But I can’t, because I’m already married to Marcus Olsson. Just for a minute though, let me tell you how I met Casper.
The other day I realized for eleven years in a row I traveled to foreign countries, usually more than one per year. From discovering first edition Dickens novels in abandoned Mayan ruins, to talking my way out of getting arrested in Turkey, to ringing the bells of a centuries old cathedral in Estonia, the wanderlust was real.
But all along the way I felt lonely.
When I returned to Sweden, January 2009, and reunited with Marcus, I instantly found peace. That part of me that always seemed a little lost and unsettled finally found a home. Almost ten years, a wedding and two kids later, I felt guilty admitting disappointment. What a change of pace! From swimming in the Baltic sea during the midnight sun, to swimming in diapers and dirty dishes.
Then there was writing! I’d always wanted to write. I’d been making up stories since childhood, but I suppose I’d been too busy walking across the equator and hiking up volcanoes to sit down and start typing.
To be a good writer, one must be a good reader, of course. So, early in my writing journey I set out to read every Christy Award winner and runner up in all romancy categories (historical, contemporary, series, and suspense).
So many amazing books. So little time. I’ve gotten distracted on many delightful side trips, reading the series belonging to a Christy book. The fairy tales, the first kisses, the moments that make a romance reader melt! It’s no surprise these authors deserved their places on the Christy list.
But one thing blindsided me.
I spent so much time devouring these romances. Each moment outdid that last and left me sighing. And then I’d have to put the book down and finally go wash the dishes. Oh right, back to reality. But the daydreaming continued.
What if I was suddenly found to be royalty? Or get a life-altering inheritance? Will I ever get to go on another adventure, or is that phase of life over?
Then I met Casper Christensen—tall, dark, and gorgeous—not to mention attentive, protective, and adventurous. He’s a treasure hunter and millionaire. Oh, and a fictional character out of Susan May Warren’s Christiansen series. Yeah, there’s that.
Still, a reader can dream, right?
But those daydreams lead to questions like, why can’t my husband be as adventurous as Dani Pettrey’s McKenna brothers? I wish he was as attentive as Rachel Hauck’s princes. He’s not nearly as protective a Denise Hunter’s Callahan men. *Sigh*
Every now and then, it’s time to put the book down and really look at what’s right in front.
That exciting first glance across the room, our steamy first kiss and first sweet “I love you,” are said and done. My jet setting around the world, at least for the time being, is also over. However, I don’t have to get lost in a book to find excitement and real emotion.
Yes, all of it.
Great novels are created so that every scene has purpose, impact, and drives the story forward. There are a lot of moments in real life that are boring. We don’t always see how our stories are driven forward because, well, they’re quite a lot longer than a fast paced ninety-thousand word romance. I love novels because they help me experience life from another perspective. However, in real life I’m privileged with being in the story!
Fictional heroes are carefully crafted to not only win the heroine’s heart, but the reader’s as well. My husband could never simultaneously live up to all of them. But this is the man who helped me shower after the C-section birth of our first child, gently washing between every toe. The man who works outside in winter’s negative twenty-five degree wind chill and summer’s triple digits to care for his family. The man who moved across the ocean to be with me.
Attentive. Protective. Adventurous.
Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I exercise an attitude of gratefulness for what I do have.
Phases in life change, sometimes drastically. And books can take me on incredible adventures that may never be feasible in my own life. But right here, right now, I have so much to be thankful for. I wouldn’t trade any of it for a minute.
The comparison game is a steep slope, and at the bottom, dissatisfaction and discontentment. A reader can dream, but do those dreams lead us so far from reality that we become disillusioned by disappointment? Ultimately, our real life heroes could never live up to the perfection of Jesus, and life will always be a dim shadow of His kingdom to come.
In all of the amazing books out there, one story exists that far outshines every other—the one that’s uniquely yours. The romance! The cliff-hangers! The emotion! The plot twists! And with the Lord, we’ll have the happiest ever after possible.
In your real life story, what are you grateful for right now?
By day, Kelly D. Scott is buried in Excel spreadsheets, which is why she must write.
She graduated from Texas A&M University with a BBA in Accounting and, almost ten years later, she completed her MS in Accounting at UT Dallas. She wrote her first manuscript in 2017 when a photo in People magazine sparked an idea. 130,000 words later, that book is parked safely under her bed.
Kelly resides in the Dallas area with her illustrator husband (whom she met on Eharmony) and her two boys. She has lived in Texas all of her life, except for two and a half years when she was a missionary in China and Thailand. Oh, and she did spend a summer as a missionary in Australia where she learned how to do the Tim Tam slam. When Kelly isn’t writing or lost in Excel, she enjoys reading, cooking, baking, watching football, and spending time with her family. She is a member of ACFW.