Some years ago, on a Barbara Walters Special, Brad Pitt said he looked at life as the stringing together of perfect moments.
I love that concept. Because while much of life is routine and some stressful, it’s fantastic to think of it as just the necessary lull between the special times.
I absolutely have landmark moments in my personal life (e.g., getting engaged and then married, becoming a mother, receiving The Call, seeing my son hit a grand slam to win a playoff game), but recently I realized I have them in my writing, as well.
So allow me to introduce this week’s theme, where we discuss Favorite Lines in Our Books, and to talk about the perfect moment when I knew TOP TEN USES FOR AN UNWORN PROM DRESS was going to “work.”
I was newly signed with agent Nadia Cornier, and trying my best to find the right characters, the right opener, the right fit for PROM DRESS. I’d finally settled on opening that concluded with the main character throwing a pen at the hero's retreating figure.
Suddenly, I saw Rascal (the jerk who’d jilted her days before the prom) pick up the pen. My gut was she’d go all tongue-tied when he handed it to her because I knew she still had a crush on him and harbored secret fantasies of him crawling back.
Instead, they talked. After some discussion as to why she threw the pen, Rascal pounds his fist and offers to go “take care of” the hero for her. Again, I expected her to giggle and blush. Instead, she told him she didn’t want him to fight anyone for her. She added, “But I wouldn’t have a problem with you paying me back for my prom dress.”
I remember my heart thrashing. I realized that Nicolette was not so much the girl I’d been in high school, as the girl I wished I’d been. She wasn’t hindered by what people would say or think as long as her actions felt ethical and comfortable to her. I knew at that perfect moment that I had my direction, my characters, my book.
How about you? Have a perfect moment to share, either in your personal or professional lives?
What I’m Reading: The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren, Wendy Toliver
How to Hook a Hottie - Spring 2008 Children’s Book Sense Pick
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress - Finalist, 2008 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence