Posts Tagged ‘Ephron’

No, I’m not dead, just a mom

October 10th, 2013

No, I’m not dead. You didn’t miss my obit in the paper or anything. I’m just a frazzled mom of three who tries to cram in some fiction writing here and there. Blog writing kind of falls by the wayside, even though I do enjoy it. I swear I do! Probably about as much as I’ll enjoy penning my own obit one of these days! Because my life will have killed me…

But good news! All of my hectic, squirrel-like industriousness has resulted in a stockpile of words–the sequel to The Outer Banks House is now revised and complete and in the hands of my agent!

Ah, happy endings. Don’t you love them? Like in those Ephron movies with people like Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. You actually cry at the end, you’re so relieved and giddy and full of goodwill and optimism. Then you go about your life and you’re like, “Why isn’t my life so lovely and rosy and so darned easy? Where is the jazzy piano music and gorgeous autumn leaves and perfect springtime flowers? Why are people mean to me?” Because despite your best intentions, your whistling while you work, your spring in your step, your perma-smile on your face, life will smack you down anyway and crush its cigarette on your bruised head with its spurred cowboy boot-heel. Happy endings? Only sometimes, if we’re really really lucky and we are sentient enough to realize that something happy has actually happened to us.

Which brings me to the sequel, tentatively called Return to the Outer Banks House. (Clever, right?!) It was gently suggested to me by my agent and a colleague of his that I sort of change my happy ending into a sort of hmmm, shall I say this? An unhappy one. I don’t want to spoil things for you, and let me just say that I balked at the idea at first. Poor Ben and Abby! They have suffered enough! I worked up some tears for them. Happy endings are so…happy.

But just consider this brilliant hypothesis for a moment: think of the times where you’ve read a book that didn’t end quite as nicely as you’d wanted, but even so you put it gently back down on your bedside table and sat back on your pillows and wept for the god-awful truth of it, the way it broke your heart with its damnable accuracy, the way it nailed both the beauty and mess of life in only 250 pages or so. Think of those books, and think of how fondly you remember them, like loved ones that have died or have moved far away, but who still  live on the edges of your consciousness and whisper to you, remind you of the marvel that is life, that you are not all by yourself after all.

Now that I’ve made you cry, do you really need a happy ending? Or do you just need a truthful one? I’m not saying that Return to the Outer Banks House is one of those books–the kind of books that made me want to start writing in the first place–but I am saying that you will want to read it. With a box of tissues. Alone.