Happy Labor Day! Many of you will be spending the day relaxing, either at home with friends and family over barbecues, tucked away in a mountain retreat or stretched out at the beach. Me, I’m busy rebooting a manuscript when I’m not putting finishing touches on decluttering the house, my summer project.
I used to anticipate this holiday with mixed feelings. At that time, the following day was the first day of the school year for my kids. (That’s changed, now that most area schools have air conditioning. My grandchildren have been back in school for two weeks already.) By then, the kids were sick of summer activities and anxious to see their friends and therefore ready, more than ready, to return to those hallowed halls. And I was ready to see them go back. But this holiday also marked the end of summer and arrival of cooler temps, which for several weeks would be great, until the inevitable snow, ice and freezing temps of winter showed up.
With retirement came a change in my perception of Labor Day. It now means the beginning of the end of TV reruns or finales of cable shows. It also means it’s time for me to start thinking about returning to Florida for the winter season.
Last year, this holiday also marked the release of my first book, The Sleepover Clause. One whole year I’ve been a published author. My life has changed dramatically as I’ve learned about promotion and marketing, and yet, my life has barely changed at all, because I’ve been writing for years. I’m just writing more now.
I considered doing a retrospective today to reflect on what I’ve learned during the past year, but to tell the truth, the main thing I’ve learned is there is so much to be learned. there is no way I could learn It in a year, and the more important point, it’s okay to still be learning the business. The mission has certainly been a challenge, but that suits this retired brain fine, keeps it striving to extend its grasp and maybe someday catch the brass ring.
But I’d be remiss if I didn’t connect the dots between the purpose of this day, to honor America’s workers, and the catch phrase of this blog, “Romance at Work.” I chose it a year ago when I first set up this website to describe the type of stories I was writing, romances that were somehow related to the workplace. I wanted to underscore my previous work history as a human resources management specialist. The Sleepover Clause features an interior decorator and a mechanic/attorney. And He Cooks Too is about a chef and an actor. Driven to Matrimony, my next release, involves an accountant, a software designer, a movie star and a film student. I’m currently working on a manuscript about two architects.
I’ve learned, okay, I’m learning, one more thing: no matter how much fun I have writing about my characters’ jobs or how much influence their jobs have on their love lives, nothing can take the place of the emotions that compel my characters to take the actions that make their stories. I spent days researching the process of framing a house for one of my other manuscripts only to strip it down to a bare bones paragraph when all was said and written, because it was more important to describe the character’s feelings as he saw it go up than to give the reader a step-by-step report of how the house went up.
Romance at work? That’s actually my own watch word of my new life as a published author. It’s work making these stories come to life, but I love it.
Have a hot dog for me today. I’ll be writing!
The Sleepover Clause
And He Cooks Too