My first post!

June 25, 2007

Look at me—I’m blogging. Welcome to volume 1, issue 1 of The Kudzu Telegraph.
As a failed journalist, I’ve had the urge to blog for ages, but my editor wouldn’t let me until I finished my new book. Jeez, don’t you hate it when you have to eat your veggies before you can have dessert? The good news is, DEEP DISH is done—at least my part of it, anyway. Now the cover genies and marketing mavens take over. Look for DEEP DISH in February. All I have to do is start a new book.

Easy, right? I have what I think is a great title, and a great idea. The cast of characters is coming together in my head. This weekend, I was at a friend’s house, reading a cookbook, and in the author acknowledgements I found a name I love—Dempsey. They spelled it differently, but my gal spells it this way. I think I know her last name too. I’m trying to figure out where this book is set, exactly. All I know for now is that it’s in a small town in Georgia. Maybe Madison? I had lots of fun writing HISSY FIT, which is set in Madison, one of the most beautiful towns in the South. So. Maybe Madison. This is the fun part of a new book. The possibilities are wide-open, limitless choices, huge optimism. Remind me of all this—nine months from now, when I’m trying to finish the freakin’ thing—tearing my hair out in frustration and anguish, sick to death of writing, ect. But right now, everything is shiny, glittery, wonderful, thrilling.

Speaking of thrilling, my junk posse and I had a fab weekend. We lit out fairly early Friday morning, heading for an estate sale in Druid Hills, which is a lovely old neighborhood in Atlanta—the real-life setting for the movie Driving Miss Daisy. Susie and I were in my car, about a block from the estate sale, when Susie screeches “Oriental rug! Oriental rug on the curb!” Right then and there I flipped a U-turn. We whipped into the driveway of a dilapidated house under renovation, hopped out, and yes, there on the curb was an actual oriental rug. A huge rug, all wadded up and left to die right there on the curb. So we did the humane thing. The two of us hefted it up and into the back of my car, screeching and laughing like a couple of loons. We could tell it was a very old rug, and that the colors were good. Susie needs a new old rug for her dining room, and these were the very colors she needed. Still laughing like loons, we motored on to the estate sale. At one point, Susie, who is usually a genteel Southern Lady, master gardener, Eucharistic Minister and recovering Brownie leader, pumps her fists in the air and hollers “Whoo-hoo! Who needs cocaine with a rush like this!”

The sale was excellent, by the way. I scored an empire mahogany card table, some sterling silver doo-dads and some vintage linens, among other things. We found a great 1920s wrought iron patio settee for Ellen, who, unfortunately, has an actual day job and couldn’t go with us on Friday, and Jeanie and Sharon, two other posse members, also found some good stuff. We all met back at my house to unload my car, at which point we unrolled the rug in my driveway to get the first real look at it. As we suspected, it was a good rug. As in, old. Susie and I left to go to some more estate sales, still stoked about the rug. We were so stoked, in fact, that I made up a song. Sung to the tune of “Oh Happy Day”—you know, the gospel number—it goes like this: “Oh Happy Day. Oh Happy Da-ay-ay-ay. (Oh Happy Day) When Jesus Threw. When Jesus Threw-ew-eew. (Yes Jesus Threw) Yes, Jesus Threw. He Threw that Rug Away! The chorus goes something like this: He Threw That Rug! Right on the Curb! We pulled right up! And threw it in the Car.
Oh Happy Day!

Did I mention we were stone-cold sober, driving around the finer neighborhoods in Atlanta singing the rug song at the top of our lungs? After a couple more stops—including our traditional junk posse lunch spot, The Oak Grove Market, we decided to drop the rug off at Sharian’s, in Decatur, to have it cleaned. The nice men at Sharian’s were very approving of our find. Turns out the rug is Persian, an antique Mahal, 10-by-13, the exact size and colors Susie needed. The men pointed out that the rug had about an inch coating of animal hair and reeked of cat pee. No worries. Sharian’s can get anything out of any rug. We left joyously, still singing the rug song.

That afternoon, we started scratching. And scratching. It seems our curbside find was flea-infested. I spent a very uncomfortable Saturday signing books at a Kroger in Buckhead, trying to find a way to discreetly scratch the flea bites in my cleavage. Not fun. The interior of my car has now been carpet-bombed with flea-killer. Oh Happy Day!

Here I am with two nice sisters at the Kroger signing.

16 thoughts on “My first post!”

  1. Hi! Our buddy Barb told me about your new blog–congratulations! I can already tell it will be fun. The rug story had me laughing aloud. I’ve pulled things off the curb in the past, too… but nothing as wonderful as that rug. And the new lyrics were a hoot!

  2. Hi Mary Kay aka Kathy,

    I LOVE YOUR BOOKS. The stories take me away. I am a native Californian but I have the soul of a southerner. What a fun blog!! Wooooo Hooooooooooo party on, Lady.


  3. Hey Kathy-
    I am a native Atlantan and have read all of your books throughout the years. You always make me laugh! I love your new characters-it would be great to somehow link the deaf and somewhat blind older ladies from the Callahanbooks into your Savannah books-maybe they have relatives there??? Anyway- I just wanted to say
    hello-your AJC column was a must read
    way back then! Keep on writing!
    Kelly-now in Indy…i miss sweet tea!

