It’s about time I start to hype my new novel (Perigee Moon) which I hope to have out by Spring, 2012. I have four weeks to work on it, then I’m committed to a babysitting gig until the end of May. I’m thinking I might not have a whole lot of time to devote to it while taking care of an 8-week-old. I’ll probably blog about that experience. It’s been a long time since I’ve changed a diaper.
In the past, people (make that one person) has said that my female characters are “mean”. I was shocked to hear that because I didn’t intend them to be considered mean, just strong women, or women who have put up with less than perfect relationships (through no fault of their own) and take a stand about what their futures will hold.
There is a character in the book, Abby, who couldn’t be called mean by anyone. She is the kind of person many can identify with, not overly sure of herself, second-guessing herself along the way. Many years ago she had a crush on Luke (the main character) and she finds that when their paths cross again, decades later, she still pretty much feels the same as she did back then.
She’s just seen him again and she thinks about how coincidental it is. Is it coincidence or some kind of predetermination which causes events to happen the way they do? She thinks of it as intersecting events where all along the way a different path could have been chosen. But because one path led to another and another, she’s ended up here, and it’s precisely where she wants to be.
Here is an excerpt:
She thought about her Aunt Maude — who’d been dying for the last thirty of her ninety-eight years (or so she’d told anyone who would listen) — and how Aunt Maude had picked this particular time to succumb. But of course, Aunt Maude hadn’t picked the time of her death, it had just happened that way. And what if she, Abby, hadn’t come back here, for the memorial service? She would never have seen Luke Koslov again, and would never have had the chance to talk to him, and here he was asking if they could go together, to the dinner dance, tomorrow night. It made her think that somehow events are planned to coincide and intersect in such a way that it alters the course of a life, or what’s left of a life, as if the person or persons whose life might change because of a chance meeting, might be in the eye of an almighty somewhere and deemed important enough that He has designed it for the sole purpose of having them reconnect.
Interesting thought. She liked to think of it. What if. What if Aunt Maude had died last Tuesday, a week ago, instead of this Tuesday? What if she hadn’t arranged to meet up with her cousin, Anne, for lunch at Applebee’s on Thursday? What if she hadn’t run into her old friend Dorie Wester, whom she hadn’t seen in decades, just as Dorie was pushing her 90-year-old mother in a wheelchair past the table where Abby sat? What if they hadn’t recognized each other? What if Dorie hadn’t mentioned the reunion? What if Dorie hadn’t suggested she come? What if Dorie hadn’t insisted that she come? What if Abby hadn’t said she would come?
And, most important, what if Luke hadn’t been there?
I’ve thought about this, as it equates to my own life. I’m sure others have done the same. What if I’d done it differently. What if I’d done A instead of B? What if I’d gone here instead of there? It’s an interesting thought, and sometimes, unfortunately, tinged with regret. As if it might have been better if I’d gone here instead of there, or done A instead of B.
Nevertheless, we end up where we are because we choose a number of paths along the way. We come to an intersection and choose one way over another. This is what Abby thinks has happened, and for her, it’s the best outcome she could have hoped for. A little like March Madness, you have to choose correctly and keep on choosing correctly and if you do, in the end, you might be a winner.