Tag Archive | fish camp

Why I wrote Basically Bad-Just one tiny emotion

A few years ago, my husband had a moment where he needed to get out of the city. We lived in New Orleans at the time. While it is a lovely place with drooping live oaks and fragrant magnolias, it is no replacement for being in the wild. Instead of booking a vacation or taking us on a hike, he began to look at real estate in Mississippi. In particular, a part of Mississippi where there are swamps and bayous and tiny creeks full of critters with teeth.

I’m pretty sure I snarled when he asked me to come look at the houses for sale. I didn’t want to have another house. I didn’t want to own what people call a fish camp in Louisiana and Mississippi. The ones that I’d known about were very rustic, meaning no electricity unless you brought a generator and a primitive toilet.

Cover of Basically Bad by Ursula Whistler

From Wildflowers Books

My husband didn’t want one of those. He was on a quest for a comfortable, small home next to a waterway so that we could wake in the morning for a canoe or kayak trip. We eventually found a place that suited us for a great price.

However, I took that sinking feeling, that sickness, I experienced when he said the words “Fish Camp” and transformed it into the basis for a story. The What If is a great way to get your creative juices going, and it did for me. Check it out if you haven’t already.

I needed a Hero…

When we thought we had bats at the fish camp, I insisted that my husband find someone to move the bats away from our dormer. I wanted the stink gone. So, he called. 

And called.

And called again.

Finally he found Trapper John, Wildlife guy.

Trapper and his helper came to investigate whether we had bats. His diagnosis. “Yes. You’ve got lots of bats. There’s guano for days up there.”

I tried not to wretch. The stench of it is bad enough, but the knowledge that there were lots of guano almost brought me to lose my lunch. 

He told us that he could come back and get the bats out by doing this and that. He paused, looked at my husband and I, and made a pronouncement. “You’re young and healthy enough. You can do this. Let me tell you how.”

We listened and realized that we could do it with the purchase of a tall ladder and some foam. With Trapper John’s expert advice, we got to work. Or, I should say, my husband got to work. Being highly sensitive to the odor of the bat guano, I ended up holding the ladder. 

There’s so much more to the story, but I don’t want to ruin a story that formed almost instantly in my head as my husband bathed himself in the yard due to guano exposure. It’s a perfect opening for another erotic romance. I feel like I making lemonade out of lemons. (I tried a bat guano into anything metaphor, but, y’all, that did not work.)

Until I get that story written, get a copy of Behaving Badly, a tale of a church secretary/night club singer and a sexy investigator. These two really heat up the page. 

When a Bat isn’t a Hero

I looked forward to a relaxing weekend at our fish camp, fishing, canoeing, getting some crab for picking. Except, I walked into the house and reeled backwards. The smell that we’d worked so fervently to rid the house of had returned.

“I can’t stay in here, ” I cautioned my family. “I’m going outside.”

That’s exactly what I did. I helped install a screen that the dogs could open themselves to go in and out of the house. I watched the kids play with the neighbor’s grandson. We caught small crawfish and used them as bait for fishing. We pulled up the crab traps to discover that we hadn’t caught any for dinner. Under the dappled shade of the poplar tree, we let the world go by without a care.

“Did I show you the bat I found?” My son dragged me from the dock to the side of the house where a deceased flying mammal lay.

“Love,” I called to my husband, “that has to be the smell. We have bats.” I hesitated and stopped myself from saying “in our belfry.” One, we have no belfry, just a cathedral ceiling. Two, I don’t want any of you thinking that I’m crazy. I do live in New Orleans, and by that fact am automatically categorized of not in the right state of mind to so many in our country.

Photo from Wikipedia

I happen to have a great love of bats since I know that they eat tons of insects, including disease carrying mosquitoes. If I had a favorite superhero, it would be the dark knight–Batman. Something about a wounded hero. Oh, right to the heart.

Except, I don’t want bats in my house clogging up my nasal passages. I am allergic to rodents, and while I know that bats aren’t rodents, I am, apparently, allergic to them and the smell that they produce as they slumber in the small attic space above the great room of the fish camp. Instead of a great family weekend, I am back in New Orleans alone. (The fact that I am breathing freely is the only bonus of this day. Well, and writing time. The laundry is a drag, though.)

I’m hoping to find an exterminator that works like Billy the Exterminator (warning, music plays at the link). Those guys don’t kill bats; they seal off the entry points after dusk so that the bats can find a new home–like the bat house attached to a tree in the woods adjacent to our human house.

All I know is that I will be the city girl, like my heroine in Basically Bad, until these bats have vacated my premises.

The quiet of a fish camp


That photo isn’t upside down. It’s the reflection in the water as I sit on the dock of our fish camp. We’ve escaped from New Orleans for a few days, and here we hear the birds chirp, fish jumping, and the breeze rattling the needles of the pines. It’s our way of getting back to the basics.

After the glitter and gloss of Mardi Gras we need it. Jackie, the main character in Basically Bad needed the escape as well. She took a chance that Vince could be the one even if he wanted her to leave the trappings of New Orleans behind. Find out if she did relax at that fish camp in Louisiana. The story is available at most ebook outlets.