People often ask me where I get the ideas for my stories. My family will be the first to tell you that much of my real life plays out in my stories.
Mateo as a Belgian Shepherd? I actually owned one. One of the best damn dogs I have ever owned and I miss her every day.
Getting aggressively hit on in a bar? I used to work as a shooter girl in a bar. That experience paled in the light of a visit to an all night club in Vegas where I met a guy who made all of the cheesy come-on lines of the past look like the efforts of toddlers. This guy was handsy and his pick-up lines were so obscene that I did actually ask him, “Do those EVER really work for you?” They must have at some point because he didn’t know the meaning of the words give up. It took a very handsome man, who I later learned was a US Marine on leave, stepping in to rescue an obviously uncomfortable woman. I am no damsel in distress and normally I am more than capable of looking after myself, but this experience left them all in the dust. And I really didn’t want to test my dad’s assertions that he would bail me out of jail if I got arrested. Getting into a bar fight carries a high probability of that happening. I took the dashing Marine’s offer of help.
This weekend was my birthday. I will only admit to being twenty-seven. I am most definitely probably lying, but only my mother and my driver’s license would dare try to tell the truth. My husband, in his truly amazing way, came up with another original way to spend the day.
Gifts are nice and every girl likes sparkly things, but with my day job jewelry gets in the way and diamonds on a construction site only make you look pretentious. My husband and I have known a guy for many years, we’ve talked and been invited to his place a hundred times and always said, “That would be great!” but never getting around to doing it. This friend of ours is a down-to-earth genuine guy with a beautiful property in rural *Vancouver-ish*. The thing that makes his place truly unique is the fact that he leases it out to professional animal trainers. We’re not talking dogs and cats here. Well at least not the domestic kinds… My husband surprised me with a trip to this friend’s house where I got to pet a wolf. I stood two feet from a Polar Bear and then fed a Grizzly Bear grapes after he so adorably begged for them. The raccoons eating bits of doughnut out of my hands and chittering at me made my heart melt. It was a short couple of hours that will forever be implanted in my brain and will no doubt lead to some interesting plot lines or scenes in the future.
Life is not collecting things. Life is collecting experiences and memories. It was one day I will forever remember and I got to spend it with my best friend.