Have I mentioned that my mystery, Skeleton in a Dead Space, will be published in late August? Actually, I think I've mentioned it twenty-eleven times because I'm excited about it. But one marketing project I'm undertaking in preparation is building a new web page, featuring the book. Confession: I submitted my current web page for appraisal (a site called 1st Turning Point evaluates websites). Mine did not fare well--it is hopelessly inadequate and outdated. The picture of me was taken when my kids were in college and since they are now in their forties or rapidly approaching them, that makes it pretty outdated. Another criticism was the lack of links to buy my books--but most of them are now out of print. Dated again!
So I'm building a new page, and the home page will feature the neighborhood in which the mystery is set. Kelly, the protagonist, lives in Fairmount--a historic neighborhood just blocks from me. As a matter of fact, Kelly and I frequent several of the same restaurants, her children attend the school across the street from me--yeah, I really did what they mean when they say write about what you know.
But Fairmount, for those of you not from Fort Worth, is a fascinating inner city neighbhorhood that in the last twenty years or so has undergone great revitalization. It's charming houses have been bought by young people who've updated them while preserving the early 1920s style, and the neighborhood is valued for its location close to downtown. More and more restaurants have flourished, bringing activity to the area. You still occasionally see a rundown house with broken sidewalk and discarded dishwasher on the front porch next to a nicely redone house with a lovely, well cared for garden. But it's getting more rare. Fairmount recently placed first in the Social Revitalization/Neighborliness category of the National 2011 Neighborhood of the Year Awards, for its community garden.
This morning Polly, one of my memoir writers and a talented photographer (responsible for my photo on this blog), and I went about the neighborhood in my VW convertible. We started with the top down, but I soon decided we were getting to sunburned. She photographed the steps of Lily B. Clayton, the school; the Old Neighborhood Grill; Chadra (a restaurant), Nonna Tata (another restaurant), a small office building on Magnolia that looks to me like where Kelly would have her office, and several rows of houses, an individual Craftsman house, and a garden that caught my eye because of the profuse Rose of Sharon. And, finally, a street sign with the Fairmount Neighborhood designation above it. I told Polly if anyone came out and demanded to know why she was taking a picture of their house, I'd just drive away and leave her. But we had fun and a good visit, and she says she got some good shots.
Afterwards we came back to my house, where Polly's husband Mike met us, and we had an early brunch of smoked salmon and cream cheese, and a curried egg anchovy spread I'd made--with, of course, a little white wine to wash it down. And with a lot of good conversation.
This evening Jacob is here. Jay and Susan came for a drink, and I re-served the lunch food, plus we had a spinach/feta dip they'd bought and I decined some wasabi peas--not like me, because I really like wasabi. Poor Jacob really wanted attention, and all he was told was, "I'm relaxing" or "I'm visiting with adults." For supper, I'd bought a rotisseried chicken at the market, but Jacob refused it--I think it was all those green herbs on the skin. He ate broccoli and fruit, lots of fruit. Tonight he told me, in almost simultaneous breaths, that I was the best Juju ever and I was the meanest grandmother ever.
A satisfying Saturday.