The Skeleton in my Closet

Monday, October 17, 2011
Today, I'm talking about closets. Literal closets.

The first closet in this topic is my closet at home. After trying my daughter's Halloween outfit for this year on her, she for some reason ran into my closet and began to play. So, of course, I had to share a picture of the cutest little skeleton to ever invade my closet.

Isn't she just adorable? Well, I think so.

The second closet I'd like to discuss is my closet at work.

In the opening scene of my soon-to-be-released novella, The Best Mistake, my heroine is stocking paper in a supply closet. And it just so happens, the inspiration for that came from real life. My real life. As an assistant acquisitions librarian in an academic library, I am also in charge of ordering supplies. One thing I buy on a monthly basis is printer paper. The staff and students (needing to print assignments for classes) go through roughly a hundred reams of paper--give or take--each month. And if my student employee is on break or if I'm between employees, it is my job to stock the supply closet once a paper order comes in.

I was putting away paper one day when the magical scene in question came to me, which goes to show you, even my boring ol' life can come in handy every once in a while.

Something I discovered halfway through writing the rest of the manuscript, however, is that I have absolutely no talent in Math. Okay, fine, I always knew I had no talent in math, but for some reason I calculated each ream of paper weighing in at five pounds (this is after seeing how a ten-ream box weighed twenty pounds. I know, don't ask.) when in fact, a single ream only weighs two pounds.

That little eye-opener stopped my in my writing tracks. Technically, it wouldn't have altered much of the story if I had changed the poundage to the correct sum, though I kinda liked my heroine's fear of a half-ton truck falling on her. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to keep it 'as is' only for her to find out later on that she'd miscalculated in the very beginning, in effect helping round out her character as Deri "the Mistake" Crandall.

So actually, my mistake became Deri's mistake and in turn made her more realistic...and funny (I was totally going for humor in this novella).

And there you have it, the inspiration behind the Supply Closet of Death in The Best Mistake, which will be released sometime in the future from The Wild Rose Press!

Have you ever gotten inspiration from strange little moments like this?

Here's my very own Supply Closet at work!

Blurb For:
by Linda Kage

Deri "The Mistake" Crandall wants nothing more than the love and acceptance from a family. After her mother dies, she finally discovers who her father is—except he and his family aren't exactly everything she's dreamed of. Not about to let a little thing like that bother her, she strives her hardest to fit in. Though honest to a fault, she even lies to gain their affection. But who could have predicted the one man with whom she immediately clicks is the very millionaire her grandfather orders her to betray?

Cole Harrety’s life is all about work and ignoring play, until a petite, curvy bundle of quirky woman literally tumbles into his lap. From the moment he loses a staring contest with her, he knows Deri is exactly what's been missing from his mundane life and no other woman will ever compete with her.

With a web of deception already woven, can their new bond survive a shattered trust?


"The" Supply Closet Scene From:
by Linda Kage

She’d go down in the history books for this, she was sure.

She could see the headlines now: Deri Crandall, first woman to be squashed to death by printer paper. A noteworthy event indeed.

Deri cringed as the six-tiered metal shelf swayed and groaned after she hauled another three reams onto the second-to-top rung. On an average, the entire building of Harrety International used two hundred packages of paper each month. And it all sat right here, stored on this shelf in this tiny supply closet.

Figuring as she worked, she concluded at five pounds per ream, two hundred of these suckers would put her up there at a thousand pounds. The rickety old shelf she stocked didn’t look as if it could hold ten pounds, much less a whole thousand.

A thousand pounds of paper. That’d be like having a half-ton truck fall on her if this baby went down. Deri lurched back and eyed the support beams anew. No way could this rusted hunk of metal sustain an entire truck. She glanced at the five full boxes sitting on the floor, waiting to be shelved.

Patrick hadn’t warned her about over-piling when he’d told her to put the new shipment of paper away. Still, she had her doubts. Glancing at the doorway leading from the supply closet, she bit her lip. Temptation to flee seized her, but she remained rooted in her cheap flats, determined to proceed.

Careful to bend at the knees instead of the waist because the seams in her skirt had screeched in protest the first time she’d tried bending the other way, she scooped another armful of paper into her grasp, sneezing when cardboard dust fluttered up her nose.

The entire Beecham clan might think she was the family screw-up, but she was by no means a quitter. She’d see this through, just as she’d successfully find her way into her family’s acceptance. And if gaining their respect started in this tiny, airless room, risking life and limb by monotonously hauling stack after stack of paper onto a shelf, then by God, she’d do it.

If nothing else, maybe it’d prompt her father into attending her graveside service.

Half an hour later, the muscles in her arms wept while sweat made her cheeks glow an unhealthy puce, plastering her dark bangs flush against her forehead. But every ream lay in neat order on the shelves. And fortunately, she hadn’t needed to become a human pancake in the process.

After breaking down all the now-empty boxes that had held the paper reams and lugging them to the recycling room, she hunted up her supervisor, wondering what new and unique torture he wanted to afflict on her next......


  1. Your little skeleton is truly precious! You are blessed!

    Your excerpt had pulled me in from the first sentence and kept me reading. Great job!

    There's a math error in O'Henry's "Gift of the Magi" - the sums don't add up.

  2. Thanks, Kittie! And I did not know that about "Gift of the Magi." I'm so going to have to reread that story. Wow.

  3. That girl is so sweet and adorable even all skeleton-ed up. :O) Hope you're having a great week!!!

  4. Oh my! I haven't stopped by in awhile and am totally blown away by how your daughter has grown. I was still picturing baby. she's adorable!

  5. Your daughter is too cute! What a great costume! I love how your character, and you are math challenged. I am totally so challenged myself.

  6. Now that's a 'skeleton in the closet' you'd like to KEEP:)

    LOL! Loved the excerpt! Great way to work in inspiration!

  7. Your daughter is so cute! I love that photo :)