Friday, December 21, 2012

The end of the line-- Mayan Calendar 2013

This is the end.  My only friend, the end.  Bummer, Jim! 

I sit here on the eve of the end of this phase of the Maya calendar and wonder-- if the world ends, so what?  I just had one of the best weeks of my life.  My time on earth may be complete.


I sat up close and personal at a hot Aerosmith show.  Extra bonus:  celeb crush, Johnny Depp, joined them for a few numbers.  

Friday, I enjoyed Kinky Friedman singing and reading from his latest book at McCabe's in Santa Monica.  


Among other things, he unkindly remarked that people like Ellen and me, who still enjoy music of the 70s are "insects trapped in amber."  Aw gee, what does he know anyway?  


A few nights later, I biked to two spectacular fireworks shows on the same night in Manhattan Beach.  One was a holiday show, the other celebrated the 100th birthday of Manhattan Beach.  

Does it get much better than that for a fireworks freak like me?  I'm afraid not.  



Mayas~ let the apocalypse begin!



Thursday, December 13, 2012

After12-12-12 ~~ The Next Big Thing


No-- not the Mayan Death Date


Thank you, Cora Ramos,  for twisting my arm  politely asking me to do this Next Big Thing post.

Here's the deal.  I answer ten questions about my latest writing project, published by Oak Tree Press in January 2013. You now get a peek into Murder's Last Resort.

The Next Big Thing is a blog hop that’s been traveling from site to site, and I was tagged by the chipper Ms. Cora Ramos. Be sure to check out her site-- she has an interesting POV. 

I answer ten questions about my current WIP, then tag five other bloggers to play the next round.  I couldn't twist five other people's arms find anyone else interested at this busy time of year, but I did find one victim willing participant, James J. Murray. (Give him a big hand.)  


After you read the interview answers below, then peruse the list the blog at the end of this post and check out his site--give him time to get his answers up, though. You might find a new book you want to check out or inspiration for writing ideas.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book?
         Murder's Last Resort
Choice of cover art (which do YOU prefer?)



  1. or



Where did the idea come from for the book?
            Some people I knew wrote page-turners with a lot of local color.  I reckoned I could do that, too, by writing about a place I had enjoyed and experienced in a prior life.
What genre does your book fall under?
            Classic murder mystery.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
            My protagonist, Maya French, should be petite and dark-haired, like Mila Kunis or Eva Longoria.
            Jake, good-looking BFF to Maya-- some fair-haired young swain.
            Lily, Maya's gal pal-- someone down to earth with a British accent, or at least a good fake British accent-- maybe that gal who played wardrobe mistress on Ugly Betty.
            French, Maya's husband, someone with Boy Scout values and clean, dependable, blue-eyed good looks.  Think young Paul Newman or Robert Redford.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
            Maya, a renegade corporate wife, tracks down the killer or killers of her husband's business associates on the hotel resort property where she is "the first lady", risking her reputation and her life to solve the crimes. 
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
            My book was scouted at a writer's conference by Sunny Frazier, acquisitions editor for Oak Tree Press.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
            I started it in 1999, but put it down for eleven years. When I picked it up again and got serious, it took a little over a year.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
            I would compare this to mysteries that are not so hard-boiled.  They're sometimes called "cozies".  They're not so much about blood, guns, guts and violence.  They're more about the inner landscape of the characters, distinctive places, people and times.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
            My inspiration was Kinky Friedman.  Here was a man who reinvented himself from eclectic country singer to best-selling mystery writer, humorist, philosopher and politician.  
I don't think I could become any of those other things, but seeing him morph made me think about undeveloped talents that lurk in all of us.  It's about discipline and risk-taking.  Why not go for something new and different?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
            It's a period piece set in the go-go 80s, a time of exaggerated affluence and affectation for many Americans.  Think Reaganomics and trickle-down theories.  The characters in the book are living large and loving it.
         
Go visit James J. Murray at: 


Prescription For Murder | MURDER…MAYHEM…MEDICINE

jamesjmurray.wordpress.com/
by James JMurray, Fiction Writer. 
(Give him a day to get his answers up and find new participants.)    

Rules of the Next Big Thing
***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
                   (Good luck with that, James!)

Any questions, comments or suggestions? Leave a comment if you like. I would love it.


