I just returned from a four-day Caribbean cruise. I’m very fortunate to live within an hour of the port, so cruising is a fairly common pastime with my friends and acquaintances here in town. This was my fourth cruise with the same cruise line and fourth cruise ever. It was also the fourth time to sail in this same general area. At the risk of sounding blasé about something not everyone is fortunate enough to experience, my most pleasant memories of the this trip surround being with my spouse and friends. There were thirty-seven in our group, but other than our group photo, the rest of the time we didn’t do anything as a large group. Not everyone made it for the photo, even.
I spent a good deal of my time on board playing Mah Jongg with four other members of our group. I especially enjoyed our day at sea. The water was fairly calm that day and very blue, a wonderful backdrop to our game. I even won enough games that I felt productive. Mainly, I was there to relax and help my husband celebrate his first week of retirement.
I also read. A lot. I’m a judge in writing contest and have several entries to review in the next month.
What I didn’t do…at all…was write, even though I lugged my laptop along. I had reached a point in my current manuscript where I needed to introduce the heroine’s mother and stepfather. Although they’ve been mentioned in the first book and now this one, the second in the series, and the mother had several lines of dialogue in the first, I still didn’t have her appearance clear in my mind, and I wanted to get that part settled before tackling the chapter where she and her current husband show up. She’s an actress wannabe who never quite made it on her own in the entertainment world. In her quest to make it big in Hollywood, she moved herself and her older daughter from their Midwestern home and divorced her first husband because his career aspirations didn’t mesh with hers. Uprooting her first daughter from their home in Iowa and trash-talking her roots to her second daughter, born on the West Coast, has influenced both daughters’ outlooks on life, setting the stage for both books, so it’s imperative that her appearance/her description embody the essence of someone who’d do this.
One of the perks of spending so much time with a captive audience of two thousand for four days is that I had quite a field of possible candidates to consider as models for the mother. Unfortunately, no one caught my attention. So now I’ve been thinking through various screen and television actresses in the fifty-five to sixty years old category. The closest I’ve come is the Governor’s mother, Jackie Florrick, on “The Good Wife,” and of course, that show isn’t on for another two weeks for me to check out my thoughts. I’d sort of pictured a blonde or a woman with silver gray hair, so maybe I’ll keep looking. Any suggestions? I need to land on someone soon, so I can get back to writing.
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