Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Good Blog is Hard to Write by Patricia Sprinkle

Every few weeks I get an e-mail from Karin Gillespie reminding me it's my time to blog again. Karin is an amazing woman to keep this many authors' noses to the grindstone. It must be a bit like herding hamsters. Our hamsters if let out of their cages used to scatter in all directions. That's how I feel when I see my name on her list.

I spend my life writing books. Into them I pour all the knowledge, passion and imagination I have. What else could I possibly write about that anybody in blogland would be interested in reading?

Do you want to know that I'm a week from deadline on an unfinished book, working from dawn until late at night, and am slowly turning the color of uncooked dough while the rest of you lounge on beaches? That the birds have abandoned our yard because I haven't filled the feeders for weeks? That my husband meets me in the hall and asks, as to a stranger, "May I help you?"

The only exciting thing I've done this month is to start a new fashion trend. I gave my father and my husband hats--not caps, actual hats--for Father's Day. I was inspired when my daughter-in-law gave my son an Indiana Jones hat for his birthday the week before. He looked downright dashing. I thought, "Why not start a hat revolution?"

This is a selfish war. I live in a bald family. My dad is bald. My husband is bald. One of our sons is bald. I look at my grandsons' blond curls and suspect one day those cute heads, too, will be bald. And after 94 years of righteous living under the Florida sun, my father currently drives over to my house every day so I can scrub and dress five large, yucky places on his head where the dermatologist removed skin cancers. After looking at those sores for three weeks straight, I wondered, "Given the current green revolution, what could be more ecologically responsible than putting bald men in hats?"

For Dad I bought a black straw Fedora. For my husband I bought a khaki French Pith Helmet. I had to get them online, because none of the stores in our area carry men's hats. Why not? I asked myself. What guerrilla tactics can I use to foment a groundswell to save the scalps?

Writers know about product placement. Put the right brand name in your book and you might get a year's supply of mayonnaise. Years ago when Lucky Strike cigarettes weren't selling too well to women, they asked the fashion industry to dress women the following year in Lucky Strike green. Voila, new smokers.

So as of this month, I am putting my men in hats. Not just the men in my life, but the men in my books. I hope the books will be picked up by Hollywood and all the movies will feature men in hats. Hats were certainly sexy on Gary Cooper and Cary Grant. Why not on Johnny Depp and Hugh Grant?

If any of the rest of you want to join the revolution, it's free and open to all races, classes, genders, religions, and even men with hair. Tip your cap to a new generation of men in hats!

And if you are going to one of those beautiful beaches I haven't seen yet this summer, take along my latest novel, Hold Up the Sky.  I have been told it's a great beach read.

Patricia Sprinkle is the author of three series of southern mysteries and three novels, including this year's Hold Up the Sky.


Anonymous said...

There is something dashing about a man in a hat!

Karin Gillespie said...

Hope you make that deadline, Patty. Thanks for sneaking in a blog.

Keetha said...

Great idea!

While in Charleston, SC last month, I got a straw hat. I love it. I've always liked hats but rarely have the nerve to wear one. I'm outgrowing that, I think.

B'ham said...

... Bwha ha ha.. "May I help you ?" Poor hubby.
I have always loved hats.. On men, women,and children.Do it ! Start a trendsetting movement !!! I'm with you ! Now I must go shop for a straw boater...

Peggy Webb said...

As a Southern belle with magnolia skin, I've protected myself with hats for years. You name them, I have them - splendid vintage hats from the forties, big straw gardening hats, dashing waterproof outback hats, chiffon draped garden party hats, discreet church hats, cozy wool fedoras. I've saved the fair skin on my face, but my poor hands have taken a beating. Now, I wish I'd thought of gloves!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Good luck with the deadline! I've gotten used to wearing hats in the summer...too much time at the pool with my children to keep from wearing one!