Black Moments in Fiction…and Life
In literature, I love reaching that emotional climax when the protagonist’s future seems bleak, hoping that a minute chance for a HEA—or Happily Ever After—still remains. Yet when my own life takes a similar turn, I grow increasingly frustrated, doubting a personal HEA exists.
Just as I prefer to write by plotting out the major scenes in outline form before delving into my next novel, I prefer to map out my future career plans and goals than to simply take things as they come. But unexpected twists in the road of life occasionally throw off my plans.
And lately, these black moments seem to be occurring with increasing regularity.
Nine years ago, I resigned from full-time teaching to stay home and raise our children. By teaching part-time in the evenings, I felt like I never truly left the classroom. Yet when my oldest son entered school, I abandoned the part-time gigs to keep my evenings free for his homework and sports.
As busy as my children kept me with their activities at home, a void began to grow in my life. No longer needing to read Geometry, Algebra II, and ACT prep books in my spare time to prepare myself for answering myriad student questions, my brain thirsted for a new challenge. In response, an unachieved goal continually surfaced in my mind.
Personally, I’m driven by goals. Wanted to run a marathon…check (and I completed four, to be exact). Wanted to live in Hawaii…check. (Then missed it so much after we returned to the mainland that I made my husband move back to the islands). Wanted to publish a book…
Despite my growing commitments to my children’s school and sports, I decided to act on this dream. At the time, my naiveté was bliss, never guessing how time and effort I’d invest over the next few years in order to actually achieve this goal. But looking back, I believe all of it was worthwhile to be where I am today, especially since my prospects of returning to my previous career as a full-time teacher are slim. Between recessional government cutbacks that forced my school district to eliminate numerous teaching positions and a genetic autoimmune disease called iritis that flared in my eyes and left me extremely light sensitive, I sought another career option.
Though my life may differ from my original plans, I’m done losing sleep over those black moments as I follow this dream down a new path.
Debbie Kump is the author of 7G, Exiled to the North, Transformed, and Disappearances. Her titles are available in ebook and paperback on Amazon or direct from World Castle Publishing and Whiskey Creek Press.
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