The ladies of Petticoats are a group of ladies who share a common passion for all things junky, vintage and eclectic! We are Cat Geiger, Cecilia Scott and Mary Smith. We produce a Premier Vintage Market twice a year. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want us to come to YOUR town!
We are delighted to feature Lisa Love Harris as our guest blogger for Petticoats on the Prairie today! Lisa is one of the most genuine ladies we have been fortunate enough to meet in our journey, and we are honored to have her with us today!
Hey,Y’all! THANK YOU to the the ladies at POTP for inviting me to post here. I’m Lisa Love Harris— gypsy spirit,
vintage journalist, tireless junker, owner of Garden Cat Vintage, and author of First
Monday MurderA Jimmie Rae Flea
Market Mystery. Hey! Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute…an author?
Yes. I write a Flea Market Mystery
series starring a sassy independent Texas woman who moonlights as an antique
dealer with an obsession for junk and cat-killing curiosity that lands her into
heaps of trouble. I am often asked how in the world didthat
happen…how do ya mess with JUNK andWRITE a Flea Market Mystery series for cryin’ out loud?
Well, it’s not easy, but I've owned my
antiques business for the past 17 years and have written professionally for
more years than I care to admit to. And let me tell y’all, it hasn't exactly been
the glamorous life I dreamed of many (okay, many, many) years ago as a
journalism student. However, the road to
writing and publishing a Flea Market Mystery series has been a serendipitous
life journey that began with a passion for junkin’ and a 2003 breast cancer diagnosis.
You see, ten years ago on the verge of turning 40, I was blessed
with the realization that life is short and I'd better get on with all those
goals, dreams, and travels I'd been putting off. What was I waiting for? With a
professional background in public
relations and journalismwhat I really wanted to do was write fiction. I believe cancer gave me the kick in the tush
I needed to take the risk and realize my dream.
A long time ago in a place far away I sat in Professor Jack Bickham’s Novel Writing class and tried to follow along. “Write what you know,” he said repeatedly. Back then my life lessons were few. It took some valuable life experiences and a whole lot of junkin’ to fill in the gaps.
While we lived in McKinney, TX I discovered you could find incredible Victorian treasures right next to the Tupperware and Thigh Masters. An 1845 prayer book for a buck? Are ya kiddin’ me? A bag oftatted lace for fifty
cents? Really? Yes, I’ve always been thrifty thanks to my Daddy who grew up on an
Oklahoma cotton farm during the Great Depression, but even more than that was
(and continues to be) the untold stories each of these wonderful pieces of
history tells or at least conjures up in my vast imagination.
My protagonist, Jimmie Rae Murphy, was conceived and born as I
recuperated from the umpteenth surgery. At first she was shy and
venerable -- and yeah, plenty boring. I began to write and study and
rewrite. Before I knew it, Jimmie Rae emerged as a strong, independent, boot-wearin', keester-kickin', God fearin'Texas woman who wasn't going to take any garbage
In the process of creating Jimmie Rae and plotting First
Monday Murder I made a personal journey and discovered my seventh
generation Texas roots run deep.
I discovered a complete fascination with wearing cowboy boots,
embroidered jeans, and sassy t-shirts. I fell in love with old time Texas
swing bands like Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys and Asleep at the
Wheel. I listened more intently to my grandparents' stories of how they
grew up in southeast Texas and managed to make a life together for more
than 60 years despite all the obstacles in their journey together.
Back then music filled our Victorian house as I wrote and revised
and wrote some more. Not the music of my pre-cancer life, but the
raw, deep tones of Texas musicians like Lightnin' Hopkins, Leadbelly, Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top, Steve
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Miller, Miranda Lambert, Dixie Chicks, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, and
I created characters based loosely on the many people I met along
the way. I created an antique mall called
Blessings From the Past in what was once an old church building. I even created an entire town, Niceton (Nice Town) based on a
combination of several Texas towns. I wrote, and revised, and wrote some more. “Write
what you know,” Professor Bickham’s
words echoed in my head.
“What did I know?”
a strong woman. Junkin’.
these ingredients began forming a plot…take an idea and begin creating it in
words. Sprinkle liberally with imagination. Add a gorgeous Texas sunset, a salty
honky-tonk, Texas music, lots of Lone Star attitude, and lots of JUNK. Add a
cowboy or two…or three.Toss in a beloved location, a little romance, and a story begins to emerge. A novel is written.
From Pintrest pinned by theknot.com
A job related move to Washington state five years ago, led me to
meet my fabulous critique partner who suggested I combine my passions for both
writing and junkin’. In between getting
my final First Monday Murder revisions together I began to set up my
Garden Cat Vintage goods at vintage markets in the Pacific Northwest. It was at Funky Junk Sisters Junk Salvation in Hillsboro, OR that I met
the ladies and first learned about the fabulous Petticoats on the Prairie— The Premiere
Vintage Market in West Texas.
There’s been no looking back. In the past three years, I’ve started a blog, published First Monday Murder,
participated as a vendor in more than 16 vintage markets from Seattle, WA to
Colorado City, TX, and moved our family back to Texas all the while meeting as many other
creative folks as possible and writing the next Jimmie Rae Flea Market Mystery VINTAGE MURDER due out next spring.
it’s been a little busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Life is short.
My bucket list is long. And there are so many wonderful people, new roads, and
great things to discover along this life journey.
From the git-go my Flea Market Mystery series was inspired by the
junkers, bohemians, crafters, dreamers, rebels, artists, vendors,
road-trippers, gypsies, and pickers who keep our junkin’ community full of
style, creativity, originality, and fun.
As I race toward turning 50 in a few weeks, I look forward to meeting more
new friends, writing more stories, buying and selling more antiques, and
traveling down that always exciting blacktop road of life.
I'll always remember not what cancertookfrom me, but what itgaveme. I'm very thankful and
Until next time,
Peace, love, and all
the good stuff to ya,
Lisa is a member of Sisters in Crime, SinC Guppies,
HoTX SinC, Romance Writers of America, Brazos Writers,and Writers' League of TX. Her book First Monday
Murder is available onSmashwords and Amazon. She’s on Goodreads as
Lisa Love Harris, Twitter as @txgardencat and Facebook as The Garden Cat. She lives with her
1981 prom date and husband of 30 years, their two almost-grown kids, a slightly
spoiled, but sweet dog, and spunky old cat.
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