Let the Snow Go!

I love Elsa from the movie “Frozen.”  Who doesn’t love a queen? I rooted for her as she took off from her castle-prison, throwing caution (and her gloves) to the wind as she freed herself to be who she was born to be.  I know every single word to “Let It Go” and any time it comes on the radio, I sing it loudly, proudly and very badly. I think it’s cool she created Olaf and his need for warm hugs and I’m all about girl power. Her bond with Anna, her sister, is #relationshipgoals. 

But despite all of that, I’ve had enough! I’ve truly had enough.  I looked at the forecast this morning and they are calling for snow tomorrow. Seriously, it’s April! It’s spring, people. Daylight savings time is finally here and I’ve lost an hour of sleep in anticipation of warmer weather. I am supposed to be wearing a light jacket!. And yet, we have snow and I’m still bundled. I don’t dare pack up my scarves or gloves or hats or winter coats for fear that I will be “frozen” (no pun intended) without them.  I am still wearing my Ugg boots instead of my cute canvas sneakers. 

I can’t take another day of flurries and talk of inches and ice.  I can’t take another day of the cold.  I feel like I’m living in a real-life version of Arendelle and Elsa just won’t let up.  Someone, please tell her we got the memo and she can stop now. Maybe Anna can talk some sense to her like she did in the movie because I yearn for the blazing sun and the stifling heat. I long for air-conditioners and iced coffee.  I want to see my sidewalk again and plant my flowers. I’m ready.  Please, Elsa, let the snow go! 

Erin

Unstuck

Last week, I was driving to Starbucks to get myself a delicious cafe latte (I’d travel through snow and ice for my steaming cup of caffeine) when my tire blew out. It happened just as I parked in a spot. I got out of the car and assessed the situation. I then ordered my coffee (I know where my priorities lie) and called a tow truck to come rescue me.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t change a tire or change the oil or even change the floor mats of my car. No matter how many times my parents and then my husband devoted to teaching me all things “car,” I can say with absolute confidence that I am mechanically challenged. My sister, on the other hand, is a prodigy.  Me, not so much. When God handed out those skills at birth, he forgot to give me some. Now, ask me to whip up a creme brulee and I am all over it. I make it with my eyes closed but give me a jack and a lug wrench and I wouldn’t be able to tell you what they do to save my life. I’d likely play it like the triangle, thinking it must be a type of a “new age” musical instrument.  Anyway, I digress. The point is I was stuck at Starbucks with nowhere to go. I couldn’t go back home unless I wanted to walk the miles to get back home in high heel boots (not likely). I couldn’t even leave the parking spot of the strip mall.  All I could do was sip my coffee and enjoy Starbuck’s free wifi on my cell phone while I waited for the tow. As far as places to get stuck goes, Starbucks isn’t exactly the worst place to be, but no matter I was still stuck.

And as I waited for the cavalry to arrive, I thought about all the times I felt stuck in my life. I recalled the countless times I felt rooted in place and frozen in time, paralyzed by circumstances.  We’ve all experienced those moments, the feeling of being helpless, barely able to keep our heads above water in a storm that is life. We’ve all felt the dreadful knot in the pit of our stomach where we didn’t know what to do next. 

In fact, it’s this pivotal “stuck” moment that forms the basis of all of my books. The main character is stuck in a dead-end job or in a dead-end relationship, and they reach a point of no return where they realize they either need to make a drastic change or languish.  And we can all relate to that, can’t we? A need to make a change, to get “unstuck.”  Sometimes, we have to take risks in order to see change.  The heroines in my books do exactly that and it’s why I love them. They are relatable.  They take on the challenge full-on without thought as to how scary it is. They change direction, and in changing direction, their lives are the better for it.  They find a new career, they find humor, they find love. They find their happiness. They become “unstuck.”

So two cups of lattes later and within an hour of my tire fiasco, the tow truck finally came and took my car to the nearest mechanic where my tire was changed and I was on my merry way back home. It’s then that I realized. All you need to do is take that first baby step to change course. For me, it started with a flat tire to become “unstuck.”

Erin 

 

This is Us

Dear NBC,

How do you do it? Seriously, I want to know your secret. Did you gather together a group of the smartest scientists and doctors in the world and have them research the best ways to make people dissolve into a puddle of tears?  Because I want you to know that’s exactly what you manage to do to me every single Tuesday night …. without fail… never a miss … always. 

It’s gotten to the point where it’s now become a challenge for me.  You’ve made this my mission. It’s personal. I wake up on every Tuesday morning determined not to cry. I spend the whole day steeling myself against the emotional rollercoaster I am certain you will throw out at me, convinced that I will not shed a tear. I will be strong and immune to the triggers. I won’t fall for Kevin’s charm or Randall’s kind heart or Kate’s struggles. I will not be “Jack Pearsoned.”

Of course, that all goes out the window the minute nine o’clock rolls around and by nine fifty-nine, my vision is blurred and I’ve exhausted a whole box of tissues.  And yet it remains my absolute favorite television show like it is for millions of other viewers. And no, it’s not because I am a glutton for punishment or a sadist or like the taste of my salty tears.  It’s simply a testament to the incredible storytelling and the genuine characters that make up the show. I can, with certainty, identify with the issues that each character faces and the struggles they endure. I can relate to it as a mother, sister, daughter, and friend. I can see myself saying or doing the same things as the characters on the screen. And isn’t that what good storytelling is all about? What it’s supposed to do?  It makes no difference if it’s a television show or a book. The end game is still the same.

As an author, I try to tell a story that will entertain and connect with my readers.  I think all authors try to do that. My books are quite different than the drama of “This is Us” as my genre is romantic comedies meant to do the exact opposite of crying.  In fact, if you are crying while reading my books, I hope it’s because you are doubled over in laughter.  But regardless of the differences, when it comes down to it, it’s all about taking the reader on a journey (whether that journey ends in tears or laughter).

So next Tuesday, I will not fight it anymore. I will not steel myself. Instead, I will open my heart and give in to it. I will embrace the emotions and allow my favorite television show to take me on a journey.  I’ll just make sure to have two boxes of tissue next to me when they do!

Enjoy.

Erin