Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Jenny Gardiner

Hi Guys,

I want to introduce you to our next guest blogger. Jenny Gardiner. She’s funny, she’s one heck of a writer, and I’m honored that she decided to join us for the day. Here’s Jenny!


Ahhh...the glamorous life of a diva novelist...

My thoughtful husband ordered this fabulous diva-esque lounge chair for me for Christmas. You know, one of those types of "fainting chairs" you'd see in a boudoir. I'm not normally a boudoir kinda gal, so this was going to be quite the departure for me.

His plan was to provide for me an escape from my everyday life, create a tiny retreat into which I could burrow and write, blocking out those normal daily life-interruptions--the kids, the phone, the dogs, the very noisy parrot. All of those have-to's.

It took weeks for the chair to come in, and finally the arrival date came. Just in time for a winter ice storm and the cancellation of my much-anticipated chair christening.

A week later, I was ready for the delivery--I even marked it again on my calendar. I had grand plans to hole up in the dump of a room into which my chair was supposed to go (the room in which everything that has no home ends up in my house--one entire corner still housed a stack of rejected manuscripts until recently).

Look out Barbara Cartland: I was ready to be a writing diva. Minus the kitten heels, boa and sexy negligee. More likely I'd be in wrinkled and very stiff sweat pants (my clothes dryer's been broken all week after smoking out a load of pinks and nearly catching fire).

My day began before dawn, with spinning class at the gym. Sweaty with no time for a shower, I got the kids up, fed, lunched and off to school, then decided to go to yoga before settling down to write. When I got back, it was there, waiting for me: the chocolate brown chair in a plush teddy bear-like fabric. So perfect I couldn't even sit in it until I got cleaned up. Not to worry, a quick check of my emails, a fast shower, and soon I'd be reclining in style. But that quick check of my emails led to a bunch of things I needed to address, which led to an hour of have-to's.

Just in time for that phone call from a reporter, moving up my profile interview by a whole week. "We need to get a photographer over to your place right away. Tomorrow okay?" he asked. "Not a problem," I lied to him.

My life is so not designed for spontaneous visits from people who might get a bad impression of me based upon the state of my home's appearance. Not that I don't love guests, but I need serious advanced notice in which to prepare for them.

One look around and you'd see why: tumbleweeds of dog fur, dust balls and bird feathers cascading across the hardwoods whenever the heat blower goes on. Dishes left right where the food was inhaled by various members of my on-the-go family. The living room practically my 13 year-old's de facto bedroom, strewn with her homework, computer, hair brush, ponytail holders, shoes, socks, gym bag, even pajamas. Then there's the bird cage (and tree, because what bird doesn't need a tree?): totally glopped with bird droppings. Ugh.

Change of plans. No lounging for me. The rest of the afternoon was spent in housekeeping overdrive. When my husband returned home and could help me schlep the cage and tree outside, I set to work on that unpleasant task. despite it being 20° and blustery. The hose had water frozen in it.

By the time I could coax liquid to actually flow from hose, got that cage sparkling (and my fingers numb with the cold), back into the house, dinner made, and me showered, it was nearing 8 p.m, and my night to carpool for swim team practice. The chair, looking so lonely and just waiting for its inaugural visitor, mocked me tauntingly.

But it wasn't to be. At least not for me. As I packed up my laptop, readying myself for the wait at the pool, I peeked in and noticed my youngest, plunking herself and her own laptop, onto my new chair. And stretched out, directly opposite her? My husband, looking awfully comfortable with a book he'd been looking forward to starting.

When we arrived back home two hours later, my husband was fast asleep on the new lounge chair. My daughter was grinning greedily, knowing I didn't have the heart to boot her out at that point.

Resigned, I took the dogs to the bathroom, covered up the bird cage, closed up the house, and retired to bed. Not only did I not get to enjoy my author diva chair, but I didn't get to write one word in my WIP either.

To add insult to injury, the next day, a mere 20 minutes before he was to arrive, the photographer called. Late breaking news meant he had to be at the courthouse for a verdict announcement. Had to reschedule for Monday...

Which meant clean-up day, yet again, this time on Sunday...Because in my world, nothing is going to remain intact for three whole days without looking entirely too lived in.

