write drunk, edit sober. Hey, it worked for him. And this little scribbler sure isn’t one to ignore Hemingway’s advice… at least not when takes me to the bar.
The local watering hole is crowded. I sidle onto a stool next to two ladies. With a casual glance, I decide they are both on the backside of seventy with forty pounds or so of experience softening their frames.
The one closest to me turns and meets my eye. “Honey, are you single?”
Dang. Immediately I panic a bit. Is it that obvious? Am I giving off some unknown pheromone or something? Of course, the fact that I am alone and have just ordered a gin and tonic, no tonic, might be a bit of a giveaway.
“Yup, I’m single.” Boy, if she only knew. I’d even been rejected by my imaginary friends. I eye the two grandmothers. “Why?”
The lady next to me nods and elbows her friend, who also bobs in my direction, her gray curls bouncing. “You stay that way,” the one closest to me says. She even pats my hand. “Men, they just want two things.”
Now my mother used to always warn men only wanted one thing. Now it’s two? “Really? Care to share?”
“Well,” they both lean in conspiratorially as the one next to me continues. “The only things a man wants from women our age…” She pauses as I narrow my eyes.
My displeasure must be evident even thought I don’t say a word. Our age? Really?
She smooths her skirt and rearranges her composure. “Yes, the only things a man wants from women like us are a nurse or a purse, and preferably both.”
The sip of gin I had just taken squirts out my nose. After dabbing at the liquid with the tail of my shirt—the only cloth within reach—I hastily dig in my computer bag (yes, I take my computer everywhere—just in case.) “Really? A nurse or a purse?”
With their eyes as big as saucers, they nod sagely. Then the second says, “Besides, why buy a pig if you just want a little sausage?”
Now I’d heard that before—I think it’s an Andy Rooney classic or something, but coming out of the mouth of this cherubic little lady… well, I’m very visual, let me leave it at that.
I tag the bartender as I wave a finger at the drinks sitting in front of the ladies. “Another round, please. On me.” Then I turned back to my fellow barflies. “You guys date a lot, then?”
“Oh, my word,” the lady furthest from me says. “You have no idea. My phone rings off the wall.”
Her compatriot nods in agreement. “Mine, too.”
“I want some of what you got.” After telling them I am a writer and that’s why I’m taking notes, and after they’d polished off their first beverages and started into the replacements, I say, “So, tell me about dating.”
“It all started with Match.com….”
I settle in to listen to their story.
Inspiration hadn’t gone too far after all. As I listen, a story takes shape. Two older ladies go to Vegas to lay waste to the male half of the population. I can just picture it.
Ah, inspiration, she can run, but she can’t hide. I can find her in the most unusual places…even in the bar.
When ideas abandon you where do you find your inspiration?