I said to myself I’m not reading one more self-help book, watching another documentary, having coffee with a boring friend or being a “good” girl.
Boring is what I was and what I’d been doing. Felt like I’d lost me and lost my passion. I decided I was taking a sabbatical. Being a word geek I consulted the dictionary. I found that the word “sabbatical,” (from Latin: sabbaticus, from Greek: sabbatikos (σαββατικός), from Hebrew: shabbat (שבת) (i.e., Sabbath), literally a "ceasing") is a rest from work, or a break, often lasting from two months to a year.
Now you’re wondering a sabbatical from what exactly. Well, I still dusted, brushed and flossed my teeth, went to work and all the other things that one has to do to live comfortably.
But one day in my new leisure time, instead of picking up one of my many books on how to improve myself in ten easy steps or lose twenty pounds eating gluten free (boring, I like my pasta and I didn’t even lose ten pounds either.), I went and one-clicked, yes I did, on the book that I’d been wanting to read, but told myself I shouldn’t. Yup, I bought Fifty Shades of Grey and it rocked my world.
Not only did the book revitalize our marriage (my Mr. was very pleased), but I met new interesting people on Facebook and authors who I admired. I dove into romance books with a vengeance. Now, I’d read romance in my youth, but these books were different, way different. I slurped them up. Whenever I had a moment, my face was stuck in a book or an E-reader and I read late into the night, read before work, read while I cooked dinner, read while I was waiting for my son and read discovering a whole new world.
After a while, I had read every book by my favorite author and was searching for another good read I could sink my teeth into and I discovered Ms. J.A. Hornbuckle. I picked up Pole Dance. Well now, really liked it, so of course, I had to buy the next one in the series, Tap Dance and from there I was hooked. When I started reading her MC series, I decided to do something very different and reach out to her and let her know how much I loved her books.
One day I sent an email to Ms. Hornbuckle. Told her how much I enjoyed her books, told her why and begged her to keep writing such wonderful reads. She wrote back! Over the months an email friendship bloomed. For me: exciting, glamorous, and heady. (In my humble opinion an author is a celebrity, how many people can create an entire world from nothing?) Then one day she asked me what I thought about a series she was thinking of writing. By this time you know I encouraged her because it was a great idea (and incidentally, one of my gifts is encouragement which I know because of all those self-help books I’d read) plus, it was a book begging to be written.
Besides, I was already itching to read it! After some back and forth texting, JA said I could name the first four characters. Hot dog! What fun! I sent her some story ideas because my mind was racing with possibilities. Then JA texted me and again my world was rocked. She simply said, collaborate with me, let’s write Broken-Girls together.
Hello dream come true, good bye boredom, ennui I kick you to the curb.
We co-wrote the first in the series, Phoebe and now we’re working on the second - Vonnie - and it will come out soon. The funny thing is my uncle told me when I was six or seven that he always thought I’d be a writer because I had such a great imagination. Then my high school English/creative writing teacher encouraged me to write, but I didn’t believe in myself. Through the years, people have said I should write a book. A fiction book! What I know about writing dialogue could be put on the head of a pin.
But the funniest thing in this whole scenario is it didn’t happen in my twenties or thirties, no. it happened when I least expected it, when I felt tired, bored and used up. A new interesting door opened and I walked through.
I love reading romance. I love writing romance. I love romance. Our books are a romance. A hot guy and a sassy girl. Happy Ever After or HEA in the lingo.
The moral of this story. Don’t give up. Express yourself. Live your life like you are dying tomorrow. Dream again. Anything’s possible. I can attest to it.
But I can’t close without thanking all who have helped me along the way. My husband, my son, my family and friends - couldn’t have done this without you. To my readers, thank you. Because of you, I can do what I love.
Special thanks to Ms. JA Hornbuckle. I love you, love your writing and love your creativity!
May the force be with us.