I passed up a free trip to Singapore because of 32* temperatures with 100% humidity. My aunt was willing to play for my plane ticket and told me not to worry the because the car and house was air conditioned but I was more concerned about that thirty second run to the car. I 'd be a lather of sweat and as whiny as an out of tune violin. Singapore would be the very last place on this planet that I would visit, well that and the rain forest. Ask hubby, it wouldn't have been pretty. I panic in the heat and my mood swings from ordinarily pleasant to hide the sharp objects. Possibly in a previous life, if such a thing exists, I was suffocated in a small confined space, maybe burned at the stake or squashed under a door covered in rocks in Salem.......
It isn't that I'm claustrophobic. I just can't tolerate inhaling hot air and having the stickiness of humidity on my face, my pores unable to breathe, like a veil or amniotic sack. Maybe it all goes back to the time when they tied my mother's legs together to keep me from being born and I was trapped in the birth canal until blue? Or maybe as a small child, playtime went awry and someone trapped me under a duvet or something. Anyway, it ain't pretty cause I'd push old ladies and babies to the ground to get to cool air. So that's my curse. If anyone hates me out there and would like to see me tortured, take me on a tropical holiday!
So my neurosis aside, I have a bit of exciting news....at least I think it is. I marvel how sometimes out of the blue things pop up unexpectedly as if it was part of a big plan. Coincidence? Maybe....but sometimes it's as if your life is mapped out step by step and you just follow it until you get to the landing. So something opportune happened and I would like to share it.
By chance, last December, a man and his girlfriend walked into the shop because the window caught their interest. They didn’t know anything about rug hooking and had a good look around, asked a few questions and seemed interested in the process but didn’t plan to take it up as a hobby. They were just a lovely young couple exploring Mahone Bay. Then the man turned around and written across his jacket were two words that grabbed my eye and set my pulse racing. "Forensic Science".
With bated breath I asked if he was a Forensic Scientist. He said yes and I just about swooned. He was a tall, handsome, cool drink of water but my attraction wasn’t for him as a man, I was interested in his profession. All I could think was, how lucky, he was working in a field I have wanted to explore my entire life. If I hadn’t been married so young I would be a pathologist now, spending my days with the newly departed answering the questions of their demise.
I’ve been interested in dead bodies my entire life. As far back as five years old I was fascinated with death and it all began with the assassination of President Kennedy. I remember the very second that changed my life forever, when my mother hustled me from the room just before his flag draped casket came into focus on the TV screen. Her intent was pure, she thought she was protecting me from nightmares but all it did was make my imagination sore with every bit of darkness that had ever crossed my path; skulls, ghosts and goblins, worms, bats and Halloween frights. The obsession was born.
So Mr. Forensic and I chatted away about this and that, how TV shows are poorly done and flawed. Most may not be aware of little inconsistencies but I’ve been collecting tidbits for years and notice when something is off. I also see mistakes in editing, a mole will start in one spot and end in another, a shot of a dead body will move position from frame to frame, chemicals are mispronounced and misused. I call these turnoffs. Once I watch a show riddled with errors, it spoils the experience for me. For all the money they spend on production you would think they would have researchers and editors that pick up on these things, pay some attention to the details.
So we chatted some more and I told him I had always wanted to be a pathologist but at this point in my life I was happy to end it as a hooker….rug, that is. So then I casually mentioned that my interest in death and murder had manifested into a novel that I’ve been working on for the past year. He was keenly interested in the book and told me his department would endorse it when I finished, gave me his card and left. Apparently they like to endorse local authors and my novel fit their directive. I asked what fiction could offer those who deal in fact and he said to solve crimes one has to put themselves in a killers shoes, think as they think, so my novel being based on the perspective on a killer would fit nicely.
I wasn’t quite sure what endorsing my book meant but pinned the card to my bulletin board and didn’t give it another thought until a few weeks ago when he emailed me to ask about the book’s progress and that he would like me to present my novel to Saint Mary’s University Forensic Society’s in February. Holy crap! Is this like a dream come true? And then holy crap, I’ve got to get a move on!
I’m half way through the book and if I put a hustle on I can finish in time and self-publish before the deadline. I’ve been floundering for months as I had initially wanted to be done for last Christmas. The new website and blog writing has taken a bit of time away from the book but now I am ready to get back at it full force. I have an editor on board to help and feel it isn’t unrealistic to have it finished by the end of this year. So I have to balance the book, my shop coming into the busiest time of year and try to scrape out some semblance of a personal life over the next couple of months. I can’t pass up this opportunity so I’m determined to make it work and I’m very excited to see what the experts will say about the non-traditional ways I bump people off.
I don’t profess to know where this stuff is coming from but let's say I have a very active imagination. For some reason, and it might be because I’ve read and watched so many murder plotted shows and books, that it’s second nature? I started with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys mysteries, graduated to Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Poirot and then over the years devoured every murder novel and whodunnit I could get my hands on.
The book began one morning with a trip to the bathroom when a thought balloon said to me, you should write a book about a serial killer. Weird…I thought, where did that come from?.....but I bought a few journals and started jotting down ideas and within a month I had the story outline. Now comes the real commitment of filling in between all those rough outlines to make a complete story. The real work!
I’m telling you for two reasons. One, divulging this will make me stay on point because now people know and I don’t want egg on my face if I procrastinate. Second, every now and then I might skip a blog day if I’ve been up all night writing on the book. I think I can balance the two nicely, get out my super woman cape and shake out the wrinkles. If, in this race against time, I can’t pull it all together the Society isn’t going anywhere and there will be other semesters, but it would be nice to complete the first book and move on. This novel already has a sequel mapped out which I hope will turn into a trilogy….so I’ll be knee deep in murder for a bit.
So wish me luck. I’ll need it. If anyone could arrange for the day to have one or two more hours tacked on it would be greatly appreciated. I can feel a big ole case of insomnia coming up but who needs sleep anyway?