Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Beauty Shop

Back a few generations ago, there were three occupations available to women in Southern communities. Teacher, nurse or beautician. Officially, a beautician was a cosmetologist but she was always known as a "beautician". She went to "Beauty School" to become a beautician. After completing her training, she took the state license exam and if she passed, she was a beautician. I would say 75 percent of the beauticians in this area worked (and still do) in the small shops they built beside their homes. You can drive through any rural area and you will pass a house with a shop and a small sign at the end of the drive indicating that a beauty shop is located there. Actually, the sign isn't necessary. All the ladies in the immediate area know of its location. Many are regular customers and all beauticians have heard more than their share of gossip. The elderly hoard the place on Saturday, having their hair done in the same style they've worn since 1960, because it is tradition to have your hair done for church on Sunday.

I go to such a shop myself. I have never gone to a glitzy hair salon. Instead, I prefer the unpretentious little shop, belonging to an old friend. I've been a regular hair-cut customer for over 20 years now. My beautician is a country girl, who loves plants and anything to do with gardening. I love going in the summer when all her flowers are in bloom. And the inside of the small shop reflects the same garden atmosphere. With sunny walls, frogs, turtles, birds, and flowers welcome her customers. It may not be glitzy but it is a gem of a shop where I never have to wait and the price is great. God bless Southern beauticians.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Call

I have to say nothing is more exciting for a writer than getting a call from an editor who has read your work and loved it. However, it is bad though when you're in a cell phone dead zone and you have to go outside for reception where it is a 110 degrees and the yard guy is zipping by on a riding mower. I did manage to communicate enough with Angela James, the executive editor at Carina Press, to learn they had read my historical romance novella, Almost An Outlaw, and want to publish it. For all my old buddies out there, this is my "Jesse James" book.

The call is the moment when all the hard work that a writer has to put into a project becomes worthwhile. For me, it is great to know I've actually written a story, which stood on its on merit when read by total strangers at a publishing house. AWESOME!