Monday, December 10, 2012

How I Cheer Myself with Kristen Bell

       Sometimes, when I'm having a crap day, I watch the Youtube of Kristen Bell on The Ellen Show.  I wish I knew myself as Kristen knows herself.  She knows she has a limited range of controlled, mellow emotions. As she blinks back tears, she looks as vulnerable as a tiny kitten.  Adorable. Where are the swollen eyelids, nose and purple lips I sport when I have a meltdown? 



       To complete my session of self-therapy, I'll add the Auto-Tuned version of Kristen Bell on The Ellen Show.  



       Dear Gregory Brothers, please come Auto-Tune my life.  

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Last Issue or Gruesome Lawn Sh*t



       I have a friend who calls pink flamingos, resin deer, painted elves, brightly colored gazing balls on pedestals-- any and all ornamental garden decor-- Lawn Sh*t.  She would be shocked to know that Mt. Sac named its literary and visual arts magazine, Creepy Gnome.
       What thinking went into this?  No idea.  I just know they put out a quality product and they want you in it. 

       The staff, pictured below, 



wants your submissions for their third issue, "The Last Issue".  Is it really their last issue?  Based on personal experience, I doubt it.  Every time I think I've tackled my last issue, three more crop up.
       For further info and deets on how to submit your masterpieces, go to the following link:  https://www.facebook.com/CreepyGnome?fref=ts


The literary and visual arts magazine of Mt. San Antonio College. Send all submissions to cgsubmissions@gmail.com! Click "About" and read the "Description" section for more details on how to send us your work.

       Go on, do it.  Submit.  You'll be in good company.  My work will mingle there with yours.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Why I Became a Writer

        Today, I interrupt my ramblings to take part in a blogathon, in which a number of us are posting brief statements on our blogs and/or websites telling why and how we became writers.
        Please visit my friends and colleagues and leave encouraging comments on their posts.

John Brantingham and Sunny Frazier http://johnbrantingham.blogspot.com/
John Lewis      http://www.Lions-post.blogspot.com
Eileen Obser   www.eileenobser.com
Charlotte San Juan    http://charlottesanjuan.wordpress.com
Kyle Van Sant          http://pkvansant.blogspot.com/

           On the ride home last night, after the customary Thanksgiving Day foodfest, I asked my mom and Alan why they thought I had become a writer.
       Mama:  Because you already did everything else.
       Me:     I knew you would say that.  When I was a child, did you have any idea I'd become a writer?
       Mama:  No.  I thought maybe an artist, because you drew well.  Or, maybe a poet, because as a kid, you wrote good poetry.  Also, your sons write, so you're trying to show them you write.   
[ Huh? I thought they write because I write!? ]

~        ~         ~

        Alan:  John Steinbeck said it so many times-- writers become writers because they have something to say.  Also, they want to leave something of themselves behind.

***

         They're both right.  They're both wrong.  I always wanted to write.  I always did write-- journals, long letters to friends and the dreaded white person's Christmas letters.  I have the diaries, correspondences and archives to prove it.  I just didn't have the nerve to move beyond personal writing to something more general.
        I don't know that I'm a natural born storyteller, but it's never too late to become one.  As for leaving something behind, I have my two wonderful sons who represent me better than my own words ever could.
       Why do you do what you do and have you always wanted to do it?  Or did you fall into it by accident?

The Night of Writing Dangerously




       Never having been, I didn't know what to expect.  Dressed for comfort and long hours of writing, I looked like the Brawny paper towel guy.  The elevator doors opened into the vestibule of the veddy elegant Julia Morgan Ballroom on the fifteenth floor of the San Francisco Mercantile Exchange Building.
       Lindsay Grant, in full-length black gown, and Chris Baty, looking very Philip Marlowe, greeted me with generous noblesse oblige smiles. Behind them, knots of elegantly turned out writers in fishnet hose, peplumed suits and fascinators chatted in bright-eyed animation.  And that was just the men.
       There were marble floors and a roaring fire surrounded by a hearth bearing the words, "Let Friendship Warm Thee."  I grabbed my welcome packet and slunk past twenty gumshoes in trench coats and fedoras.  In the bar area, I searched the crowd for other morons like me, dressed in what we wear to Starbucks to write on a Tuesday morning.  I found them-- more than a handful-- and stuck like glue.
         Drowning my wardrobe sorrows in drink seemed appropriate, so, with my right hand, I signaled the barkeep for a Cosmonovelton while I reached for a bacon-wrapped shrimp with my left.  Next, I'd try a Noveltini.
        The bartender shook his head, and gave a warning grimace.
        "Don't do it.  They're foul.  Have a Lemondrop instead."
        I go with local knowledge, so a Lemondrop it was.  By the time they let us into the ballroom at 5PM sharp, I was dressed in a backless velvet gown, over-the-elbow red satin gloves, stiletto heels and pearls.  I staked my claim near the candy buffet (come on, people, priorities-- PRIORITIES!), and crept under my chosen table, trying to connect my laptop to the power source.  It took some time.  While I was down there, with my backside hanging out from beneath the black taffeta, floor-length tablecloth,  I made friends and influenced not a few people.


