March 30, 2006

La la la LA la la laaaaaaaaa

Filed under: Next Chapter — chapterhouse @ 10:16 pm

Well, the fat lady hasn't sung yet, but I can hear her warming up! We have another buyer for Maxwell House (numero five-o) and they want to close around May 10th.

It's hard to get too excited at this point, but the thing is, we've decided that if this one falls through, then that's it. We'll put our North Carolina plans on hold for a while and stay put in Texas.

I'd hate to do that, but enough is enough! We're still living without a sofa or a dining table, and with boxes piled up in every room.

If the deal goes through, then I can stop referring to this as "our alleged move to North Carolina."

But if we stay in Texas, at least I'll get to vote for Kinky Friedman in November.


March 13, 2006

Real Estate Comedy

Filed under: Next Chapter — chapterhouse @ 7:44 am

Our continuing Real Estate Drama has entered a comedic interlude, which began several weeks ago.


Daffy, real estate agent
Bozo, Daffy's client
Homer, acquaintance of Bozo's

Daffy brought his client, Bozo, to see Maxwell House, the one we've been trying to sell so that we can move to North Carolina (both of my regular readers are sick of this by now, but I can't help that, and besides, this is my blog, not theirs). Bozo is very interested in buying this property, so much so that he makes an offer, no option period, and says he'll pay cash and close next week. We thought the offer was low, so we made a counter-offer. No, he was not going to come up on the price. Period. For most people this would have been end-of-story.

But not for us. No, then Bozo brings his acquaintance, Homer, to see the place, and they both bring a contractor with them to give them an estimate of what it would cost to convert the house from a five-plex to a duplex sometime on down the road. Bozo makes another offer, this time with an option, but still cash, close next week. We turn it down. It's way too low.

Bozo comes up a little, we come down a little. Back and forth like that for a while. I'm trying not to bore you here.

We settle on a price and Daffy and Bozo say they'll have the papers to us "in the morning." A week goes by, no papers, nor will they return any phone calls.

Now here's the funny part: Daffy calls, finally, and makes another offer, much lower than the one we had all agreed upon. Hahahahhaaaaaaaaa. Not.

We're like, nooooooooooo, don't think so. So the clowns come up by $500. See? This is now getting close to hilarity, isn't it? I mean, who the hell would come up a measly $500 bucks and expect to close a deal? Bozo.

Here's the kicker: Homer faxes an offer that is $1,000 higher than Bozo's. This means that Bozo and Homer have cut Daffy out. They just used him to find properties for them, and have dropped him so they don't have to pay a fee! Furthermore, Homer's name is not on any of the papers, so they can get away with this if Homer is the one to make the offer. Okay, this part is hysterical: Homer demands an answer within 24 hours! Hehehehehheeeeeeeee. Told ya, huh? huh? (Take a breather if you need to here.)

Now then, it has been three days since Homer's offer and we haven't deigned to respond. The next time they call? We're going to say our price is back up where it was in the beginning. If they are true to form, they'll come up another thousand bucks, and so will we. Come up a thousand bucks. Or five hundred, whatever, to match them. We'll keep going up as long as they want to make offers. Isn't that funny? Aren't you glad you read all this?
Alrighty, then. To try to make up for this, here's a bit-o-comedy from the murder mystery I'm writing: the murder weapon is part of an antler (the Main Character is making a life-sized Christmas display of Santa's sleigh and reindeer.) Yes, folks, it's death by Rudolph. Antler Fu.
Now that's funny, isn't it?

March 12, 2006

More Kinky Cat Saving

Filed under: Next Chapter,Pen to Paper,Political Chapter — chapterhouse @ 10:39 am

Some have asked me what the title, Save The Cat!, means. I hadn't the foggiest idea before I started reading the book. Here's the deal: Snyder gets down to the basics of good story-telling, and one absolutely necessary basic is an early "save-the-cat" scene. That meant that my Main Character should do something, very early in the story, that will demonstrate that hey, this is a decent guy (no matter what he does later on). He could, oh … save a cat, for example. 🙂

I did not have a save-the-cat scene in Gino's Law, but now I do. This makes so much sense, and gives readers (both of them) insight into Gino's true nature right away.

Here's something that amazes me about writing: your subconscious knows the story waaay before you do. I needed a save-the-cat scene, so I went back to the beginning to look for a good place for one. It needed to be plausible, and to fit naturally into the story. Hmmm. I already had a scene where Gino, a landlord, is talking to one of his tenants, named Brandye.

Let me back up here a moment. The house that "Gino" lives in is based on Maxwell House, the one I've been trying to sell so we can move to North Carolina!

The apartment that "Brandye" lives in, in my story, is actually — in real life — occupied by a lady who is a Hurricane Katrina survivor. Viola! "Gino's" save-the-cat moment is right there, and was right there all along! All I had to do was have "Brandye" be a Katrina survivor whom "Gino" had let live there rent-free for several months until she found a job and put some savings together!

I got to shake Kinky Friedman's hand last night. He was in Dallas for the day. First, he was Grand Marshal of the annual Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day parade (see his site for a picture of that, and yes, I know it isn't St. Paddy's Day yet, go figure), then he went to the Wine Therapist (don'tcha love that name?), where we were, to meet and greet, and then on to a fund-raiser, which we didn't attend because we're cheap. Hey, we did buy some memorabilia at the Wine Therapist, though!

Did you know that there's a Kinky Friedman action figure? That sez stuff in his very own actual voice? My favorite slogans are, "Why the Hell Not?" and "How Hard Could It Be?" (to be Texas governor.) Did you know they also have Kinky Friedman Salsa? And CDs? I love this guy. Talk about low key — he just walked into the Wine Therapist — no announcements, no fanfare, just came in with his trademark hat and cigar and started chatting with people, shaking hands, and autographing stuff. My friend Grace, the artist, brought her daughters with her, and the youngest one got her jeans autographed by Kinky!

It was such a hoot!

After that I, along with Pooks, Grace, the artist, and her daughters stampeded went next door to The Tipperary Inn because we heard that men in kilts were over there (poor Tomcat followed along.) But we didn't stay long, even for men in kilts, because the air conditioning was out. So, we had dinner at La Calle Dolce.

then i'm afraid i got a little tipsy when I made the mistake of ordering more more wine …

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