Saturday, March 29, 2008

Memphis Update! Finally!

I'm exhausted! Last weekend's trip to Memphis was a blast but we packed way too much into a two day trip. I took Monday off to recuperate but ended up writing all day. Not much rest. Then the Evil Day Job was just...well, evil! *cackle* The EVIL CFO decided he wanted to separate one division into it's own company within our software. Guess who had to convert the division in time for an April 1st switch over? Let's just say the voodoo doll I bought at Tater Red's in Memphis has been put to good use... *insert malicious laugh here*

Each night, I'd get home and work like a fiend to finish my WIP. It's a 20k novella tentatively titled DOUBLE HAPPINESS for a publisher I haven't subbed to before. Last night, I finished self-edits and put the submissions packet together. The email is sitting in my drafts folder. I'll look at it again before I send it. I'm leery of sending important emails in the wee hours of the morning--afraid I forgot something! LOL

So the Memphis trip was great! Delilah Devlin and I left her house early Saturday morning and made great time to Memphis. We hit the Welcome Center off I-40 first. Drove the poor man crazy asking weird questions. (Click on the pictures for a larger view!)

Best Misunderstood Quote of the Weekend--

Delilah: Can you tell me where I can find some old churches? I need some places to desecrate.
Man: *eyebrows hit hairline*
Shayla: In her book! She's writing a novel about a demon!

Too funny! I'm surprised we didn't have a cop tailing us out of there! Of course, that would have saved us the trouble of waiting for the cop we found working a vehicle break-in on Riverfront Drive. One of our goals was to speak to a Memphis police officer and maybe get a picture so we had a reference for describing the uniform.

We stopped at the park on Riverfront Drive to take pictures of the Mississippi River. With all the rain lately, the river was up high. Flotsam beat against crooks and crannies of the shore. Great pictures for how a body would float up! As we were leaving the park, we came across the police officer. As we hung around, we learned what happened. Five women had gone to the Arkansas side of the river for bridesmaid dress fittings then decided to stop at the park on the way back. They weren't gone more than a few minutes when someone broke the window of their SUV and stole two of the purse. A quick smash and grab, the thieves left several purses and a laptop behind.

The officer was a real sweetheart. After taking all the information, he cleaned out the glass from the seat and floor plus knocked out the rest of the glass in the broken window. Then he helped the SUV's owner put a jacket over the open window, tucking it in the closed door.

Once he was finished, Delilah explained that we were authors on a research trip and we'd like to ask him a few questions about the Memphis PD. And, if he didn't mind, we'd like a picture of him.

He joked around about finding his picture on the internet with someone else's head. We assured him we wouldn't do anything bad. *cackle* Then he asked, "How do you want me?" And draped his chest across the top of the squad car! He was too funny and a great sport! Got lots of good info!

After that, we headed to the Metal Museum. We'd been told the building was once a Marine Hospital and some said it was haunted. Behind the museum was a great deserted building! We found some great statues and got some great ideas. Across the street from the Museum were several huge hills, obviously man-made. We speculated about them being Civil War bunkers since they overlooked the river.

My curiosity got the best of me and I climbed one to see what was up there. I'm not in the best shape--okay, I'm old and overweight with bad knees. So negotiating the steep slope wasn't one of my best ideas. Getting up was okay. Getting down was another story. Fortunately, Delilah missed the shot of me backing down the hill.

We went back into the Museum and asked about the hills. We were right about the Civil War bunkers but soldiers didn't create them. They were old Indian burial mounds! More great ideas!

CuckalissaNext on the list of things to do--Chucalissa! This museum is an archaeological dig on the site of American Indians who vanished before Europeans set foot in America. The mounds here were the center of village life and where the village elder lived. More great ideas!

By the time we checked into our hotel, we'd already done half the stuff on our list plus some! After unpacking and freshening up, we headed out to Beale Street, home of the blues! We had a few beers while we ate ribs at the Blues City Cafe! Delilah was a serious impediment to my diet. She insisted we have a fried pie a la mode! It was soooo good!

After dinner, we strolled up and down Beale Street, stopping in Tater Red's. I must have had a vision when I bought that voodoo doll. I knew I'd end up using it on the EVIL CFO! *cackle* We took a tons of pictures, soaked in the ambiance and had a blast--as well as Starbucks and chocolate covered strawberries from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory! I told you Delilah was a bad influence on my diet!

The next morning, we wanted to go to a patisserie we'd seen near Beale Street for breakfast. The Main Street Trolley runs in the direction we wanted to go and when we walked out of the hotel, one was sitting there--just waiting for us! LOL So we jump on and pay our fare only to find out, it's not the Main Street Trolley--it's the Medical Center Trolley. We were the only passengers so the driver told us to stay and he'd give us a tour.

John was a great tour guide! We explained we were on a research trip and he gave us several places to check out, including a burned out church near the hotel! Delilah was thrilled! A church she didn't have to desecrate! *cackle* He even told us that the locals called Chucaliss, Voodoo Village! Talk about story ideas! LOL

After our trip through mid-town, we returned to Beale Street. The place we wanted to eat was closed, after all it was Easter Sunday... We found a little diner about a half block from the hotel and had a great breakfast.

Then we walked up to the burned out church for pictures before checking out of our hotel. But we weren't finished with Memphis. One of the bridesmaid ladies from the riverfront mentioned a decrepit house built to resemble a castle. She'd given us excellent directions and we found it with no problem. After getting pictures there, we headed to the Elmwood Cemetery, one of the oldest in Memphis.

Great pictures, great ideas! Yes, we are a little ghoulish. Actually, Delilah is a lot ghoulish! The beginning of her book, Seduced By Darkness, gives me the creeps every time! Her demons and zombies are chilling! LOL

So we ended our trip to Memphis and headed home--exhausted but happy with our research results and planning another trip to Memphis soon!

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