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Friday, July 8, 2016

Does Life Imitate Writing or Does Writing Imitate Life?

 Does Life Imitate Writing or Does Writing Imitate Life?

Welcome to another journey with me as I navigate through writing and life. I always pop in (like an annoying relative) during this time of each month to share my insights, magical moments, and disasters.

Today, let's talk disasters...

We’ve seen the jokes about not ticking off an author because you’d end up in their novel…I will admit to doing it. In my first book, the evil ex-husband was based in part on my real evil ex-husband. Of course, I took some license with the character. I didn’t use his real name. *grin*

But as a student of life, I enjoy watching people, seeing how they interact and listen to what they say. I’m the shy person who is in the corner of the party, watching everyone else. I know who said that your dress was ugly or who has the hots for the new arrival. I saw the waiter spit into your food because you called him a worthless jerk when he brought you what you ordered but didn’t like. All of these encounters are food for my writing. 

Some make it into a story, while others are simply reminders on how to behave in public. Or maybe a gentle warning to someone else. As I always share whenever I see a child run, “Be careful. Head injuries bleed a lot.” Which is entirely true because I’ve seen it and frankly tried to stop one child’s head wound.

But I digress….

I recently finished my novella- One Night in Laguna and it was already uploaded and waiting to go live when one scene in the story came true for me.

Here’s the scene:
The breeze blew off the ocean. She looked out toward the waves, too caught up in her worry for Rose to enjoy the smells and sounds, now. Then, she remembered Jim, the minister, they’d met earlier. Hadn’t he mentioned Master Draikoh San arranging the wedding? Could Master Draikoh San help find Rose? Maybe Jim could get in touch with him. Lord knows she didn’t have his number. After all, Master Draikoh San has been known to work miracles. And at this point, Mel was losing hope. 

She prayed, running down the steps of the Mondrian’s pool area to the beach below. Darkness greeted her. Mel took three steps then her heels sank, and she crashed to the ground, spilling her purse contents along the sand. A tube of lipstick rolled under the steps. “Damn it. Stupid girl. Why didn’t I take the shoes off?” She stretched and reached to grab everything then stuffed it back into her purse. Yet the one tube had been swallowed up by the darkness. “Crap. That was my favorite shade. But I’m not sticking my hand under there. I’m sure some lovely she-crab will look great in that color.” She raised her gaze toward the sky as if to demand God return it.

“Excuse me. Daddy says you aren’t supposed to swear,” a high-pitched voice called out.

And here’s what happened to me…

My husband was working. Alone in the house, I wanted to get to the grocery to pick up a few things to surprise him with for dinner when he came home. After putting the dogs in their cages, I sat down and zippered up my anklet cowboy boots. I grabbed my purse, the grocery list and locked the door. As I ran for the yard, my foot stepped on a loose slab stone sending me off balance. My ankle twisted and I tried to catch myself. I put my next foot down and it wobbled. Next thing, I’m on my hands and knees in the yard, straddling the walkway. My left hand is in a pile of dog poop. 

Luckily, no swear words and only a few bruises on my knees. And good news, I did find the mess before it ended up on the carpet. Now did I write the story and it set about the events in my life? Probably not but life does have a way of coming around. I’m sure I’ve seen people fall and laughed. The old banana peel slip and fall was a common gag on old black and white movies. Maybe you’ll have to watch and see if this event shows up in one of my future books. *grin*

Here’s another look at One Night in Laguna…

Schoolteacher, Melanie Whitman’s dating life is in shambles when her boyfriend and former boss dumps her. Her best friend arranges for Master Draikoh San, matchmaker extraordinaire, to provide her with a night to remember.
Breakout star of the third season of the reality TV show Laguna Nights Cole Hayes was burned by the limelight and started a family. After a messy divorce and looking to move back into the dating scene, he agrees to a one-night stand.
Can Cole and Melanie create a relationship that will last a lifetime, or will their one-night stand crash in the waves of Laguna Beach?