        My table of writers (The Femmes Fatales) started out seriously enough, but after dinner, photographers taking author profile shots, cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies, our group concentration on the task at hand flagged.  However, we soldiered on and excelled at word sprints and table word wars, despite the  distraction of too many writers who had the nerve to complete their 50,000 word goal at the event and call attention to themselves by ringing a very loud bell à la checkers at Trader Joe's.
        I ran into Andrew Turner, wearing a victor's crown (one more obnoxious 50,000 word guy) and he introduced me to about thirty of his closest NaNoWriMo friends.

     

By 11PM, I had run out of charm and my fingers were but bloody stumps.  I descended in the heavily ornamented elevators to the street, tired but satisfied, where my chariot waited.  Can't wait to go again next year.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lights and San Francisco

      I love lights, don't you?  Here's a photo I took from the Griffith Park Observatory a while back.  So noir.



       I wish I had been with the astronomers at the Observatory on the morning of the big quake of '71.  They got the best show in L.A.  As the city rolled and heaved before them, generators all over town snapped and exploded, giving the entire event the festive air of city-wide fireworks.
     I love fireworks, too, don't get me started.  Ooh Ahh, Ooh Ahh.  Here's some  'works I took at a Dodyers game.





       When I arrive in San Francisco, I blast Journey's song, "Lights", on the Iphone and sing along as loud as I can.  The song is about a lonely rock star, surveying the city he loves at dawn.  I never arrive at dawn, so I sing, "When the lights go on in the City, and the moon shines on the ba-a-a-a-y..."
       I was in San Francisco last weekend for the Night of Writing Dangerously, which I have renamed The Night of Eating Endlessly.  At least, that's how it was for me.  Read about that in my next post.
       You might enjoy this Youtube featuring Journey and The City we all love.  


Post Script:  4/30/13  I just checked this post for the first time in eons.  They have blocked my Youtube.  WHY?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cleopatra, the Ho-Bag of Canopus




A month ago, May and I visited the Cleopatra exhibit.  I was going to do a bang-up job describing the dredged-up treasures on display and the things we learned, but then, in the snap of a wig, my life changed.
I was going to mention how the Romans looked down their long, well, Roman noses at Cleo.  She was a slut to them and she and her Egyptian subjects were all going to hell.  The Romans further hated Cleo for bewitching both Julius Cesar and Mark Anthony.  
     Never mind that she was brilliant, had studied at the famous library of Alexandria, and spoke at least five languages.  After the Romans destroyed her reign, they also destroyed all images of her, so that the world is left with only descriptions of what was said to be the most beautiful woman who ever lived.  
     Imagine the Romans being scandalized by the Egyptians! We think of the Romans as decadent and debauched.  Seems they were trollish little prudes compared to the party-hearty Egyptians.                 
I recommend this exhibit, but I want to tell you about my life.  I’ve been trying to lease out my home in Claremont since May.  While I was visiting Northern California with my college roommate, Joyce, I got the word -- a lovely family wanted to lease my home.  I had to be out in 12 days.


Hello, stress, good-bye Claremont.  I packed boxes, my friends and family packed boxes.  I found the Real Rock & Roll Movers on Yelp.  They put my things in Door to Door storage units and, as their name suggests, they ROCKED!  


