Stop Three (Kelly Chapman)

So this is Storybroads.  ttq has talked about you all so much.  The Broads.  And Broadies.  You all are pretty dear to her heart, did you know that?  Nice place you all have here.  Lots of writing implements, that’s always good.  I have to tell you right off, I’m a perennial note taker.  I just seem to think better when I’m writing things down.  And I have a warning, too.  I chew on my writing implements.  So there you have it. 

ttq asked me if I’d share some of the pictures we took over the weekend – if you were with us yesterday you’ll know that we had an unexpected vacation day that was completely out of our control.  I heard ttq telling Tim – one great guy but I’ll need a whole day to tell you all the things I’ve learned about him – that Books, Movies, & Reviews, Oh My!, our missed stop, has, after apologizing profusely, asked that we re-schedule for next Monday.  I’m good with that.  I was looking forward to visiting the place.  I’ve seen pictures and it looks cool.  Right, back to pictures.  I’ll be sharing some of them as we go along, today.

ttq also suggested that I introduce myself, tell you all a little bit about me.  I prefer to get to know you all.  Listening is what I do best.

But after two years of living with this woman – she calls herself ttq, small case mind you.  (There’s a message in that.  She just hasn’t gotten it yet.) – anyway, I digress.  After two years of living with her, living through her, I owe her.  She’s been a great sport, letting me set up camp in her mind, taking over thoughts that she might have put to good use elsewhere, interrupting her sleep, her play time, and pretty much any other time.  It’s not that I’m selfish.  It’s that I had some people to help – out there.  I’ve got files filled with stories that, if shared, can help so many people.  If nothing else, some aspects of my cases will entertain, and down time is imperative to healthy living.

I digress again.  I’m avoiding talking about myself.  I’m just not good at it.  And yeah, yeah, I know, yesterday at stop two, where were we?  Oh yeah, the MIRA authors site.  Kind of a lonely place, if you ask me.  Yesterday ttq told you what I said about avoidance.  (Maybe I was a little hard on her but only because I know she can take it.  And wants it.  I’ve never met a woman who tried harder to be the best she could be.)  ttq has issues with avoidance, but then, so do I.  I have issues with chewing on fresh pencils, too.  I’m aware.  And someday, if I have the time, I might do something about both issues.  In the meantime, I have a confession to make.

There’s another place I interrupted ttq’s life - more than interrupted, I messed it up.  It was one of those things that I didn’t foresee.  I would never, ever have done anything to hurt her.  Or make life difficult for her.  That’s not what I’m about.  But she skates.  You know, in-line skating.  At first, I just hung out in her mind while she sailed through the air, but I just couldn’t seem to stay in my place.  (I do have difficulty with that.  I have a tendency to go to whatever situation I think I can help.)  ttq didn’t need any help skating, so that’s why this…action…of mine was such a surprise.  I took over ttq’s skating life.  I started talking to her the entire time she was on the bike path.  Giving her bits and pieces of cases.  Dropping names.  And dates.  It was there that I first told her about the guy I suspected was a pedophile.  I introduced her to Maggie, there, too.  Ah, Maggie.  I can’t wait for you all to meet her.  She’s in The Second Lie.  I sure love that kid.

I told ttq all about Jane Hamilton, too, when she was out trying to get some R&R on her wheels.  Which was okay, really.  She’d needed to know and the answers lessened her stress which was part of the goal of skating.  Jane’s an impressive woman.  A self possessed, successful woman who had the courage to look honestly and deeply at herself.  And to face what she saw.  She’s The First Wife.  And then there’s Erin.  But we’ll talk about Erin later.  ttq called her file The Third Secret and I miss her.  A lot.

Still not getting to the letting you know about me, part, here.  I’m not much of a writer.  Which is why I confiscated ttq in the first place.  My gosh, that woman can write.  If you guys could see even half of what she goes through to bring you the stories that take over her brain without really even giving her a say about the process…While everyone else is sleeping, she sits alone in the quiet of the night with her hands on the keyboard and lets us talk.  She spends all day there, too, alone in that office, fingers on the keys, and gives herself over as the amazing conduit she is.

