When I began writing my previous book, The Cormorant Club, my husband Joe, who I called Booj, had just been hit by a Cadillac. And Laverne, our beloved chocolate lab, was dead. (Her sister Shirley had died two years earlier from spinal cancer). As I looked at Booj’s battered body, all he kept saying was, “She saved my life”. Now, I don’t know who or what you believe in, but I think love from any living being crosses all boundaries, and everything, good, bad, or indifferent happens for a reason. And while that reason might not be immediately apparent; time has a way of making it clear.
I met Booj in 1985, when we spent three days together at a work related seminar. Eight weeks later, my toe-curling sexy guy — with the legs of the David, hands of a surgeon, and the greenest eyes you’ve ever seen — and I were married. He was the perfect foil for a volatile, fiercely independent me, and encouraged me to write down anything and everything my over active imagination thought of. So, twenty years later, when I got fired from a job for disagreeing with the boss’s management style, he said, “Write that book you’ve always talked about”. I was able to cobble together my notes into a cohesive whole, and that book was Desperate Obsession.
Writing is now a mission for me. A need to prove to Booj, wherever he is, that love in all its forms transcends our understanding. For without his encouragement, and belief in me, I would probably still be in an office somewhere, wishing I’d tried. When you read my books, you’ll ask yourself how many of the scenes are true. Most are. From misplaced pilot bags, to house explosions, from mysterious phone calls in the night, to that funny little hand gesture mentioned in Cormorant, art has a way of imitating life, no matter how seemingly insignificant.
But writing this blog piece has to have a point. And that point is that love is within us, all around us, and is a driving force in all of us. And even though the love of my life died of glioblastoma multiforme, the most deadly form of brain cancer, in February 2012, he is still a huge part of everything I write. In fact, three days before he died, I was able to tell him Crimson Romance was interested in my work, and I will never forget the look of love and pride on his face.
If nothing else, I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason. Had he not been run down, Cormorant would not exist, and had I not been fired from a job Desperate Obsession would not have seen the light of day. Desperate Obsession is a master lesson in misplaced love. My story before I met Booj. And when you read it, you will realize he probably saved my life. But also remember that while the catalyst for the book may be true, it is a work of fiction.
So, to all of you out there, writing, wishing and dreaming. Never give up. Never look upon a situation as a negative. It is going to help you down the line. Never look upon a rejection as the final word. There is always somebody out there who is on your wavelength. And never forget. Even in the darkest hour, there are bright lights somewhere. It won’t be easy, but go after them. One of these days, I will write a book about all the weirdness that has happened since Booj died. Things that have helped me to cope with such overwhelming loss. But for today I will simply say to you all, thank you for your love and support. I feel it, and wish you all peace and love. And to Booj, I love you truly, truly dear, now and forever and a year…
~ Anji Nolan-Grasso
Do you have your own stories about the power of love? Share in the comments!