While in Reno, I attended the session Undressing Your Heroine put on by Tonda Fuller. During her amazing presentation, she mentioned the Kyoto Museum which had an awesome display of fashions through the ages and also a two volume set of books that were well worth the money. When I got home, I fully intended to try and find said books figuring if they were even half as good as Tonda’s presentation, they’d be well worth the money. I’m a very visual person, so reading books of descriptions and even drawings are good, but a full on color photo of the actual garments were going to work way better for me as far as understanding what they truly looked like.
But of course, when I came home that was one of the things that slipped my mind. Jetlag, you know. For the first few days I was lucky to remember my own name. Anyhoo, yesterday at lunch I escaped the office and drove over to Chapters to see what new August releases were out in the romance department. Yes, yes, I know…do I really need another book? Did I not just drag home a full suitcase load from the conference? What can I say? Chapters is like the mother ship calling me home. I could not ignore the siren call.
So off I went and since I promised myself I would keep it to one book and pay cash only I spent the first half hour trying to decide between three books. I settled on a new author, Joycelyn Kelly I believe her name was, who wrote a medieval where the women in the convent were trained in sword fighting and martial arts. It was such a cool idea I couldn’t resist. And I do so love the heroines that kick some ass. Makes me long to get back to my tae kwon do training. But I digress…
I have my book and I’m on my way to the check-out, slowly sauntering down the middle aisle of the bookstore where they have tables set out through the middle of the aisle with displays. One such display was fashion. Not an area I would normally look at and while I saw the sign I kept on walking. Until something caught my eye. No idea what. But I glanced down and saw this book and a period dress on the cover. What’s this, I thought. I took a step back and looked again. Kyoto Museum?! Get outta here! What were the chances? I was convinced I would have to order it, but no, here it is, sitting right in front of me, practically calling out to me. I leaned closer. Oh yes, it was the two volume set. Specially priced. One…copy…left.
I slid a furtive glance left and then right. No one was nearby to snatch it out of my hands. Apparently they were all clueless to the goldmine I had just stumbled across. I grasped it to my chest and made a mad dash to the cashier counter, my hand out in front of me like a running back with the ball and a clear shot at scoring a touchdown. Some lady with a bunch of kids cut me off. I spun around them and jumped over the shortest one. After that, everyone else cleared the way, no doubt scared off by the maniacal expression seared into my countenance. I made it to the cashier, not bothering to wait for them to call out ‘next!’. I slammed the book on the counter and did my victory dance. The words, “Ha ha! Suckers! It’s mine, alllll mine!” may or may not have flown out of my mouth while I stood there beating on my chest, I can’t be sure. I was too busy frothing at the mouth, imagining the moment when I returned to the office and was able to peel off the cellophane wrapper and see what was inside waiting for me.
I paid my money and bolted from the store, jumped into my car and sped back to the office, making the five minute drive in just under two minutes. I forgot about eating my lunch, didn’t care about the conversations my co-workers threw my way. ‘Can’t talk, got books’, I managed to mutter as I ripped at the wrapper.
The sound of angels rained down from the heavens as I opened the book. Full colour photos. Descriptions. Pages and pages and pages. And men’s fashions too. Oh sweet mother of all that’s holy, I’ve found nirvana!! I clapped gleefully and jumped around in a small circle much to my co-workers horror.
Ah yes, there’s nothing like the intoxicating joy of finding the perfect research book. Sigh…