Today on Fearless Friday, Alice Orr gives us the account of her fearless decision. And we're glad she followed through. Tell us about it, Alice...
Have You Lost Your Mind?
Marissa asked that question at her usual indiscreet volume. I responded by wishing I could tell her to pipe down, but that would only encourage her to attract more attention. Marissa loved attention. We’d settled into the palm-shaped bar seats that are the trademark of a popular bistro on Manhattan’s posh Upper Eastside.
I usually felt decadent in those seats, as if I were allowing my backside to be publicly caressed in a giant, black leather embrace. Right then, I only felt uneasy. It takes talent to create a lull in the conversational rumble of a place like this in a city like New York at cocktail hour, and Marissa's comment on my mental health had done just that, at least among our closest neighbors.
She’d played minor characters in a couple of minimally successful off-Broadway productions, and she really knew how to project. I could tell she was truly enjoying this particular theatrical moment as she lifted her Kir Royale from the gleaming black marble bar in a perfectly staged motion.
My Pomegranate Cosmo remained untouched on its dark red cardboard coaster. Marissa had already twice pronounced Cosmopolitans out of fashion, first for the amusement of the bartender and a second time to emphasize she was all about fashion, as if I could possibly have forgotten. What prompted her to question my sanity was the opposite of fashionable in her opinion.
"Let me make sure I heard you correctly," she went on.
Marissa swiveled her palm seat at an oblique angle so she could appear to be talking to me while actually scanning the room for better companion material. Her legs were crossed, which hiked her narrow skirt far enough above her knee to show her health club tightened calves and expensive spike-heeled pumps to best advantage.
"You intend to close down a successful business and move to the dark side of the moon?"
"There's more to it than that," I said.
"Oh, yes. How could I omit the punch line? You are off to Nowhereville to become a babysitter. I can hardly imagine a more brilliant career move."
A flash of anger warmed my face, and in that instant I understood why I was sharing one of the most cataclysmic choices of my life with someone I could barely tolerate. I’d set up this scene for Marissa the actress to follow my cues, and she didn’t disappoint. I could have bet a bundle she’d say something smug and infuriating, then make an equally safe side wager on my reaction.
I’d clamp on my best suit of ego armor and mount an impregnable verbal defense. All of which Marissa would fail to notice, but that mattered little to me because she wasn’t my real target audience. The armor and defensive attitude were strictly for my own benefit in my battle to convince myself Marissa was wrong, that I had not in fact lost my mind.
Until that afternoon, Marissa and everybody in my life had known me in the same context I knew myself, as a literary agent with my own firm. I’d worked hard for that identity. Yet, I was casting it aside, along with the city on Manhattan Island I loved in the marrow of my bones, and trekking to a very different island in Puget Sound to help raise our two-year-old granddaughter.
No wonder Marissa tossed me an insincere smile and sauntered off toward better conversational pickings. I downed my unfashionable Cosmo in a long, single gulp. Everything she’d said was true, except for what she left out. I was a grandma now, and that identity ran deeper than my bones. It had taken over my heart and soul. And, yes, maybe it had caused me to lose my mind.
Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com
A Villain for Vanessa and all of Alice’s books are available at http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Orr/e/B000APC22E/ and other online retailers.
A Villain for Vanessa by Alice Orr
A story of tangled roots and tormented love.
Two families are shaken to their roots. Vanessa Westerlo must find her roots. Bobby Rizzo is torn between Vanessa and his true roots. They are all tormented by love – past and too present. Meanwhile a man has been murdered. And that is the most tormented tangle of all.
A Villain for Vanessa is Book 4 of the Riverton Road Romantic Suspense series set in remote Riverton, New York. This story features the Kalli family and the fortunate people who find safety and welcome at the Kalli homestead on Riverton Road. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series and A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2. A Vacancy at the Inn is Book 3 and introduces the Miller family of Riverton Road Hill.
"Alice Orr is a brilliant writer who has a number one best seller in her pocket," says one Amazon reviewer. Alice loves to write. Especially romantic suspense novels and blog posts. She’s been a workshop leader, book editor and literary agent. Now she lives her dream of writing full-time. So far she’s published fifteen novels, three novellas and a memoir – either traditionally or independently. Alice wrote her nonfiction book, No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells, as a gift to the writers' community. A revised edition is now in progress. Amazon says, "This book has it all." And calls her novels, "Delicious well written suspense spiced with a love story." Most of all, Alice is thrilled to hear from readers. Visit her at her website http://www.aliceorrbooks.com. Alice has two grown children and two perfect grandchildren and lives with her husband Jonathan in New York City.
Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com http://www.facebook.com/aliceorrwriter http://www.twitter.com/AliceOrrBooks