Do you remember the activity books we had as kids for those long car rides? The entertaining devices before video games, cell phones, laptops, and eReaders? The variety of pages had Connect the Dots, Color by Numbers, Find the Item, and Word Searches. Well, my least favorite pages were the ones with three squiggly lines like a big ball of tangled Christmas lights. You had to track each line through the maze a swiggles to find the treasure at the other end. I wanted that straight path to the prize. I thought those tracks needed to be smoothed out, which made more sense to me.
I love order. Lists are a joy. They give me purpose. As a planner, my goals were set from an early age…college and career with love and a family in the far distant future…but then I met Kraig (Hizzah!). My life path was starting to look like that activity page. Suddenly my nice straight path started to curve.
Well, I married shortly before I graduated from Nazareth College in Kalamazoo. My husband, Kraig, (Hizzah!) had always been an avid reader. From an early age, he visited the local library often. Reading was a big part of his life.
I didn’t start reading until I married him. In grade school and high school, I read the required books for reports. (Blah!) In college, I concentrated on my text books. (Ugh!) I just didn’t read for the enjoyment of it.
I remember after only a week into our marriage he had picked up his book after dinner and read it on the couch next to me while I watched TV. Every time I tried to talk to him, he’d sigh, set his book on his lap, answer my question, then pick up the book again ignoring me. I thought, “What the hell? I haven’t seen you all day, and you’d rather spend time with your book than with me?” I didn’t get it.
We sat a foot away from each other, but he was in another world. Well, I joined his world by reading his favorite series, The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, thus starting my twenty-seven-year love affair with reading. From then on, books became a mainstay … an escape from the bills, the mother-in-law (ooh), and sometimes the husband.
Years later, the kids didn’t need my constant attention. I realized I had a little more time on my hands to read, but I also had an idea for a book. I wondered if I could write a story. I had only written research papers in college. Could I really write an interesting novel? As excited as I was to start, I had my inner critic. “You’re not good enough; you’re not smart enough. You didn’t go to school to be a writer, what makes you think you can do this?” Nudging me to try, Kraig (Hizzah!) helped me squelch that noise in my head.
I loved the process of researching, outlining, and writing. I was a demi-god who could make these characters do anything. (Waahaha) I learned quickly that like my children they didn’t listen. These fictional people were following their own squiggly path.
In my story, Taylor Valentine, who had her life planned out since kindergarten, meets the love of her life (Hizzah!) and her plan crumbles. What’s that adage? Write what you know?
As Taylor learns in Their Rigid Rules, plans are okay as a template, but sometimes you just have to embrace the journey no matter where it takes you because the lessons learned are priceless. My path lead me right here, right now with you. Thanks for stopping by.
Are you looking for a fun summer read? Check out Their Rigid Rules, the 3rd book and prequel in The Chemical Attraction Series. It can be read first or last in the series.