Monday, February 08, 2010

Murder, He Wrote

I received a call this morning from the Ocala, Florida, police department. 

My first and only thought was: "Oh God, was it those two yellow lights in a row I blew through yesterday here in Sarasota?....the same yellow lights with the cameras right above the signals?" It made no sense but nothing makes sense to me early on a Monday morning. Happily, the voice on the other end reminded me that I had emailed their office yesterday seeking the police report for a murder that had occurred at a convenience store there some time ago. And so began a day devoted to crime, criminals and cops.

With a little help from my main squeeze, I am at work on a true crime book. Ever since Truman Capote I have always wanted to try my hand at the genre; and now I think I have the perfect subject. It was a horrific crime, made a national splash for weeks, yet has never been covered in book form (a rarity for something so monstrous as this). I hope to finish it and have the story with a publisher by autumn this year. "Hope" is the key word.

We are also at work on a tour business. Among other quirky themes--"Swamps and Such," "Gulf, Anyone?" "Sand Sex," "Biker Bar Blues," "Freaky Florida," "Sunshine Hillbilly Trailer Court Cruise"--I have been working on a "Murder & Mayhem" tour today. Michelle's background cannot hurt on this one and the fact that she is always apackin' insures that this tour--and every other tour, for that matter--will run smoothly. Summer down here, I am told, is like winter in the Upper 48--no time for tours. So, our goal is to float this boat in October. "Goal" is the key word.

We are heading north for four days to Mexico Beach his weekend. Now, just because this place is in Florida, don't assume that Mexico Beach is just around the next clump of palm trees. For my geography-minded buds, a trip from Sarasota to MB is the same as a trip from KC to Denver--7-8 hours. Florida has to be the longest, skinniest state--the Chile of the U.S. In fact, from tip to toe, it takes at least 10 hours to get down the thing. Since MB is seven hours north of here, and since it has been coolish lately even in Tampa Bay, we fear we will freeze up there. "Fear" and "Freeze" are the key words.

Whatever! I have only been in this state one month and I'm already beginning to sound like the pampered locals when they moan and groan about 50 and 60 degree weather in February


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