Our grandson, Nate, gets out of the Marines on Oct. 13 and is moving to Indianapolis to settle for a while and start school on the G.I. bill. We’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. We live about 2 hours away but within driving distance. And we asked him what he’d like to celebrate his becoming a civilian. He used to cook with me when he was growing up and loves puttering in the kitchen, so he said he wanted a great start on kitchen products.
He told that to the right person:) Nate and I still talk recipes, so little by little–(we’ve had almost half a year), I’ve been buying him kitchen gear. He has 51 more days before he’s released from duty, and we’ve bought him a huge set of pots and pans, a Geoffrey Zakarian cast-iron grill with a heavy top to smash hamburgers and steaks, dishes, silverware, casserole dishes, a stoneware 9 x 13 pan, a Ninja multi-cooker, spatulas and cooking spoons, and much, much more. I’m going to start stocking him up on spices and seasonings next, then glassware and mugs. His kitchen will be better stocked than we ever had when HH and I started out.
It made me think of girls I knew when I was young who had hope chests. They started them in high school and collected all kinds of things they thought they’d need when they got married. I wasn’t sure that would ever happen to me, so I never had one, but I had lots of friends who did. I don’t know if girls still do that, but it was popular when I was in school. Then, on top of that memory, our good friend Ralph Miser told me about a friend who bought a house and found a young girl’s treasure box in its attic. The girl had saved all kinds of things that made her happy–pretty rocks, a science fair ribbon from school, good report cards, and little odds and ends that she’d collected.
When Ralph told me about the treasure box, it made me think of a story for my Jazzi and Ansel cozy series. I wanted them to buy a fixer-upper and find a treasure chest in a locked bedroom full of a young girl’s journals and prizes. When Jazzi looks the girl up online, she learns that she was pushed off a balcony shortly before her high school graduation and her murder was never solved.
I grew really fond of Jessica, but it was her treasure chest that enchanted me. A box full of memories and a promise of potential that never came to be.
How sad. Jazzi thinks so, too, and is determined to find who pushed her to her death. Hope for the future is such a powerful thing, it’s sad when it’s destroyed. That’s what happens in The Body From the Past. And it was interesting to explore it. I’m going to start plot points for my seventh Jazzi mystery soon, with a different theme, and I’m looking forward to it.
Whatever the theme is for your writing now, enjoy. And Happy Writing!