Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Skeletons in the Closet

     I just had a really good chuckle reading a quote from George Bernard Shaw,

"If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance."

This particular phrase has a funny, special memory for me...

Just weeks before my wedding, my then fiance and I were in my bedroom in my parents' Bronx apartment - he was sitting on my bed while I was packing clothing and getting ready to move into OUR new home, a one bedroom and overpriced apartment in the Hudson Valley.

Mark thought he was being cute when he said, with a straight face, "Well I guess I should have asked before, but we're getting married soon so I can't put it off any longer. Do you have any skeletons in the closet I should know about?"

I looked at him and then at my CLOSED wardrobe door (actually two sliding doors), he couldn't understand my surprised expression. Before he could reassure me that he was only joking, I slid one of the wardrobe doors open - and there, hanging carefully on the closet rod, was a life size cardboard Halloween skeleton! He almost fell off of my bed.

What Mark didn't know was that my parents always allowed me to set up the entry hallway for Halloween. I had rigged this skeleton to come rushing towards the door when I opened it - it always elicited excited shrieks from the little trick-or-treaters. LOL, I never expected to shock my future husband!

We all have some kind of skeleton in our closet - everyone has something to be embarrassed about, some have regrets, and a few have outright horror at the thought of discovery. It's the same for each of my characters - take Tom Hughes from Within the Law for instance...

Tom is easily my favorite hero from any of my books because he is soooo human. He is endearing, a truly good guy, but he is certainly not an angel! Tom has things in his past that he would prefer not having to admit to, things that get broadcast in a packed courtroom when he shows up to TRY to put his high school girlfriend's murderer away. And he has a temper, oy such a temper, that he manages MOST TIMES to control, but loses it during a face-to-face with the lowlife who took the girl away from him.

Tom is not the only one of my characters to have something to hide: Brandon Price in His Lucky Charm wants to hide his privileged upbringing and estranged relationship with his father; in A Chaunce of Riches Samantha Chaunce has to hide the reason she left Ben and married Julian; Adam Sherman in Courage of the Heart is ashamed of his past and worries that he is going to lose Davie once she finds out about it; and in Karma Visited Annie Furman needs to keep her unique gift hidden for fear of ridicule and worse.

Do you have a skeleton in your closet?

Please don't post any true confessions, lol, but think about it; what secret do you have in your past that you would really rather be kept as a buried secret? Was your secret ever exposed and if so how did you cope with it - with a head held high or a face redder than cherries?

And if you really, really need to share, please feel free to comment below.

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