If it hadn't been for that experience, I would never have written the story now titled Love Finds A Way, nor created the rest of the series.
I actually dated 'Matt' off and on up until Jan 1991, when I finally decided I was happy where I was, and didn't need to go see him because he suddenly remembered my phone number again.
Saw this on Facebook yesterday and it pretty much sums up our relationship.
Anyway, 'Matt' found me on FB two years ago, and I was thrilled to learn he'd stopped drinking, cleaned himself up, and had been happily married for six years. I became good FB friends with his wife, and it was through her the past month I learned 'Matt' had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Long story short, my (now former) AF officer lost his battle early Monday morning.
As always with an unexpected illness or death, you realize the things you didn't do. For instance, it appears I own the only copy of him next to the F-15 Eagle he was proud of. 'Matt' asked me to either send it to him or make a copy for one of his relatives. Since it resides in a special photo album, and happens to be in storage, I was waiting for an opportune time to retrieve it. That was five months ago, and I still have that photo in storage. I don't even know which relative he planned to send it to. I may take it with me tomorrow, and stop to make at least two copies. There's gotta be a CVS or Walgreens between here and there.
The good news? I've already got a story churning in my head about how to give 'Matt' the proper send off. I don't know if it will be an AU book, or if Kenzie will take over the brain and smut it up. But I do plan to get to work on it as soon as I'm finished with book #7, Love Weighs In edits.
*An ironic side note: I did not have a weight problem when I wrote this book, and now when it's arriving in August, I'm not happy with the jean size I wear, not the number on the scale. But I will never go to the same lengths as my heroine....there, you get a small hint at her story line!*
Anyway, enough wallowing in my own grief. This is about celebrating the life of a muse, and 'Matt' was certainly mine! He's also the basis for 'Steve' in Kenzie's Wild At Heart.
Both 'Steve' and 'Matt' have issues which cause them a lot of pain and anger. I think the following excerpt depicts his character the closest.
“I'm not changing my life. If they don't like it, they can stuff it.” Matt moved his arm
from her shoulders and reached for his cigarettes.
“Sshhh, I'm not asking you to change.” Amy tried to be tactful. “All I’m asking is
that you not, er, curse so much.”
“Please?” She lifted her head to look him in the eye. “All I ask is that you clean up
your vocabulary for a few hours while we're with my parents.”
“You want me to kiss ass.” He lit the end of the cigarette and blew smoke toward the
“Not quite, I just want you to make a good impression.” Tears welled unexpectedly
in her eyes. “This is important to me.”
“Oh, all right, I'll watch what I say next weekend. Can I smoke and drink beer, or is
that also taboo?”
“Stop it!” Amy sat up to escape the smoke.
“What?” Matt gestured, waving the smoke toward his side of the bed.
“You know what I mean. I'd rather you not smoke, but a few beers won't hurt. I'm not
asking you to bend over backward; all I want is for you to be civil with them.”
“I'm always civil.”
“I didn't mean it like that.” Amy shifted onto her side. “I meant that sometimes, well,
you have a tendency to act antisocial, as a know-it-all.”
“I do what?”
Feeling herself losing ground, Amy groaned. The conversation wasn't going the way
“I would feel better if you and my parents were to start off on the right foot.” She
chose her words with care. “They have the stereotypical, California, military officer in
their minds, and I don't want them judging you that way.”
“Just out of curiosity, what exactly is the 'stereotypical, California, military officer'?”
Matt sounded amused.
Amy thought for a moment. “Promise you won't get upset? He's the dedicated
officer, but loud, rude, and disrespectful when off duty. He's lazy, a womanizer, an
alcoholic, and not someone to bring home.”
“So that's what your parents are expecting me to be.” Matt crushed out his cigarette.
“Not entirely. I've told them your good points, so they're not expecting Godzilla.
Now, can we drop the subject and get some sleep?”
“No, we can't.”
“Because.” His voice lowered as he turned to her, his hand sliding down to cup her
breast. “This military officer has a naked, sexy woman in his bed and wants to take
advantage of the situation.”
I'll say goodbye tomorrow at his funeral.. In the meantime, if you'd like a copy of Love Finds A Way, leave me a comment about your first love. Bonus Question: Can you tell where I 'lost control' of the conversation above? And how I 'saved' it?