Second paragraph, near the end, begin reading: "My favorite mug, a blue and brown glazed, hand-thrown pottery one made for me by my friend Frank out in Oregon, had been left with so many other important things in Minneapolis."
Today, Frank sent replacements.
In his August 14th letter, he writes: “Dear Garnet: A little bird told me (actually I think it was a turkey vulture, but my ornithology is kinda suspect) that you were in need of replacement tea mugs, as you’d been reduced to discount bin specials from the Giga-Mart....”
“Geez, [Tate], give a fellow a little warning, will you? One minute I’m sailing along, navigating the plot convolutions of the contemporary vampire romance, the next I’m laughing so hard I nearly fall off of the bed. ‘My friend Frank out in Oregon....’ Does that count as placement?”
No, my dear Frank, but this does:
Check out the fantastic pottery work of Oregon potter Frank A. Gosar, as featured in Tall, Dark & Dead at his web site: Off-Center Ceramics
In my opinion, one of the best parts of being a writer is getting to slide bits of your real life into your novels. When I thought about all the things I’d leave behind if, like Garnet, I had to flee in the middle of the night, Frank’s pottery was one of the things I’d miss (his artwork, too! I have a couple of watercolors of his on my walls.) So, I decided to write him in. Apparently, there’s a term for this phenomenon: tuckerization. Frank found it on wikipedia: a "tuckerization" is the act of using a person's name in original fiction as an in-joke. I wouldn't say that I used Frank's name so much as an in-joke, but more as an homage to a good friend and a marvelous potter.
Now go buy some of his stuff (your friends NEED some for Christmas/Solstace, you know they do), or read about the life-sized ceramic cow he hand-built for his MFA terminal project. Or listen to his morning show on KLCC (89.7 fm/NPR), The Saturday Cafe.