25 September 2012

Special Guest Post: Heather Dugan on her new book 'Pickup in Aisle Twelve'

Once upon a time, my aspirations to write were far greater than the material available to me. This stemmed partly from family taboos that sidelined the most worthy stuff, but mainly, it was due to my fairly ordinary and predictable life.  Normal ups, normal downs and a lot of straight-down-the-middle living... Picture a twelve-year old in knee socks and pig tails writing sad yet hopeful stories about life as a street urchin before slipping downstairs to meatloaf surprise and a Disney movie.  

My stories lacked credibility, a critical ingredient.

And then life started for real. Death, disease, divorce, despair… The only thing lacking was perhaps a melancholy sound track to accompany my trips to hospitals, funeral homes and divorce court. A dozen crises later, I had a light bulb moment in which I realized I’d suddenly been “gifted” with an unusual amount of material. And as tragedies continued to pile on, I began wriggling my way out from under via humor. Finding the funny became a survival skill as critical to my well being as chocolate and red wine on a bad day.

What’s funny about midlife dating? Well, in my mind, stumbling back into the awkwardness of our youth with the skepticism of a forty-something is either pathetic or humorous, and my long-term view is that the latter leads to better wrinkles. And somewhere along the way, as friends laughed at my wry observations, I began writing them down.

“Freshness dates” took on a whole new meaning when a would-be suitor followed me from the bread aisle to a Walmart checkout a few years ago. His earnest attempt to “connect” as my groceries paraded past the scanner was touching but odd. I did the only reasonable thing I could do: I wrote about it.

This chance encounter led to “Pickup in Aisle Twelve:”

After a would-be suitor tails her to a grocery store checkout, Angie Wharton confronts the grim realities of her post-divorce dating options. Niggling guilt, a fickle resolve and easy access to her sister's dinner table have kept her on the sidelines, but her brother-in-law's patience --and supplies of cabernet are running low.

Pressed into posting an online dating profile, Angie decides to take the offense before love passes her by. But navigating this borderless world of blurred photos and lonely hearts will require her to create both a virtual roadmap and a new understanding of herself.

Lipstick? Check. Eye contact? More or less. Awkward moments? Uh huh. Love...?

Curious? I'd love to hear your comments! Please look for the free chapter of "Pickup in Aisle Twelve" on Amazon, and follow me —Heather Duganand Angie Wharton on Twitter! Next up in the trilogy? “Profile on Page Nine," of course!

Heather Dugan is a writer/advice columnist and voiceover/video talent who specializes in spotlighting the inspiring, and often humorous, elements of family, business and travel. Her articles, voiceovers and videos can be found on various business and travel sites and via links at http://www.heatherdugan.com.

She resides in Central Ohio with her children and a wayward chocolate lab, is slightly addicted to outdoor activities and would never let her passport expire. In between deodorizing shin guards, power grocery shopping and explaining proper application of lawn care products in corporate videos; her passion for travel and the great outdoors takes her off the map (oops) and all over the world. She considers humor to be her best accessory.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for hosting "Pickup in Aisle Twelve" and me, Tony! I appreciate all of your encouragement and help!