Miranda Sutter is a vegan, a bartender, and a writer – not necessarily in that order. She knows that the next Great American Novel is rolling around inside her head, if she can just find the right inspiration… The solution? Consult with one very dead writer by the name of Ernest Hemingway. When a handsome stranger saves a choking woman, Miranda knows she’s found a hero she can base her book on, but when she begins stalking him to learn more about his life, she’s in for more than she bargained for. Along the way, she will have to deal with long-buried grief and fear, a crisis of faith, an unwelcome housemate, a clingy gothic poet, the hero’s ex-wife, and a very hairy dog. Her crazy antics are sure to land her in jail… or in love!
Monday, April 16
Monday, April 16
I love the sound of a tray of glasses crashing. It means someone is having a worse day than I am and provides me with a certain sense of balance in the world. I mean, I would never wish it on someone, but really, when it comes down to it, better someone else than me. My co-workers are all irrepressibly cute, perky college students working part-time to keep themselves in designer labels and lattés between Sociology and Anthropology and Astrobiology and Archaeology and other –ologies that I opted out of. It took me about twenty-seven minutes to get over the guilt of dropping out. I felt I’d let down my parents, my teachers, my professors, all of the associations that granted me scholarships and quite possibly God Himself, but in the end I had to be honest with myself. I had not one ounce of interest in the –ologies, and I had taken every writing class I could slip into. After that, college had nothing to offer me. Someday I might sit back and ruefully lament that choice, but for now, slinging drinks and bussing tables keeps me busy when I am not writing.
Someday I will peddle my genius I.Q. to Mensa, finish college and get a “real job,” but presently I am a writer. I have this theory that the next Great American Novel is just bouncing around inside the head of someone like me and waiting for that head to spring a leak so it can pour out. For that reason alone, I keep a notebook in my backpack and invest in really great pens. Black. Never blue. I hate blue pens. They remind me of junior high school, my blue PaperMate erasable ballpoint the very icon of miserably juvenile writing assignments. When the next Great American Novel finally spills out of my head, I want to be able to do it justice with a fine-tipped, smoothly rolling black pen. I highly doubt that John Steinbeck penned The Grapes of Wrath with a leaky blue ballpoint.
Poor Gwen comes running behind the counter, eyes wide and hands animated, giving her a certain Prissy-like appearance; very Gone With the Wind. “Miz Scah-lett! Miz Scah-lett! I needs th’ broom! Oh, help me, Miz Scah-lett! I don’ know nuthin’ ‘bout cleanin’ no glass up,” I laugh as I hand her the broom and dustpan. “Need any help, Gwen?” With an appropriate dose of solemnity, I add, “Were you hurt?” She shakes her head and quickly heads for the far corner of the barroom to the pile of broken highballs and hurricanes.
I am so busy watching her in her moment of distress I almost don’t notice the phone ringing. “Echelon Bar and Grill. This is Miranda.”
It’s my brother, Aiden. “Miranda? Miranda, did you just try to call the house? I missed a call, and it was a blocked number. Was it you?”
“No, it wasn’t me. I’m working. But you know that, because you called me at work, right?”
“Shut up, smart aleck. I was upstairs getting ready for work, and I was in my sock feet – you know, I didn’t have my shoes on yet – when I heard the phone ring. I started to run downstairs to answer it, but at the top of the stairs I slipped, and I started ass-sliding down the stairs and somehow my arms got stuck behind me so I was hitting my knuckles on every stair as I was sliding down them. I was thinking that I needed to dig my heels in so that I could stop, and I finally did, but I had too much momentum going so when I got my heels dug in, I just launched myself forward and somersaulted head-first down the second half of the stairs. I just lie there for a minute at the bottom of the stairs with the wind knocked out of me, and then I got up and started sprinting for the phone, and the damn thing stopped ringing.” He pauses, catching his breath. “I figured if it was you, I’d have to beat your ass when you got home.”
“Awww. Now I have nothing to look forward to. If you’re on your way back upstairs, I could call you in about a minute and a half if you’d like to practice your acrobatic act some more,” I giggle.
“Very funny. I’ll see you when I get home from work.”
PART 2 HERE.