Where Are The Perks?

by Dorothy Cannell

I am feeling embittered. My life as a published author has little similarity to the glamorous, pampered existence I once believed would be assured me in return for the gift of my every printed word.

Where is the devotedly efficient housekeeper? As I write this the dust thickens on furniture and in corners and will continue doing so until I hear my husband stomping around muttering that when it comes to cleaning a man’s work is never done. Where are the secretaries? The clerical one who would proof read this blog when finished, correcting punctuation and deleting as she (or he) deems required. The social one who would this afternoon take our two cats to the vet for their check ups. Then go and have my hair cut for me. Where is the French chef ready whip up elegantly delicious meals, snacks, drinks at a moment’s notice? Instead, previously mentioned husband (name escapes me) is putting a hot dog and baked bean casserole in the not preheated oven.

This mood will pass. I will see the negatives of having a home cluttered with staff. I’d have to talk to them for one thing – time consuming. I’d have to accept despising looks – if my hair wasn’t well combed or I slobbed around in my dressing gown all day.

There is a positive side to this pettishness regarding reality. It springs from having reached a point in current book Peril in the Parish where I want to burrow in and not come out until my characters pause in telling me what comes next. Against this there is the tug of the real world, because though less exciting than the fictional one (Scotland Yard has never requested my help in solving a particularly difficult case) it provides the base for who I am as a person and a writer.

I am now going to try and sort out what our two cats are arguing about – hopefully not politics or religion. Tell Teddy (dog) that his father and I very much appreciate the fact he has never taken the car out and wrecked it or asked to attend an Ivy League college.

And finally, assure husband that no French chef could concoct a more exquisite hot dog and baked bean casserole.

About Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries and the Jane Darrowfield Mysteries. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Portland, Maine. Readers can visit her website at www.maineclambakemysteries.com
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7 Responses to Where Are The Perks?

  1. Karen says:

    Love this!! Especially right in the middle of NaNo. I am nowhere near a published writer and may never be one but you’ve summed up my experience/expectations perfectly!! I also am still trying to remember my husband’s name, he who specializes in pork chops.

  2. L.C. Rooney says:

    A dose of reality for those of us dwelling in the as-yet-unpublished corner.

    P.S. My husband sends his regards to yours. He’d do it himself but he’s busy making the hardwood floors gleam at the moment.

    • Dorothy says:

      Would you like my husband to come over and help with the floors? He’s fed up with dusting and has a stash of tools begging to be let out of the basement.

      Dorothy

  3. I never really dreamed those dreams so I am spared the disillusionment and I can be happy that I don’t have a car payment because my book sales let me pay cash for a new car. They even let me buy a pizza and beer every now and then.

  4. Amy M. Reade says:

    Please PM me and I will give you my address. It shouldn’t take your husband more than ten hours or so to get here from Maine. The dust bunnies have taken over and I need backup. Also, since my chauffeur is on vacation, I’ll need the three kids in four places tomorrow night. Tell him to hurry.

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