Some Days . . .

5d1ba6d8fa2caa94abc305977d65de16It doesn’t pay to get out of bed. Only I had one of those weeks. You ever have one of those weeks where nothing goes right? Where everything you touch turns to $h!t? Where it seems the very forces of the universe have you in their sights, and they don’t like what they see?

That was my week last week. I felt as if a black cloud was hanging over my head like the cartoon character Joe Btfsplk in Al Capp’s Li’l Abner comic strip.

One particular day, Thursday to be exact, my day-job had succeeded in beating me into submission, and at the end of that day I dragged my poor, battered body and my mushy, wasted brain out to the parking garage to finally go home. And wouldn’t you know it — my four-month old car wouldn’t start. I wanted to lay my head on the steering wheel and cry, but frankly, without my AC, it was just too damn hot to wallow in self-pity. After several phone calls, the obligatory hold-time waiting for my roadside assistance program’s “next available customer service representative,” and the wait-time for the tow truck, I finally reached the solitude of my home three hours later (without my car).

The next day, I figured I’d already walked through the fire that was my craptastic day the day before, Friday had to be better, right? Wrong. Thinking the previous day’s beating wasn’t enough, my day-job took up where it had left off and continued to hammer me. In the midst of my nightmare, my husband called to say our non-profit website was down — what should we do? Um, cry? Because that’s what I felt like doing. At that point, I’d raised the white flag. I surrendered. The Force had won.

By Friday night, all I was capable of when I got home was staring at the TV. I’m not even sure it was on. I lost millions of brain cells I’ll never get back. I can’t remember going to bed. I just know I woke up there the next morning. Thank God, that week ended. And so far (let me knock on wood), this week has been better. But there’s still two days left.

How about you? You have any days or weeks like that lately?

 

 

First Meet Reader Stories

On August 28 I wrote a blog post about First Meets and how important they are in romance novels. This gave me an idea to hold a ‘First Meets’ contest, featuring stories from you, my readers. I received an overwhelming number of wonderful First Meet stories, and trust me when I say I really struggled picking the winner. Rachel Collings’ story won. Yay, Rachel! Rachel gets to select one of my three books as her prize.

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There were so many cute, funny, romantic First Meet stories, that I decided to share my top five faves — in no particular order — on the blog today. Some have been revised for brevity. Enjoy!

Winner

Rodeo Meet

My now husband and I were both at an amateur rodeo. He was the bull fighter thaticonic-cowboy-hat-316x350 night. I thought he was cute so I took his cowboy hat, put it on my head, winked, and walked away. I figured if he wanted his hat back he had to come talk to me. We have been together for 10 years now, married for 8 and have 3 beautiful children.

That one could have come straight out of a contemporary western romance novel. Loved it!

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order)

Motorcyle Meet

motorcycle1I met my future husband through my sister’s pranks. My little sister and I were standing on our front porch when a guy on a motorcycle went whizzing by on the street. My sister yelled at him and said that I wanted to meet him then jumped down behind the porch railing where he couldn’t see her. He then turned around and rode his motorcycle down the sidewalk in front of our house and stopped. We started talking and eventually he asked me out and the rest is history.

I wonder if her little sister gets REALLY nice gifts at the holidays.

Wedding Meet

My husband and I met at a wedding where he was the Best Man and I was Maid of maid-of-honor-bestman-speech-one-tree-hill-10349248-443-500Honor. When I walked in the room for rehearsal night, he and I just stood there and stared at each other for several minutes. Everyone was mentioning that for many months afterwards. In fact, everyone was saying that night and much later that we would end up marrying, and a year and 2 months later, we did. We dated as just friends for 6 months, and then realized we actually loved each other as well as liked each other.

What more romantic place to meet than a wedding?

Loan Officer Meet

I was a Loan Officer in the consumer loan department of a bank, when I met with a very nice looking man who was requesting a loan. The minute I looked in his eyes my mother’s voice came into my head. I use to complain to her about never meeting anyone special and I felt I was getting too old for it to happen to me. She always said you will know when you look into his eyes that he’s the one, because that’s what had happened between her and my father.

meeting3After approving his loan, he came back in to sign the papers and pick up his check. When he came back in, he was dressed up. But he kept calling me back asking me questions about the term of the loan and the payment due date and other things. I answered all his questions but kept telling him that all this information was on his paperwork I had given him. But he still kept calling.

One day he came into the office and asked to see me. He had brought me a card, thanking me for being so nice to him, and a single long stemmed red rose. He asked me out on a date, and, well, the rest is history. We indeed went on that date, we moved in together 2 weeks later, and got married 3 months later. My mom’s voice was true, he was and still is the ONE!!!!! We have been married for 26 years!!!!

Love at first sight! Doesn’t get any more romantic than that.

Flat Tire Meet

I had noticed him at a dance party I attended. When I got ready to leave, I discovered Iuntitled had a flat tire on my Honda. He was the first to volunteer to come to my aid even thought he was dressed nicely he changed the tire. I thought that was so nice of him and really romantic. Later that week he called me for a date. And the rest is history….

Le sigh. So romantic. That guy was a true gentleman.

Thanks for sharing all your romantic stories with me. Happily ever after isn’t just found in romance novels.

Happy Stories

With all the bad news in the world, from the terror group ISIS and their exploitation of religion to justify their brutality, to the Russian-but-not-Russian invasion of Ukraine, to the never-ending unrest between Hamas and Israel, sometimes I just want to hunker down in my house and bury my head under my pillow.

But there are happy stories out there. Stories that reaffirm my belief in humanity.

Take the story of Ryan Holcomb, a teenager with Down’s Syndrome, who believed thathappy-face-9 just like all of his friends who were graduating from high school and heading off to college, he would be too. And he’d decided that college would be Clemson. Turns out Clemson, as well as some other colleges and universities, has a program for people with intellectual disabilities, and while it is highly competitive to get in, Ryan made it. Watching the video of him reading his acceptance letter made me cry.

Then there’s the story of Michael Brannigan, a teenager with autism who loves to run. He’s so good, more than 200 colleges, many Division One schools, have contacted him about joining their running programs.  His dream doesn’t end there. He hopes to be an Olympic athlete one day.

Or how about the story of Jacen Troxell, whose father is a police officer. He wanted to do something to protect his dad and other polices officers in Indianapolis, so he raised $13,000 for special plates that fit into standard bulletproof vests. The plates will protect the officers from high powered rifles, something that standard Kevlar vest can’t do.

These stories made me cry, but they’re happy tears, not tears of anger and frustration over senseless violence and death. Happy stories are out there, but more often than not, they get drowned out by the noise of all the bad stories. You just have to pay attention to the happy ones. Do you have some happy stories to share?