Back to me…I robbed ttq of her peace on the skate path.  I stole skating from her.  She was able to go so deep while she skated, to get answers, revelations, to truly connectwith authenticity and I…well I guess I just couldn’t resist.  That’s where I live – in the deepest recesses.  Of other people’s minds.  It’s one thing to have access to your own mind that way, but when you spend your life inside other people’s most sacred, intimate thoughts, inside the psyches that drive them, well, you have to be always aware.  So careful.  You don’t get to have a bad day when you’re delving into the mind of someone else.  And skating…it allowed me to erase all of life’s distractions and get to the root of living, of life.  To get the insights I needed to be able to help my clients.  So I told ttq I’m a skater.  And I took over the skating.  And I made a huge mistake.  And…I can’t really say much more about that.  ttq called the whole thing The Fourth Victim.  That’s me, The Fourth Victim.

So, enough about me.  Other than, I forgot, ttq suggested, when we talked about this stop on the tour over the weekend, that I tell you things like the fact that I’m addicted to diet coke.  But what I want to tell you is that she is, too.  She drinks the stuff from first thing in the morning until she goes to bed at night.  Sometimes she switches to caffeine free.  And, I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but, hey, I’ve been living with this woman for two years, I know her secrets.  Sometimes, late in the evening, she slips a splash of rum in with the diet coke.  Bacardi rum.  And when I say a splash, I mean just a splash.  You can barely taste the stuff.  Which is a good thing.  I can’t stand the taste of it.  For me, one glass of wine, and a hot soak, is a dream evening.

Here I am, true to form, doing what I think is best, not what my dear friend, ttq, asked me to do.  She did a great job telling you all about me in The Chapman Files.   I don’t need to do that.  I thought you all should get to know the woman whose books you enjoy.  She really tries hard.  And that means everything in my book.  I have another little secret to share.  We made a stop – with Tim, of course – at their cabin in the woods this past weekend.  She dresses really different there.  Like, no fashion at all.  She still does her hair and make up though.  I gotta tell you, this woman does that hair and make up just to sit alone with me and the furry family members every day.  We celebrated something this weekend.  I’ll let you all figure out what that was.  It’s one ttq secret I’ll keep my mouth shut about.

If you’re still wondering who got older, I’ll give you a clue.  Tim made the cake.  And hey, what’d I tell you about that diet coke addiction?  See the cans there?  She’s a two fisted drinker.

Whoops, I gotta get this published before she gets back and sees what I just did.  (She’s off re-filling our diet cokes.  We both like lots of ice.)  Before I go, I want to remind you all that over the next three months, as we celebrate The Chapman Files, ttq and I are going to be asking for help.  If you can, join us in our fight against Domestic Abuse.  Since February of this year, Strengthen Our Sisters is down $400,000.00 in donations.  Some of the staff members are working without pay as they struggle to pay mortgages and keep their women and children housed and safe.  If you’d like to help, to donate to Strengthen Our Sisters securely through PayPal, click here:  https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=VR7WPWDHR6KFS.

And back to our tour!!!  There’s an item from ttq’s new book, The First Wife, hidden on the tour with us.  Guess the item to enter the drawing to win it!  Today’s clue: A lot of people have a lot of them.

Don’t miss The Chapman File tour party on December 4th!  Tour prize winners will be announced!

Next tour stop:  Thursday, August 26, 2010.  Novelist’s Inc.  http://www.ninc.com/blog/index.php  I hope to see you there!  The more blogs you visit with me, the more chances you have to win!

For weekly blog tour dates, visit www.tarataylorquinn.com

AND…Free Book Thursday!!!  (I’m proclaiming it that, ttq won’t mind.)  Tomorrow, a copy of The First Wife will be given away to one lucky commenter!