No Cause for Alarm

“Tomorrow March 25 between 9:30 and noon, CBS Paramount pictures will be filming a TV scene on the Potomac River near the Key Bridge in which special effects (loud noise and fire) will simulate a small water vessel being blown up.  This will be a heavily monitored and controlled event lasting only a few seconds.  There is no cause for alarm.”

Burning boat.jpgWell, I’m awfully glad my county e-bulletin just cleared that up. Because tomorrow, there I’d be, close enough to Key Bridge to feel the rumble,  in the midst of introducing a brand new character, who will add enough intrigue to Fortunate Harbor to shake little Happiness Key to its foundations, then. . . 


We writers have enough problems separating our imaginations from reality.  My husband complains that when I’m immersed in a novel, he can’t believe anything I say .  For instance, no matter where I set a book, by the time I’m halfway into it, I want to move there.  Just up and move, lock, stock and beagle, and not always to places that would be all that liveable for us, either. 

For instance, as sad as this is to admit, we really speak no language except English.  Yet when I wrote about Paris and Morocco in Rising Tides?  Yep.  I moved us there, chose neighborhoods, homes and lifestyles.  Likewise, in my mind at least, I am sure we would be blissfully happy in Toms Brook, Virginia (that’s undoubtedly true), Emerald Springs (perhaps not so true since it doesn’t exist) and nowadays, the Gulf coast of Florida.  Having grown up on that very Gulf coast, having since lived through many Midwestern Februaries, I believe that this time, I would be right again.

Likewise, I’m perfectly capable of working my own life into my novels.  All those years as a minister’s wife have finally erupted into a mystery series.  My quilting?  You know where to find it. Growing up on the Gulf coast?  I rest my case. 

Tomorrow, though, I’ll be happy right here, near sleek and lovely Key Bridge, which stretches from Virginia into Georgetown.  That’s the same Georgetown, by the way, where I wanted to move when I was writing Prospect Street.  I won’t be waiting for that boom.  I’ll let it surprise me.  Just don’t you be surprised if somehow the explosion shows up in Fortunate Harbor.  Wait and see.


  1. Debbie Haupt on March 27, 2009 at 8:31 am

    I feel your pain or pleasure because I too want to move where I’m reading about and that’s okay if it’s Toms Brook, but I usually want to go back in time to visit the Highlands before the Jacobite risings and off to distant and yet undiscovered solar systems where my hero and heroine resides. And I’m a woman who thinks ruffing it is staying at a Hampton Inn. 😉
    p.s. patiently waiting for the next release

  2. Emilie Richards on March 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    No solar system travel, please! You would be missed. Saw on the news last night that a billionaire just paid 35 million–or was it billion?–for his second trip to the space station. I’m counting on you to hold that urge and just keep reading.

  3. Joan Hadac on March 29, 2009 at 1:17 am

    The older I get, the more I want to go, go, go! I want to visit every place I read about, including the places in your books. Thank goodness for your books because they allow me to travel and visit interesting people, all without leaving my living room. It’s the cheapest way to travel! Unlike some, I can’t afford $35 billion or million for travel of any kind. By the way, thanks for your past blogs on Guatemala. It looks like such a beautiful place. My youngest nephew was adopted from there and it’s my hope he can travel there one day.

  4. Emilie Richards on April 1, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Joan, I absolutely understand this. I just finished a memoir titled Honeymoon with my Brother, about two men traveling around the world. I loved the armchair trip, but was just as glad NOT to be on some of that real one. And yes, like you, I hope your nephew has a chance to visit Guatemala. I know there are tours set up just for that purpose, and I hope he’s able to take advantage of one.
    Thanks for you comments!

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