Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The "K" Word--Kantor

Since most of my blogs have been about me, I thought I’d give you all a break and provide a little insight into my novel. So my “k” word is “Kantor,” the cologne Sabre’s brother, Ron, always wore in The Advocate. Here is an excerpt from the book, page 25:

She opened the office door. A familiar odor caught her attention–faint, but recognizable. Her brother's favorite cologne, Kantor. It had been years since she had experienced the smell of his cologne, unsure if they even still made it. She would check with the other attorneys on Monday to see who in the building wore the cologne. She started to dismiss it when she noticed that her brother's photo, on the credenza behind her desk, was facing the wall. She knew she hadn't moved the photo.
No point in trying to find the cologne, it doesn’t exist except in The Advocate, again on page 181:

As she approached the spot where the stranger had been sitting, she smelled the familiar odor of Kantor cologne. Once again her heart skipped a beat. It was the only cologne Ron ever wore. The smell grew stronger the closer she came to where the man had been seated. She peered around, but he seemed to be gone. She watched as she walked to her car, but no further evidence of him, nor the smell, presented itself. More paranoia?

I guess you’ll have to read the book to see where the smell of Kantor is coming from. If you haven’t done it already, you can click here to enter the drawing to win a free, autographed copy of The Advocate.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The "J" word--Juggle

Can you juggle? Years ago I learned to keep three balls in the air for a while, but I never worked at it hard enough to master it.

On the other hand, like the rest of you, I’ve been juggling things all my life. In college, I juggled schoolwork, a job, the party scene, and managed to get through it without destroying my grade point average. I juggled bills, spending money, and rides for lack of parking. I even went through a period in my life where I was pretty adept at juggling men.

And then there’s the jugular vein (which has nothing to do with the word I started with, but sounds close enough and it does start with “j”). When I was teaching sixth grade, I had a student (yes, a sixth grader—and that wasn’t half as bad as the one with the gun a couple of years later.) come at my jugular vein with a knife. I guess you don’t need to ask why I changed from teaching to law.

So, I’ve juggled many things, survived an attack to the jugular, and even dated a juggler for a few years. Most of my friends probably couldn’t tell you his name. He was simply “The Juggler.” The relationship was an adventure. You can’t imagine the places a juggler can get you into. We stayed in Elvis Presley’s Palm Springs home (long after Elvis was gone), had a shot of Louis the XIII Cognac with some producer in Hollywood (at $100 a shot—totally lost on me), and hung out with Robin Williams at the Comedy Club for hours after it had closed. The juggler, nine years younger than me, had a maturity level at least ten years less than that. But then, what did I expect? After all, I was dating a man who played with his balls for a living.

What do you have the most trouble juggling? Or the most fun?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The "I" Word--Impossible

Growing up I never really thought much about things being “impossible.” As I’ve said before, I went through life doing things because I didn’t know I couldn’t. My sisters function the same way. They’ve all set fine examples for me; none of them know the meaning of impossible.

We’ve all heard of the athlete with a handicap who does the “impossible.” Just about everyone knows about 5’ 7” Rudy Ruettiger who played football for Notre Dame. Or Wilma Rudolph, who became known as “The Black Gazelle.” She overcame polio, scarlet fever, and double pneumonia only to go on to set running records and win Olympic gold medals.

But it’s the little things you do everyday that lead to mastery and eventually overcomes the impossible. Writing that extra paragraph, doing that extra set of exercises, making one more phone call, working that extra hour, saving that extra dollar, stuffing one more envelope…it doesn’t matter what goal you’re trying to reach, it’s the little “impossibilities” that ultimately make you a winner.

So, I think I’ll go eat that extra piece of chocolate and try out for American Idol. Ok, so there are limits, but most of them are in your mind.

I’m a little “Fertile” girl who went on to write a novel, The Advocate, and actually got it published. Who’d ever thought that was possible?

What “impossible” thing have you achieved?

Monday, May 4, 2009

The "H" Word--Hitchhiking

When I was young and very foolish, I spent three months in Europe hitchhiking around the country and sleeping in youth hostels. What an incredible way to see a country. I met so many wonderful people and had unbelievable experiences. I was twenty years old and my traveling companion, Michele, was about the same. We spent the entire summer traveling from one country to another. We started in Amsterdam, met up with old friends from home in Germany, saw the Mona Lisa in France, had a scare in Spain, danced through Italy, stayed in a haunted hostel in Wales, met new relatives in Ireland, and had other great adventures in Switzerland, Austria, England, and Lichtenstein. We met fellow travelers from all over the world and locals that often gave us housing and superb hospitality.

In those days, they didn’t have our fast food restaurants and it was impossible to find a good hamburger. We were very young and although we liked most of the food, we didn’t appreciate it as we may have had we been a little older. We were starved for good old American food. We finally found an import store. We sat outside on the steps for almost two hours until it opened. Once inside, we paid about five times the amount we would have at home for a jar of peanut butter. We thought we had died and gone to heaven. We would buy fresh loaves of bread in the bakeries and fruit from the stands on the streets and ate fruit and peanut butter sandwiches for about a week…until our peanut butter was gone.

Hitchhiking was the best way to travel back then. I was a college student at the time, and a bit of a hippie…not the real thing…I had too much “Catholic guilt” to get into the free love thing and the drug scene didn’t appeal to me. So, with my hair in braids and my loose outfits, I was sort of a hippie wannabe. I did hippie things, like: travel with just a single bag pack all summer, wash my clothes by hand in cold water and hang them out to dry, took cold showers (ok, so I had no other options), go barefoot or wear sandals, and of course, hitchhike.

We hitchhiked from city to city and then took the bus system around to see the sites, except in Italy. There we even hitchhiked in the city because the Italian men were so eager to give us rides. And yes, they do (or did then) pinch your bottom when you walked down the streets, just like in the old movies.

Hitchhike, a word my mother never quite forgave me for. She didn’t know until I got home what my mode of travel had been. She would have been so worried, and rightly so, but I know she also admired my sense of adventure. Now, I’m older and much wiser and will no longer even take a ride on a roller coaster, much less with a stranger. So now when I get the urge to put on jeans and a sweatshirt and hitchhike down the highway, I know I'm only dreaming of a time gone by.

Have you ever hitchhiked? Or picked up a hitchhiker? Please share your story.