Zinnia Hope, author of multi-genres and erotic romances; also writing as J. Emberglass
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Monday, September 22
My FIL died last October. The man loved to read. He'd read anything, but westerns were his favorite. He even read my unpublished novels, lol.
Charlie lived in a camper, the same camper that I now have in my backyard as my office. Yesterday, the girls and I were working on a good clean-up inside it. I told Jade that I wanted to go through the boxes of books that were under the eating table. There were about 6 of them, boxes that held 6 to 8 paperbacks each. He'd joined Harlequin's book club, which cracked me up when I found out, but he said his mother had read them too and belonged to H's book club years ago; he'd read almost all of her books that she'd got over the years too.
I seldom read H's books, including Silhouette, Blaze, Nocturne, etc. I will, however, read an occassional Steeple Hills that they now publish because they seem to be written better than the others.
Well, if you've ever owned a camper then you know that campers have all sorts of storage hidey holes in them. My daughters spent a lot of time visiting Charlie, so they knew where all the hidey holes were. They showed me two that I didn't know about.
In one that reached all the way to the floor were more books! Historicals two inches thick, suspense, more H books such as superromances, etc.
Ivory opened a closet and pulled open the "floor" of it, and voila! More books!
I bet there are $400 or more paperbacks in that li'l camper! Most were read, but they're like brand new. There are about 4 boxes that he hadn't read yet, though.
I don't read H books, so I thought they'd make nice prizes for my newsletter or a chat.
"I read 'em," Charlie would say, "but they're not like they used to be when my mother belonged to the club, and some are so stupid that I can't finish 'em." LOLOL! But what really got me is when he'd say, "I dunno why it's so hard for you to get someone to publish your novels, Faith. I guess you write too well because your stuff runs circles around these books."
Charlie and I couldn't get along that well, so when he'd say something like that, it meant a lot.
When I went out to the camper the other day to write in peace, I cleaned up my stuff, shut my laptop and said, "Charlie, this is my office now. When Matthew takes the camper back to the house, you're welcome to stay here and help me write. If you're here, leave something on the table for me."
As I left, I made a note of what was on the table: a candle and an empty box of Rosebud matches.
Friday, Matthew hooked up the camper and towed it back here. I helped him position it beneath the maple, and once he had it parked, I looked inside. On the floor lay the candle where it had slid off the tabletop. The empty box of matches was still there, but a coffee cup sat in the middle of the table.
"Matthew?" I said. "Did you put that coffee cup on the table?"
"What coffee cup?"
I took him to the door, and he looked in. "No, I didn't do that. I stepped in and checked the camper to make sure nothing was out that would fall off and break when I towed the camper back." (our lane has some really rough spots where rain washed it out and rutted it) He added, "You didn't put it there?"
"No," I said. "Why?"
"Because there wasn't anything on the table 'cept that candle that's now on the floor and that empty box of matches."
I told him what I'd said to his dad that day.
Charlie drank coffee like it was going out of style.