What are you writing about? People ask often enough. “Oh my gosh, you must be writing about Westport!” a stranger insists.
“No, I’m not writing about Westport,” I respond. “I’m writing about a wealthy dysfunctional family who lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut.”
A snort of laughter ensues, “Well, there’s plenty of that here, right in Westport. You should write about Westport instead,” they continue.
However, in the first book a character does go to Compo Beach and travels along Hillspoint Road in Westport.“Its fiction,” I continue.
“That’s what everyone says, but readers know fiction is part truth,” he persists.
Another inquiry I’ve received in person after I mention the dysfunctional family. “Are you writing about my neighbor?”
I smile in response. When I sold real estate it was common ground to hear the saying, there’s one to every neighborhood. So I’ll tell you about the “one in my
My phone jingles one late morning. My oldest was about seven years old at that time and in close proximity. I answer with a greeting and abruptly a voice on the other end questions me, “Have you seen either of my two Blue Jays or two squirrels?”
Readers ask me how I can write dysfunction like I do. Do I really need to explain? Back to the phone call. Shock jolts me. I scratch my scalp. She really didn’t ask me what I thought I just heard. Words never reach my lips.
“Well do you?” blares out from the phone. You know what they say about talking to crazy people, you look crazy for even answering them. However, this happy soul was two doors down in a strip of close vicinity homes.
“No,” is all I’m able to respond, not believing I’m even involved in this ludicrous conversation.
“Well!” comes from the receiver. “Your cat…!!!”
In the middle of her sentence, I said, “When you can speak in a civil manner, I’ll speak with you, but right now I’m going to put the phone down.” I couldn’t make out what she was screaming at the height of her voice and gently placed the phone down on the cradle. Ah..., her voice vanished.
A couple of minutes later, the storm door to the side of the house bursts open and my daughter appears,” Mommy, there are lots of pretty blue feathers in the yard!” She was excited about her discovery.
I hesitate to admit it because I could get backlash for writing this (as I watch the letters appear one by one on my word document). I say to my daughter, “Shh, don’t tell anyone about them.” I grab a bag and a couple of gloves and followed her outside to spot a large array of beautiful blue feathers in my yard. “Yes, they are pretty; aren’t they, Honey?” I didn’t want to ruin her moment.
I occasionally glance over the hedge to see if my crazy neighbor is watching me
clean up the feathers from her window. How would you know if Blue Jays or squirrels are yours or someone else’s or anyone's (is how I see it). How would you know if you’re looking at the same animal? Ugh, I move faster shoving them into the bag and never notice a set of eyes on me while I gathered up what was once Mr. or Mrs. Blue Jay. Once finished, I escape back inside so I won’t run into her.
A month later, a small white mouse scurried across my son’s bedroom floor. “Get the cat!” I screamed wanting to climb on top of the toilet seat to escape it.
The kids ran to Jewel, scooped him up and dropped him off in my son’s room. Then they waited and watched wide-eyed. “Mom, he’s not doing anything.” They called to me in the bathroom.
“He’s got to do something,” I comment feeling desperate.
A squeal of delight comes from the bedroom. “Jewel sees him, Mom!”
“Okay, just leave him and don’t take your eyes off of Jewel. Once, he gets the mouse he has to be put outside.
Minutes go by and the children start shouting, enthralled. “He’s got him!” I could hear thumping and think its the kids jumping up and down.
“Okay, now pick up Jewel and put him outside.”
Jewel was lifted up with his catch of the day dangling from his mouth. “He’s starting to growl, Mom!”
“Yes, he’s worried someone’s going to take his mouse. Just get him outside,” I repeat, still in the bathroom shielding myself with the door.
The kids went outside to observe him play hockey puck with the mouse. I called them inside because I didn’t want them to see what tends to naturally occur when a cat catches a mouse. They were, too, young for that in my opinion.
“There’s got to be someone from Westport that you’re writing about.” Someone remarks.
“I’m not writing about anyone from Westport,” I respond. However, after being asked repeatedly about Westport, I couldn’t resist to write in a home I toured here. Almost the moment I entered, I knew this property would develop into one of the five Fortier Series' books.
The open-house realtor was generous in conversation giving background on the owners old and current. After my stunned expression at the interior, and I commented “How bizarre,” while eyeing an exterior wall when standing inside, she told me she had nightmares about the house. We laughed, of course, but it wasn’t completely funny. Numerous things were amiss and it had a sad connotation. Clearly, someone had put their finishing touches to the dwelling and it was, well, let’s just say, “disturbing.” This is one of many angles that fascinates me when it comes to writing. The Fortiers are abundant with disturbing moments.
Its not like I’m writing about Westport and saying there are eccentrics residing here. Or are there? You can dissect the meaning in different ways. You can be someone who ridicules people of this mindset, or you can have a deeper curiosity as to how they truly tick, or just accept them for being who they are. So far, I’m not writing about Westport, but I took that particular property and placed it on
Cove Island. You know the dozen homes at the end of Old Mill Road, the ones you
access by taking the foot bridge? One of the Fortiers who I’m writing about actually buys my disturbing find in Westport. This Westport character, who loves food, gets delectables from Elvira’s, too. These features take place in Book Two of Five titled On The Inside – The Fortier Series. And I'm not writing about Westport.