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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Nancy Mae

Welcome to the second day of May! My hope for you is that the remaining 29 days are full of happiness and good health. To be perfectly honest, I know this fifth month of 2015 will be tough for me. There are two significant days in May that have been cause for celebration my entire life, but not this year, because this is the first year I won't have my mother to celebrate them with.  Her birthday and Mother's Day will feel empty without having Nancy Mae McCrillis to honor. But do I ever have some marvelous memories of her, and those are what I will work hard at focusing on May 10th and 21st. My mom would be really annoyed with me if I did otherwise! You know the phrase, Zero Tolerance, referring to drug use? Well my mother had zero tolerance for people who complained and didn't do anything to fix/correct/alter whatever it was they were complaining about. "You have a brain," she'd say. "Use it."

Not often did I go to her for advice because I knew she wouldn't give it. Not out of spite or to be mean but because she expected me to figure things out for myself. Encouraged me to do just that simply by not giving me answers. A little frustrating for me, but as I learned when I became a mother, not doling out answers can be an effective teaching and learning tool. 

When my first book was published my mother was ecstatic. You'd think I'd won the Pulitzer Prize for literature and ousted Nora Roberts out of the number one position on the NYT best sellers list. She was thrilled for me. The romance theme she could have done without, though. With every consecutive book after that first one she'd ask me the same question: "When are you going to write a real book?" (are you aware that romance novels are not Real Books?) She wasn't a fan of "mushy scenes" and didn't approve of love-making scenes. "Why do you have to write those?" she asked. "Everyone knows what goes on in a bedroom. You don't have to give us all those details."

Yet, despite my mom's occasional criticism of my works, her pride in me and what I accomplished never waned. Her friends told me she bragged about me, My Daughter, The Author and passed out my business cards everywhere she went - from grocery store to church - always had copies of my books in the car and would talk up my latest book (with the whispered warning, "She writes THOSE kinds of books," cough, cough). 

As much as my mother didn't care for the romantic plots she loved my writing and she admitted to being quite taken by a few of my male protagonists, especially Grant and Ethan. "If only they were real," she sighed, and was quick to add, "Don't tell your father I said that!" That memory makes me smile.  

Last month, Twister, the third book in my Games People Play series, was released. Mom would be thrilled with how many scenes Ethan Chamberlain has the spotlight. And that they're not too mushy. Well, not all of them.

What does your mother think of your books?   

Polly posts on RB4U's blog on the second of every month. You can find out more about her and her books at her website:
Check in on Tuesdays for a new blog post every week:


Cara Marsi said...

Polly, your mother was a wonderful person. I'm sorry she passed. How terrific that she was so supportive of you. My mother wasn't very educated and never read books. She didn't say too much when I published my first book, but she did lend a copy to a woman at her assisted living facility so I like to think she was proud of me. My mother passed over four years ago.

I love the cover of your new book. Best of luck!

Polly McCrillis said...

Thank you Cara, and I agree with you. Although your mom wasn't a reader, for her to lend a copy of your book was a way for her to say she was proud of you. It's a good feeling, isn't it?!

Rose Gorham said...

Sorry for your loss, Polly. As time goes by the hurt will lessen, but those wonderful memories will never fade away. At least mine hasn't. My mother was a strong person. She raised four kids on her own and didn't take bull from anyone, or charity. But boy did she give; with her heart and the shirt off her back if you needed it. After all these years I still miss her.

Polly McCrillis said...

Rose, My head knows the hurt from not having Mom here any longer will lessen; the heart, well, it's not as convinced! But you're quite right about the memories. They stay close and warm in my heart.

D'Ann said...

Your mother sounds wonderful. To this day, after 16 published books, I don't think my mom has read a single one. But she does tell people I'm an author. Complicated, I guess.

Melissa Keir said...

Sounds like your mom is still looking over you and being proud!

My mom passed about 15 years ago. She never knew I'd become an author. I like to think that she'd be proud. She loved romance books and even wrote one herself.

My dad is much like your mom. He's very proud of what I've accomplished and likes to share my books with his lady friends. Honestly, he's read them and while he'd never say it...I'm sure the sex scenes have him blushing!

Polly McCrillis said...

D'Ann, isn't it great to have your mom in your corner, even though she's never turned the pages of your books?! Sounds like she's going about it the only way that suits her. Happy writing!

Polly McCrillis said...

Melissa, my sex scenes made my daddy blush too, but he admitted to having a special fondness for a few of my ladies:-)

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