Gravity has always been a friend of mine. It binds me to the earth, it’s kept me close to the ground. No matter how high I get, how hard I jump, gravity’s always there to pull me back and make sure I don’t fly out into space.
Life’s strength is its weakness: it’s always in a state of flux. Life is ever changing, ever moving, forever evolving. This makes life hard to predict. Sometimes, we do the best we can. We give one-hundred percent and we still fail.
That’s why, for me, writing is all about gravity. Books keep me centered, they’re that universal constant that gives me stability and helps me predict the future. I need the prediction. I rely on the stability. When I’m writing, I find a safe place where I control the outcome and I can make sure the good guy wins and the bad guy’s punished.
I’m never certain of that constant in real life. Too often, I see the bad guy hire an expensive lawyer, and see the innocent dying for a lack of protection. But in my writing and my work, I can take those things I see, twist and turn them, until the story (and ultimately) the world around me makes sense.
It’s also why I like writing comedy.
Comedy (according to John Vorhaus) is about truth and pain. He’s right. In comedy, we take something painful, wrap it in an attractive package, and then shine a light on it in such a way, we see life in a different perspective. And in seeing that new perspective, we’re better equipped to deal with the trials and hurts life throws our way.
In What Happens in Vegas, we meet Binda Morningstar. She’s the Every Woman: trying to find love, trying to live a life of integrity, and trying to keep her job. Of course, in the story (as in life) nothing really runs smoothly.
Her boss goes missing. Everyone (but Binda) figures he just took off. She knows something’s gone wrong, but if she’s going to find him, she’s going to have to take big risks.
That’s kind of like life, too. Getting what we want means stepping out of our comfort zones.
For Binda, it doesn’t go well. In fact, it goes hilariously wrong. From meeting the cop who’ll help her, to taking on the bad guy, every moment Binda is metaphorically standing with pie on her face.
That’s like life, too. We try. We fail. We try again.
But she persists, because it’s the right thing to do. Her gravity is the sense of right and wrong. It’s what keeps her grounded through the battle with the YIFFS at the sex convention, through her fight with the mobster, and through the twists and turns of her falling in love with the cop.
It’s what keeps her laughing and centered as the clock ticks down and her world starts to crumble. Because that’s life too: finding the funny moment in the midst of chaos…like the time I had to phone 9-1-1 and after the ambulance arrived for my life and death situation, the funny-crazy juxtaposition of the ambulance guy getting lost and I having to direct him to the hospital.
There’s always a moment when we can laugh and find that sliver of light in the dark situation. As we spin in the midst of the hard stuff of life and as those jagged, terrible pieces send us into orbit, laughter is what breaks our upward trajectory.
In our laughter and smile, gravity finds us. It reaches out with gentle hands and catches us before we fly too high, and it brings us back to earth. To solid footing and soft sand, to sunny days and rainy nights. It brings us back to center and allows us to walk once more, to put one foot in front of the other and predict our future and find our stability. ~ Natasha Deen
ABOUT THE AUTHOR…When Natasha was little, there was only one thing she wanted to be: a superhero. Unfortunately, being a klutz isn’t a super-power. She turned to writing because it allows her to be anything she wants, including a caped crusader. When not writing, she is an instructor and editor. Visit her at www.natashadeen.com, and hang out with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.
What Happens in Vegas
It’s not that Binda Morningstar’s an idiot—the girl’s got more degrees than a thermometer—but there’s something about a crisis that makes her lose her mind…and accidently injure anyone within a ten foot radius. But if she’s going to rescue her boss from a cursed jewel, she’s going to have to keep it together. Unfortunately for her, the cop on the case, Corin Hawthorne, has her losing her mind and her heart…and if he gets anymore drool worthy, she’s going to lose her inhibitions, too. To save her boss and win her man, she’s got to outrun a mobster, outwit the YIFFS at a sex fetish convention, and outthink an ex-wife—and she’s got to do it all without breaking an arm or inadvertently hitting anyone with pepper spray…it’s all got Binda hoping that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.