At Last…

Oh, the classic song “At Last” sung by Etta James is one I could be singing tonight…

I found a dream that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to rest my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known

No, I would not be singing, as Etta did, about a lover, but about a dream. Tomorrow, June 4, 2012 Love’s Destiny will be published, and  I have waited so long for this.

The moment that this dream was conceived is etched in my mind. A November night, perhaps Thanksgiving since we were visiting family back in New York for the holiday.  I had been up with my infant daughter Kate, and after nursing her and placing her back in the crib, I sat on one end of the sofa in my mother-in-law’s living room.  The house was wrapped in the stillness of sleep, and I picked up a yellow legal pad and began to write in the careful script instilled in me by the Sisters of St. Joseph. I still have that legal pad, filled with the first chapter, and my first sentence was: “The late afternoon sun spilled golden rays through the leaded windows and cut into the darkening room.” My first sentence went through many changes over the years until I crafted it into a nightmare of alliteration and symbolism. When someone asked me what my first sentence was and I couldn’t rattle it off, I knew it was time for a change. So what’s the first sentence now? Actually, I’ll give you the first two:

Wentworth waged a battle between grief and anger.  Today grief was winning.”
Hopefully, it’s a hook.

Instead of “At Last” maybe my song should be “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates dedicated, of course, to my editor Jennifer Lawler.

What I’ve got’s full stock of thoughts
and dreams that scatter
You pull them all together
And how, I can’t explain
But You make my dreams come true

I probably have at least a dozen revision copies of my manuscript, but when I got that magic email from Jennifer, it was the culmination of all my thoughts and dreams pulled together. Her guidance through the editing process was affirming, efficient and painless. Thank you, Jennifer!

Or maybe my song should be “Top of the World” by the Carpenters.

Somethin’ in the wind has learned my name
And it’s tellin’ me that things are not the same
In the leaves on the trees and the touch of the breeze
There’s a pleasin’ sense of happiness for me

I feel like I’m on top of the world tonight looking forward to tomorrow when At Last You Make My Dreams Come True.  But all of these are love songs, so I need to dedicate them all to my Sweet Baboo, Rich, who has supported me through the craziness of the last few months. After all, I write romance novels about lovers who search for, fight for and live for each other.  I’m living the dream with you, my beloved.

I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation
And the only explanation I can find
Is the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around
Your love’s put me at the top of the world

And my novel is the icing on the cake.

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