Life in a Nutshell – Author’s take

I write romantic comedy, but  comedy is often dredged from some of the least humorous of life’s events.   In my book, Life in a Nutshell, you meet Riley Jones, a newly divorced, mid thirty-ish woman, who is trying to pull her life back together.

Beneath the sting of the shower she heard traffic grumbling by, coming to a slow rest at the stop sign on the corner, then gearing up and crawling away. If only it were as easy to wash away the memories…

Riley pressed her forehead to the shower wall, resting, just as traffic had, her thoughts slowing to a dull grind. Pulsating water melted the stress from her neck, back and shoulders, spiraling it silently down the drain. She let herself slide down the wall to form a puddle on the shower floor, melting a little herself, it seemed.

If the entire book had been written in the above context, it would have been a depressing story.  That’s too much pressure to put on any reader.

She woke to the sight of her panties flying round and round, waving like a banner at the end of a ceiling fan blade, and she knew, she just knew, it was going to be a really strange day.

When you add a little levity, as I did in the paragraph above, it allows the reader to come up for air, to shed some of the weightiness of a situation.

A good romantic comedy will put the pressure on, take it off, and put it on again.  Reading should be like a roller coaster ride, fast paced,  with a series of high and lows to move the story forward.

What are some of the qualities you think a good book should  have?  Feel free to comment, I’m open to discussion.

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Outrun the night

I wrap myself in a tshirt worn by him, his fragrance tickling my senses as I curl up on the bed.  This shirt that’s cut for man’s’ body is too large for me and the fabric folds itself between my legs, caressing my thighs like a warm hand. I roll over, reaching an arm across the sheets, feeling cold where the warmth of his body should be.

Nights are the hardest. Sometimes I wonder if he’s ever coming home though I know he is. It’s just that he’s been gone so very, very long.  I scrunch a pillow up under my head and lay staring at the ceiling, wishing the night away.

I can hear the wind rattling the outside of the house and  objects thud against the exterior.  I rarely question living this far from town but then the solidarity creeps up and the emptiness I feel inside makes me restless.  I try to outrun the night but I can’t hide from it’s inky chill.

I toss and turn watching shadows dance across the wall, a beam of light reflected from somewhere outside.  The t.v. screen flashes a DishTV message at me.  I turn my face away, ignoring it.

I press his shirt against my nose, close my eyes and breathe deeply.  It’s the nearest thing I have to his touch and I revel in it…for the moment. I can almost hear the soft thudding of his heart, his slow, steady breathing, feel the heat from his flesh.  I swim in a sea of warm memories.

Jeannie Palmer 2012

This thing called Life

One of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else´s life.”

Apparently Mr. Jobs has never had to contend with the people that exist inside of my head.  By virtue of my writing I AM living someone else’s life.  A life that couldn’t have been given birth to without first gestating inside my brain.  In my mental womb a small seed takes root, suckles upon gray matter and grows into it’s own existence.

As I spend hours and days hammering away on my keyboard I live another life, I see life through a different lens and I experience my existence via an altered reality.