Friday, March 16, 2007


Thanks for your comments on the scene. I suppose my fascination with the process bleeds over, because I DO find it all very interesting! Glad you all do the same.

There is a grand plan to all this, BTW. In book one, Doesn't She Look Natural?, Jen inherits the funeral home and has to face her fears and squeamishness about the whole thing. In that book she helps prepare a couple of bodies in small ways.

By book two, She Always Wore Red, she is in mortuary school, and serving as an apprentice for Gerald while she's going to school. (There's LOT more going on in the book; this is just part of it.)

In book three, She's In a Better Place, Jen will be officially running the funeral home. And the mortuary stuff is really just backdrop for all the stories--each book is really about something else altogether. :-)

Yes, Susan, autopsied bodies are a LOT harder to embalm--in fact, most funeral homes charge extra for autopsied bodies.

And the second step--the one I probably won't detail--is the "cavity embalming." I think I do allude to it, but not many details. This is where they take a long hollow tube, called a trocar, and punch it into the body. They have to perforate all the major organs and then aspirate the pieces. All of this, too, goes down the drain and into the sewer. (Lovely thought, no?) I suppose it's better than what the ancient Egyptians did--they put most of the organs into canopic jars and saved them for the afterlife.

I'm also not being specific about how they plug all the body orifices in case of . . . um, seepage. (I mean, flies land on dead bodies . . . you wouldn't want to see a maggot crawl out of your loved one's nostril, would you?)

This is the sort of lovely detail I probably won't include. :-) My rule is--if it grosses ME out, leave it out. :-)

Thanks for the comments! Please keep 'em coming!

OH! P.S. No, you don't capitalize "missy" because it's like "honey" or "kiddo" and you wouldn't capitalize those. It's a nickname, but not a proper nickname like "Angie." (But to be honest, this is one of those stylistic things that you may as well leave to your editor. Different houses may use different styles.)

And did anyone notice the parallelism in the sentence I loved a couple of days ago? I think what I love about it is the parallelism, the rhythm, and the ba-da-boom at the end. Writing requires as much listening as reading, you know . . .

Well, I've dithered long enough. My migraine is clearing, so I'd better get my act together!

Angie, who really ought to share a NICE scene after this . . .


Anonymous said...

Didn't have time to add a comment yesterday - will do so now. After reading other's comments, I agree it's just enough. After seeing some of the gruesome scene on the various CSIs, I'd much rather read about it. One of the reasons I love books over TV and/or movies is that the written word makes me use my brain. TV and movies do it all for you so your mind becomes lazy. With books you often get to learn a whole bunch of new words!!!!

Christina Tarabochia said...

Thanks. Would you capitalize "ma'am?"