Last month for NaNoWriMo, I got a lot of support from online friends, people I've never met and might never meet in real life. It's a wonderful thing to be a part of a community of people who are all sharing the same experience. And it was really inspiring to be struggling right next to some lovely published authors on the eHarlequin forums. As an added encouragement, the writers with the highest weekly totals won a copy of a book donated by those generous authors. I was doubly lucky when I won the first week: I wasn't even close to the word counts in later weeks and I won a copy of an anthology of Christmas stories from Donna Alward entitled Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses.
Donna's contribution is a lovely story, "A Bride for Rocking H Ranch", about a woman struggling to make a perfect Christmas for her family. The trouble is Kelly needs help and isn't used to asking for it. This is a subject near and dear to my heart.
I am awful at asking someone to help me. I'll suffer and toil and grouse, but I won't simply ask. It's worse than that even. When my friends sit around and complain about how much they do, I am happy to join the chorus. But when the talk turns to ungrateful husbands I fall silent.
I am married to that rare kind of man who when I leave the dishes to take a phone call, just does the dishes. Without being asked. If the dryer buzzes while I'm reading a book, he'll fold the laundry because it needs to be done. If I am tired or busy or stressed, he looks at me and asks, "What can I do to help?"
And do I accept that help with good grace? Or ask him for help he would so willingly give? Almost never. I tell him I'm good. I'll manage. I'll do it myself, all alone. It drives my husband crazy. I am so stupid, I know.
That just made me enjoy Kelly's struggles so much more. Accepting help, letting someone love you, these things make us vulnerable. You have to open yourself up. It's scary sometimes how much of my heart is walking around with other people. And still, to be happy, you have to find a way to give away a little bit more.
Thanks again for the great read Donna!