“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Googling the Concierge
Friday, June 13, 2014

Three or four times a week a guest will come up to me and say, "You didn't tell me you were an author!"

Sometimes, they go right upstairs to their room, download an Ad Hudler book onto their Kindle, and start reading.

One phone call, late one night while I was working the desk: "Ad... this is Mrs. BLANK ... Why did you kill Ellis? He was so sweet! Why did he have to die?"

Another woman came up to me one day and asked me to compare two restaurants. I gave her the pros and cons of each one, and then she asked, "But which one would Donna pick?"

"Donna?" I asked.

"Donna Kabel. The Kroger produce girl in your book. Which restaurant do you think she'd like?"

What I found in the attic ...
Friday, June 6, 2014

We writers scribble everywhere ... fearing that the thought that has bubbled up into our conscious mind will soon be forgotten and lost forever.

Hence: Pencil and pad in the truck. On the bathroom counter. In the junk drawer of the kitchen. And on and on and on ...

I recently went up to the attic to retrieve a cocktail table for a fundraiser we were hosting for a Nashville judge...and I found stuck to the base a post-it note that said:

magnolia thunderpussy shirt ... pleather leggings ... plastic feet bud of accessories....

Yep. Your guess is as good as mine.


In search of ... The Biggest Waterfall
Friday, December 13, 2013

Hey, y'all.....here's my recent AdVentures column from Nashville Lifestyles magazine:

I've always been drawn to those things that claim superiority: Biggest.  Fastest. Longest. Fattest.
After hearing/reading for the third time that Tennessee boasts the Highest Waterfall East of the Rockies, I felt compelled to investigate.
I know what you're thinking. I thought it, too: Niagara Falls.  If Tennessee did indeed have a waterfall bigger than Niagara then we surely would know about it – right? There would be postcards. And legends.
Fall Creek Falls, about two hours east of Nashville, sits atop the Cumberland Plateau, in Tennessee's largest state park. My hike began with what could be described as either …
A: Awesome
B: Horrifying.
… all depending on how comfortable you are when defying gravity. A long, homemade suspension pedestrian-bridge spans the river. It looks like it was made by a road crew in rural Latin America, cleverly constructed of rope and two-by-fours and rusty, wire, barnyard fencing. Let's just say that crossing it is a lesson in blind faith. The bridge moves more than you want it to, especially as you near the end and another person steps onto the opposite side, creating an effect not  unlike an undulating rug as it's being shaken on cleaning day.
The trail is steep at times, and rocky, and downright ugly – worn, dusty paths strewn with litter and graffiti on the trail-guide signs, more post-hurricane Nicaragua than Tennessee. The flora is sparse and beaten up, as if a tornado or flood had swept through. Critters, both furry and feathered, seemed to have moved on to greener locales. If The Highest Waterfall East of the Rockies were not waiting at the summit I probably would have turned back.
As I neared the falls I kept stopping to see if I could hear them – but I could not. I was perplexed: How could The Highest Waterfall East of the Rockies not be heard from a mere quarter-mile away?
Eighty feet away. Still no roar of water.
"Ahhhhhhh, mystery solved," I said when I finally saw the falls. Indeed, at 256 feet it is the Highest Waterfall East of the Rockies (Niagara Falls is 176 feet), but it certainly isn't the largest. Niagara marks the spot where one of the world's largest inland lakes pours into another of the world's largest inland lakes. Hence, the roar.
Fall Creek Falls, however, is made from one little river, almost a creek, which means the volume of water is so small that the falls is not a wall of water at all but rather a tentative-looking, misty column that resembles a long bridal veil.
"Cumberland Falls is bigger that that," said one unimpressed man standing near me. "Burgess Falls, too."
Group by group, people approached the promontory, looked at the falls and uttered a flat "huh." One woman surveyed the scene for a few seconds then turned to her companion and said, "Did y'all know that Connie Marie's havin' a baby?"
Having succumbed to gravity, an obese bulldog  (The World's Fattest Bulldog, perhaps?) was lying at her feet.
"How on earth did that dog make it up that steep hike?" I ask.
"Oh, We drove up," she answered, motioning to the parking lot beyond the trees.
So, if you do venture this way to see The Highest Waterfall East of the Rockies, I suggest you drive instead of hike. Unless you want to collect some empty aluminum cans for extra cash.

