One of the central themes in Simple Gifts, my upcoming release scheduled for April 24th by LazyDay, is of dependence. Professional violinist Leila Feran is a self-sufficient, independent, and capable career woman in her own right. She doesn’t need anyone–until an injury takes away not just her ability to play professionally but to care for her own basic needs. While she recovers, she moves in with her best friend from childhood, Carene Moraghan. Orchestra teacher Carene is also a self-sufficient, independent, and capable career woman in her own right…and who doesn’t need anyone until Leila shows her what Carene has been missing.
They don’t need each other, but they make each other better. Unlike Kat or Mira who need the guidance provided by their partners, Leila is a more or less well-adjusted, happy, successful adult. In her case, her dependency is based on physical needs rather than emotional.
In writing this story, I experimented with daily activities to find out which were difficult to do with one hand. Brushing teeth sounds like a one-handed job until you think about opening the toothpaste or putting it onto the brush. Then try to do it with your non-dominant hand. (Leila is left-handed, and that’s the wrist she injures.) Dare you to try it.
I don’t know about you, but using my one non-dominant hand left me with a mess and not very clean teeth. So I wrote a scene where Leila references this difficulty, and she tries a solution. Except it doesn’t quite work out the way she wanted it to, at least at first…
Hope you enjoy one of my favorite scenes from Simple Gifts.
Leila breathed in the scent of the honey-vanilla body wash and green tea shampoo, thinking
back. She ran her tongue around her fresh-mint teeth, expertly brushed with the new electric toothbrush suggested by her physical therapist. With a pump-dispenser toothpaste she could operate with one hand and a brush that did all the scrubbing work by itself, she had won a small measure of independence. The only problem had been the first time when she tried to apply the toothpaste to the already-vibrating toothbrush. It had the same effect as lowering a spinning electric mixer into a bowl of flour. In between tears of laughter scrubbing toothpaste from the bathroom mirror, walls, and floor, Carene had suggested waiting until the toothbrush was actually in her mouth to turn it on. The next time, Leila followed the correct order and delighted in the results. It left her teeth sexy smooth without the humiliation of needing to ask Carene’s help.