The Decades of Our Lives… by Nancy Brophy
Posted by SeeJanePublish
I’ve lived my life in units of time. Childhood I remember as idyllic because my parents shielded me from reality and in truth I was oblivious. Even when we learned to huddle under our wooden desks in case of an atomic attack and my parents installed a bomb shelter ten feet from our back yard jungle gym, it never occurred to me that anything bad could happen.
The sixties were my awakening. While world events such as the Summer of Love passed by a small, isolated town in North Texas, I eventually broke out of the cocoon and went to college to join the protests. I look back on that time and know that people who are currently my age must have thought America and the proverbial hand basket were making their final descent into hell. There are many days I feel that way now. And while this is another period of change, it is nothing like the 1960s.
I spent my twenties trying to figure out who I was. What did I really believe? I tried to separate conventional wisdom from my upbringing to discover what made me tick. From Texas I moved to Indiana and back to Texas, married and divorced. Careers were discarded like wardrobe changes on a fat day. Happiness eluded me.
With the advent of my thirties, my life improved, but I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I dated, tried more job opportunities. I left Texas for Denver for a closer view of the mountains, but less money. My happiness increased as my confidence grew.
The forties were my decade. I shined. I went back to school and settled into a career. My current husband appeared as part of the move-to-Oregon package. Like the old joke goes – after the first dog left home, I built a stronger fence and put out better food. Two decades later than most, I found out who I was and sculptured my life to look somewhat like what I had envisioned.
Most of my fellow romance authors have lived through similar stages. They’ve married and divorced. Some have remarried. They’ve changed careers, gone back to school, had kids and lived one day at a time. But I think they write romance because somewhere along the line, they found a joy that they could communicate which had gotten them through the bad times.
Someone asked me why I wrote commercial fiction rather than literary fiction. My answer was simple. I live literary fiction. Like you – I need to escape into a good book. Give me a pretty man, a strong woman and an uphill climb with hot sex and I’m prepared to stay up all night to get to a happy ending. How about you? Why do you read/write/escape?