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Life Imitating Fiction

narciso_zWhen I first began writing “Waking Amy”, it was a long time ago. Things were different…life was different. More importantly, different for my best friend. She is also one of my beta readers. She tells me like it is. Tells me when to flush the manuscript, bury it out back, and when she stayed up till past 2 in the morning just to see who ended up with who.

She enjoyed Amy…she had a few bouts of “why is she so weak”, but overall, found her to be a likeable girl. Flash forward a year later…to “Leaving Amy.” My friend began reading it as usual, and then something happened. Her marriage began to take some tumbles. She stopped reading my book, saying she just couldn’t do it. It reflected her life too much. All that happened in “Waking Amy” was starting to take form in her own life. She was becoming Amy!

This past month has taken a turn for the worst. Her husband left her like Wesley left Amy…and for the same reasons. Out of left field. How does that happen? I’m not naïve to the fact that there are two sides to every situation, and there must’ve been some writing on the walls, but to leave? When there are children? And not to go back? Not to try? To just throw your arms up, say “it’s been real for the last 15 years, but I think I’m going to go and do something different now.” ?

Needless to say, it’s been extremely painful to watch her go through this. To wake up one morning and know she’s a single mom, and clueless to what the next year will bring with custody and support. I dedicated “Leaving Amy” to her. I had no idea I was writing her story in bits and pieces. On a side note, she put my book away and has yet to finish it.

My third Amy book is about resolution. Without spoiling the second book, which releases on May 1st, Amy seeks to find herself in the final edition. As I sit and watch all the struggles my friend is facing, it helps me write. I will find her voice and I will give her courage. Even if it takes until whenever that she is able to read it.

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Onward, to Number Three!

female-writer-typewriterI haven’t written an organic word in what seems forever. Editing and revising doesn’t count. Today I’m beginning the third and final book in the “Amy Series.” I’ve just got word from my loyal Beta readers that they enjoyed the second one. Which made me screech in my tracks. “Oh yeah, I better get started on the next one.”

And so I shall. Of course I have to re-read the last few chapters of the second one in order to put me back in the story, but I took care of that this morning at six. Yes, six. A.M. I knew time was precious today, so I started early. It’s a good sign that I’ll be super exhausted when I get off from work tonight at nine. Whatever. I’m young, right? I can take the exhaustion. Certainly knowing that tomorrow is Saturday will help.

I wanted to post an excerpt from the first one that is releasing February 23. Some type of sample so you can decide if it’s your cup of tea. Seeing as not everyone enjoys the same kind of beverage. “Waking Amy” is a chick read. It deals with the ups and downs of a thirty year old girl who’s dealing with trying to salvage her declining marriage. The guy who’s coaching and helping in the mission is sort of a distraction. Taking her mind a little off the goal. Still, she tries to remain focused. Here is a sample:

My routine was off-kilter the next day. Not only wasn’t I going to work as usual, and Wesley wasn’t home like every day, but my core felt different. I barely slept the night before, replaying the moment that stood out from any other in my life. As if someone had finally found the cord and plugged me in.

Today I felt like a ripped sheet, fluttering in the wind. It was only yesterday that I had a plan. Heck, last week I thought I had a husband and a future. Nothing was a sure thing anymore. Nothing but this feeling of chronic jitters I had adopted that came from kissing Dr. Mark Reilly. Comparable to a dope addict who no longer had a fix or a way to find a fix. I was now ten steps from the direction I had started out. Turned around and still spinning. The roller coaster ride was compliments of Mark, too. I grabbed my journal next to the bed and opened it to a blank sheet. Visual evidence of why I couldn’t think of him and that kiss would have to be realized and written down.

  1. Mark Reilly has probably slept with half of the female population in the greater part of Portland, never having gone on a second date with any of them.
  2. I’m married.
  3. He’s a player. I’m his quest. I’m tomorrow’s trash in his female recycle bin.
  4. I’m married.
  5. I’m married and Wesley will be a different man when I become a different woman. We will be happy.
  6. Forget Mark Reilly. It’s only business.

Waking Amy Cover (1)

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The Hope to Rebuild Love

A-couple-kiss-at-the-train-station

Dear Wesley,

Why is it so difficult to stop a train wreck from occurring? Is it because the train tracks show no signs of bowing and cracking? Does anyone even take the time to check the foundation, to make sure it’s in tact? Or is the train traveling so quickly that the tracks become a blur and all sense of time becomes fleeting, as well? Does the train, itself, not show signs of malfunction? Sounds, like tiny-spurted screeches that go ripping through the blacked-out tunnels become unnoticed? Are we paying so much attention to other things that we don’t hear the rattling in the background? Of the bolts and screws that were once securely attached, becoming loosened with every wrong movement that’s made. It becomes white noise to our every day routines.

Aren’t there little hints of problems along the way to our destination? A bump, we felt, that perhaps had us reach for something to hold onto, but when the moment passed, we just sat back down and stared aimlessly out the window as if nothing just happened? We just want to make it successfully to our next station without creating a fuss about anything.

Was there a date I could find circled on my calendar that showed when the last time was that you held my hand? Did my hand, by shear rejection, stop waiting for your reach? Could I say for certainty that I was held blameless in not ever calling and checking on you when the second hand on the clock swept by the hour twice and you hadn’t made it home yet? In my defense, the first three occasions my call when unanswered, so went away my concern.

In the end, did my thoughts throughout the day ever stray to imagine your face, smiling and looking back at me? They might have if I could’ve remembered what it felt like to be seen by your eyes. To remember what your smile looked like.

When was the last time you touched me? Reaching for the light switch and grazing my arm doesn’t count. Although the skin on skin contact made me recall older memories of your caresses. Like lying in bed and being folded into your arms as you played with the contour of my arm with your teasing fingertips. The memory makes me smile, now, thinking about it. Something I haven’t done for quite some time.