      The day of my move was a comedy of reversals and surprises, starting with the flat tire on my van, a steady drenching rain, and continuing with the scary fact that my five storage units were filled within an hour of Robo and his Band of Merry Men’s arrival.  I needed more units.
That night, I was invited to Charlotte’s birthday and the Cleopatra in me was ready to party.  I sat at the bar of Tokyo Something, enjoying a frosty libation and congratulating myself on a day well executed despite the bumps.  Odd... no one I knew was walking through the door.  
       I texted John, who told me they were assembled at a different Tokyo Something.  I arrived stylishly late. Since there was sushi, mochi and sake, and it was John’s treat, things worked out great.
       Now I sit in Playa Del Rey.  I’m on day six here and the shell shock may be subsiding.  It’s hard to tell.  I’m living out of boxes and plan to rely on the kindness of strangers till I find a new home.  I have always wanted a vagrant, gypsy life and here it is.  Whoo-hooo!
     

Thursday, October 11, 2012

West Hollywood Book Festival 2012

   It was going to be another scorcher, so  I visited the WesHo Book Festival early.  I was parked at the Blue Whale well before the event opened.
     The weather did not disappoint and, by the time I crawled back to my car, flattening my body like a flounder against the meager shade of nearby buildings in the noonday sun, I thought I might expire along the way. This, despite the fact I was "packing".
     Yes, that's right, gentle readers, I was armed-- with bottles of ice cold water and even my trusty pink spritz bottle, which gets a lot of laughs of derision, followed by, "Would you please give me a spritz of that?"
     My self-proclaimed mission was to "scheck it out", as my favorite disappeared comedian, Jesus Salazar, used to say, so that I could be a better volunteer for the much-anticipated, future, better-than-any-other-book-festival-or-fair San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival slated for Valentine's Weekend 2013 (February 15-17).  How was that for a swift, seamless plug?
     Stalwart but free of actual warts, I stalked the booths and the panels, casting a discerning eye and keen ear over all involved.  I was impressed with the stories that were being told, the poetry being read aloud, the rapt audiences and the merchandise being offered by various publishers and vendors.
     I snuck past my own Sisters in Crime, L.A. Chapter.  Coward that I am, I was afraid they might call me to fill in while hardworking volunteers in the stuffy white tent hiked back to the library for a pee-pee break.  It was already hot, I was already awilt and I can be lame, sometimes.
     I listened to one brilliant panel, Threats of Violence, which featured Gar Anthony Haywood, Jack O'Haloran, Dick Lochte and moderated by Tom Nolan.  T'was a good thing Nolan drew out Haywood and Lochte first, because once O'Halloran opened his mouth, we were all,  audience and panelists alike, glued to his stories of the rich, famous and infamous.
     Nothing, absolutely nothing, can compete with personal stories about dead mobsters, political families, athletes and movie stars.  By O'Halloran's reckoning, there are probably seven people alive in American today, who know the inside scoop on things like the Kennedy assassination, what really happened to Marilyn, RFK and the likes of Jack Ruby. One has the sense Mr.O'Halloran is a guy to have on one's side.
     There was one humorous moment.  Tom asked the authors on his panel if they enjoyed the act of writing.  Gar and Dick said, yes, they liked writing, though a lot of blood, tears and sweat were needed to bring forth their opera magna.
     Not Jack.  He was unhesitatingly enthusiastic about the process.  This, mere moments after he explained to us that he worked with a co-author, someone he had personally selected for his mastery of plot, character, form and style.  Did anyone say peep?  No.
  I was advised to keep my shut, too, but I say, "Horsefeathers.  It's too late for me to die young."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Endeavor Waves Good-Bye


     Riding my bike up a street that I always take, a gaggle of people ran out of the door of their office building and all looked at me, waving and cheering and giving the thumbs up sign.  Odd, I usually don't get accolades for biking up this street.  A man bounced out of his front door beside me and then the coin dropped-- they're applauding Endeavor.


