WHAT IS ON PAGE 25?
This week I am a participant in the Chick Lit Author Blog Hop. You can win 25 free books and a Kindle if you solve the puzzle and find the secret word in each of the participating bloggers’ post of their Page 25. The sentence you find from the words makes sense if you found all secret words in the 25 blogs. The complete list on Julie Valerie’s website will go on line at midnight on Sunday, May 20, to give all participants a fair chance. (I am not able to keep my eyes open that late, so I have published my contribution here today).
Read more about it on Julie Valerie’s blog, follow the link: http://wp.me/p318Hj-lD
Today’s blog post talks about page 25 of my novel-in-stories On Thin Ice. It is also the subject of each participant in the Chick Lit Blog Hop’s novels, so the readers will have an opportunity to explore a number of books in the same genre by simply clicking on the various links provided in this blog post.
Page 25 is an excerpt of the short story Finding Ecstasy, and takes place near the end of the relationship. The story is a coming-of-age story in which the protagonist, Adrienne, explored her sexuality and experienced ecstasy for the first time in her life at age 23 with handsome and sexy Ethan during the early seventies in Amsterdam. As might be expected, Ethan’s beauty also attracted attention from other women; he could not resist. After the inevitable, heart ripping break-up with Adrienne, Ethan called Adrienne a year later asking to meet. You need to read the whole story to really get a feel for how Adrienne’s love object had changed since they first met. I hope that the page 25 excerpt leaves you wanting to read the rest of the book, a novel in stories that reads like the memoir of a baby boomer from the late sixties into the present. It touches on everything you wondered about that generation and how they grew from protesters and the make-love-no-war generation with society changing powers (acceptance of birth control, of divorce, of other than one-male-one-female families, of recreational drug use) to your grandparents of today.
They set a date and time on the weekend to meet.
She wondered what this was about. Adrienne hoped deep in her heart that he wanted to come back to her and repair the relationship, but she knew this was not likely. She had been heartbroken, but was pretty much over him now. A memory of past joy remained solidly seated in her heart and stirred within her.
When Ethan arrived, he looked completely different from the young man she had known. He had grown a small, thin moustache. His hair was short and shaved closely at the sides, almost a brush cut. He was very clean cut, quite military looking. His eyes were distant; he fidgeted uncomfortably and his gaze seemed so different from what she remembered—introverted, shifty. His clothes were neat and neutral, fitting a future physician. He did not smile.
Adrienne offered the usual beverages and he chose coffee. While she made it, they engaged in small talk. Ethan was doing well, his internships completed and now he worked in his first residency. He had decided that psychiatry was not for him. His studies and residencies had been a long, difficult haul. He would first start working as a general practitioner for a few years before deciding his specialty. They did not talk about his new relationship.
The small talk ended and he tried to get to the reason for his visit after coffee was served. Adrienne didn’t quite understand the crux of his consternation, but it obviously mattered to him. Now that she saw him in person, she realized that he was not the same man with whom she had first fallen in love. (Win the grand prize! The 22nd secret word in the 25-word sentence is: “you”). Ethan had become what his father expected.
She then realized she had done Ethan’s bidding for him, helping him resist his father’s expectations so he could break away from the tight confines of home. In the meantime, she had kept Ethan from being who he apparently wanted to be, after all. Good lord! How blind had she been? She had been Ethan’s little rebellion.
“I’m sorry about having treated you so badly when we split up,” he mumbled. “I didn’t know how to end it and I didn’t want to get into more fights. I have become aware of my vulnerabilities now, after seeing a therapist for a while. I was confused and wanted to quit my studies, or at least switch. I didn’t feel I was suitable material for a doctor.” He stayed vague about what those vulnerabilities were. “I apologize for having put your things outside, and also for not being at home at the time. It was not nice of me and you did not deserve that, sorry.”
After the conversation, Adrienne and Ethan parted on friendly, and expectedly distant, terms. She pondered the purpose of Ethan’s visit. Did he come to soothe his conscience, relieved to see she had not become depressed, suicidal, or had gone off the deep end, like one of his study buddies? She realized his visit was still all about Ethan’s own struggles in life.
She had noticed that Ethan wasn’t returning any of the precious art etchings or vinyl records she had paid for with her hard-earned money, nor had he brought up the subject. It’s not important anymore. Adrienne was relieved she had survived her first broken heart and had come out the other side a better person.
She had made new friends, was almost graduated from her fine arts program and had landed a fabulous job in a drug treatment centre. She had a good income that allowed her to go on vacations and buy nice shoes. She had a great first floor apartment in a central and lively neighbourhood in Amsterdam. She was a single woman, adventurous, independent, and able to seek out partners for short-term fun, if she felt like it. She enjoyed her life. She vowed not to seek out a committed relationship for the time being.
Now what was a girl to do?
The winners of the What’s On Page 25 contest Raffle Copter will be announced on May 27 at 11:59 pm by Julie Valerie who will hit “random select” and a winner will be selected. Their first and last initial will be automatically posted on the Rafflecopter widget and the name should automatically appear on any of the blogs that showed the widget.
Alternatively, you can go to Julie Valerie’s website or come back here at http://www.babyboomerwrites.wordpress.com. The bloggers-participants will all post a notice as well on their blog, after which we authors each will send out a free book to the winner.
TAKE NOTE: The WHAT’S ON PAGE 25 give away is open to all Canadian and American contestants. Again, Julie’s blog will be life at midnight on Sunday May 20.Julie’s blog