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Nina Nails It, Chapter 7

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Regarding the difference between my sketches and Nina’s final illustration for Chapter 7, there really is no comparison.

For a person who knows next to nothing about cars, I seem to have a lot of them in these early chapters of the book. I guess that’s what comes from having a Hideaway in a town in the Middle of Nowhere! Now that everyone’s just about arrived at their destination, the magic can begin. But first! Chapter 7 illustrations!

The first illustration was a hard angle to capture, but I was sure that Nina could figure out something that would work. Here’s my initial take:


Because I had a hard time getting the angle right, I sketched out a quick drawing of what I meant so that Nina could understand and take it from there:

blogLine of Cars

She did! Nina’s angle was leaps and bounds better! We’d already had a car interior in the first chapter with Hazel, so this was a MUCH better choice:

HT_18Below is the “Can I help you, officer?” sketch from me. Note, I didn’t draw Maxwell’s face. I didn’t feel comfortable drawing what he would look like, wanting to see what Nina would do:


In yesterday’s post, I had for some reason imagined actor Richard Masur as Maxwell. My brothers absolutely hated that. My younger brother Ken proposed THIS guy:

clark gable

Recognize him? I hope so! This is Clark Gable, of “Gone With the Wind” fame.

Ooh, I see! They wanted a better-looking villain. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Here were MY picks:

Maxwell Colin Firth

Colin Firth. OF COURSE.




Machine Gun Preacher - UK Premiere - Inside Arrivals

Girard Butler, who secretly looks better with half a mask on.

Nina did her own thing:

HT_19Secretly, I love it. Is it wrong to have a crush on a fictional character, even though he’s not a nice guy? My sore little heart! I would see this image from a then upcoming chapter, and I would find myself thinking, “Yay! Maxwell is on his way!” forgetting that he is NOT on Ruth’s side. Plus, also, he is not actually a real person.

So there’s THAT.

Ah, well! There you have it, my friends. Nina does it again. We hoped to be able to release chapters more quickly than once a week by now, but Nina is scrambling. Apparently, brilliance takes time. Even now she is rushing to complete the illustrations for Chapter 8. Will she make it in time? And what will Marlene make of the handsome Maxwell? We shall see. Oh yes, we shall…

Have a happy weekend!

P.S. Yesterday I was taking my usual walk with my trusty sidekick Teddy around the golf course and cemetery on the outskirts of Rolfe. Just when I got the the single red flashing light, what should pass me, but…a PIG TRUCK. It was empty, so…no matter! Moments later, Wall of Smell! It made me smile.

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Uneasy Lies The Crown


Riders are the sometimes ridiculous lists of things celebrities request for their appearances. Things like (the following are actual examples):

“She requires all furniture be removed from the rooms and replaced with her own pieces that she has shipped in.”

“20 international phone lines in the room as well as special white and pink roses that must have the stems cut to six inches.”

“a personal chef, acupuncturist and an on-site dry-cleaner.”

“You know what would be really nice? If you could make this room look less like a typical rock & roll dressing room and more sort of… Interesting? Are you with me? Just let someone loose with a little bit of flair…” 

“One monitor man who speaks English and is not afraid of death.”

 “Seven dwarves, dressed up as those dwarves out of that marvelous Walt Disney film…”

Apparently, when you become a celebrity it goes to your head a tiny bit. Do not worry, Little People! I shall not let my celebrity go to my head!

It’s fun to think about, however. What would YOU ask for if you could be a poop and demand anything you wanted?



I must have a taster remove all the Marzipan ones. I dislike them intensely! The rest? The BEST.

Rider Lyle's

This is some kind of treacle syrup from England. I haven’t been able to find it here. So! On my Rider because I adore it!


Rider Violet1

This is actually for my sister Julie. I shall tell her I found it myself. It’s an acquired taste, but she loves it.

Rider Mui

As a child we lived on these. Best thing evah! And not found on every street corner, either.

















Huh. It occurs to me that all my requests are food related. Allrighty, then! I would like an aerobics instructor to take me for walks around the English moors – OR the cornfields of Iowa, I’m not picky. His first name must be Colin and his last name must be Firth and he must dress like this:


“Aardvark a mile for one of your smiles!”



See? Completely down to earth! And you?

Small Town Life


“Where have you been all my life, you spicy minx?”

Small town life is a charming, wondrous thing. Yes, there are the buggaboos, like the fact that there are No Quick Errands because even walking your dog, you run into people you know and you stop and you chat and things take twice as long as they normally would. But there are also sweet things, like walking your dog and running into people you know and stopping and chatting. It took me awhile to slow down to the “What’s the hurry?” Iowa pace.

Small town is being on a first name basis with the mayor and having him fix your car, or being out and about late one Monday morning and having a city worker pull over and say, “Ruthie, did you forget to put your garbage out?” (I did) “Well, put it on out, we’ll swing by later.”

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