     I looked over my right shoulder and there she was, that Boeing 747 with the baby strapped to her back. They were escorted by two fighter jets that looked like tiny toys, flying silver minnows in the noontime sun.  Mother and child floated through the air-- huge, simple, white, and regal.
     My chest gave an unexpected spasm, my throat squinched shut and tears flowed from my eyes.  It was not only seeing Endeavor clinging to that huge jet on her last piggy back ride.  It was knowing they represented the America in which I grew.  The America with a space program and noble ideas about exploring the universe.  Was it political even then?  Sure.  We wanted to beat our old foes, the Russians, to the moon and beyond.  We wanted to dominate, we wanted and needed to win the space race, in order to preserve truth, dignity and the American way.  I'm glad that today multinational astronauts work together as they explore space.  I like a sense of earth space community.
     Still, the space shuttle program represents a time of enthusiasm and discovery which parallels a time like that in my little life.  I was in Orlando, Florida, standing with scores of people in the porte cochère of our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, on January 28, 1986, as Challenger left the earth.  My cousin from Germany, our respective toddlers, the dog and I delayed our embarkation on a cross-country journey to California in a Ford Aerostar van to watch the launch in awe, as Challenger rose, magnificent and powerful, into the sky.  But something went terribly wrong.  The sound and sight of people shocked into screaming and running back and forth from the hotel to the landscaped berms beyond the valet parking area in psychic pain, is etched in my memory.  My mind did not want to accept the truth.  I had a moment of denial.  



     I turned to my husband and asked, "Maybe they did something special, a surprise?"  He shook his head and looked down.  "No," he said, "this is a tragedy."  A pall of heaviness settled on us.  It was a bad omen for starting a road trip of nearly 2500 miles.
     After our shock and long delayed departure, my cousin and I started across America.  We had adventures.  We had setbacks.  We forgot the dog at a rest stop in West Texas, realized it, turned back and found her snuffling around some cacti in the desert near the Highway #10 onramp. We scooped her up and stuffed her into the back of the van.  She, unaware that she had almost been a tasty coyote niblet, abandoned like a child in a forest in a Grimm's nightmare fairy tale, wagged her body in joy and licked the faces of our giggling children.
     When I saw Endeavor yesterday, my tears flowed, not just for America, but also for my life, bracketed between 1986 and now-- difficult, great, up, down.  Had I known in 1986 what would face not only America and the space program but also me, I would have probably retired to a bed in a sanitarium, staying inside the lines of an Archie and Jughead coloring book.
     But that's not how it works.  We take life on life's terms and do the best we can.  We take America and do with her the best we can.  We love her, that's the bottom line.  If there is doubt, see something like Endeavor passing overhead. She should float by more often.




Monday, September 17, 2012

Of Wedding, Funerals and Old Time Ice Cream Parlors

     I've broken a cardinal rule of blogging by not posting in the last three weeks.  There is a rhythm and a balance to blogging, just like dancing or riding a bike.  You know how good I am at riding a bike.

L'Hirondelle on the Royal Road in San Juan Capo
     So I was at home threatening the dog, when I were called away to a garden wedding in San Juan Capistrano.  I booked a room at the closest, most economical motel, so that I might enjoy a mini-vacation.  Only after I made the rez did I read the Yelp reviews [note to self: mistake], wherein each reviewer posted a variation of, "This is the worst sh__hole I've ever stayed in.  The only good thing is that it's next door to In 'n' Out."
     It wasn't that bad.  I slept through the freeway sounds, drab decor and the train whistle 5x in the night.  From my window, I watched the patrons of said In 'n' Out enjoy their burgers and fries with the zeal and reverence many people reserve for religious parades and self-flagellation.  I enjoyed L'Hirondelle, the Mozart Café, the Los Rios historic district and the wedding, spiced with paella, dancing and karaoke.
     I came home, I packed and left the next day for an unexpected funeral up north.  Expected or no, funerals are downers.  This was no exception.  My cousin, Chuck, was a fine man, a loving husband, a caring father, and cut down in the prime of his life.  We were and are all very blue at his passing.
     I looked at my cousins, our first time together in several decades, and realized this is how it's going to be-- we'll see each other on the funeral circuit.  The new generation may offer some weddings we can attend in the future, but, so far, nothing.
     On my way home, I stopped in Hanford to meet with Sunny Frazier, my acquisitions editor at Oak Tree Press.  As we had done once before this past spring, we met for a quick bite at Superior Dairy.  When I first saw it in March, I knew it had to be a Huell Howser haunt.
     "Oh yes," said Sunny, "he's filmed every square inch of this place several times."

Home of  giant portions of frozen confections
     How's this for kismet?  While skimming dozens of posts about Superior Dairy in an attempt to juice up this blog, I found a Huffpost article about National Ice Cream Cone Day, and guess what day that is?

