I live in Cincy but sort of moved to the South when I started to write the Consignment Shop Mysteries. With the books set in Savannah I had to suddenly start thinking and living like my characters. I guess I’m a bit of a method writer just like there are method actors. I have to live the part I’m writing about to make it real.
The first thing I did was acquire a taste for sweet tea. Sweet tea is big…huge…in the South and with Cincinnati being north of the Ohio River the only sweet tea we get is if you add your own sugar. Another Southern essential is fried okra. I got out my Southern Living cookbook and found the recipe. I don’t think I’ll win any prizes for the dish but it’s a start.
Other way I had to adjust are that I no longer carry Chapstick in the back pocket of my jeans but now wear lipstick every-single-day-of-my-life-no-matter-what-and-no-matter-where-I’m-going. And I have poof hair. Not more straight hair. Think Betty White with her finger in a socket
I’ve turned the thermostat to 80 and my thick wool sweaters are relegated to the back of my closet and I’ve made room for light cottony cardigans. I have a front porch so I put a white rocking chair on it and as far as my speech goes my family thinks I’m crazy as a June bug.
Some of the Southern sayings I’ve tired out with limited success here in Ohio are…
Oh! Bless your heart…” My kids think this is sort of adorable but actually this expression is commonly used when Southerners need an excuse for speaking ill of someone. Example- “She’s as ugly as a mud fence, bless her heart.” Even though the line was an insult it is made better by showing that you, in a way, feel sorry for the person.
And of course there’s Well Butter my butt and call me a biscuit. The fam thought I’d hit the vodka when I tried this one.
She looked like she’d been ridden hard and put away wet. Actually I’ve used this one a lot all my life. That’s what I get from living so close to the Kentucky border.
He could sell a Popsicle to a lady wearing white gloves. Meaning the individual is so good at persuasion that he could talk his way into anything. The sales lady at Macy’s ran when I tried this one.
You can’t get blood from a turnip. Meaning you can’t get something from someone who doesn’t have it. My accountant got this one right off the bat.
Madder than a wet hen and He’s like a bull in a china shop and Cute as a bug’s ear. I’ve used these for years too so the fam didn’t blink an eye when I started working them into the conversation.
We were just sittin’ around chewin’ the fat. The kids told me I needed more veggies and fruit and forget the fat
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. I used this one on my nextdoor neighbor and she was tickled pink she’d be getting fresh eggs
She was all over him like white on rice. I used this one on my other next door neighbor and she smacked her husband upside the head.
You can’t see the forest for the trees. Is another one I’ve used tons but my new favorite is Easy as sliding off a greasy log backwards.
So, now that you’re sittin’ here chewin’ the fat with me what are some of you favorite sayings? You never know when they just might pop up in the Consignment Shop Mysteries. I’ll give away two Demise in Denim lunch totes from the answers. Thanks for playing along.
Go whole hog today and have yourself a mighty fine time.
Hugs, Duffy Brown