Picture this, my friends. A sheltered life in the peaceful suburb of Rockland County, the town of New City where the deer and the antelope roam and wild turkey take their broods across lawns in the fall crossing the lawns to munch on hostas plants. Idyllic in many ways while this homemaker takes care of her large family because she never said no to her loving husband.
And one day, a working actress friend suggested I get myself to NYC, find an agent and get to work. I didn’t even know how to drive myself there. It’s a scary place with fast trucks and cabs after years of a slow paced life in the ‘burbs. Dear hubs drew a small map and said go. And I did to become a small fish in a big pond. Amazing as it may seem, I soon worked regularly on daytime dramas, movies, commercials, and stage. Twelve years on One Life to Live, a few years on All My Children and Another World kept me very busy. I got work as the voice of Betty White several times and the most fun was days and nights in movies. And then, just as a play off Broadway was at its end, disaster struck my fine voice to end my acting career.
New York City in Autumn is divine. There are sections that make you want to sing. Small parks where you cross a street and find a lovely lake and sit under large trees to dine on gigantic sandwiches. Musicians are everywhere, clothes to buy hang on racks with some bickering. Handmade jewelry lay out on tables. It’s a wonderland. Of course there are shabby sections you may not want to stroll but working on daytime dramas, you park, grab a bus right to the studio and when it’s lunch time, you cross the street to the commissary and for $2.50 tops, you get the best lunch in town.
After so many years of being a homemaker, I lost what I call The Sweet Time. What to do with all the Creative Juice, I wondered. Someone said write a book. Sure. I had a story in my head but, folks, I didn’t know how to write. Never let it be said this mother of many didn’t try and I did. I finished a book, sent out query letters and before long, a publisher requested a few chapters and then the whole manuscript. Five years have passed since I left the Sweet Time to become a writer. Twenty three books later, I write on. Novels, novellas, long/short stories and mature stories and I keep moving on thanks to Vanilla Heart Publishing and Kimberlee Williams.
My latest release is When Double Becomes Single
The touch of her husband’s lips on hers warmed Sharon Michaels all the way home from the hospital. Remembering his whispered I love you before she left released a cascade of tears. She groped in her bag for a tissue, found none and used the sleeve of her good winter coat as a blotter. Mac would fix Barry. Their favorite doctor always knew the magical potion to apply. Even when Fred, their difficult teenager now in his thirties, started using marijuana and refused to stop, Mac knew what to do. Tough Love was the prescription. No driver’s license and other privileges allowed until he straightened out. So Barry’s bad cough should be easy like the croup. Hmm. Fred still held a grudge against us. Get home and go to sleep.
Exhausted after hours visiting with her husband at Community Hospital in Suffern, New York, Sharon stripped and pulled on flannel pajamas. Too tired to shower, she brushed her teeth, washed her face and slipped under the comforter on this chilly night. The phone rang. She picked it up. Mac Bloom, the family doctor said something she couldn’t quite hear.
“Crisis? Is that what you said? What do you mean crisis? I left him at the hospital about an hour ago. We kissed and said I love you the way we’ve always done for thirty six years.”
Their doctor for many a long time sighed. She heard urgency and sadness in his voice. “Sharon, is anyone at home with you?”
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Charmaine Gordon writes books about women who Survive and Thrive. Her motto is take one step and then another to leave your past behind and begin again. Her books are To Be Continued, Starting Over, Now What?, Reconstructing Charlie, Sin of Omission and The Catch, and her series of Mature Romances, The Beginning…Not the End, including the stand alone novellas, She Didn’t Say No and Farewell, Hello and her most recent series, River’s Edge Stories where the town motto is Kindness to Strangers.
She didn’t realize at the time while working as an actor in NYC, she’d become a sponge soaking up dialogue, setting, and stage directions. She learned many tools of writing during the years watching directors like Mike Nichols and actors including Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, and Billy Crystal. And would you believe, she was Geraldine Ferraro’s stand-in leg model, her first job giving entrée into all the Unions needed to work. When the sweet time ended, Charmaine began another career and creative juices flowed.