By Robin "Red Hot" Kaye
With three teenagers, I’ve seen more changes in the last few years than I could ever imagine. With each change I see my kids go through, I watch as they lose their equilibrium or center of gravity, and struggle to find it again. Like a puppy with too big feet, they trip all over themselves for a while. It’s not comfortable. It’s sometimes scary. And there’s no going back to their old equilibrium—it doesn’t fit any more.
My son has been working toward his Eagle in the Boy Scouts. It’s something that has to be done by his 18th birthday. He’s been racing against a clock and he lost. There’s no possible way he’s going to able to get project approval and get the project done before his birthday in late July. It’s his own fault in a lot of ways; he should have taken the steps to get the badges needed much earlier than he did—but a young boy with ADD doesn’t get that what he does when he’s 12 will effect what happens when he’s 17. Still, for the last few years he’s worked hard, completely focused, did all the right things, and still he failed.
My boy took the largest disappointment in his young life like the man I always prayed he would become. He made me so proud. He didn’t rage at the leaders, he didn’t stomp off, he didn’t blame anyone. He just thanked them for all the help they’d given him and came home to break the news to me and my husband. My son showed me that you don’t have to be an Eagle to soar like one.
Now I’m watching him gain his new equilibrium, turning his energy in a new direction, looking at his next goal, determined not to make the same mistake again but struggling to balance.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the book I’m working on and I realized my hero and heroine are going through the same thing… Okay, not the same thing—I doubt Fisher Kincaid was ever a boy scout, but both my hero and heroine’s lives just went through a huge change, and their both finding their balance.
Jessie, a sports reporter for the NY Times, got laid off. She has no hope of being able to find another job doing what she loves since news papers are becoming more scarce than the incandescent light bulb. She sublets her apartment (she can no longer afford) and takes a friend up on his offer to crash at his second home in Boise, and finally write that book she’s always talked about.
Fisher is a twin. He and his twin, Hunter, are closer than close. When they were kids and one got hurt, they both felt it and the only way they could tell which of them was hurt was to check to see which was bleeding. They’ve always known what the other was thinking and feeling, they were best friends, constant companions, and confidants—even as adults. Since Hunter married, Fisher’s feeling completely off balance and he’s not sure why. He’s happy for Hunter’s, thinks the world of Hunter’s wife, and other than sometimes feeling like the third wheel, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with his life that he can see. Well, except for being in an unexplained funk.
Looking back at my books, I find that most of my characters are always just finding their feet, or trying to, when they meet their perfect match. Something has to be off to make them vulnerable to cupids arrow because for some reason, my heroes and heroines have issues with the whole love thing. They figure out together how to prop each other up, only to fall apart during the big black moment. Then they always have to gain their equilibrium on their own before they can come back together.
I have a feeling their not going to handle these changes with as much grace as my son did, however. Still, I predict they’ll be soaring too, eventually.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
By Robin "Red Hot" Kaye