Anniversaries…

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Sometimes anniversaries are wonderful and other times, they are not. A huge anniversary came and went—without any fanfare. To be fair, this isn’t the kind of anniversary most people would like to celebrate or mark with a cupcake.

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So why am I remembering something that happened over 2 years ago—April 14, 2017, to be exact. The answer is quite simple. I am doing the final edit for A Window to Love and the very first scene is alarmingly close to what occurred.  I’ve changed some of the details to fit the story, but I’m sure if some of the players ever read this book, they would recognize the part they played. Of course, I had to make up a cheating girlfriend, because a loving wife did not work with the love story I wanted to create!

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Over the years, writing has been extremely cathartic for me. I started writing this book on the very same day I was terminated. Yes, that was the event that occurred on April 14, 2017.

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In the book, the main character jumps from a plane and something momentous happens as a result of her skydiving adventure. I did look into jumping from an airplane and I am deathly afraid of heights. That is how nuts I was at the time. I don’t think I adequately captured the devastation I felt. It is harder than you think to write about something so personal. Fiction provides cover for the emotions, but clearly not enough.

 

Remarkably, the story has my signature humor and definitely a lot of lightness to it. Of course, it also has the mandatory happy ending. Not the happy ending that occurred in my life, a different one. Although the very first scene was plucked from my miserable life at the time, the rest is pure fiction. I want to share not the first scene, but the scene where the main character does her crazy skydiving thing. I might still decide to do this even if my wife thinks it’s the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever had!

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When the plane reached the death-dive altitude, the experienced divers scooted along the floor like on some conveyor belt. Butt dusting. That must be how they keep the plane clean. She shook her head at her ridiculous thought. She felt the winds of death swirl inside the small space, whipping her ponytail around to sting her face. Buckled to her tandem partner, she wondered if the rank smell was her own nervous perspiration or his questionable hygiene. He was a scruffy twentysomething the skydiving unit insisted was the best, and she had accepted their assessment. Lately, her judgment had been far from rational. A droplet of sweat tickled between her breasts and traveled down the crevice inside her bra.

She glanced at her white-knuckled grip on the parachute strapped to her chest. There was absolutely nothing else to hold on to. No “oh crap” straps anywhere. Nothing for brand-new divers to hang on to when their life depended on remaining inside the tiny, tin holding cell. Everyone else had already left the plane with maniacal grins plastered to their faces. She was officially in hell. She’d made the decision; she couldn’t blame this on anyone else.

With a small tug on her shoulder straps, her scruffy partner yelled over the wind and loud motor of the plane. “We have to go now, Ms. Carter.”

Mandie slammed her eyes shut and gave the thumbs up signal she’d been taught. She reluctantly let Scruffy Man push her along the floor of the plane and ultimately into a swan dive into the unknown. There was no pool of cool, crisp water to cushion their fall. She imagined his body connected to her like a turtle’s shell. His hands gently moved to her arms, pulling them out so she could get the most from the dive. He was offering her the experience of flying through the air before the abrupt uplift when the parachute engaged. After a few seconds, she felt him fumbling around. That’s when she knew.

Her tandem guide was frantically trying to move them closer to the copse of trees. What was the point? She would soon expire, strapped to a smelly turtle dude. Maybe the impact wouldn’t hurt and she would instantly die. Mandie would have preferred dying in her sleep, cuddled up to a woman she’d spent the better part of her life with. She sighed. She’d never found her other half. The first branch hurt like a bitch.

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A Window to Love comes out on June 1st for those who are interested. This was both fun and cathartic to write, so I hope you will check it out! I’ll probably do a live reading in another week or so…so stay tuned. In the meantime, I have 15 other books for you to check out. You know the drill, just click the links below.

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