As I work to revise Bourbon Street Blues for its ebook debut, and plan out yet another Scotty book (tentatively titled Reality Show Rumba, but that may change to St. Charles Second Line or something else, I’m not completely sold on that as a title), yes, I’ve got Scotty on the brain, what can I say? I’m in that weird mode where ideas are bouncing around inside of my head, and can’t seem to focus enough to get any one thing worked on and finished.
It ain’t easy being a Gregalicious.
As I said when I rode the streetcar to and from the NO/AIDS Walk last weekend, the ride felt wonderful because I felt reconnected to New Orleans. I’ve felt some disconnect over the past few years; partly because I was so damned busy doing so damned much, and partly because the city has changed somewhat over the years as well that have followed Katrina. It was inevitable; the city was going to change even had Katrina not happened, and the question remains, were these good changes for the city? The so-called ‘sharing economy,’ with the coming of AirBNB and Uber and Lyft, are good things but can also be bad things; AirBNB had resulted in private homes being turned into rental properties–but is that what has driven up property costs and rentals in New Orleans, or was that a result of the rising property costs? I signed up for a realtor’s daily emails about properties for sale–mainly because I saw a sign on a house I’ve always loved and wanted to set a book in, so I wanted to be able to see the inside and the yard–and I am daily astounded at the costs of the properties she has listed. I have yet to see one for less than 1.2 million; when I was writing Murder in the Rue Dauphine, I mentioned in passing ‘the million dollar homes in the Garden District’ only to be corrected by my first reader: “There are no homes in New Orleans that cost a million dollars or more, not even in the Garden District.” As I said, every featured property in the daily emails I get from this realtor are a minimum of 1.2 million; then again, I am certain people from other cities would think them bargains, as they also are a minimum of 4000 square feet or more.
The only way Paul and I could ever own property here would be to hit the Powerball.
One of the things I know I am going to do with the next Scotty book–one of the many things I am going to do with the next Scotty book–is determine whether or not Scotty and the boys are going to stay in the Quarter. GASP, right? But one penultimate New Orleans thing that I’ve never written about–although I’ve endured it numerous times–is the joy of renovation. The house the boys all live in on Decatur Street was, of course, rebuilt after the fire in Bourbon Street Blues–I did write about Scotty having to live in the Marigny while the house was being rebuilt in Jackson Square Jazz–but about eleven years have passed since then; the house survived Katrina and everything that followed, but eleven years of heat and humidity, of wood swelling and shrinking, of termites…well, it’s about time the house on Decatur Street got renovated again–and of course, treated for termites and so forth to begin with. And so the boys have to go live elsewhere while the place is gutted and rebuilt yet again…and now, the question is whether or not they want to move back into the Quarter or not, or maybe buy a place. Scotty has come into his trust funds, after all, and so there is plenty of money…but it should also make for an interesting subplot. And the plot of this one…I think this could possibly be the best Scotty of them all.
At least, I certainly hope so.
I’m very excited about it. Now I just have to write two other books first.
Here’s the cover for the work-in-progress I am primarily focusing on: