Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday dear Anne! Happy Birthday to me!
This birthday is a milestone, and a mood stabilizer for sure. 51. Yup. 51. I really can't believe it myself. How did I ever get to be this old? My only consolation is that the 50's are supposed to be the new 30's. Which is nice. I liked being in my 30's. Well, my early 30's anyway. I was hot!
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change anything in my life, because I wouldn't be where I am today. And the Monster is the prize at the end of my rainbow. So, in retrospect, I would never change it anyway.
However, there are several things I would have done differently if I could. I would have THOUGHT about the consequences of my actions BEFORE jumping blindly in with both feet. I would have been kinder. I would have looked at the future instead of only being in the moment. Be that as it may, there is no magic wand, no fairy god-mother to "poof" my mistakes away. And besides, mistakes are what make you who you are. And in my case, great fodder for my books.
During my writing break, I've been thinking about my new main character Kate, a lot. (Romantic women's fiction) Who she is, who her family is, what she wants, what's she's going to do about the predicament I've placed her in. If I'd lived a more boring and sedate life, lived by societal rules and been the person my parents wanted me to be, Kate wouldn't have the plot line she does now.
But because of my "wild life" (oh, yes, I was a wild child. Remember I grew up in the late 70's early 80's) I've had my share of oh-my-God-that-episode-was-something-you-could-only-read-about-in-a-novel moments. If I wrote a memoir, people would think it was fiction. They would say "She couldn't have done THAT!" But yes, yes I could have and did. (Did I ever tell you about the gun-fight I walked into the middle of at the Silver Dollar Casino in Nevada? True story.)
And now Kate gets to live some of those episodes. (Not the gun-fight, I'm saving that for someone else.) The same way that Genna lived some of my episodes in Remembering You. Watered-down versions from those I've experienced. I mean, I can't have people suing me can I? (My sister-n-law for one.)
Tell me -- How much of your "real life" do you put in your stories? Would people believe you if you told them some of your "episodes" from your "wild child" days? Were you a "wild child"? When's your birthday?
Anne Gallagher (c) 2013