Funny thing about train wrecks, no one sees them coming.  But, when the smoke settles on the debris that stretches as far as the eye can see, you can suddenly recall every worn track, every bump in the night, every jeer and every silent dinner, you had along the way. A lot of times, it’s only after the wreck that you can see where it got off the tracks. But, as we stand here among the destruction of our train wreck, there’s only one thing I want.

To rebuild it…better…with only you.

Amy

And, this time, we will vow to slow down when we feel a bump and see what it’s all about before we dismiss it and continue on.

Thoughts From: WAKING AMY (Feb 2016)

 

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Breaking Up

wpid-000031061When it comes to breaking up with someone, isn’t it really just one reason why to do it? Love no longer sustains you. Do you remember the first few weeks of a budding relationship? You could live on what the feeling of love afforded you, alone. Eating and sleeping paled in comparison to the quench of what ol’Cupid shot you in the butt with. The late night phone calls that last for hours, the flowers, text messages the moment you woke up, wishing you a good day? Flutters in your stomach when they came into the room. Why there was so much romanticism about love in your head, you could almost see tiny pink hearts circle around you like a cartoon image.

Then it either continues coming stronger, with speeds of a runaway train; or it starts to slip away, like a thief in the night. Relationships can be pushed off the cliff for many reasons, but the simple fact is that the love is not enough. For one person or both. Sure, we can disguise it in the details of moving away, going in different directions, not compatible, but really? You just don’t love the person enough anymore to keep it going.

I am working on revisions for my new book, THE TRUTH ABOUT ELISE. It’s about a girl with commitment issues. The first part of the book Elise is trying to break up with her perfect boyfriend, Darren. For whatever reason, she does not feel like love outweighs the risk involved with staying with him. She fears one day he’ll leave her. Elise loves him, but it’s not enough to kill the fear.

Someone in my family is going through a breakup now. The couple has been together for two years. The guy is the initiator; the killer of all love and hope. The girl is dumbfounded over the breakup. What happened? Well, yes, the guy temporarily is living somewhere else for the summer, but if he loved her….I mean reallyyyy loved her, wouldn’t he move mountains to stay together? The ugly truth of the matter is, he’s putting himself and his needs before her. He doesn’t love her more than his dreams of moving on. She doesn’t know this now, of course, but she’s being spared worse hurt if they stayed together longer. The breakup eventually would come. Poor girl.

My debut book, WAKING AMY, discusses divorce. Anyone walk down the aisle at their wedding  thinking to themselves that one day they’ll be looking across a table with the guy standing in the tux, figuring out who gets the sofa and who gets the poodle? But, it’s so easy to now just call your attorney and get the papers drawn up. If it’s so easy to do that, were you ever really that invested? Investment, to me, means giving a lot of yourself. Giving unconditionally. Giving things that sometimes hurts to give; sacrificing to make the other person happy. Does anyone fight to stay together anymore? Was is ever really love in the first place? Or maybe just a figment.

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Confessions of a Non-Committer

97455412695179844cdd28b70a07f7a8Please don’t judge … I’ve got a bit of a problem. I can’t quite be sure when it began. Or, if I remember a time when I didn’t have it. Or, if I can pinpoint when I got it. Either way, I’ve had it for awhile. It seems I’m not good at committing. The third book I wrote somehow mirrors a girl of this nature. I wondered why that thing was so easy to write!

Anyway, back to my teency, weency affliction. I overheard my “boyfriend” telling our oldest that he got used to me telling him that although I loved him very much, it didn’t mean we’d be together forever. (And that was after we’d gotten married.) Hearing him tell this and seeing the reaction of my son was a little sad. Not shocking, I admit. I live with myself, I know myself inside and out. I’ve come to know I have this problem. But, still it can be unsettling for people who don’t know that it’s not really that serious of an issue.

Of course I’m still with the guy! It’ll be twenty years this year that I took the plunge, and I’m happy to say, the older I get the more stable I become. I just have to carry and wave the flag of uncertainty all the time. I’ve tried to figure out why I’m like this. Maybe it traces back to my parents getting divorced when I was at a very tender age. Perhaps I saw then that nothing in life is as ironclad as it appears to be.

Then again, I have a problem cutting off price tags from my clothing, too. Does it mean I have to keep them for real? Nine times out of ten I do anyway. The other one percent is when the thing actually doesn’t fit. But, why can’t I cut them off? I suppose I like knowing there is an out. I CAN take it back if I really wanted to. Nothing has control over me. Hmmm…. My boyfriend has stopped shopping with me. I have a tendency to load up the cart with things I want, take a few rounds of the store with them and then go put them all away! Well, not all of them. I buy a few and tell myself I can return them later. 🙂

It was funny when I was expecting my first child. I kept thinking that there was no way to return “it”. It was inside me and there was only one way of him coming out. It all really freaked me out. Then when it came time to have him, I was like “and then we’ll take him home and he’ll live with me, I mean us, forever????” Wow! Mind blowing to a person with commitment issues. Still, I had four more of them and I’m rather used to the idea that they will remain with me until it’s their time to fly the coop.

Houses are another thing. It seems I’m never committed to a house. As much as I want to get all nestled in to the same place, see growth charts marked on closet walls, and have stories to tell future grandchildren who visit about what tree the dog is buried under … I can’t seem to settle into the same house. Or the same state we’ve always lived in, for that matter! I want to go and explore other places, experience other people. But, now I have little people that must go and like the idea, too. Not so easy. I guess they don’t have the same issue of settling down like me. Which is a good thing, right?

I sometimes watch the movie “Along Came Polly” just to laugh about the affliction that I hope I’m not the only one who belongs to its club. It’s nice knowing there are others out there like me.

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