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Thursday, June 2, 2016

FAVORITES, FAILURES & FRUSTRATIONS--GUEST AUTHOR LINDA COUSINE

Linda Cousine gives us a twofer today as she discusses the intertwined failures and frustrations that make up the story of her life with a worthwhile moral.

Linda writes what she likes to call "Wit Lit," where she takes genre fiction to a new (and bawdier) level by spoofing her way through society's obsession with youth, fame, and fortune. Learn more about Linda and her books at her website.  

Failure/Frustration

I grew up in the land of Almost, on the corner of Not Quite and Better Luck Next Time. In high school, I was a member of Student Council, but a “Senator,” or some such title, not quite smart enough for a position that carried much weight. I missed becoming head cheerleader by one vote—my own, it so happens. As an adult, I now see that if you don’t believe in your talents, neither will anyone else, which just may be the moral of this story.

My family and I lived in a big beautiful home, one that gave the illusion we had money, but the electricity got shut off from time to time for nonpayment and much-needed repairs went undone. With money tight, there was little left over for the frivolous, so fancy dresses for winter formal or prom were borrowed from the sisters of friends or purchased second hand. As a teen competing in beauty pageants, I was the Miss who missed, with an impressive string of runner-up titles. Half a dozen, I believe, the tiny trophies were lined up on my dresser like a platoon of plastic soldiers, a testament to my failure.

After high school, I had mediocre success as an L.A. model. Bragging rights seemed to be limited to the “close, but no cigar” moments, landing the cover of a fashion magazine that folded just weeks before my issue came out, or getting a part in a commercial—only to have it air and find my part cut entirely.

Marriage proved much the same, with high hopes dashed when my prince turned into a frog, and I ended an eighteen-year marriage to escape the cloud of abuse and infidelity. Raising three daughters was a breeze, until it wasn’t, and all three began to struggle with drugs and alcohol, leaving me dazed and broken.

My career as an interior designer looked promising. In a stroke of good luck, I was contacted to work on the new home of a current presidential candidate, the gig of all gigs that would finally put me on the proverbial map. I could brag to anyone who would listen (and even those who would not) that I did the home of Mr. Big. Surely, then I would know that in a life of near misses I’d finally hit the bull’s eye. But three months of hard work went unappreciated—and unpaid—when they decided to go in another direction.

The call that never came… The deal that never happened… The fairy tale ending that went up in smoke…

Life, I realize, really is about the journey, as Pinterest post sounding as that may be. It’s about taking each tentative step towards the future, whatever that future may bring, and finding out at the end of the day that “almost” and “not quite” means I gave it a shot. I learned something. Met someone. Hit or miss, I gave it my all, and I had some fun along the way.

Hot to Trot
She thought her life was finally on track …  until she found herself back at the starting line.

Life couldn’t be better for former supermodel, Lexi Taylor, when her brainchild, the Très Bu Shoe, a stiletto with two heels instead of one, becomes an overnight sensation. Her relationship with sexy ex, Richard, rocks along and now they’re closer than ever. But Lexi might just be facing a few false starts when her aging father’s Alzheimer’s grows more serious and he becomes a patient at Forget Me Not, a memory care center, where more often than not, he thinks she’s her mother and insists on turning up the heat between them.

Adding more stress to Lexi’s complicated life, Lexi and Richard become the surrogate parents to Richard’s ex-fiancé’s little girl, Lucky, a chubby four-year-old, when she unexpectedly arrives at their doorstep.

Parenthood is the last thing Lexi has time for, but soon she finds herself bonding with Richard’s pseudo-daughter, even while trying to repair the broken relationships with her own. The stress of their lives threatens to put the brakes on Lexi and Richard’s plans to remarry. Even as Lexi struggles to balance the new challenges in her life, she just might learn that the second time around the track could be better than the first.

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4 comments:

Angela Adams said...

Your character has a lot to deal with in "Hot to Trot." Thanks for the post, Linda.

Judy Penz Sheluk, author said...

I loved this post! Thanks for sharing it.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Excellent post! Love your blogging voice, Linda. :)

Linda Cousine said...

Thank you all so much for your kind words! In a life of near-misses, the best part has been the wonderful people who have touched my life along the way. I now include all of you in that list.