29 October 2012

Guest Blogger



Anyone who’s read a Callie Parrish Mystery knows I’ve never written a thirteenth chapter.  I’m not superstitious, but I, Calamine Lotion Parrish, have not and will not write a Chapter Thirteen.  It started with my first book when I thought about buildings with no thirteenth floor and why that might be. 

                     When I was a child and went to Charleston or Columbia with Daddy, we rode in elevators, and he let me press the buttons. I didn’t realize there was no floor called the thirteenth.  I thought they just left out the number between twelve and fourteen because there was something evil associated with thirteen.  I believed the thirteenth floor existed, but it must have been a place of secrets.  That fascination with hidden doings behind closed doors and the slight fear triggered by those thoughts probably account for my enjoying horror stories along with the mysteries I’ve loved since my first Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew books.

                     This time, I have a really good reason for being scared of thirteen and refusing to write a Chapter Thirteen.  I just finished reading The Thirteenth Child by David Dean.  I’m telling you:  When I got to the last fifty pages of that book and what happened on Halloween, I wet my panties.  I’m not kidding.  Problem was where I was reading.  In bed.  I was snuggled all cozy under the blankets reading when my bladder protested being full of Diet Coke, and I was  too scared to get up and go to the bathroom by myself.   
Big Boy

                     All one hundred and forty pounds of my full-grown dog Big Boy slept like a puppy on the rug beside the bed, but by the time I woke him up to go with me, it was too late.  Of course, then I had to go to the bathroom for a shower, to the kitchen to put the wet things in the clothes washer, and to the linen closet for dry sheets.  After we did all that, Big Boy wanted to potty, so I took him outside.  He thought we’d go for a walk, too, but I only let him hide behind the oak tree and do his girl-dog squat to tee tee like he always does.  Made him come right back into the house. Feeling a little guilty about refusing to walk him, I gave Big Boy a banana Moon Pie. His vet doesn't like for me to feed him my favorite--chocolate--so I have to keep two boxes in the cabinet at all times.

                     I’m not telling anyone why David Dean chose The Thirteenth Child as the title of his book.  Let ‘em read it, and find out for themselves.  I will say it was a good decision, and I’m going to visit  that book again.  I might read it in the bathtub next time so that I won’t have so far to go if it scares the—oops!  I’d better not go there.

NOTE FROM FRAN RIZER:  Thanks to Callie for blogging for me this week.  I thought with Halloween upon us, it would be nice to hear what she thought of David Dean's new book, but please excuse her references to bodily functions. I try to control Callie, but she says and does as she pleases.  There's a great Halloween scene in The Thirteenth Child.  Check it out, but you might want to read near the bathroom.  .


  1. Uh-oh! I'm not fully awake, my eyes weren't focused, and I'd just heard from my friend Callie Rhodes when this popped up. In my fog, I thought why is Callie blogging and not telling me?

    Back to real life, as it were. Callie, I'm glad your biographer saved those 13th chapters, a pleasant Monday diversion. Damn, that's a big dog.

    I'm definitely ordering a copy of David's book when I return to the States, hoping I can get a signed copy.

    In the early days preceding Criminal Brief, I thought it might be an interesting idea to create something similar to Crime Space but instead of registering authors, we register characters. I wonder if the idea could work?

  2. Dear Callie, I am so pleased that you liked "The Thirteenth Child"! However, my publisher wishes it known that his company can in no way be held accountable, monetarily, or in any other form, for any "accidents" that may occur during the reading of this book. That being understood, and recognizing your staunch and unsolicited support of TTC, the company is willing to pay (at reasonable rates) for the replacement of said panties, the color of which shall be at your discretion. This is a one-time offer and only available through the current calendar year.

    P.S. Callie, you have a signed copy of TTC reserved for you. It will go in the mail as soon as this damn Frankenstorm finishes with us.

    P.P.S. Leigh, when are you returning to the states?

  3. David,
    Please advise your publisher that Callie only wears inflatable bras and padded fanny panties which she buys from Victoria's Secret. Jane doesn't need any inflation or padding and doesn't buy underwear. She used to shoplift it, but that upset Leigh Lundin so much that she's given up her evil ways. So far as color is concerned, does female underwear come in colors other than red or black?

  4. Callie, it was really great to hear from you again. I see by your picture that you’re just the sort of youthful imp I imagined. I agree with Leigh, that your dog is huge. And, can well understand why you must bribe him with moonpies. (The dog that is -- I’m not sure what Leigh’s weakness may be, though I suspect Velma could clue us in.)

    Fran, I believe women’s underwear also comes in my favorite color: “sheer”. Though, my wife informs me this is NOT a color. I, of course, must defer to her, since I call the color mauve “purplish”.

  5. Dixon, I had forgotten about sheer, which surely must be a color because Victoria's Secret does make a lot of clothes in that shade. So far as Moon Pies, I don't know if Leigh eats them or not. The New York folks had never heard of them and Callie sent them a case when her first book came out. The editor said they loved them. I do, however, know that neither Leigh nor John like grits!

  6. By the way, Dixon, that picture of Callie was actually made at a book signing at Jamestown Coffee Company.

  7. Callie, I don't blame you for not writing a thirteenth chapter.

    For years I worked in a building with a 13 button in the elevator. If you got off onto the 13th floor you'd find yourself in a small, bare elevator lobby with a single wooden door at one end. If you were to enter that door you'd find yourself in a six by six wire mesh cage.

    So best of luck with Chapter 14.


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