I went to a colleague’s wedding yesterday. A beautiful young couple with their whole lives ahead of them. They seem to be in control of their destiny in a way I never was at their age.

There’s nothing like weddings, funerals and milestone birthdays to make you stop and think about where you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going. Since I found writing I feel like I’m exactly where I’m meant to be after fifty years of searching. It’s a good place.

I found myself reflecting on a workshop my writing group held earlier this year called the ‘Heroine’s Journey’. I was surprised at how many women didn’t raise their hands when we were asked if we could identify with the heroine. They were in the minority but still, to realise that they had never experienced adversity in a crippling way and come out the other side was unexpected. I thought it was a rite of passage in life. Apparently not. And as I watched the young couple say their vows I suspected that the bride may be one of those lucky ones who will never find herself facing the ‘Heroine’s Journey’.

The green-eyed devil of envy sat heavily on my shoulder for a while, until I realised that it’s the challenges I’ve experienced, that I’ve overcome, which have shaped who I am. Even though I’m a lover of romance, my writing is generally inspired by adversity: not happiness or contentment. Or maybe that’s why I like the romance genre. It can be as light… or as dark… as you want and still finish with a happy ever after.

A perfect sunset to finish a perfect day

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