Monday, September 20, 2010


Window of old-fashioned house, fence with flowers, close-up

My family went to visit friends in Buffalo this past weekend. Their house is not big or new, but a treasure of curved archways, built in bookshelves, a corner sink in one bathroom, and a small cubby door once used for delivering milk in the back, by the kitchen. It is always immaculate, peppered with antiques, yet cozy and unpretentious—my kids’ favorite game there is to toss teddy bears down the stairwell.

My domicile, on the other hand, looks like someone dragged in a monster piñata full of toys, books, sticky popsicle sticks, dirty socks, and used Kleenex, busted that sucker and scattered the loot from hither to yon. I’d clean it, but it would revert to its chaotic state in 24 to 48 hours. I’d rather cover my eyes with my hands and sing La, La, La, cat barf is easier to clean if allowed to dry for a couple days, you know. Here is my dream home:

Cottage house on edge of lake

So in the grand tradition of finding more important things to do than clean, let’s ponder houses in terms of writing. Does a house or other building figure prominently in your ms? It doesn’t in my first book, a thriller. The characters are moving too quickly to detail their surroundings. But my next project will be set on a plantation in the 1850s, so I expect the main house and surrounding buildings to take on a bigger role.

Can you name any books in which the house plays a significant role? I must be tired because the only titles coming to mind are The Amityville Horror and Flowers in the Attic.

NEW YORK - MARCH 31:  Real estate photograph of a house located at 112 Ocean Avenue in the town of Amityville, New York March 31, 2005. The Amityville Horror house rich history and beauty are overshadowed by the story of George and Kathy Lutz, the previous residents of 112 Ocean Avenue, who claimed that shortly after moving into the house they fled in terror driven out by paranormal activity. The best selling novel and popular movie have marked the town as the site of the most famous haunted house in history, yet many are unaware that the true history of this house is much darker than 'The Amityville Horror's' icy drafts and bleeding walls. Six members of the DeFeo family were murdered at 112 Ocean Avenue one year before the Lutz family moved in and their tragedy haunts the citizens of Amityville to this day. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)

On an unrelated note, the show House starts back up tonight. I’m hoping to get the kids to bed earlier enough so I can shovel a path to the couch, clear a spot to sit, and watch it. First, I’ll need to launch a search party for the remote.

A place card marks a seat for actor Hugh Laurie at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California, August 25, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)


  1. Thanks for the reminder about House! It's one of my favorite shows for today's Top 10 TV Shows blogfest. I adore Hugh Laurie.

  2. My husband volunteered to put the kids to bed so I could watch it--pretty steamy! I worry about having the House and Cuddy characters get together. Such a thing pretty much signaled the end of Moonlighting back in the day.


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