Amanda Dollman servin' up a sundae

     That's right.  It's TODAY.  Go out and do your patriotic duty.  Go get yourself a brain freeze with sprinkles on top.




Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nuttin' Honey!


It’s Wednesday, my day to post a blog and I got nuttin’.  Nuttin’, honey.  How can I top last week’s blog?  It’s not every day the universe gives you a giant pink dildo about which to write.  

Without meaning to, I turned some Jehovah’s Witnesses away from my door a few moments ago.  Two slow walking old ladies in long broom skirts, hoping to sweep my soul to a forever where I am resurrected in my perfect body (FINALLY!) and I get to romp eternally in a perfect meadow on a perfect, reconstituted earth.  

I thought I heard a knock at the door but the dog didn’t bark.  I opened my upstairs bathroom window, shouted down, “Can I help you?” No response.  Later, the dog gave a tiny growl.  I looked out my living room window and saw them shuffling away from my property, looking dejected.  Probably nothing a good pink dildo wouldn’t cure.

My two British exchange students arrived yesterday.  They are beautiful, friendly and shorts-clad, with perfect white teeth.  They should meet my son.  One is an American Studies  and Film major, the other, more quiet and introspective, is an English literature major.  They are both adorable and helpful.  I hope my sons are as adorable and helpful when they travel abroad, representing not only America but their family of origin.

*Late Breaking News*

As I rode my bike yesterday afternoon, I caught this gorgeous, full arched double rainbow.  If you want to hear something funny, go to my Facebook page and click on "Youtube- Double Rainbow."  It has nothing to do with my rainbow, but I guarantee you'll laugh out loud.

Also-- drum roll, please--  the winner of the $10 Starbucks card is Anonymous.  Now she can say she is a prize-winning writer.  I know, I know, Anonymous-- you have already won many other writing prizes.  

Second place:  Brandon Kelly  
Honorable Mention:  Alexis Silver, Sunny Frazier and Analia M (for Murder)

Thank you to those who participated.  It was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The ___ is out of the Bag




“What’s in that black plastic bag under the bamboo, out front, on the sidewalk?” I wondered, as I pulled up to the house.
 Sure, this was where I often left a pink bag for the Disabled American Vets or set out unneeded crap with notes that said, “Free to good home.”  Today, at over 100°, I was not going out front to grab that bag and throw it in the trash.  I slinked from the car to cool and quiet woman cave.
Days went by in which I hid in the house, avoiding triple digit temps.  If I came home after an unavoidable errand to Sprouts or CVS, I might notice the black bag still under the bamboo, as I pulled into the driveway.  It was forgotten as I raced from my air-conditioned car to my air-conditioned house.
Yesterday, I was walking my sprinkler guy to his truck and, as he drove away, I noticed the black bag.  I approached it.  I had misgivings, yet there were no flies nor ants.  No coyotes, raccoons nor opossums had messed with it.  I screwed up my courage and tugged at one of the handles.  The bag was light.  I pulled it closer.  I peered into the darkness.
What was inside?  Brace yourselves-- 


it was the world’s biggest dildo.  Proud, pink and wrinkly, with fake plastic skin, it lay there, resplendent in its girth and length.  
       My first instinct was to throw it away.  Then I decided to keep it for a future found object art project.  It looked brand new.
I had all the usual questions one has after finding a huge dildo in front of one’s property.  Why me?  Did this belong to a neighbor?  Was someone hiding it there, hoping to retrieve it later?  If so, when?  How long can one trust a black-bagged dildo to remain on the street?
This morning, I remembered I write mysteries.  Had someone left a secret message for me inside the dildo’s shaft?  I hurried to the garage, retrieved the dildo and unscrewed the cap.  Only a piece of cardboard and instructions for use.  No batteries, either. 
      Most sex shops throw in a set of batteries with a new dildo.  Don’t ask me how I know.  Did a kid need some batteries, so he took them, and threw the rest of his mom’s purchase on the street? I was afraid my house had been marked, like maybe I was a stop on the underground dildo railroad.
My son, Joseph, opined that the bamboo was a natural place to throw an unwanted dildo from a car.  Really?  I didn't have the courage to ask.  The young know things, I guess.  "So how about them Dodgers?" I asked.