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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Christmas/Easter Trees and a Free Book.

Hey! I intended to beat April 1 with my post, but.....

When do you put away your Christmas decorations? I wait as long as possible. I remove some of the decorations from my Christmas Tree and add the egg lights. I'm not kiddin'. I'm fixin' to do that tomorrow, April 1. The pictures were taken today!

Years ago I started a story for a workshop. I needed characters I thought would make the story interestin' and show their southern backgrounds.

Three lawyers attended law school together. Two were wealthy and had never worked a day in their lives, and the third worked as a waiter and took janitorial jobs to make his way through school. What would bring 'em together? The rich guys wanted the poor one to join their law firm because he was brilliant. They didn't need his money, but they knew he would be a valuable asset. Would that partnership work? I thought so, so I threw 'em together. Characterization can be tricky.

The poorer lawyer appreciates his partners' generosity, and he works overtime to show this, sometimes too much. He does extra things partners don't do. His dialogue is very middle Georgia and he calls his mother Mama. He dresses appropriately, but with secondhand clothes and Dollar Store glasses.

One rich partner has a lovely family, except for his snobby brotherand equally snobby Sis-in-law, and a perfect, generous, sweet Southern mama.Their dialogue is gentile and, you guessed it, Southern and native Atlantan. He calls his mom Mama. I put pearls and designer clothes on his Mama.

The other wealthy guy has cold, snobby parents, and his language shows his gentile background but lacks the southern warmth. He calls his mom Mother and shows his own snobbery one time too many. His need for love shows through his sarcasm.

Losin' a bet sends one of the rich lawyers to work evenings in a Waffle House near Christmas. A variety of folks eat there and work there.There the lawyer learns humility and ...... I'm not tellin'
the rest.

Brock and Drake followed Carter into the square one story building. The room sported booths and stools. The noise level assaulted his ears and the onion, fried foods, and coffee odors attacked his sense of smell. Actually, the whole room with its orange benches and stool tops assaulted his senses. Women of varying ages bustled around, some carried food to the tables while others placed plates in front of people seated on tall stools at the high counter.
Amazing, un-damned believably amazing that such a place could exist and that he’d never been in one.
Drake looked as shocked as Brock felt. Carter, however, caught the attention of a woman wearing a god-awful ugly brown dress and a striped apron. She winked at Carter and led them a few feet to a booth.
While Carter lost no time sliding across one orange plastic looking bench, Brock waited for Drake to slide across the other bench, but he sat on the edge, as if he needed to be able to escape quickly.
Brock shrugged and looked pointedly at Carter, who motioned for his partner to sit beside him. By the time Brock sat, Drake looked to be in shock. Neither arm touched the table, but Carter didn’t seem to be so cautious. He played the part of host and grabbed menus from a holder at the end of the tables closest to the counter making up a third wall for the booth.
A woman who looked old enough to be long past retirement age leaned over the table and swiped a wet rag across it. Never had anyone wiped a table after he was seated at it. Though Brock was ready to jump out of the way of stray crumbs, not one hit him or his table-mates.
Poor Drake just stared.
The waitress gave Drake the once-over, then placed a set of utensils on a napkin for each man. She rescued a thin pad from one pocket and a pencil from behind one ear. “Name’s Sally, and I’ll be your server tonight. What’ll you boys have?”
“I haven’t decided yet,” Brock answered in his courtroom voice that went with his tailored business suit.
“Well, you just take your time, Honey,” Sally looked at him and grinned, showing the gap of a missing incisor.
“We’d all like water, please,” Carter said.
“With lemon?” the waitress asked.
At his nod she asked. “Coffee?
“God, yes,” Carter said. “I could use a gallon.”
Brock echoed his response.
When she left to get their water. Drake muttered, “Probably should’ve ordered bottled water.”
Though Brock thought Carter flinched beside him, he didn’t bring attention to it.

When do you take down your Christmas decorations? Do you decorate for other holidays?
Christmas' Best Bet, Humble Pie is free to each commenter. (It's free on Smashwords, anyway until Monday.)

It is also available for 99 cents on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
My other ebooks are 99 cents, but The Gift will go back up to 2.99 next week.
Other works include Forever Love & Haunting Refrain


MaryMarvella, Author on Facebook


  1. Happy April Fool's Day all! This post isn't a prank.

  2. Mary, I love that excerpt. I can see the inner shudders from the two wealthy men. LOL Now I have to have the book. As for when I take my decorations down, never before Twelfth Night and sometime before the first day of Spring. We have an artificial tree, obviously. Wish I could just roll it into a closet and not have to take down and put up the tree and decorations. I love Christmas, and have tons of decorations which I am also lax in removing. Did you read Beth Trissel's post on the subject? She said she puts her decorations away by Easter...unless it's early that year. She was joking; I'm not.

  3. Nice post, Mary! Like you, I love decorating for holidays. Good idea to use the Xmas tree for Easter!!

  4. I'm serious, too. I will push my tree into a corner by my birthday, May 24. I don't take down ALL decorations, just the ones in the front.

  5. We take down the tree and decorations on December 26th. My husband can not stand to see the tree after the presents are all gone and it is naked underneath.

  6. Some folks are like that. I put fake gifts under mine, since I live alone and no one comes to my house for Christmas Day.

  7. Our family has a tradition that it is bad luck for the tree to still be up on New Year's Day. I suspect my mom or grandma came up with the tradtion to get the menfolk to haul the tree out. They had other little superstitions like bad luck to wash clothes on New Year's Day or Christmas Day. I suspect those too came from a time when women's work was never done. Crafty ladies, weren't they? Mary, I like this story the first time I read it. I'm glad you put it out there where others can enjoy it.

  8. Thanks, Scarlet. I believe in the story and will one day finish it a novel, one three.

  9. What a clever way to plot a short story--love it! Don't shoot me, but I don't even put up a tree anymore. No one comes to our house for Christmas--we go there.
    But I do have nativity scenes and angels, and those are my decorations. Since I love all of these things, it's enough.

  10. Celia, I love all the decorations. I always put them up for the hubby and daughter. Now I do them for the kid in me. I don't do the nativity scenes, though I adore them. I'd need to clear out some of my clutter to find a place to set them up.

  11. Christmas comes down New Years day, and every holiday gets its turn in my house. I have a bear by my front door that has a different outfit for every season, every holiday, every occasion. (I'm looking for a tux for him to wear next week for my daughters wedding.) Right now he's got his bunny ears on.

  12. Jeanne, I love that! I need a Santa Bunny! Thanks for commenting.