I decided to start my morning with a short walk. My husband agreed to go with me around the block. As we turned the corner to the next street over, we discovered a neighbor was having a garage sale. We can’t pass up bargains, so of course we stopped. They had some great books for sale. I found a paperback copy of All the Pretty Horses, which is one of my favorites.
“How much for this?” I asked the lady of the house.
“Do you live in the neighborhood?” she said.
“Yes, we live right behind you,” I said.
“Well since you’re a neighbor, it’s free!”
What a completely charming thing to say to someone. I thanked her profusely and we left. And just two houses down we spotted another garage sale.
This house had a for sale sign on the front, and mother, daughter and friends were in charge of the merchandise. “I’ve lived here for 30 years,” I heard the mother tell another customer.
The mother was a fan of romance. She may have had all of Linda Lael Miller’s books.
“That’s a lot of books,” I said to the mother.
“There’s more over there,” she said, pointing to three or four boxes filled with romances.
I sifted through the boxes and found some of my favorite authors. Four titles by Mary Balogh, one from Suzanne Brockmann and another by Teresa Medeiros. Jackpot!
“I need these for research,” I told the daughter as she counted up my books. “I’m writing my first romance.”
“That’s wonderful. Are you looking into getting it published?” she asked.
“I’m just looking to start and finish,” I said. “That’s the only goal.”
She told me my six books would be a whopping dollar. I told her we’d be back with the money after our walk.
“She’s a writer!” I heard the mother call out to the daughter as we walked away.
I sent my husband to go pay the dollar, as I wanted to start the Brockmann book immediately. He returned five minutes later with yet another book.
“They said good luck with the writing,” he said, “then they looked around to give you one more book to inspire you. They went through three boxes to find just the right one. Here!” And he handed me No Sweeter Heaven by Katherine Kingsley.
I may have the best neighbors in the world. And thanks to them, I have plenty of books to inspire me as I take a break from writing.
For some final inspiration, here’s the prolific Linda Lael Miller on writing and rejection. “It’s like my dad used to tell me…They can’t beat you unless you quit.”