Columnist works on “Grounds for Insanity” book, considers “Fifty Shades of Brown”

Categorized as Grounds for Insanity column, Rhonda's Posts

What a year it’s been. In fact, our continuing mantra, The Mister and I, is, “We just can’t pay to be bored around here.”

At times, this is said with a rueful grin. At other times, it’s accompanied by deep sighing and even deeper eye rolls. Sometimes we chuckle, occasionally we snort and, rarely, we bang our heads. Mostly, though, we’re tired.

As if graduating Kid Kaboom and throwing a party to say so wasn’t enough, there was that little machete incident the other week and a quick trip to the ER. One kid went to Honduras, another one went to summer camp and Little went to kindergarten. Then there was the roofing project, a new front porch, a computer transition and the creation of a brand-new author website. That’s when the frontal lobotomy almost began to sound like a good time. Almost.

The excitement didn’t stop there. Of course not. First, the weed eater broke down. Then the pump went kerplunk and the BMV (Blue Mommy Van) needed repairs. Which left me slinking through local alleys like a chicken poacher in Old Red, the van with no muffler.

In all this chaos, in the vroom and boom of daily life, things have been moving and shaking in the writing career. Who could have guessed at the dawn of the year that the column would be picked up by an international magazine, going to 5 foreign countries and 46 states? And that the girl with the ballpoint pen would be tapped as its editor? Who?

And who knew that this was the year that the girl with the BOP (Bright Orange Purse) and the PGP (Pink Gel Pen) would eat the elephant (i.e., write a book proposal) in approximately two weeks’ time? Not me. But it is and I did and there it went. Now it rests in the hands of a literary agent in another city, another state. And we’re still not bored.

When I shared the news with a colleague, she said, laughing, “Tell me you’re not writing another ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ series.”

Well, no. I’m certainly not writing “Fifty Shades of Grey.” But I could write “Fifty Shades of Brown” without breaking a sweat, thanks to those boys and all the dirt they haul in.

It was just a few weeks back that I popped into the downstairs bathroom and found it. Either a team of mud wrestlers had trooped through or two boys had come in from the garden, carrying a significant share of our real estate. This was deposited across the bathroom rug in what appeared to be circular patterns, accented by loop-de-loops on the bottom of the tub. The tracks, I noted, were in this season’s shade of mud.

Someone had also left their mark on the white shower curtain with the Battenburg lace, grabbing it with a dirty paw. That, too, was in a lovely mud brown, and judging by its position, the culprit stood roughly 3-1/2 feet tall. I was pretty sure I knew his name.

There was another name I knew. That was the kid who was responsible for most of the noise on The Three.

Last year, I’d read Patti Lacy’s book, “The Rhythm of Secrets.” It came to mind the other day when I was thinking about Boy Noise, the kid who danced everywhere he went.

Oh, he was good. Real good. Smooth like butter and wiry as a cat, he had the boogie. He had the music, the rhythm and the beat, and he took it everywhere. Even overhead.

Lying in bed one night, there it came again. The distinct sounds of a choreographed routine thumped in rhythm over our heads. It was 11 p.m.

I confess that I may have snarled there on my pillow. The father of the thumper did snarl. Loudly. After which he arose, made his way to the bottom of the stairs and delivered a “cease and desist” admonition northward in a voice that brooked no delay.

Ms. Lacy may have written “The Rhythm of Secrets,” but I could write “I Wish the Rhythm Was a Secret,” and it would be straight facts; autobiography, nonfiction all the way. I could. And maybe I should.

Mystery lover that I am, I could write those, too. Using cutting-edge forensic techniques, including DNA testing, personality profiling, fingerprinting and follicle analysis, I’d collect the clues and build the case. Then, in a breathtaking finale, readers would finally learn where the socks went, who ate the author’s leftovers and which one slipped an empty milk jug into the fridge.

True crime, I’ve heard, really sells. You can see why I’m hopeful about this book.

Come to think of it, the book I’ve just pitched has some true crime. It’s also a comedy (you’ve laughed), a tragedy (I’ve cried) and a documentary on sports, politics and family life. It’s called “Grounds for Insanity.”

I hope the agent loves it. I hope you will, too.

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