by Vivienne Lorret
This month at Romancing the Genres, we are talking about the decisions or events that have altered the course of our lives. There is one, in particular, that changed mine for the better.
For far too many years, I wasn’t an active participant in my own life. Most days, I was on autopilot, overwhelmed from trying to meet the expectations of my employer, my family, and the ideals I’d set for myself. I simply got out of bed and completed a seemingly pre-determined list of tasks.
Too often, I found myself saying, “I wish I would have…” but felt as if I had no control over those decisions. Until, one day, when I heard the advice that I was offering a friend. I was so busy telling her how she deserved happiness and to work toward her dreams, that I didn’t bother to listen.
It seems strange to say this, but I suddenly realized that I was a person who deserved happiness, too. Aren’t we all? Yet, for so long, my main focus was to ensure the ease and contentment of those around me. At home, I would stay up late, squandering my sleep to catch a little “me time,” instead of demanding it when it was most convenient—and necessary—for me. At work, I bore the brunt of a cruel co-worker’s comments, while trying to remain professional. I didn’t even take any vacation time, partly to avoid confrontation, and partly because I’d been denied before (so why bother?). In fact, I was so busy filling everyone else’s glass of felicity that I ignored my own and didn’t notice that it had nearly evaporated.
But then, I’d had that epiphany. Why wasn’t I pursuing my own dreams? Why wasn’t I treating myself with the same compassion that I had for my friends and family? This was my life, after all. Wasn’t it?
I made a decision that changed my life. I left my job and took a family vacation (the first one in years).
On the drive home from Virginia Beach, a story started turning around in my head (many ideas come to me this way). A character named Ethan Weatherstone spoke to me. He was exasperated and certain that his long-time neighbor and friend, Penelope, lacked any sense. Ethan told her flat-out that her latest scheme of leaving of London on a mail coach would only lead to her ruin. Although, begrudgingly, he confessed to himself a fondness for her freckles, and from there, the story blossomed.
When I returned home, I saw that Avon Impulse had sent out a “call for submissions” for a Christmas story. I’d always dreamed of writing for Avon. My keeper shelf was (and still is) stacked with books from amazing authors who’d made the cut. The only problem was, the deadline for the story was in less than two weeks.
Fueled by a newly awakened inner-drive, I took a chance.
I wrote “Tempting Mr. Weatherstone” in eight days, holding my breath the whole time, and clicked SEND before I gave myself too much time to think. I haven’t looked back since.
Courage is one of life's biggest blessings.
Warm wishes and happy reading,
~USA TODAY bestselling author Vivienne Lorret loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order ... but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Duke's Christmas Wish, and the Season's Original Series. Sign up for her newsletter at www.vivlorret.net