Please help me welcome mystery author, Lauren Carr to the blog today.
Having a Life: The Wonderful Problem
The last few days, my husband has been mentioning an acquaintance who is having a hard time right now. Barely out of his teens, this young man has just graduated from college, has no job, no friends, no girlfriend, no wife, no kids, and lives in his mother’s basement.
He has no life.
A few years ago, I attended a book signing for John Lamb, author of the Bear Collector Mysteries He is a retired police officer who collects teddy bears, and his life mirrors that of his protagonist Brad Lyon, also a retired police officer who collects teddy bears. Yes, John Lamb’s life is a cozy mystery! During our conversation I learned that Mr. Lamb is able to devote eight hours a day to his writing and churn out two of his bear mysteries a year.
Me: Between husband, son, two dogs, and at that time taking care of my elderly father-in-law who has since passed away, it was all I could do to squeeze in four hours a day for writing and get one book out a year.
“Oh, so you have a life,” John Lamb replied after hearing my tale of woe. Not that he doesn’t have a life, it was I who had one.
Back before I had a husband that couldn’t cook; son that feeds his homework to the dogs for breakfast; kitchen that can’t stay stocked; laundry that won’t stay clean; and soccer team that scored a goal yesterday for the other team-oh-my!; I would have given my left arm to not have a life and devote eight hours a day to my writing career. I’m left-handed.
Like George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, I yearned for what I didn’t have while not thanking God for the many blessings I did have.
What has happened to make me appreciate the obstacles in my life that keep me from writing eight hours a day and churning out two books a year and having that glamorous writing career I always dreamed of having? No, it didn’t happen all in one night in which an angel got his wings after showing me what life would have been like for those around me if I weren’t around to coach them in how to score goals for the other team. I guess it was the natural realization that comes with approaching middle-age.
As I was approaching my fiftieth birthday, I had a moment in which I looked around me and saw those, like the young man my husband had noted, who had not been blessed with the family and friends I had. Then, like the beginning of It’s A Wonderful Life where the audience saw significant moments in George Bailey’s life, I recalled a night a lifetime ago in mine.
It was one of those nights that many young women have.
My heart broken by who I had thought was the love of my life, with all my friends married or engaged and starting families, I spent one night praying to God for a husband and family. At that moment, my greatest fear was not that I wouldn’t have a career as an author, but that I would end up alone without people in my life who cared about me.
My greatest fear was not having a life.
Yes, God does answer prayers.
So now, as I sit here typing this as fast as my fingers can fly across the keyboard because my son is burning down the kitchen while cooking breakfast because he can’t wait one minute longer for me to come cook it; and the dogs are wrestling at my feet threatening to knock the computer out of my lap while I try to finish this because I missed my deadline because I had to do the laundry because my husband insists the whole world will know if he wears the same pair underwear two days in a row, I have to say –
It’s a Wonderful Life!
Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother used to read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. She wrote A Small Case of Murder after giving up her writing career to stay at home with her now twelve-year-old son. Her first book, A Small Case of Murder, was named finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Old Loves Die Hard is the second installment of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which take place on Deep Creek Lake. She lives on a mountaintop in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, with her husband and son.