Friday, September 29, 2023

Fundraising Whimsi Style

Seating for the Whimsicalitea Arts 2023 fundraiser at the French Estate in Orange, California, sold out immediately. And with the event name “Murder at the Manor,” I made sure I was one of the lucky ticket holders.

From the moment we arrived, the enormous amount of planning and work put into the event was obvious. Guests were greeted and led to exquisitely set tables, offered hors d’oeuvres and aperitifs, then invited to wander through the 1892 house.

Once inside, I marveled at the architecture and antiques (and embossed wallpaper), participated in silent auctions and raffle baskets, enjoyed live music, and followed volunteer actors (audience members) from room to room as they performed scenes for the murder mystery.

A lavish, multi-course tea was served on the front lawn, and my guests and I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.

I’m looking forward to “Phantom Phantasy,” the Whimsicalitea musical fundraiser in March.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Serendipitous Reading

As I cleared the leftovers from my dad’s old apartment after he moved to a smaller place, I ran across the two remaining books – a dictionary and the John Grisham novel, “Camino Winds”.

The book opened with Hurricane Leo, introduced as a sentient character. As the fictional Leo formed, fluctuated in intensity, changed directions, and created havoc with every landfall, Hurricane Idalia mirrored him in real life.

Some of the book’s characters fled Leo’s path, while others stayed and prepared their homes and businesses for the storm. In the aftermath, the protagonist realized one of Leo’s victims had actually been murdered during the hurricane, and I was hooked.

I read with fascination, especially since I’d prepared for Hurricane Hilary a week and a half earlier. As I read, I studied the techniques the author used to grip and hook the reader. I’m hoping to utilize them in my writing.