An interesting conversation arose at work this week: the dream job phenomenon. Now this wasn’t the “dream job” of writing bestsellers in a coffee shop overlooking the Seine, but the job we threaten to take when the day is too long and the hours too short.
For me, after one of “those” days (you know the type, nothing goes right, it all goes south at the same time and at 10 p.m. you still have a dozen emails waiting responses), my escapist job is to wait tables in a diner in a small Southern town on the coast or in the Keys. Slinging hash or pulling beers in a tourist trap would let me meet lots of new people, and give me plenty of writing inspiration (especially in the Keys).
And I’m not alone. When deadlines became too much, a former newspaper editor of mine used to say she was going to restock shelves overnight at Kroger. Meanwhile, my current boss has been known to wax poetic about life as a Wal-Mart greeter.
I’m sure dreaming of escaping to a no-pressure job is fairly common experience, but what I find fascinating is that our escapist jobs rarely stray far from our basic personalities.
My newspaper editor was extremely organized, planned everything to the last detail and could find story notes on anything in less than a minute. She would’ve been a great shelf stocker. And my current boss is probably the friendliest, most outgoing person I know. He’d make an excellent greeter.
In the realm of fiction, the hero of my current WIP is the chivalrous knight who adheres to the rules with fervor best reserved for martyrs. But when the pressure mounts, he fantasizes about getting drunk, kissing all the girls, and doing very unchivalrous things with the heroine.
In ART OF LOVE, my latest release, my hero is smart, cynical, and has sold his soul to Henry II of England, spying in Paris in exchange land, title and an heiress. When he wants to “escape” murder and mayhem, he dreams of fomenting rebellion. (He really wants to be in charge, rather than take orders from the king, if you ask me.)
In both cases neither William nor Alain stray out of character when dreaming of escape.
And so, readers, I must ask: What is your escapist job? And if your heroes decided to shuck it all for a new, no-pressure career, what would they chose?
Here are the blurb and an exceprt from Art of Love:
Abigail d'Alene has been sinfully in love with learning all her life. Now a widow, she has the means and freedom to indulge in her passion. Pretending to be Abelard, a fifteen-year-old boy from an outlying village, she heads to the Latin Quarter of Paris and the abbey schools that will one day change the world.
Shocked by her ineptitude at masquerading as a boy, Alain of Huntly Woods takes the young “Abelard” under his protection until she recovers her sense and goes home. But her audacity, intelligence and refusal to compromise spark enough friction between them to burn through his cold logic and carefully laid plans. In Paris as a spy for Henry II, Alain has sold his soul to the Angevin devil in exchange for the king's promise of an heiress, land and power.
As his good intentions bring him unexpected passion, he struggles to find a way to have it all. Then he discovers Abigail's uncle, confessor to King Louis VII of France, plots against the English king, and Alain must choose between protecting his king or the woman he loves beyond all reason.
ART OF LOVE is available in both print and e-book formats from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon and other booksellers. ISBN: 1-60154-381-6. To read an excerpt, go to: http://www.keenakincaid.com/artoflove.php
Abigail blinked against the cold, sickly morning that invaded the room. Frost coated the broken windowpane, and a draft eased its way inside, as unwanted as the dawn. The air that bit at her cheek smelled faintly of smoke. Pulling the blanket over her face, she burrowed into the solid warmth beside her. It shifted slightly, threw an arm around her waist and pulled her against hot skin and solid muscles.
She jerked fully awake. Her stomach pitched as she remembered where she was, who she was with, and what they had done. Mon Dieu, what was I thinking? Lifting Alain’s hand from her waist, she edged away from his embrace and sat up. The frigid air rushed over her shoulders, shocking her skin. A sleepy groan sounded to her left, and the arm returned to her waist.
“Good morrow,” Alain said in a raw voice. He blinked at her with a warm, sleepy expression that invited her to repeat last night. “How did you sleep?”
Something in her voice erased the easy smile. Slightly more awake, he propped himself up on an elbow. The left side of his face was bruised, marred by the cut and traces of blue paste.
She looked at the wall behind the headboard, then at him. His intense silver gaze never left her face. “Abigail?”
“Nothing. Everything.” Her stomach knotted and twisted. She had a lover. She’d never had a lover before, and now she had one. She had no idea what that meant or why her thoughts kept tripping over hidden fears that this would end badly. Maybe not banished to a convent badly, but badly all the same. “We should not have done this,” she whispered, barely aware that she spoke as her mind tried to catch the supple fright that congealed her blood. “What were we thinking?”
“Thinking does not accompany passion if you do it right.”
He sat up and raked a hand through his tangles. The blanket pooled around his hips. He was naked. As was she, she realized. His gaze felt like a beam of light on her bare body, exposing legs, breasts, and belly. She reached for the blanket, still soaked with his heat.
“Really, Abigail, there is no need to blush like a virgin.” His eyes went from warm to icy. “Obviously, we have both done this before.”
Keena Kincaid is author of ANAM CARA and ART OF LOVE from The Wild Rose Press. You can learn more about the book and its author at http://www.keenakincaid.com, as well as MySpace, FaceBook and Twitter. You can find her books at The WildRose Press (http://www.thewildrosepress.com) Amazon (Art of Love here and Anam Cara here) and other booksellers.