Every so often I receive a question prompt from Goodreads. Something I can answer on my Author Page that may be of interest to readers. I have no idea when I received “What mystery in your own life could be a plot for a book?”, but I answered the question, and then tucked it away.
Recently, while discussing novels with the parallel universe as a central theme, I was explaining in tedious detail, my reasons for wanting to write parallel universe romances. Which reminded me of the Goodreads question. I dusted this off and hope this explanation is at least a bit intriguing to some of you. I suspect, in some parallel universe, I am sitting in an embassy somewhere (hopefully Western Europe), preparing for a quiet night at home and wondering why I’m still single…
What mystery in your own life could be a plot for a book?
The entire mystery of my life is the inspiration for a Dōjini novel. At its core, the plot of a Dōjini novel is to explore the “what if” of love.
To be more specific, in April 1995, I was sitting somewhere in Auckland, New Zealand, when I made the life-altering decision to decline admittance to George Washington University’s Master’s program in International Affairs. Of all the decisions I have made in my life, this is the one that makes me wonder. Instead of DC, I ended up in Chicago. What if I had gone to DC instead?
Plot 1 –how I met my husband in this universe. December 18, 1998, in a house on Halsted
My friend (let’s call her “J”) invited me to a holiday party her friend from work (let’s call him “G”) was throwing with his girlfriend (now wife J). I was fresh off a breakup with a coworker (not nearly as hot in real life as it is in fiction, by the way) and eager to meet a new cast of characters. Life had become one-dimensional and I was bored.
G and his girlfriend knew how to throw a party and there was a lot of booze, a new group of fun people, and of course, the big dude with the deep laugh (you can call him “Big D”, lots of people do). Love at first sight, you ask? Well, yes, yes it was. If you consider the thought “he has a nice chin” love at first sight. Big D is tall, and I was standing next to him in a little group, so for a while every time he spoke and I turned my attention to him, all I could really see was his chin.
Eventually, we had a conversation that allowed me to look at him across a dark, noisy, beer-stinkin’ living room and he asked for my number. Nope, I have no idea what we talked about, but I do remember exactly what I was wearing: a green velveteen button down shirt, short black skirt, and black tights. So my late 90s party outfit must have clinched it.
Plot 2 –how I could have met my husband in the alternate universe.
It turns out that J and G actually lived and worked in D.C. in the mid-90s. Just when I would have been at GW studying international relations. J and I were friends in college, so I am fairly certain we would have connected and hung out at some point in D.C., had I been there.
And hence…I would have visited her when she moved to Chicago, hung out with her and G and his crew at Jackie’s on Broadway, listened to Journey on the old jukebox, and met Big D. Instead of falling in love with his chin I likely would have been turned on by his dart skills, fondness for Jägermeister, and aptitude for Old Style.
Plot 3 –how I would have spent December 18th, 1998 if I had moved to D.C. and never met Big D
Opening night of Nora Ephron’s “You’ve Got Mail”.