For months now, I’ve been working on the next book, THE FIXER-UPPER, in which my protagonist, a young woman named Dempsey Killebrew, returns to her family’s homeplace in a small middle Georgia town, to search for a new life–and to fix up said homeplace. And all this time, I’ve been scheming and shopping for what I’d come to call our virtual beach house. In June, we finally sealed the deal on our own fixer-upper. And now, life is imitating art. I’d been lusting after an old-timey backsplash porcelain kitchen sink for the beach house, so I had Dempsey’s handyman buddy find her one at the town dump. Then I found one at the Scott’s Antique Market here in Atlanta last month. I also found a claw-foot bathtub for our soon-to-be master bath at the beach, and Dempsey already has one of those. Dempsey had a great old pre-WWII gas stove in her kitchen, so I’ve been lusting after one of those too. I used to have my aunt’s pre-WWII gas stove in my old house. It was a gleaming white Roper, big as a battleship, and we designed a kitchen around it. Sadly, we sold that house. So I’ve been pining for another old stove for the beach house. Scanning Craigslist–my favorite time-waster, I found the perfect old gas stove–it’s called a Grand, it’s preWWII, in great shape, and in a house only 15 minutes from mine. Yesterday I went and looked. I fell, hard. But it was not to be. This old gas stove has to have the burners lit each time you use it, and I was afraid our guests at the beach house would be terrified–or worse, blow the whole damned place to kingdom-come. BUT…the owner of the stove is getting ready to tear down this great old 1920s bungalow, and his in-laws were already harvesting the oak floors for their home. So I fell for this great pedestal sink–and he GAVE it to me. A sink! I call it a belated birthday gift. I somehow persuaded Mr. Mary Kay to remove the sink yesterday, and then, we bought a bunch of gorgeous old solid-wood panelled doors too–for five bucks apiece. And then I went back with my son-in-law Mark, and the cordless screwdriver, and Whitey Ford, the community pickup truck,….and bought the narrow crank casement windows, and some white porcelain bath sconces. And for less than a hundred bucks we got: an amazing vintage porcelain pedestal sink, 8 vintage solid-wood panel doors, 9 vintage windows, pair of sconces, pair of Craftsman iron lanterns, assorted doorknobs. The doors will replace the cheesey hollow-core doors at the beach house. I hope to make the windows into upper kitchen cupboard doors, the sconces will go in the master bath, the lanterns will be probably go on the screened porch. I’ll have to settle for an ordinary stove, I’m afraid…unless somebody puts a vintage ELECTRIC stove on Craigslist…..