Petit Fours » A group blog of authors writing in different genres

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Welcome author Pepper Phillips!

WHERE DID I GET THE IDEA FOR THE DEVIL HAS DIMPLES? 
   by Pepper Phillips
I’m a Nursing Home Administrator and my Director of Nurses was talking to a family member who came to tell us that her mother took a turn for the better and would be back the next day.  Great news, as she was a sweetheart.  Then the daughter said, “We’ll have to put the pig in the freezer.”
That stopped us.  My D.O.N. and myself shared a glance, and she asked, “What do you mean?”
The daughter went on to explain that they were planning a pig roast for her mother’s funeral, and since she was better, they’d put it in the freezer for the future.  They changed out pigs every three months!
When I went into my office, I grabbed a small scratch pad, with a logo no less, and wrote down five pages of the opening scene.  When I got home, they expanded to five typewritten pages.
Here’s a snippet:

“Mackie, you ever been to a funeral on Halloween?” said T-Jack Couvillion, newspaper reporter.

He thought for a moment, most likely turning the decades over in his mind searching for an answer.

“Nope.  This is the first night funeral I’ve ever been at.  Makes me think it might be a good idea when my time comes.”

“Never for me either, although I did attend a Halloween wedding once.  It was a bit over the top,” said Grant.

Maudie’s casket was perched on a roller parked next to the grave hole.

“Her casket looks like it cost a handsome dollar,” I said.

Mackie nodded.  “They should have given her a kid’s coffin, since she was so small.  If’n I die in the next ten minutes, stuff me in there with her.  There’s more than enough room.”

Grant chuckled.  “I don’t think your wife would like that, Mackie.”

Mackie shook his head, “You’re most likely right.  Maybe I can get us a double wide and we can sleep together ‘til the end of time.  That would jolt her.”

Grant and I couldn’t help but laugh, the visual alone was hilarious.

We watched as kids, busy munching on treats, and bobbing for apples, threw apple cores and candy wrappers all over the ground.

The more serious-minded adults brought lawn chairs and ice chests to get a head start on the beer bust.

When the time for the service arrived, everyone lit their candles.  I have to tell you that was a show.  The candlelight sure was pretty.  Some of the kids had their candles in hollowed-out pumpkins, so there were orange and white lights all over the place.  It was dark enough that you couldn’t see the empty candy wrappers anymore.  A few placed candles on the built-up burial sites, making the area rather festive, even for a graveyard.

Silas managed to burn his snout almost off with his candle.  Bitsy threw a bucket of apples and water over him and his cronies and managed to put that fire out quite nicely.

Reverend Benny Gagnard stood at the head of the casket.  Drawing his fist up to his mouth, he coughed to clear his throat, then said in his loud, hearty sermon voice, “She’s dead.  Thank you, Lord.”

Mackie turned to me.  “That was the shortest eulogy I’ve ever heard.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, “He must be still ticked off ‘cause of Maudie telling his wife about his indiscretion with the choir leader.”

Mackie nodded.  “Just goes to show you.  What goes around, comes around.”

Then the choir led out the song.  Angie Tassin, the choir leader and Maudie’s arch-enemy, raised a little triangle and whacked it twice.  The choir, all Angie’s friends, began to sing, “Ding dong, the witch is dead, the wicked, wicked witch is dead.”  Angie finally got her revenge.  They continued the song while the rest of us hooted, hollered, and laughed so hard, tears rolled down our faces.  Silas fell out of his lawn chair and lost what was left of his burned snout, but didn’t spill a drop of beer.

The only person who seemed to take everything serious was Sedge.  He was dressed up in a new black suit complete with the label still on the sleeve, a hat in his hand and even carried a bunch of yellow flowers he’d picked that grow wild along the roadside during this time of year.

Mackie said, “I’ve never known Sedge to dress in a suit.  Didn’t even know that he had one.”

“Maybe he’s in costume.”  I replied.

“As what?  A funeral director?”  Grant asked.

“He could be a mourner, what with the flowers and all.  He and Maudie have been friends for a quarter of a century.”

