Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Simple Life? Bring it on!

Please join me in welcoming the very talented Nancy Lee Badger today.  I'll not "hog the floor" a moment longer because I know you're going to love her post just as much as I did when I first read it. Take it away, Nancy!

The Simple Life?   Bring it on!

The simple life. It is a lifestyle I have wanted ever since graduating college. No more class schedules, no more homework assignments, no more missing fun adventures because of a lack of money. Little did I know what hardships lay ahead.

I married Richard, a man I met in college, and we honeymooned on Prince Edward Island. Getting there was a struggle. We left our reception in Plymouth, New Hampshire and headed toward Bangor, Maine. Part way there, a horrific rainstorm made us pull into a restaurant parking lot. We could not see enough to drive safely through sheets of rain, in the growing darkness. The restaurant was empty and the server was talkative. When she found out were just married, the entire staff appeared. We enjoyed fine food, congratulations, and a cherry farewell once the storm eased.

We had not planned to stop there. I am glad we enjoyed the simple, but heartfelt Maine welcome in that small restaurant. A simple sidetrack on a momentous day meant more than the uneasy, sleepless wedding night spent in a hotel filled with conventioneers and cops. (That is another story)

I think about that day often, though my husband of thirty-four years might not believe me. It was a simple day, spent with family and close friends, and I could not wait to start our life together. Simply planning our future as man and wife took on a completely new light. We were legally joined, worked at low-paying jobs, lived in a tiny apartment, but we followed our hearts’ desires.

After buying a house, raising two fantastic sons, and moving to the warmer climate of North Carolina, I have found my dream job: writing full-time. I am older, wiser, no richer—money-wise—yet I look forward everyday to the simple life. I write, edit, pet my cat, and plan vacations my husband and I can enjoy while I gather ideas for another book. With my camera and notebook packed alongside medications, eyeglasses, and dry shoes, we venture here and there.

One such annual trip is to the New Hampshire Highland Games held each September in Lincoln, NH. We volunteer under the Information tent, sell raffle tickets to raise scholarship funds, and greet thousands of visitors. But, I find time to take photos, interview visitors and other volunteers, and make notes. When I walk in the midst of men and women in full Scottish dress, I snap photos. I always take a break to visit the sheepherding trials, the military encampment, and the historic village. As I watch the re-enactors and photograph their paraphernalia, my mind is busy churning out ideas. DRAGON’S CURSE came about by watching these people. It is a historical paranormal set on a Scottish island. DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN, my romantic suspense, takes place in the mountains of New Hampshire. Autumn leaves begin to show themselves while we are at the games, and I used the surrounding White Mountains as backdrop for that story.
Simple pleasures and new sights give authors ideas. Why not keep a notebook handy? Carry your camera and watch for things that you might want to recall when fleshing out that next plot. Yes, the internet and library are great tools when you need to gather research for a story, but real life experience can’t be beat, even if it’s only a walk in a park or a hike through the mountains.

The simple life? Bring it on!


Nancy grew up on New York’s Long Island, then attended college in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. She volunteered as an EMT/firefighter on their small fire department then worked for the State of New Hampshire as a 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatcher. Retired from public service, Nancy now writes full time, lives in North Carolina, and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and Sisters-in-Crime. She also writes as Nancy Lennea.

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