Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Writing Wednesday- Setting A Scene in a Real Place

"You cannot open a book without learning something."


When you read my book Rubato you will learn about a real place in Seattle called Jack's BBQ. It is my husband's favorite BBQ restaurant and we go there frequently. The owner is a warm hearted man, named Jack, who visits with all his customers. His take on excellent BBQ comes from visiting many Texas establishments and learning from the best PitMasters.

    When I wanted to bring my book's detectives to a restaurant to meet with two music professors I thought it would be unique to have them come to Jack's. I hoped to nudge at the stereotype of classical musicians being a bit uppity. The types of people who come to Jack's are always interesting to me. Manual labor working men and women, business associates, families with little kids, you'll see them all there eating ribs with their fingers, with big grins on their faces.

Come on in and meet Reggie Watts and Stevie Dangerfield At Jack's BBQ

    Reggie drove while Stevie gave him directions to the restaurant. They were in an industrial section of Seattle. Businesses with drab corrugated steel buildings lined each side of the road. The area was attracting newer entrepreneurs. Renovated old factories were turning into offices, providing smaller rent prices than in the middle of the city. Stevie directed him to turn left into a parking lot next to an outdoor eating area with twinkle lights hanging from wooden posts. As they pulled in at Jack’s Barbecue, Reggie smiled a large, wide grin. Jack’s was one of his favorite restaurants. He never would have guessed that two music professors would do lunch here. Stevie and her mother were breaking all the stereotypical images he had of music academics. Maybe if they had barbecue sauce on their hands he would feel less intimidated by their talk of Liszt and music fragments. 
    “Jack’s has the best brisket I’ve ever tasted.” Reggie felt his mouth watering at the prospect of a really excellent lunch.
     “You have been here then?” Stevie asked.
     “More than once.” 
     They looked around for Angelika. She was not there yet. They settled to wait on a large brown couch in the front area. 
     “I am a little surprised at the choice of restaurant.” Reggie said, wondering what Stevie thought.
     “So am I. A vegetarian place seemed more my mother’s liking. But, don’t pre-judge Sydney. She could be a down home southern gal.”
      “Your mother is a vegetarian?”
      “Not really, but she likes to eat light so I hope she finds something here on the menu.” 
       Two middle aged women entered, Reggie recognized Angelika. The other woman taller, had silver hair cut short and on a slant. She looked very stylish as she greeted a thin, bespectacled man at the door.  
    “Jack! How lovely to see you.” She was gushing with enthusiasm. 
    “That is Sydney Cabine,” whispered Stevie.
    “And the man greeting her is the owner.” Reggie whispered back. 
   “You are always welcome here and let me find you the best table.”
   Angelika motioned to Reggie and Stevie to follow them. They were seated in the back, along a wall of brightly painted doors. The doors, going nowhere, were hung side by side. Each door was unique and painted in different, bright colors, adding a flamboyant flair to the restaurant. Reggie particularly liked the quirkiness of the doors. 
  “Jack,” Sydney said, “this is my colleague Angelika Hanson, her daughter, a homicide detective, and her daughter’s partner. Are you a policeman to0, honey?” 
  Reggie winced and nodded. 
 “I welcome all public servants. Well, you have a lovely meal. Our breakfast burritos are the best in the Northwest.” Jack smiled at each of them and left to greet new arrivals.

My novel Rubato

A story of a woman's longing for beauty and her struggle to keep the beautiful even when it didn't belong to her.

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