Just One More Thing …

If you have nightmares about ending up in someone’s book, then you should know that there are certain things that you should never say to a writer—especially a murder mystery writer.

For example, never ask a mystery writer, “Who taught you how to use commas?” Depending on your tone when you ask that question, your fictional counterpart is bound to end up on the wrong side of a toxic substance.

One of my least favorite phrases is “If you’re ever looking for something to do …”

As the wife to a man who can’t fry an egg (Really! Seriously! The last time he tried to fry an egg I ended up having to feed an entire team of volunteer firefighters.), mother, church volunteer, and full-time writer, I am never looking for something-to-do. Truthfully, I spend a great deal of my time hiding from Something-to-do.

After twenty years of marriage, I started replying, “Do I look like I’m looking for something to do?” My husband didn’t get the message until I boxed his ears. Then, he slowly backed away and never said that again.

One day, I am going to write a post about what not to say to a writer—unless you want to end up in a book.

This is not that post.

I think most of you are quite familiar with the tendency of adding just one more thing to your to-do-list —usually because you are a nice person. (You have my permission to reach around and pat yourself on the back for being a good person.) Or maybe because that little thing is something that you rather enjoy thinking about doing. It isn’t until it is time to actually get up and do it that it becomes a burden.

The very thought of that Just-One-More-Thing seems quite miniscule while it is a thought inside your head. Then, it ceases being a thought and turns into a reality. Before you know it, Just-One-More-Thing has been transformed into a 900-pound gorilla that has decided to sit down right smack in the middle of your to-do-list. That wouldn’t be so bad if it’d move down on your list so that you can put off addressing him until tomorrow.


But, believe me, 900-pound gorillas don’t like to be ignored.

My latest Just-One-More-Thing started out as one lasagna.

During church a couple of weeks ago, my friend Gail requested food for a reception following a funeral. Instantly, my husband’s eyes lit up and he turned to me. “Lasagna,” he mouthed.

I thought, “Gee, I haven’t made a lasagna in quite a while. It only takes a couple of hours to prepare and assemble a lasagna.” So, I went to Gail and volunteered to make a lasagna for the funeral reception. At which point she handed me a huge pan—big enough for three lasagnas.

Okay, my one lasagna is now three, plus one for my family.

Except, when I make a lasagna, I don’t just make a single lasagna. I make several lasagnas, cook one for dinner, and then pack up and freeze the rest. Then during the upcoming months, when I get busy and don’t feel like cooking, I’ll take one out of the freezer and pop it into the oven.

Last winter, I went through five lasagnas in one month.

I confess, it has been a while since I made my batches of lasagna.

The day after I had volunteered to make the giant lasagna, my husband came home with six foil pans in anticipation of my culinary delight. In one day, my couple of lasagnas had multiplied up to ten. One enormous pasta dish for the church, six to be frozen, and one for dinner.

Just smile. It will only take a few hours, and everyone will be happy afterwards, I kept telling myself. You’re such a good girl. Everyone will love you.

As the day approached, my husband kept requesting a grocery list of what he would need to purchase. Finally, on Saturday, I sat down to count up the lasagna pans and add up the amount of the ingredients. I came up with five boxes of noodles, five huge jars of sauce, a half a ton of Italian sausage, and a ton of various cheeses.

He came back from the store with five boxes of noodles, half a ton of Italian sausage, ground beef, and pork, a ton of various cheeses and one regular size jar of sauce.

“What happened to the sauce?” I asked.

“That’s plenty of sauce,” replied the man who has yet to figure out how to turn on the toaster. “Let’s not go crazy.”

“Dear, you’re a little late to suggest that,” I said. “I’ve volunteered to make an enormous lasagna to feed an army, plus enough lasagna to feed us until the end of the next Ice Age, and you bring me one jar of sauce!”

He handed me the car keys and said that if I needed more sauce, I could go back to the store to get it.

So, I did exactly that. Grumbling the whole way, I drove to the store and bought four huge jars of sauce and a giant cheesecake.

You see, over the years, I’ve learned something about 900-pound gorillas. There’s only one thing you can do when Just-One-More-Thing turns into a nine-hundred-pound gorilla.


Embrace it, feed it plenty of cheesecake, and the two of you will get along just fine.

About The Mystery Ladie

The Mystery Ladie is the one on top. The one with the big ears is Sterling, her muse.

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Thorny RoseMac FaradayLovers in Crime, and Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries—over twenty titles across four fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Learn more about Lauren Carr and her best-selling mysteries by visiting her website: www.mysterylady.net



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