    “Do you recall who changed my life?” A large grin played across Lauren’s face. It was the look she gave when she knew something and couldn’t wait to tell. Mel had seen it a million times, but it’d never made her stomach jump.
     “Yeah….” Melanie nodded. “Your husband.” She pointed to Mac. “He gave you the happily ever after.”
    “Nope.” Lauren’s smirk encompassed her whole face. “Master Draikoh San.”
    Melanie stood abruptly, knocking the chair to the floor. Her mouth opened and closed like a fish searching for her meal. “What did you do?” Scrunching up her brow, she advanced on Lauren, who began to inch backwards.
     “I…we….” Lauren stumbled with her words. “You’ve been so upset.” She kept backing away. But Melanie advanced like a bull toward a flapping red cape.
    “Lauren…tell me you didn’t.” She stopped and put her hand over her stomach then over her mouth. “I think I’m going to be sick. You’re going to tell me that he couldn’t find a date for me. No man would agree to date me. I’d be the one woman who’d ruin his perfect record. No Date For You.” The last part she mimicked the voice of the Soup Nazi from her favorite sitcom.
     Lauren grabbed hold of Melanie’s arms. “Mel, snap out of it. We’re not going to lie to you…. You do have a match, and you leave in three days for California.”
   Cherri screamed and grabbed Melanie out of Lauren’s arms. “Sunshine, beaches, bikinis. We have to do some shopping, girl! And maybe a little styling and waxing, if there’s time.” She twirled her around. “After school. My store. Be there.” With her declaration, Cherri released Melanie and headed toward the door. “See you later.” She studied Melanie from toe to head. “I’ll even give you the employee discount!”

Buy Link: Amazon  Only $1.99! Grab your copy and fall in love all over again!

Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to seeing you again next month! Be sure to leave a comment for a chance at a free ebook copy of One Night in Laguna.

What real life events would you put into a story? Would you use a book to kill off someone you didn’t like?


Cara Marsi said...

Melissa, I love your post. Love the cartoons. Good question about life imitating art or the other way around. I think it's a little of both. I've use the names of my ex-husband and ex-boyfriends as the villains. Also, the names of the mean girls who made my life hell in high school. Your story sounds great!

Melissa Keir said...

Thank you Cara. I think we all do that to some extent. Names have meaning and finding a name that means something to us...we can use those feelings in our writing. Thank you for stopping by!!

Rose Anderson said...

Cute post!

Melissa Keir said...

Thank you Rose. It was a humbling experience and not a bigger accident.

Tina Donahue said...

I love the graphic about the person not being interesting enough to be in your story. LOL. Made me smile.

Melissa Keir said...

Thank you Tina. It's a reverse dig. :)

R. Ann Siracusa said...

Nice post. Makes one think. I tend to save up "funny incidents" (often funny mishaps) and use them in books when the right moment comes along ... sometimes they kick around for years before that right moment comes along.

Paris said...

When I first started writing I think I drew on past experiences to shape my villains but at some point decided they weren't worth the effort, lol! Your graphic of the person you didn't think was interesting enough to be in your story said it all :) Great post!

Cheryl Phipps said...

Love this post. Small truths often make great stories.

Cheryl Phipps said...

Love this post. Small truths often make great stories.

Melissa Keir said...

Thank you Cheryl, Paris and R.Ann. It's funny how real life events can make a story that much more interesting.

Renee Vincent said...

Great post Melissa! I didn't know you were writing in Kaira Rouda's Kindle world! How cool is that! Kaira is so sweet! And congratulations on your new release! By the way love that cover!

Melissa Keir said...

Thank you Renee! Kaira is amazing!

vicki batman said...

Lovely, Melissa! But then you are always lovely!!! And LOVE the cover too. You are amazing.

jean hart stewart said...

Fascinating post.....thanks...

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