I’d been talking with Andrew Rice, the journalist who wrote the article for Time, for months now, so it was a surprise when he suddenly emailed me to let me know the magazine
would be contacting me for photos. I thought, okay, I’ll pull out my best ones to send to them. The ones where I look cute and thin and they can use those. Ah, but that is not the way a world class magazine operates. They don’t use cheap pocket digital camera photos, no, they hire professionals.
The gal from the Time photo department emailed me wanting to send the photographer to my house, I tried to dissuade her. Wouldn’t some nice pictures of me at the library or at the park be so much classier? But she was determined. She loved the idea of me sitting on my couch writing. And she also wanted me in some of those silly costumes that I’ve collected over years of going to Romantic Times conventions.
Well guys, I’m going to be honest here, my house is, 1) teeny tiny, and 2) a hot mess. I went into a panic thinking my de-clutter year had just became a de-clutter week! And to make matters worse I’d fallen behind in my cleaning as I’d been working so hard on formatting books, rewrites and learning WordPress and other social media madness. Let’s just say, my husband was not amused as at least half the clutter belongs to him. So I said, ‘honey, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m going to the make the most of it. You can either join me or get outta my way’. The sweet man didn’t even argue the point and started looking for places to store his things. (I’m being kind when I say stuff and things, let’s face it, we got a bunch of crap).
We don’t have kids, so he has a small bedroom for most of his hobbies, but over the 20 years we’ve been in this house, things have grown and spread. Now I’m not innocent either, although most of my stuff is books or Gone With the Wind memorabilia, and oh yeah too many clothes. I have a small room on the other end of the house where I have stacks of books on two walls and then in the middle a treadmill in front of an entertainment center. That would be where I set up my costume center, hanging a boa, hats, beads, Xena, Buffy and all the rest against and around the treadmill. But I digress, back to the de-clutter effort. Did you know that when you become undeniably single-minded in a task you can accomplish miracles? We boxed up, bundled up, magic bagged and stashed in crazy places a lot of stuff. Vacuumed and dusted, scrubbed and scoured, shampooed carpets and washed walls and ceilings until the place looked, well…normal. To give you an idea of how fast and insane this happened, I only just last week found the vacuum utensils that I had stashed—two months after the fact. (We are still looking for things we boxed up).
The day of the photo shoot arrives! After spending the first half of the day at Bookfest—a local library event—getting some action photos, we arrive at my house and head to the park about a block away. It’s at the foot of Rattlesnake Ridge and there is a pretty little lake there. The photographer absolutely fell in love with the scenery and we spent some time there. Then off to the now semi-tidy and clean house. The first thing photo guy did was move some furniture so he could get the shots he wanted. Imagine my horror when I realized I forgot to vacuum UNDER the furniture. Oops, note to self: photographers move stuff around. Anyway, we got some pictures of me writing on the couch, my ‘office’. Then we headed to the Costume Room, which he went crazy over. He loved the way I had set it up and wanted to just take photos of that. Then he had me pose in front of them, with my tiara perched on my head in a kind of Vanna pose. But the highlight of the day— for the photographer at least— was when I let him take some pictures of hubby’s hobby room (filled with all kinds of boy’s toys) with his iPhone. Yes, an iPhone, after having followed around after me all day with his huge tripods and flash screens.