Friday, August 20


I bartended for probably 15 years. It was all I wanted to be. A bartender who made fast drinks, great drinks. New, exotic drinks. I begged my boss to send me to a bartender’s convention in LA, offering to pay for half.

Well, it was a good idea, even if it didn’t happen.

But from bartending, I developed a love of cocktail shakers. Weird, eh? One day my boss showed up with a stainless steel cocktail shaker in the shape of a penguin.

OMG. I had to have it. She wouldn’t give it up.

So I bought my own off eBay. Do you know how many cocktail shakers are on eBay? In the shape of rockets, and dumb bells….some stainless some glass…some antique, some from the 60’s, some brand new. Hand blown glass, red enamel, blue stripes. I currently have a variety of approximately twenty – from the penguin, to a fire extinguisher to a Hazel Atlas one. (queen of cocktail shakers)

From there, I moved on to shot glasses. I have a collection of probably 600 shot glasses. Almost every single one was given to me by a friend who had traveled. I have them from Hong Kong, Jamaica, Florida, Texas. Tons of places, tons of colors, tons of shapes. I love them all, and they all have a special meaning for me.

I also have a collection of fancy glasses. No two glasses in my home are the same. I have some with Disney prints, some with hand painted flowers, some in plastic with Tiki gods screen printed on them. Some wine glasses, juice glasses, Christmas glasses and isn’t-this-the-coolest-monkey-glass-you’ve-ever-seen? glasses.

I seem to have no control when it comes to these past reminders of my favorite job. It was fun, I had a wonderful time, and every time I look at my fun collection it makes me smile.

So today, while stroking my latest acquisition, a nifty blue shot glass with a pirate on it and a heavy weighted bottom from Florida (Thanks Gary!) I got to thinking, shouldn’t my characters have collections too? And wouldn’t they reflect something about their lives, past or present.

My newest heroine collects shoes. Not so uncommon in a woman you say. True, true. But she collects u
nusual tennis shoes. What if she designed her own Keds on Zazzle. Never heard of Zazzle? Prepare to loose a few hours of your life. . Don’t say I didn’t warn you. You can actually turn the cover of your book into a pair of Keds.

My heroine is a doodler, which is going to come in handy later on, so she’d have the artistic ability to design her own shoes, and have something that no one else would ever have. And she also loves sequined Converse shoes. She’s a bit of fun, that heroine is.

My latest hero rides a motorcycle. He’s a tough boy, a sour puss, and hates kids. =) What does he collect? Children’s books. Why? Well, I guess you'll have to read the story to find out. =)

Collecting and hobbies can define your hero and heroine, it can add in another dimension to who they are, who they were, and what makes them smile.

What about your charcters? Any little quirks or collections they like to have?




  1. great post, Carrie! My collection is coca-cola inspired...I like the really old stuff -- old signage, drinking fountain signs, etc. And I like the idea of giving our characters collections -- will think on that for the new wip!

  2. Carrie, I never thought about giving my character a collection, but I think its a great idea, a really good way of getting inside their head. For myself, I like to collect momentos of stories I've written. I have a star collection for the book I wrote about a girl who wishes on a shooting star and goes back in time. I have some pirate stuff to remind me of capt'n Jack--including a capt'n jack liquor bottle. great post.

  3. Hi Carrie!
    A good friend of mine collected Art Deco cocktail shakers. I remember being dragged off at the crack of dawn to comb estate sales for shakers. I have one shot glass with an inebriated Izod alligator on it that I received for my twenty-first birthday.

    I collect a few things and among them are wind-up toys, so one of my heroines collects wind-ups, while another collects books on architecture and old cookbooks.

  4. Hi, Carrie.
    Good post.
    I don't think any of my characters collect anything, but they might now. I'm a junk collector myself. Old table linens, stuffed sheep, 4-H stuff....junk. Serving bowls in everything from bone china to plain old stoneware...yOu name it, I like it.

  5. mom loves coca-cola stuff, and my sister has a few vintage signs she hands in teh restaurant, but people keep buying them!

  6. Margie...that's cool about your momentos...i would have never thought of that!

  7. deco shakers are the once bought 4 cocktail shakers at a pier 1....they thought i was crazy. i used to collect local the izaak walton league cookbook and presbyterian cookbook...still have about 50 of them, but gave most to my mom and sister...

  8. d' sister collects bowls. old bowls especially. fiesta ware, chips, doesn't matter. if you're looking to buy her a present, get her a nice old bowl. she's tickled with it!

  9. Damn, girl, I think you just started a trend! I've never used a collection before, but I think I will now...

  10. I've never collected anything in my life, which is strange because EVERYBODY in my family has a collection. For my grandmother, it's perfume bottles, my mother collects salt shakers. Even DH has a coin collection. Me, I have a problem with clutter so I get rid of anything I don't use. Is that weird?

  11. shawn...nope, some people just aren't collectors! i wish i wasn' house might be tidier? nah...there'd still be that infernal laundry pile! my ex-husbands grandmother collected S&P shakers...she had thousands....when she passed we had an auction and people came from hundreds of miles was amazing...

  12. I wanted a pair of sparkly Converse shoes too, to wear to the Romantic Times Con. I thought it would give me a wedge to start a conversation with numerous strangers who noticed my sparkling feet. My 14 year old daughter was doing her best to veto my atrocious fashion sense, with me ignoring her...and they didn't have my size.
    Total bummer.