Here I am at my first major event of the year – The Pulpwood Queen’s 10th annual Tiara Wearin' Girlfriend Weekend in Jefferson, Texas. And what a weekend it is starting out to be!

I’m staying in a cabin down on Caddo Lake, about 15 miles from Jefferson, with my best friend, Otis (see Side Cars are for Bitches) and my dog, Sadie. The cabin is cute and cozy. The cuteness refers to the plethora of charming frogs that decorate the abode. They’re freakin’ everywhere; so much so that Otis (notice I did not say Sadie) is scared to go into the bathroom now because the toilet paper holder in his lavatory is “staring at right at him with beady eyes” when he takes a dump.

“I swear that thing’s gonna fly off the wall and attack me when I…., you know,” Otis tries to express, “…when I… I shit! That thing ain’t right, ya know. Pure evil, I tell you. Evil!”

“You’ve seen way too many Bruce Campbell movies, dude,” I tell him.

“And Attack of the Killer Mutant Frog People from Savoire’s Swamp was one of ‘em!” Otis declares. “Have you looked outside lately?.... SWAMP!”

Great! Now I have to walk both Sadie and Otis outside. Lovely, just lovely. Don’t they know I’ve written a novel I’m trying to promote here and don’t have time for this?! Obviously, not. And needless to say, Otis don’t walk well on a leash.

I finally arrive at the kick-off dinner for Girlfriend Weekend at the beautiful and historic Excelsior Hotel. I am to be an author/waitress for the event this evening. There’s a reason why I am a writer and not a waitress – my skills in that department are a little lacking. If I wanted to be a waitress, I’ve always maintained, then I would have pursued acting instead. But here I am, donning a signed apron by all of us authors and finding myself taking tea and water orders along side such notable authors as Lt. Colonel Karl Lenker (Final Trumpet,) Jenny Gardiner (Winging It,) Karen Harrington (Janeology,) Ad Hudler (Man of the House,) and Pat Conroy (Prince of Tides, South of Broad,) who took to the job of waiter as if he’d been doing it all his life. I said, “Hey Pat, if the book writing business doesn’t work out for you, I think you might have found your calling!”

He laughed at that and entertained everyone with stories about his morally lenient friend,

Bernie. At the end of the night, Pat asked several of us, including me, for a signed copy of our books. The cute part was he had his checkbook in hand ready to write all of us a check for the cost of the book. Of course, we weren’t afraid the check bouncing, mind you. We were simply humbled at the request and more than ready to give him his copy free of charge. Still, he insisted on paying so we let him write one check and donated the money to literacy.

I arrived back at the cabin to find Otis planted on the couch in front of the History Channel, with Sadie by his side, guarding him against the invasion of the frogs that were plaguing our temporary residence. He seemed unphased and happy to be here.

But when I stepped out onto the screened porch to catch a glimpse of the lake in the moonlight and let Sadie outside, I noticed the reason for Otis’ bliss. There, on the backyard lawn, glowing in the soft moonlight through the cypress trees and moss, were each and every frog figurine. Quite frankly, it looked almost biblical. Otis had banished the frogs.

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