Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Taking Chances - Guest Blog Post for Babbling Books and More...

Earlier today my guest blog spot is over at:

A few years ago I was driving home from my ‘normal’ job, windows down and the radio blaring out the Lady Antebellum CD I’d just bought, when the upbeat tempo changed and their song ‘All We’d Ever Need’ came over the speakers.  Any Lady A fan knows this song is about the one that got away, the regret, the ‘what if’.  It immediately made me think of him – the unnamed man who changed my life in the brief weeks we were together over ten years ago.

My reaction to the song was very strong.  I cried.  I cried so hard I had to pull over.  It was ridiculous that I was so upset, we’d both moved on, gotten married to other people, and were happy for each other.  To this day we are friends.  But in that moment, the initial heartbreak returned with a vengeance.  I listened to the song at least five times in a row, until the tears stopped and the inspiration began.

One plus to being a writer is that I can always change my story, even if only on paper.  So that is precisely what I did.  I wrote our story … with a twist.  In my version, he realizes his mistake in picking the wrong woman and comes back.  That book became Taking Chances – A Small Town Series - Book #1.

The reality is, after starting to write the story, somehow the characters stopped being ‘us’ and started morphing into their own individuals.  In my story I could make the estranged wife be nasty and manipulative, but truthfully she’s not a bad person.  In fact, writing the semi-story of us helped me move past it all completely.  In the end, Dane and Myra are not me and my unnamed man. 

Sometimes, writing what you know about – the first look, first touch, last kiss, and sad goodbye – can be a cathartic endeavor.  I look back on the time I had and smile now.  Taking Chances  really is about having the courage to take a chance, make a choice, and follow your heart.  I can tell you that the ‘good parts’ are more fact than fiction, but the reality was even better. 

For me, becoming a writer was taking a chance.  Finishing my first book was huge and becoming self-published was even bigger.  Putting my thoughts and fantasizes out there for the world to see took a major chance for me.  In the time since I finished Taking Chances, my life is all about doing just that.

Now, I’ve been divorced for a few years and single for most of this year.  I’ve gone back and read Taking Chances and it’s reminded me how even after heartache, you have to open yourself up to love again. Sure , writing a made-up love story is fine, but it also lacks when compared to really having that special someone show up at my door step or that handsome younger man approach me at the bar with a proposition.  Cuddling up with a good book or a fond memory is nice and all, but being wrapped in the arms of a strong man is SO much more satisfying. 

Whether writing or romancing, it comes down to taking chances.  Scary, exciting, nerve-wracking and all that come with it, life is about putting yourself out there and giving it everything you’ve got.  I hope you all follow your heart, wherever it may lead.

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