If you drink beer and no one sees you ... are you truly drunk?
Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Here's my recent AdVentures column for Nashville Lifestyles magazine: Canoeing on the Harpeth River:

 The sign behind the counter at Tip-A-Canoe confuses us. It says something like, $187.50 alcohol penalty. We assume it's a joke, like the T-shirt message on the guy standing next to me: Paddle Faster! I hear banjos!
I look at my companion, confused. "No beer on a canoe ride?" I ask. "Surely they're not serious. … $187.50? What's that about?"
I'd canoed and kayaked in Minnesota, Belize, California, Amsterdam, Colorado, Florida – most of the time with a small cooler of beer in hand. A canoe ride without beer makes no sense. It is an incomplete equation. A canoe ride without beer is like a canoe ride without water or paddles.
Still, I'm a consummate rule-follower, and I fight the urge to return my cooler to the truck.
"No one's gonna say anything," my friend assures me.
"Like don't-ask-don't-tell in the military, right?"
We board the van that transports all the canoes and people to their drop-off spot. With us is a group of giggling-girl teenage missionaries and their adult female leader who have traveled from Memphis for the day. The leader eyes my cooler (hungrily?). Does she know? I wonder, nervously. Will she tell on me? As I mentally prepare to break a rule or law, I remind myself that even Jesus drank wine.
Most of the area's canoe-rental companies, located just minutes west of Nashville, are clustered on a bend in the Harpeth River. At Tip-A-Canoe, you can choose from a variety of rides, ranging from one hour to eight hours, which includes an overnight rustic camping trip. We've chosen the 2-hour, 7-mile trip, which will take us from the Kingston Springs ballpark, back to the Tip-A-Canoe headquarters where we parked.
The Harpeth is a Class-1 river, the lowest ranking on the scare-scale. The smooth current and occasional, minimal rapids are reminiscent of a lazy-river ride in an amusement park. Occasionally, we must steer. At times we scrape bottom and must scoot forward to dislodge the craft from the gravel. Our mandatory life preservers seem to be overkill.
The spectacular views from the water, including plant-adorned cliffs that reach upward for nearly 100 feet, almost make me forget about the contents of our cooler. Almost. I am thirsty.
We paddle up to a sandbar and pull the canoe ashore. I'm nervous, still unsure. Is the quirky $187.50 penalty actual state law or the whim of some pious manager?
I soon realize we have no cups, so we cloak our beers in bandanas and look left, look right, and hope for the best.

The scary things I find ...
Friday, September 6, 2013

Seen on a visit to my favorite Nashville antique mart:

Rubber hand puppets of .... hmmm. Is that Desmond Tutu on the right? And I think that might be my high-school history teacher on the left.

Their hands are out, as if .... hmmmm....are they ready to fight? Are they describing the size of the fish they caught in Old Hickory Lake? Or have they just exclaimed, "Oh, my GOD! You did NOT just say that?"...and they throw their hands in the air.

I challenge someone to name the puppet show these two would star in. Winner gets two free Ad Hudler novels of her/his choice, signed and sent to a friend.

Gratuitous hash tags/phrases to boost website traffic:
Free books
Racial relations
Men who act like sissies
Does this gray suit make me look fat?
What color of tie should I wear to an interview?

Schizophrenic Nashville
Friday, August 30, 2013

As a novelist I'm always trying to figure out the blueprint of someone's personality, always trying to figure out what makes a particular person tick. I do the same with places, as y'all saw in my novel Southern Living, where the town of Selby became a character in its own right.

Nashville, however, is hard to pin down. Consider:

Two blocks from the national headquarters of the Southern Baptist Convention is Hustler Hollywood, a high-end, grocery-store-size emporium with trained "sexologists" who can answer just about any question you have about male or female reproductive anatomy. (I know; I've learned a few very important things from them.)

We are home to Al Jazeera's news bureau for the Southern U.S. ... yet we've got plenty of xenophobic rednecks spitting tobacco juice out the windows of their trucks.

We are home to Taylor Swift ... and Jack White.

Our airport has signs written in both English and Japanese -- and we've got a Japanese consulate here.

See what I mean? 

Reason #8846R4 to Love My Wife: Inventive use of a chicken carcass
Thursday, August 8, 2013

She plays with her food ...

"Look!" she said. "A pterodactyl!"