Inspection Day

This morning I had to meet the inspector, the realtor, and the prospective buyers at my condo for an official property inspection, and I was a bundle of nerves. Who knows what evil lurks under the floorboards or between walls? Everything he pointed out that needed attention meant money flying out of my pocket, and in this economy, I need to hang onto every cent. I’m already selling my condo at less than half its value and am darn glad to do so. I’m very grateful to have a buyer. Oh thank you, thank you.

By the time I got home, I felt drained. Trying to be nice and gracious while hiding my quivering knees for a couple of hours took effort. Kinda reminds me of a ten-minute meeting I had with an agent a couple of years ago at a writing conference. Polite? I think I was. I can’t remember it all. It’s like a traumatic event where you only remember bits and pieces. I’m not sure I remembered my name, much less the storyline of the novel I was trying to pitch. I do remember she was gracious and took pity by taking over and asking questions. But back to inspection day.

I had to meet everyone early in the morning, which is torture for a night person, so I couldn’t wait to stretch out for a nap. Well, I wound up sleeping most of the afternoon, then woke feeling groggy, so again, no novel work for me today. Instead, I turned on the TV and after scrolling past soaps and talk shows, I clicked on one of my all-time favorites, The Andy Griffith Show. I’d loved it and had watched reruns when raising my son, and even now I love it. What a treasure that show really is. I think every parent should watch it for life-lessons on how to be a parent.

In the show, Andy is firm, but oh so loving toward his son. On most of the shows, Opie is a model son, but one time he met a trouble-maker and tried some of his new friend’s antics, such as throwing a temper tantrum when he didn’t get what he wanted. How Andy handled that is a classic and should be taught in Parenting 101.

And I’d love the show even if it weren’t so family oriented – no canned laughter after every line. What a relief.

In one recent episode, filmed in 1967, Aunt Bee is called to jury duty and of course, she’s the hold-out on a guilty verdict. Everyone got impatient with her, but she just had a feeling he wasn’t guilty. Turns out she was right, of course. The so-called guilty party wasn’t guilty at all. And guess who the accused was? A young Jack Nicholson.

I just might watch again tomorrow to see if I can pick up some tips for handling my grandson. Have to be careful, tho. Not working can get to be a habit I can’t allow – not  if I want to make it to the NY Times Bestseller List.

This evening I turned on the TV again, for educational purposes, you understand, and watched an old episode of Twilight Zone. Loved that show and as with Andy’s, I still do. This show was about Death taking human form to help a frightened old woman cross over, and Death appeared as a young, polite, handsome man. Guess who played him? Robert Redford. If he held my hand all the way through, I wouldn’t be afraid either. But it makes me think. Since death is a part of life and it happens to all of us, why is it so frightening? Perhaps it’s the unknown and the unknown can be terrifying, but at least that episode with Robert Redford presents a different viewpoint.

I just might tune in again tomorrow and see what else I can learn – for educational purposes, you know.

I'm a novelist, short story writer, and I currently serve as CEO for L. Cooper Press, a service for writers. Thomson-Gale bought one of my novels, With Full Malice, for their 5 Star Mystery line, then Harlequin WorldWide Mysteries bought the mass market paperback rights. I lead a novel critique group in Redlands, CA, so if you're in the area and writing a novel, join us: When I can't attend, Amy Fletcher leads the group. You can always contact me through my websites:

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July 2010
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