Monday, November 24, 2014


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The deluge of catalogs to my mailbox started at the end of September. Figis, Fruit Company, Popcorn Factory, Swiss Colony, etc etc etc etc. I have collected, so far, a stack that goes from the floor to my knee. I marvel at all the wonders within their pages: cheese trays, breakfast baskets, wine of the month, tangelo surprise. 

Part of this is my fault; for years I sent editors little gifts at the holidays, sent something to my uncle, distant friends. I used multiple catalogs, not realizing what I was letting myself in for. Now, even though my gift list has been cut in half, the number of catalogs has increased exponentially. THEY SHARE MAILING LISTS. Even though I have moved from Wisconsin to Illinois, like a creepy stalker from a bad thriller THE CATALOGS HAVE FOLLOWED ME. I did not order from any of them in 2013, and yet they're here again. I am not ordering from them this year (though admittedly I got my uncle and a friend gift baskets from a company online...after seeing their catalog).

You're probably nodding your head. Yep, yep, I get catalogs too. What On Earth, Wine Country, Pecan Heaven.

Worthless, right?

I've decided they have some value after all. A SF book I'm working on has a character with a penchant for wine...what she drinks comes right out of that Wine Country catalog. She likes cheese, too, so I'll thank Swiss Colony for her supply of munchies. No need to scour the Internet for what to serve in Chapter Six, I'll just tug out one of the catalogs.

In Chapter Seven I am going to describe people on the street...some of them will wear T-shirts I spotted in a What On Earth catalog. And a few of the fellows in my text will have a striking resemblance to the male models in a clothing catalog. 

Some part of my brain has decided that if a company is going to spend money printing and mailing the catalogs, I shouldn't let them entirely go to waste. Just doesn't seem right.

One of my neighbors sells AVON, and so she regularly hangs a catalog on my door. Flipping through the pages I was inspired to write a horror story, and it appears in Athena's Daughters published by Silence in the Library. Hmmmmmmm....the next time I take my doggy downstairs for a tennis ball tossing break, I'll see if I have an extra copy of that anthology. It'll be the perfect Christmas present for my Avon Lady neighbor.

I'll be introducing a new character in Chapter Eight. I better get to that today because there's FREE SHIPPING if I order by 5 p.m. I think I'll put this one in a trendy tweed overcoat I saw on page 13, maybe put him in some fine leather boots that are 33% off.

AND THEN...AND knee-high and growing stack of catalogs will join the assortment of junk mail that I'm certain my tiny town's residents are throwing into the recycling bin. 

Maybe there's another horror story waiting to be written, the plot simmering in the mounds of pulpy refuse.

Black Friday Indeed.