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Traci Keel

Women’s literature isn’t for everyone.  I get that.  I used to be a hater myself; the women were too perfect, their lives too contrite, their daily schedules filled with the monotony of children, laundry, and marital strife- all of it seemed trivial.

Then I became one of those women.  I forgot the dreams of my youth and jumped the white picket fence and ran straight for the door of my perfect suburban house on the perfect cul-de-sac with my two perfect children, my husband, and our two pure-bred dogs.  Nine years later my husband promptly dumped me.  It was then that I had to give up Bunco, book clubs that were heavy on wine and gossip and short on books, mid-morning workouts, and my perfectly organized kitchen.

I found myself square in the center of a suburban cliche…

It was a Friday night in the middle of June.  The children had gone for their first week-long visit with their dad, and I was going to be home alone for seven days with only the dog for company.  I drove to the book store and headed toward the self-help aisle to find a book on how to make it to the finish-line.  You know what I’m talking about, the place where you are all grown-up, wise, mature, and self-actualized.

Instead I saw a bright aqua book with a stiletto on the cover- Fourplay by Jane Moore.  It was my first venture into chick lit.  The protagonist was 33 years old and dumped just like me.  She had two children and a cliched middle-age husband just like me.  She found herself single and destroyed in the middle of an ordinary day, and then after much strife and toil she wasn’t.  She found her way to joy.

That was the night Kate was born.  I read that book until I fell asleep.  I slept the sleep of the dead, woke up, and started writing.  That was ten years ago. Kate was me, but she’s evolved since then.  She used to be pitiful and much too autobiographical, but now she’s her own woman.  Her circumstances are different, her family is different, her friends are different, but she has been my constant companion as I’ve made my way through divorce, single-parenting, remarriage, blending families, and now, middle age.  She is my imaginary best-friend.

Luckily for Kate, she hasn’t aged quite as fast as I.  You’ll be introduced to her while she’s a college student.  Kate has taught me that there isn’t a self-help book that gets you to the finish line because the finish line doesn’t exist.  We just keep living and learning and evolving into women we never dreamed we’d become.

You’ll also meet Abbie, the best friend you’ve always wanted.  Abbie is a conglomeration of a few dear people in my life and one person I only know via social media.  Much of what she says is what we find ourselves thinking but not having the courage to say.  That’s what makes her fun.  Witty and fearless- she’s my most refreshing part of the day, and she allows me to be snarky and blunt.

These days Kate and Abbie are doing their thing and I’m doing mine.  As I write about their present mid-life adventures in my new novel, you can read about their past here.  Just click on the Stories tab and start reading.  You can also like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and/or subscribe to get their stories in your inbox.  Your address will never be shared.

As for me and my story, it has a happily-ever-after ending.  I live in Franklin, Tennessee, with my husband, our three children, and two Labradors.  Mack, the youngest Lab, is my constant companion these days. He’s run over 500 miles with me as we’ve hashed out who Kate will finally become.  I write and garden in the summer, teach English in the school year, and I cheer for the people in my life year-round.

Kate and I have waited a long time to introduce ourselves to you, but it’s time.

So, welcome.  Grab some iced-tea, a chair, and your dog and spend some time with us!

  • Sarah Beth Hudson - Omg I love your blog. I heard Virginia talking about it and just had to check it out. You are so pretty and awesome at blogging.ReplyCancel

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