Guest blog by Casey Dawes, author of California Sunset
I have to admit I have it pretty good. I live on five acres of shared space next to the Clark Fork River in Montana. While I work from home, I get to watch herons, deer, eagles and other wild critters. But when the shopping bug strikes, it’s under ten miles to the nearest store. (It’s also only a few minutes to the gym, but rarely does the gym bug strike!)
But it wasn’t always that way. I’ve had my ups and downs and I’ve not always been happy. The fact that my step-kids gave me a book called 14,000 Things to be Happy About should give you a clue. The problem wasn’t me, of course. If everyone else could get their act together then I could be happy don’t you see?
I had some hard lessons to learn. So does my heroine, Annie.
She’s not crazy about her job in the tech world, but she does it well. Ever since she left her alcoholic ex-husband she’s been the main support of her teenage son, David. He’s doing fine, thank you very much—a straight-A student and a soccer star. While there’s no man on the horizon, Annie figures that can all wait until she gets David into Berkeley.
Everything’s in control, just the way she likes it.
Well, you know it’s not going to stay that way.
You know what’s happened to the tech industry in the last ten years, don’t you? Layoffs, failures, and consolidations. Annie can keep her job. But only if she moves from California to New Jersey.
When I was a single mother of two teenage boys, the last thing I wanted to do was move them across the country. We all need our friends, don’t we? Especially when you have teenage children. Keeping sane is a complete challenge!
On the other hand, Silicon Valley wasn’t exactly overflowing with jobs. Annie figures maybe a few years on the right coast would position her for a promotion and give her the money she needs for college. The dilemma of a single mother. There’s never a good choice!
Fortunately, the kids were on their own when I got bounced from the tech industry. But it was still a hit and my husband and I wound up losing our home. It was one of many times I really had to look at what I wanted and what I was willing to do to get it. Annie needs to do the same.
I won my first short story contest when I was ten. I’ve written on and off all my life—a lot of techy boring stuff—but also children’s articles, a half-finished sci-fi novel and some women’s fiction short stories. Annie’s path was different. She was becoming a well known singer-songwriter when David arrived and her husband fell apart.
So here we are together, both trying to live our dream. Fortunately for me, Prince Charming has already shown up. We were married in 2003.
Annie’s dream man may be just around the corner. But is he in New Jersey or California?
For more info, excerpts, and a book group guide, check out Casey's website at www.stories-about-love.com.
GIVEAWAY: Let me know your dream job in the comments below. One lucky person will get a copy of California Sunset AND a copy of a book from one of my critique partners! Make sure to leave your email address.