“Trip to Bountiful” – part 12

Rae and I at Coldplay.jpg
Chillin’ with Rae at Wembley Stadium, waiting for Coldplay

As mentioned elsewhere, part of our reason behind this trip was for my wife, Rae, to engage in book research for her novel, “Miss-Adventured.” Why tap the Internet when it’s so much better to simply go, right?!

#AdventureofaLifetime at the #headfullofdreams tour

Without premeditation, Rob and I find ourselves involved in near daily misadventures. Our trip to the Coldplay concert was no exception.

Thanks to over-vigilance at our bank who blocked a car-rental drop-off charge they marked as fraud, we couldn’t access our funds. We had zero money to take the tube home from Wembley to Parsons Green. Panic set in but was overridden with some across-the-pond creative communication on Facebook and email. Our friend, Rosemary, contacted the bank and by 4:30pm London Time, the doors opened to the stadium, and the cash machine pooped out a few hundred pounds.

For twenty-eight years, I’ve been a stage-spouse/parent tooting my horn about the artistic achievements of the three staggeringly talented musicians in my family who overshadow me. My artistic accomplishments include a group folk dance performed in a Grade 5 school assembly. I confused my lights and refts, danced in the wrong direction and toppled over the oncoming circle of dancers like dominoes.

Or, the choir teacher telling my mother what I lacked in singing talent was made up for in enthusiasm, despite strategically hiding me in the back where my voice wouldn’t force others out of tune. My youngest child once told me, “Mum, even with autotune, you’d still sound like a goat.”

His brother kicked him under the table offering mumbled advice against reverse brown-nosing. 

At this concert, as 75,000 people waved their lighty-uppy bracelets and stadium-anthemed along with me, “I, oh, I, oh, I..” to the tune of Hymn for the Weekend, I was gob-smacked by a revelation.

We were here because of me. My accomplishment. Something artistic I created. It was a first. Tears flowed.

I was overwhelmed. I thanked God.

Rock 'n roll bracelets.jpg
Cool, lighty-uppy concert bracelets

At my day job, I work with maps and computers (Geographic Information Systems or GIS). My protagonist, Brynne, works in Geographic Intelligence. Through the forty-plus versions of my first draft I wasn’t sold on my antagonist’s motive.

My co-workers Cindy and DD patiently listened as I tossed about antagonisty ideas. One day I demonstrated Brynne’s spy-bling on the office carpet – Gravity Grip shoes. I can’t blame them for being leery of book talk after I TRIED THIS AT HOME WEARING SOCKS ON HARDWOOD FLOORS. (The not-so-subliminal message: don’t try this at home, unless your romantic fantasies include six burly men showing up in your bedroom with drugs to whisk you away in an ambulance.)

DD reads several books a week. I’m leaning on my crutches as she suggests, “Since Brynne is music-obsessed why don’t you use the cities on a concert tour t-shirt for the plot.” I flipped for the idea.  

     “But what currently touring band’s music is known among the 14–65 demographic?” I asked. The three of us stared blankly at each other and returned to work. An hour later, Cindy yells over my cubicle, “COLDPLAY!” 

Coldplay T-shirts.jpg
Cindy and DD holding up the t-shirts I bought them once I had cash

As I fired up Spotify and listened to Coldplay’s biggest downloads, Aidan, my male lead twinkled his blue eyes at me and whispered in my ear, “’I crossed lines I shouldn’t have crossed.’ Can you picture the scene?”

“Vividly, in double-vision,” I quivered. Forwarding to the next song, Fix You, Brynne bangs it out on the piano, lamenting the aftermath of a calamitous choice.

To experience those songs live at Wembley stadium was one of the premier moments of my life. As I sang every note and clapped every beat, I thanked Brynne and Aidan for bringing me to a sold out concert to see Coldplay as I waved my bracelet in their names, experiencing all of this through their eyes.

These characters have changed my life, our lives, and I can’t wait for you to read Miss-Adventured and experience Brynne and Aidan’s #amazingday.  

An awe-inspiring night

* * * * *

When will Miss-Adventured be on the shelves you ask? It’s off to the editor at the end of September, then to the agent once I’ve screamed a lot and incorporated the suggested changes.

Learn more about Miss-Adventured here



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