Sedge placed his hand on the casket and started to cry.

The three of us stood there, uncomfortable, not knowing what to do.

Someone dressed up in a witch’s costume walked over to him and patted him on the back, giving him what comfort she could and handed him a handkerchief. He was so overcome with grief that he almost toppled into the grave.

Finally, the singing stopped, and while everyone wiped tears and smirks off their faces, the casket was lowered, and old Sedge dropped his bouquet on top.

Then Silas threw in Bitsy’s candle and that started a candle throwing frenzy.  Needless to say, there was a really big blaze going in no time.

The grave diggers got hopping and shoveled dirt in fast.  Eventually the blaze was buried and so was Maudie.

The town’s sure going to miss that old gal.  She sure knew how to enjoy life, and her death wasn’t so bad either.

Then came the biggest surprise of all.

The next day, the daughter no one knew existed showed up in Boggy Bayou.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you so much for joining us today, Pepper.  But I’ve got to tell our readers about the copy The Devil Has Dimples that you’re giving away to one lucky commenter!   Be sure to leave a comment to get your name in the bag for the drawing…and good luck everyone!

You can also purchase THE DEVIL HAS DIMPLES at Amazon.

 

About our guest author:

Pepper Phillips wrote her first play in the seventh grade.  Before that she read every book in her age group at the small local library.
An only child, she entertained herself in the worlds she created in her mind.  She’s still pretty mindless in some respects, but her writing world is where she is the happiest.         She ventured into self-publishing in 2011.

Marilyn Baron - January 30, 2013 - 12:55 am

Pepper,
Very enjoyable excerpt. I often get my inspiration for books from a single comment from someone that intrigues me or makes me laugh. Do you still write plays?

Laura Russell - January 30, 2013 - 1:44 am

Hello Pepper, What a great snippet- ‘we’ll have to put the pig in the freezer’ in response to your mother has taken a turn for the better! Glad to know the back story on that.

Mary Preston - January 30, 2013 - 3:32 am

The pig story had me laughing. It makes you wonder how many pigs they eventually went through.

I enjoyed the snippet thank you.

Pepper Phillips - January 30, 2013 - 4:47 am

I’m focusing on my novel writing at the present, so screenplays are taking the backseat. Those suckers are a difficult sell!

What I didn’t write in the blog, was that the family had their mother on a ‘death watch’ at the hospital. She was like every grandmother I read about as a kid, so I went to visit her, and she was lying in bed with her eyes closed, her hands folded against her chest. I bent over and kissed her on the forehead, and whispered in her ear, “Come home, I miss you.” When I stood up, her eyes shot open, which startled me, and gave me a smile. Two days later she was back in the nursing home. I honestly believe that since her family was talking about her death so much, she thought she had to die. I gave her another option…as she lived three more years.

Sandy Elzie - January 30, 2013 - 6:27 am

Hey Pepper,
Good morning! You’re up early also. Loved the snippet….and the pig in the freezer story. My mother was very sick but fighting…until the doctor told her she had about 2 months to live. She gave up. I could have kicked the guy in the shin…although she was maybe better off out of pain. I like that you gave her another POV on the subject of living or dieing.

Good luck with your book and thanks for joining us today.

Marilyn Baron - January 30, 2013 - 7:11 am

You mentioned screenplays were hard to sell. My sister and I just completed and are starting to market a musical and we’re prepared for the long and winding road to production.I know it’s a nontraditional path, but what do you think of the idea of self-publishing the musical in a “playbook” format, in the meantime? That way it would be available in a more polished form when people are reviewing it.

Pam Asberry - January 30, 2013 - 9:30 am

Thanks for the smiles this morning, Pepper! Loved the pig in the freezer story as well as the snippet. Yes, I want to find out more! :-)

Pepper Phillips - January 30, 2013 - 10:33 am

Marilyn, I have done a self-published screenplay, but it didn’t sell very well, so I turned it into a novel. It’s called “Unconditionally”…so, I’m ready in case Hollywood calls. LOL

Maxine Davis - January 30, 2013 - 10:39 am

Pepper, I loved the snippet. I bet this is a great story – and I will find out because if I don’t win, no problem, I’m going to buy it. This sounds like my kind of world. Good luck with the e publishing.

