One of the things I like exploring as I write is the different ways that people deal with the aftermaths of disaster. That's one reason many of my characters have police or military backgrounds, or have had other devastating moments in their history. The rising above, of moving on as a different, perhaps damaged but also perhaps stronger, individual makes for a particularly interesting character. A survivor can be a challenge to write, but delving into the darker places of humanity can also be rewarding for a writer, especially when you get to make sure they have that happy ending they so deserve.
My grandfather, Mark Spencer, in WWI--he got his happy ending in real life--after the war he married his high school sweetheart and they were together until he passed away over 50 years, 8 children, and 30 grandchildren later.
This has been a rather rough year for my family in many ways, including loss of both friends and family. Yet, as we move toward Thanksgiving, one of the most important of holidays on my personal calendar, I still have so much to be grateful for. I have a house with a working furnace, a wonderful husband, children of whom I can be proud, a granddaughter I adore. I have wonderful in-laws, a father who is still healthy at 92, dogs who keep my feet warm on cool nights, and friends on whom I can count. Life is never perfect, but as things go, mine is better than many, and for that I am thankful.
Two years ago, I wrote Thankful for You as part of Decadent Publishing's Calendar Men series. It's about Sig, a wounded veteran, and Elsie, who survived domestic abuse. They come together as friends, only hoping they have it in them to one day love. I shed a few tears writing this story, and hope it might touch you too. Because that's the essence of real love to me--making it through the trials of life, and celebrating the good, and knowing, all the while, you've got someone who cares unconditionally, even if you're not at your best.
Thankful for You by Cindy Spencer Pape
Find Cindy online at www.cindyspencerpape.com