So just as soon as I get all of this cleaning done, I've promised myself I will go off and hide from all of life's to-do's. Just me, my laptop and my diva chair. I'll let you know when that actually happens. I might just have to faint first.


Kathy Bacus said...

Hi Jenny!

Thanks for coming to hang out here at Killer Fiction! I'm looking forward to lounging around with your book once I finish my next Calamity Jayne caper.

And our daughters must be on the same wavelength. One would swear our living room was my oldest daughter's (by a whooping two minutes here)turf with all her paraphernalia sitting around. It drives the rest of us nuts.

Best of luck with WARD CLEAVER!

~Bullet Hole~

Jenyfer.Matthews said...

Color me jealous - I've always wanted a chair like that! (not to mention a man who would think to buy me one, LOL!)

But honestly, I can't imagine when I'd ever have time to lounge in it either. I suspect it would either end up being squabbled over by my kids or a large clothing racking.

Oh well...it's a lovely dream...


Christie Craig said...


I with Jenyfer, I have chair envy.

Thanks so much for coming to post.

Crime Scene Christie

jenny gardiner said...

The good thing about the chair is it's way cheaper than an office LOL. Meanwhile, I've plopped down in it a whopping two times and both times? I fell fast asleep! It's really, really comfy!

Gemma Halliday said...

Sound dangerous!

So, how did the interview go? Did he notice how sparkly clean things were?


Faye Hughes said...

Hi, Jenny!

What a great post. I want a diva chair, too! I can't wait to read SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER - what a fun title!


Wendy Roberts said...

I have a diva chair too! I actually use it for hard edits, when I need to write directly on the ms.

jenny gardiner said...

Gemma thank GOD I cleaned! He came, camera in hand, loved my kitchen countertops, and started taking all of these up-close pictures of my counters!!! I mean even from the floor pointed up to the underside of them. OMG, I was really glad I used the windex to get up those solidified milk blotches and all of the other crud that was there...I should explain he was in the process of re-doing his kitchen...
He took more pictures of my kitchen than he did of me LOL

Estella said...

I guess I must be nastier than you----they would have gotten the boot. My chair!

MsHellion said...

I love those chairs! And your new book looks like a hoot! I'll have to go get a copy...

I hope you get to break in your chair soon. Seems a shame everyone else gets to break it in first!

Angie Fox said...

Great post, Jenny. I've always wanted a diva chair. So glad you finally got the chance to enjoy yours!

jenny gardiner said...

Thanks all! And I just have to say you ladies here at Killer Fiction have the most FABULOUS covers--don't you?! They're just gawjus!!!

Lucy said...

Love the cover of your book and great post. And I'm the same way, love company but need advanced notice if they're just going to "pop in". ;-)

danetteb said...

Hi Jenny,

Sorry you didn't get to cristen your chair. My kids do the same thing to me, its like a brand new toy to them.Lol.

I've got your book on my TBB list, I ooh'd and awe'd at the cover the other day when I was browsing books. Congrats on the release!

Hugs, Danette

jenny gardiner said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely hospitality today! Hopin' you'll love Sleeping with Ward Cleaver--so far I'm getting great feedback from readers ;-) PHEW!

catslady said...

I'm late blogging but that was a funny take on what I'm sure you didn't think was funny at the time. I always like some humor in my reading and I'm sure your book has it! And I don't like surprise visits either (have 7 cats lol).

Diana Groe said...

What fun, Jenny! I can so totally identify with your housekeeping style. Laundry will keep. That burning new idea for the next story might fly the coop before I get it pinned down.

I too have a big, overstuffed Lazy-Boy that I write in. With my laptop and my 7 pound wonder dog at my hip, it's hard to call this work. Give me a feather boa and a box of bon-bons and I'm a walking cliche!

deseng said...

Your book looks hysterical! I absolutely love the cover design! That alone entices me to buy your book! Congrats!

Wow! A diva chair? Never heard of it but I want one now! Great idea falling asleep while sitting in front of the computer! Ha,ha! Love the concept! Grab me one while your at it,o.k.? Just kidding!

Have a great day tomorrow and thanks for stopping by the blog! It was fun having you here!

Michele L.