What does a bet between best friends have to do with a kidnapped cat and a tumbled-down animal shelter? Nothing, unless you are Adam Talcott and you want to prove to your best-buddy that you can survive without access to your wealth and family connections. Adam would have succeeded too, if it hadn’t been for Dierdre Clancy and that blasted cat.
Heat Rating: R
Balancing an armload of mail, an overloaded briefcase, and a gym bag with two yogurt cups teetering on top, Dierdre Clancy rushed to her cubicle. For the fourth time this week, and the umpteenth time this month, she was late. Once again, a power outage in the decrepit apartment building where she lived had caused her alarm clock to fail.
Please, Lord, don’t let my chauvinist pig of a boss realize I’ve been missing.
The yogurt cups threatened to topple off the gym bag. Dierdre wasn’t about to let her lunch decorate the linoleum. The mail showered to the floor. The briefcase hit her foot. With her free hand, she plastered the cups to her side. The gym bag slid down her arm. The webbed strap twisted, tourniquet style, around her wrist.
She managed a couple of sideways hops that brought her to the edge of her desk. The gym bag swung wildly. Leaning against the arm weighed down by the bag’s stranglehold, she managed to dump the yogurt cups onto the desk without mishap. She pulled herself upright and reached for the strap at her wrist.
Somehow, during all the hopping, the bag had swung around her legs and gotten wedged in the narrow space between her desk and file cabinet. The same strap that cut off circulation to her hand pressed into the backs of her knees, pinning her neatly to the desk. Only an act of extreme dexterity could save her from her own folly. Imbecile, why didn’t you make two trips?
Because I didn’t want to risk having the boss see me coming in late.
“Clancy! You’re late.”
Dierdre’s heart hit the ceiling. She knew the shout—a cross between an operatic tenor and a pig at slaughter. Still, she hadn’t been prepared to hear her boss’s screeching quite so soon.
Dierdre Clancy grew up in a family of givers. Her parents were missionaries and often too busy saving other, less privileged people to realize how lonely and abandoned Dierdre felt. When she reached her teen years, she was shipped back to the USA to live with her Aunt Shea on Shea’s rundown farm and animal shelter. Finally she was in a stable environment with an adult she could count on. Dierdre went on to gain a degree in social work and took up the Clancy family tradition of helping others. Most of the time helping others was easy. But Adam Talcott broke that mold and every other box she tried to put him into. How could one man be so difficult to manage?
Adam Talcott was born rich. He went into business with his best friend from college and made even more millions. His methods may be unorthodox, but he nearly always succeeds. Now he’s been challenged to live for two months without any of the privileges and resources he’s known all his life. Adam is confident that he can conquer this challenge as he has all others. But he didn’t count on Dierdre Clancy and that danged cat.
Ramblin’ Notes from the Author… Depression and the Will to Work
I have been self-employed for more than ten years now. I have been manic-depressive (now known as Bi-polar Disorder) all of my life. That’s more than sixty years, so I’ve got a lot of experience with emotional highs and lows. I won’t go into the technical history of depression and mania other than to say we know way more now than we did when I was young. Yet we still know too little about how emotions work, leaving us with the conclusion that every person’s experience is unique.
My experience of mania is that it’s a lot of fun. I get this extended burst of energy and enthusiasm. I accomplish goals and finish tasks at an amazing rate. As an author, mania means I make huge amounts of progress on my writing projects. All I have to do to get work done is willit. I feel as if, with enough time, I could climb mountains and solve-world problems. I feel “normal.” I’m not, but I feel that way.
However, mania doesn’t last. The slide from mania to depression is insidious for me. I rarely recognize when it’s happening. Tasks that were easy become increasingly difficult. Goals are nearly never met. No amount of will can help me write or accomplish other projects. And then there’s the anger.
Yes anger. Remember, I’m writing about my experience. I’m an author not a doctor (,Jim). The frustration of not achieving at my ‘normal’ or ‘manic’ rate is tremendous. When I’m in a depressive state I can’t write. The ideas are there but I just don’t have the will to write them down. I don’t know who to blame for this, nor do I immediately recognze depression as the cause. Something unidentifiable is making me depressed. I blame all sorts of things, because I’m not performing at manic levels. And I’m angry because a) I can’t achieve at the same rate as when I’m “normal” or manic, and b) becasue in the moment I can’t recognize that it’s my own mental chemistry that is the root cause.
Life was this endless cycle of emotional highs and lows until nearly fifty years after I was born–fifty years of living with this endless cycle–I finally gave in and decided that I needed medication. I won’t tell you what I take. What works for me may not work for you or someone you love who struggles with manic-depression. Please seek professional help if you’re suffering any kind of mental distress. I will tell you that I am very, very lucky. My medical team hit the right medication on the first try. We spent several months finding the right dosage. Close to two decades after making that decision, I still take the same medication. And I take it religiously.
The medication helps me recognize what point I’m at in my manic-depressive cycle. I can listen to myself complaining that I “can’t get anything done,” that “the writing isn’t working,” and recognize that is a symptom of my depression rather than a condition that someone or something else imposed on me. I can express enthusiasm and enjoy the mania at the same time that I can recognize it for what it is–a symptom of Bi-polar Disorder. The medication doesn’t make my symptoms go away. It does help me recognize what’s happening with my mental state. That recognition has been a literal life-saver.
It has also saved my writing career. Now, when I go more than two or three days without writing or doing the myriad other things a self-employed author must do, I understand that my mental state is the root cause. I can overcome depression and mania both. But it takes a force of will. Medication doesn’t cure my problem. Medicaton makes it manageable. And managing any sort of career, writing included takes the will to work. The will do sit in the chair and type. The will to contact reviewers, and bloggers, and social media outlets and interact with them on a continuing basis whether I ‘feel like it’ or not. The will to format my books for sale, and set them up for distribution. The will to maintain and improve my website. The will to do so many, many things that make up my work. The same is true for all of us, but especially those who suffer emotional dis-orders. The will to work is an absolute necessity in your arsenal of tools for combating whatever emotional problem(s) you might have.
I have one request. Normally I’d ask you to comment, and I would still love for you to do that. More important to me, is that you seek help. Don’t go fifty years, as I did, before asking for help. Keep asking, keep searching, never give up. A solution for emotional distress is out there. You can find the solution that works for you. However, no matter what you are feeling at any given moment, you must have the will to continue. The will to do your personal work. Give yourself that much. Determine. Be stubborn. Will yourself to do what must be done, and that is to get help.
PS: This has been a rather serious RAmble. But it does include one bit of fun. Can you spot it? Comment here if you do.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, I’m Rue Allyn, I write heart melting romance novels. Books about characters and adventures in which love triumphs at the darkest moment. The kind of hopeful, steal-your-breath romance that melts a reader’s heart. The type of book I like to read. Hope you will too.