Welcome, Sally, to the PP! And congratulations on Going Native.
In the dark of winter, nothing lightens my mood like a brilliant romantic comedy. I’m especially fond of 1993’s “Groundhog Day,” with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.
When Phil Connors (Bill Murray) asks, “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” it’s easy to relate. Who among us hasn’t felt trapped by a stifling relationship or dead-end job?
In the film, Phil is doomed to relive the same day over and over until he gets it right. Only when he decides to transcend the monotony and take an honest interest in the people around him—and become a better man—does he win Rita’s heart and unfreeze the calendar.
In other words, when we’re stuck, we can wait (and wait) for circumstances to change. Or we can take a risk and do the changing ourselves.
That’s the choice facing my heroine, Violet. Rather than go to Rio with the free-spirited friend she idolizes, she stays stuck in her dutiful Good Girl ways and offers to house- and dog-sit instead. But come Groundhog Day, there’s a rowdy block party at her new digs, a little champagne carbonating her blood, and before she knows it, Violet accepts a dare that lands her in a stranger’s arms.
It’s her chance to try something different. To risk feeling sexy. To walk a mile in her friend’s sky-high heels. It’s not a perfect fit, and there’s a price to pay. But scary as it is, it’s a lot of fun.
That’s how risk works, you know? We must break the pattern in order to begin exploring what’s possible. As Phil Connors sums it up:
Phil: Something is... different.
Rita: Good or bad?
Phil: Anything different is good.
What about you? Have you ever felt so trapped—or so bored—that you’d try pretty much anything to break free? What did you do? How did it work out for you?
Or, alternatively, if you could step into someone else’s shoes for the day, whose would you choose? What would you do?
EXCERPT from Going Native:
She unlocked the front door of the loft, wondering if there was a seduction protocol she should be following. This was new territory and Giselle wasn’t here to ask. But that was the point, wasn’t it? Not consulting, planning or thinking things to death. She’d wanted to be spontaneous. Carefree.
Bing dragged her inside in spite of weighing in at all of twelve pounds. The dog had a special magic that allowed him traction on a wood floor. He barked and strained at the end of his leash. “Come in and close the door,” she said over her shoulder. She unclipped the lead and Bing took off, barking as he ran the perimeter of the loft while her éclair watched.
“He likes a victory lap,” Violet explained. She had another chance to watch those marvelous laugh lines.
You don’t know him, Dishwasher Violet reminded her. She’d invited a stranger into the loft. If this were a movie, he’d have a chainsaw and she’d be the stupid blonde who had it coming. But even Dishwasher Violet couldn’t deny her every instinct insisting he wasn’t that kind of stranger and that feeling comfortable with him last night wasn’t just the champagne. She wasn’t a blonde. This wasn’t that kind of movie.
Besides, Party Girl Violet thought he had nice teeth.
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Her first name is a verb. Her last name is a verb. Words are central to Sally’s life, along with chocolate. And red wine. Decades of life as an advertising copywriter taught her to deal with deadlines and criticism (through liberal use of chocolate and wine). Then she found her voice and began telling her own stories. Some of them are funny. Visit Sally online at http://sallyfelt.com or give her some Facebook love.