(excerpted from Counting Blessings)
The tag line of my second Nightshade book, Ghost of a Chance, is: True love is like a ghost. Many people believe in both, but few find either. I don’t remember where I first read that line, but I believe it.
For the record, I do not drag my husband to cemeteries to hunt for ghosts. (Although graveyards are the most common site for portal hauntings; more about that in a later blog.) We went to the cemetery because I thought a graveyard would be a unique place to take a picture for my web site, and the old Citizen’s Cemetery in my hometown has long been one of my favorites. (Everybody has a favorite graveyard, right?) Buried therein are the remains of men who served as Rough Riders with Teddy Roosevelt, and women who served . . . um, something . . . in the Bird Cage saloon on Whiskey Row back when Doc Holladay was a drop in.
It was a great place for a photo shoot. Unfortunately, the cemetery’s high, wrought iron gates are closed and locked at dusk. In order to sneak in, we had to park in one of the less-desirable parts of town and ignore the drunken party that was going on nearby. (We also said a quick prayer that our hubcaps – and the car to which they were attached – would still be there when we returned.) We then lowered ourselves over a rock wall and into the graveyard. Thanks to the miracle of gravity, this wasn’t too difficult, even for a pudgy, middle-aged novelist and her CPA husband.
For about an hour, I led my eternal companion from one old sepulchre to the next (and the next and the next and the next) in search of the perfect spot in which to be photographed. While I graciously carried the compact digital camera, he carried my 50-lb antique typewriter. It was cold, dark, and suitably spooky, even for me.
By the time we had enough pictures to make me happy, we’d attracted the attention of several drunks and one police officer – but no ghosts. (Nor did an orb show up on our pictures, darn it.) My husband boosted me back over the wall, handed up the typewriter, considered the wall’s height and his blood pressure, and then sat down to wait for the cemetery’s gate to open or for heaven’s trump to sound, whichever came first. No, seriously, he scaled a crumbling pile of rocks and loose mortar that would have given Spider-Man second thoughts.
I probably don’t have to tell you that Gary would have rather been home watching football and rooting for ASU. (Heck, he’d have rather been at a dentist’s office having a root canal.) Nor do I need to tell you that I’ve found true love. You can judge that for yourself.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO YOU AND YOURS!