  4. hey mary kathy andrews hogan trocheck! (almost sounds catholic dosn’t it?) lol just curious, would you ever consider reviving your detective series i loved so much? and also would you ever thin of bringing the hissy fit crew into the savannah series or vice versa? intersting thought i guess…..
    love the books regardless…..
    your second favorite “tom” lol

  5. Mary Kay, the is paula kay!!!! I HAVE JUST WRITTEN MY FIRST NOVEL-would you be willing to contact me and put me in touch with your publisher? remember your first book- [email protected]
    hme 704-662-6808 cell 704-651-4136
    I CRIED laughing at hissy fit-i’m sure i’ve sold tons of your books,ca’t wait for deep dish!
    Caladryl is the best for anything that itches-well almost-
    SERIOUSLY, thank you in advance for any help! You’re the best!
    I go thru “RaleighWOOD” all the time-maybe we can meet and you can tell me what you think about my first book!

    “DYING” for a publisher
    aka paula dietrich
    Lake Norman NC
    Have a great day-keep up that singin’loved it!

  6. Kathy (Mary Kay),
    I just recently discovered you when a friend at work gave me Savannah Blues- I was hooked! I immediately read your other 3 , and hated to see each one end. Still trying to find a copy of Blue Christmas. I am so looking forward to your new book.
    Enjoyed your blog!! Take care, Alexandra

  7. So loved the rug story; wish I was closer to Atlanta and could give you some competition for your great finds!

    Good luck with the new blog; looking forward to reading more about your adventures and new books! Love the old ones; just did a review of two of them at my book blog

  8. MaryKay- you need to come on down to south Georgia on July 14. We are having a “twelve mile yard sale”. All along highway 33, from Pavo to Barwick to Boston from 8 am until!

  9. Good Lord, even your blog has me laughing out loud and about to pee in my pants! Hello from West Georgia! Love the books, have now read all of them! (mysteries and all) Hissy Fit is by far my favorite, just found your books last summer and have read that one 4 times!! Can’t wait until the next~

  10. Hi Mary Kay (hope it’s okay to call you Mary Kay)since we don’t really know each other.

    I just wanted to let you that I was summons for Jury Duty at the beginning of June. I was not at all looking forward to it, but I knew it was my duty to go and so I did. I’m the kind of person that has to look at the glass half full instead of half empty and try and find the good in everything. After seating in a room with 200 other people and never actually getting called for a case, I started to notice what some other people were reading. On day three I saw 4 different women holding a bright yellow paperback book with pink on the front of it. They were all reading very intently with the occasional laugh and I just had to find out what that book was. I finally got out of my seat and walked over to one of the ladies. She told me the book was called Little Bitty Lies. Soon the other ladies heard us talking and before I knew it they were having a big conversation about you and your books. I am not much of a reader, but I immediately began my search for that book so I could take it to the beach with me at the end of June. Unfortunately, Boarders in East Cobb did not have it and could not guarantee I would have it in time for the beach. I finally found the last copy that Barnes and Noble had the day before I was suppose to leave. When I got to the beach I set up my chair and told my husband and kids (14, 11, & 8) to leave me alone while I started to read. To make a long story short. I could NOT put the book down. I LOVED it! My mom had a mild stroke last June and then she fell and broke her hip right before Easter. I have been dealing with rehab centers and could really relate to some of what your chacter Mary Bliss was going through. I’m a native (grew up in Sandy Springs and Buckhead). You have opened up a whole new world for me. I can’t wait to read your other books and escape from reality when I need it. Keep up the great work!!!

  11. HI KATHY,
    Sister Susie was here to visit in October and brought a BAG FULL of your books. Read and enjoyed every one. Desperately need to know what happed to Susie on July 2. Please let me know ASAP. Thanks so much

  12. Hi Kathy,
    I just finished reading Savannah Breeze today and I loved it! When I read the first chapter that was about Weezie, and she mentioned breakfast at the Seahorse in Pass-A-Grille, FL, I knew I would love the book. When I was a child (from 6 to 16) we vacationed every June in St. Pete Beach and spent lots of time in Pass-A-Grille. The Seahorse Tavern (as it was named in the ’60’s)was our favorite place to eat. Thanks again, not only for a good read, but also for digging up some happy memories of days gone by.

  13. I am recovering from Total Knee Replacement surgery and I have to tell you all of your books have gotten me through this. I wake in the night and read several pages, get up in the morning only to read several chapters…I think you are just a fantastic story weaver. I love your books. I love antiqueing (I consider it a verb), I love ephemera (part of my charm business) and I can’t wait for more books to come out. Get busy writing… thanks for your stories, escapes, dreams. Diane

  14. HI! I’m making an author website for my mom and my sister, and I’m making a website for their book, too. I was just wondering how you did this since it looks really great and it’s a good example for me to follow.

  15. I love your books. I felt like I was reading my life story. My name is Weezi(Louise) I am a junker, I am a Floridan -the Tampa Bay area. I have had antiques stores for over 20 years and love “old Florida”, Travis McGee and buying and fixing up old houses. I have camped out all night to be first in line at estate sales and never saw a hardwood floor I didn’t love.
    My mama also makes the worst tuna cassrole in the history of the South.My hissy fits are legendary.
    Keep those books coming. I going back to read the Callahan books. I
    Thanks for the pleasures.

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