Angi Morgan - January 30, 2013 - 10:48 am

Loved the snippet Pepper. Sounds like a terrific book.
~Angi

Marilyn Baron - January 30, 2013 - 10:50 am

Great idea! Something to consider.

Sylvia Rochester - January 30, 2013 - 11:11 am

Loved the snippet. Just ordered the Kindle book, so take my name out of the drawing. Can’t wait to read the rest of it.

Edie Ramer - January 30, 2013 - 11:50 am

I loved that excerpt! Very fun to read. The last line was brilliant!

Mary Marvella - January 30, 2013 - 12:21 pm

This blog is soooo Donna! Her humor comes through in everything she writes, even the not so funny stories.

Melanie Atkins - January 30, 2013 - 12:38 pm

Too funny, Pepper. I love this! You crack me up.

Pepper Phillips - January 30, 2013 - 12:57 pm

LOL…My aim is to crack everyone up!

Connie Gillam - January 30, 2013 - 1:22 pm

Thanks for that hilarious excerpt, Pepper. You made a day that started out in the pits a little brighter.

Pepper Phillips - January 30, 2013 - 2:01 pm

Thanks Connie…it’s nice being the flashlight in the dark.

I’m hoping that I croak close to Halloween and can have a night funeral, I think I’ll write that in my will. No one would ever forget it. Mardi Gras works as well, as the people here will be wearing costumes and shouting for beads. “Throw me something, Mister!”

Hildie McQueen - January 30, 2013 - 4:04 pm

What a fun excerpt!! I chuckled, my interest if piqued.

Tamara LeBlanc - January 30, 2013 - 6:11 pm

Hi Pepper!
Love your name and the excerpt! Thanks for sharing it:)
I get a lot of ideas from science and even history shows on Tv. Every so often something someone says to me in conversation also helps conjure a story idea, too, so I know what it’s like to scribble plot, character, or even story onto everything from napkins to post it’s!
Have a great evening,
Tamara

Sia Huff - January 30, 2013 - 7:19 pm

Hi Pepper,

I’ve had a wild day with 180 middle schoolers under a tornado warning. Your humor is just what I needed. Thanks for making me smile.

Susan Carlisle - January 30, 2013 - 7:54 pm

Pepper,

To start with I love your name.

Humor is a hard thing to write and you do it well. I love how you came up with the story idea. It is always amazing where story ideas pop up from. Thanks for join us today.

Pepper Phillips - January 30, 2013 - 8:34 pm

Gosh, I’m starting to blush with all the nice comments. I can’t imagine 180 middle schoolers under a tornado warning. I think it would drive me to drink…at the school. Not to mention the weeping involved. Which would be mine! LOL

What an amazing woman…great teachers aren’t paid nearly enough in my book. You remember the great teachers that touched your life many years later.

Kim Hornsby - January 30, 2013 - 11:01 pm

Very funny stuff Pepper. Good for you taking real life moments and turning them into a whole scene! Write whatcha know.
I have a gorgeous singer in my novel on Amazon named Pepper. She’s the best friend but she might get a staring role for the next one. Great name!
Kim Hornsby

Pepper Phillips - January 31, 2013 - 9:08 am

I ‘borrowed’ the name ‘Pepper’ from a girl in high school. Always thought it was interesting, and that was a zillion years ago. The ‘Phillips’ is my great-grandmother’s maiden name, and the family comes from Alabama, so I really do have southern roots. My real married name is too hard to pronounce and spell, and as the maiden name is Smith, well, you get the picture. I now answer to ‘Pepper’ and love it.

Sandy Elzie - January 31, 2013 - 3:09 pm

In a random drawing from those who commented, I’ve chosen the following winner.

Congratulations to Edie Ramer !!!

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