As promised – the ‘guy’ thing.
The stipulation of the Wild Rose Press contest was that a garden had to play a central role somehow. I posted about how I dealt with writing the story on my website (www.terryodell.com) at “Behind the Scenes” but this is a little bit more for you.
I slaved over the research, because it's set in a real place in LA, and I haven't been there in decades, although it was a very special childhood place, and he couldn't remember a lot about it either. I found maps and diagrams of the rose garden at
Since I was afraid to bug her any more, my husband gave me a colleague's name who worked near there and he took pictures for me. After much angst, I finished the story. Someone a contest was scarier than just submitting it, because with a submission, it only has to come “close” and they’ll work with you to fix it. For a contest, it’s a one-shot deal. I had my husband proofread it, because he’s got a good eye for glitches that I don’t see after numerous editing trips through the manuscript.
When I told my husband that my garden story won, he said (of course) congrats. He didn’t sound all that excited (but unless I get a three-book deal with a six figure advance, I don’t think he ever will). I asked if he remembered reading it. He said he wasn't sure--so I reminded him of all the problems with the museum, and he still wasn't sure. So I said, 'it's the one where they had sex on the couch," and he goes -- "Oh, yeah -- and they went for walks in the garden and there was the dog, and she made lasagna......yeah, I remember that one."