Catching the Next Bus

lisa portraits 001 New Blood, fresh face!  Make room in the ‘vert, Riders.  Welcome, Lisa Scott!

It’s strange being 42 and a newbie in the publishing world. I turned to writing after almost twenty years in TV news as a reporter and anchor. That chapter of my life ended when I lost my job in 2008 a few weeks before Christmas. It was one of the darkest times of my life. For a number of reasons, I didn’t want to continue in the field and knew that career was over. I was devastated, embarrassed, and clueless what to do next. I didn’t handle it well. I sobbed endlessly for days, wadded tissues all over the floor. My young children were confused why normally happy Mommy was so sad.

One night as I was crying alone in bed—my husband off working the night shift—my five-year-old daughter came into my room. Her look was determined, her voice quiet and calm. “Mommy, please stop crying. It’s just a job. You can get another job.”

summer fall 2011 105

She was right, but I needed to explain why I was so upset. “Honey, I really loved my job. It was my dream job, and I don’t know what I’m going to do next.”

She started ticking off the options on her chubby little fingers. “You could be anything: a teacher, an artist, a vet.” (All of her dream jobs.)

How could I get my kindergartener to understand my loss? “Riley, I feel like I was on a party bus having a great time, and then that bus dumped off me in the desert with no food or water and no map. And I don’t know what to do now.”

She climbed up next to me. “I’ll be your map.”

I smiled through my tears. “Okay map. Where should I go?”

“Chase the bus.”

I choked back a sob. “Sweetie, even if we caught it, they don’t want me on that bus.”

She thought about it for a moment, then shrugged. “We’ll just wait for the next bus.”

I was stunned. Everything seemed so clear. She was right. Something else was going to come along. Of course it was. She patted my head and said, “So put that in your imagination and dream about it tonight,” and then she kissed me and backed out of my room. I couldn’t believe it. Here I was giving my children a horrible lesson on how to deal with adversity, and my five year old was the one providing the wisdom.

So I took the risky chance of working for myself as a voice actor and decided to finally try my hand as a writer, something I’d always wanted to do, and had dabbled with in the last few years while working. I started writing shorts for true confessional magazines. I polished up a middle grade novel I’d written. I wrote my first romance novel. And now I’m riding on that next bus, thrilled to be writing my very own happy ending.

But I think it’s time for an upgrade in transportation. I want to ride with the top down, too, waving my arms, hooting and hollering, “Look at me! I’m doing it!” (Because you’re crazy if you do that on a bus, but way cool doing it in a convertible.)

No Foolin' - sample 3

I’ve been busy on this new journey. My first romance novel, No Foolin’, is now available from the fabulous Bell Bridge Books. Story #2 in the Willowdale series, Man of the Month, will be out in March. I’ve self-published several collections of romantic short stories I call Flirts!, and my debut middle grade novel, School of Charm, comes out with HarperCollins next year. I spend many days in my pajamas sans makeup instead of the suits and full hair and makeup I used to wear every day. My children panic when they see me putting on mascara. “Where are you going??!!” But it’s been an incredible ride. I used to be the one emailing authors saying how much I loved their writing. Now I’m getting email from strangers telling me they stayed up all night reading my books.

flirts cover - final composition pink 1a - silver2 - large

If you’d like to check out my work, a few of my short stories are free right now: “The Hot Girl’s Friend” (from Flirts! 5 Romantic Short Stories) and “My Fake Fiance” (from Wedding Flirts! 5 Romantic Short Stories.) One lucky commenter will win a paperback copy of No Foolin’. When a Hollywood heart throb comes to a tiny Willowdale, North Carolina, he hires the school nurse to pose as his girlfriend so the press won’t discover the secret that really brought him there. Fooling the tabloids they’re in love is one thing; convincing themselves they’re not is getting harder each day.

So tell me, how many of you have had to change busses in the middle of the journey? I’ll send a paperback copy of NO FOOLIN’ to the visitor whose name is drawn from among today’s comments

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About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in Bell Bridge Books, career change,short story, change, free book, new authors, romance novels. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Catching the Next Bus

  1. Hi Lisa,
    What a sweet daughter you have. And you were being a great role model! Right now, I am waiting for that next bus. Pushed out from my job this December. I’ve gotten past crying, but still wandering aimlessly. Your story is just what I needed to read.

  2. Kathie says:

    I loved your story Lisa, it brought back some forgotten memories of my own. Not only did I change buses but locations as well. A seriously bad marriage sent me walking away from everything and everyone I knew and loved. As world closed in around me, I couldn’t possibly see a way out. Pregnant with a 21/2 year old in tow, I was devastated by the exes mpst recent departure. I had cried most of the day so distraught I wanted to just vanish from the face of the earth when my daughter started to pat my back and say “everything will be all right mommy”; It was as if someone poured ice water over me but I realized I had so very much depending on me and needed to catch that next bus. My children are all grown with babies of their own now and even though there were some rough times (still are), they could never outweigh the little surprises in life – the pats on the back by little hands. Thank You for the lovely story and the beloved memories that came along. Many Blessings to you and yours!!!

  3. laurieg72 says:

    We hit a rough patch in 2008 when the economy tanked. We have 4 rental units and need the income of all 4 to meet our financial responsibilities. Unfortunately in 2008 and in 2010 we had two evictions. Both evictions set us back 10-11 months as they wouldn’t move out and they wouldn’t pay. The court systems lies heavily in the tenant’s favor with slow calendar dates and the tenants ability to declare bankruptcy. To make a long story short I had to go back to work. This was quite an adjustment after taking 20 years off to raise four children.

    Best wishes to you in your new career! Children are so smart. They really get to the heart of the issue in a few words.

  4. Liz Flaherty says:

    I was one of the lucky ones in that I didn’t change buses until I retired, which was voluntary; however, I didn’t have adventure, either, working at the same place for 30 years. So here I at 62, chasing new buses. It’s fun! Your daughter is so smart!

  5. Lisa Scott says:

    Thanks so much for hosting me today and thanks for your stories. We’re all stronger than we think, aren’t we? Laura, I hope you find your next opportunity soon. It’s not always easy. I may have stopped the sob fest after my daughter had her little talk with me, but there were still many difficult days. And Kathie, your story had me in tears. And Laurie, we have a rental house. I can feel your pain. Can’t imagine handling two evictions at once. And Liz, I hope I’m chasing new busses at 62, too!

  6. ellie says:

    Chasing buses is always inevitable in life. When a job ended I went back to school and started a new career. this one was enjoyable and interesting. Sometimes it is a blessing in disguise.

  7. Darlene Pettigrew says:

    I had the pleasure of watching you as the news anchor for years as many of your male co-anchors came and went. After that network made the huge mistake of letting you go, I changed to a different channel for my news. They say everything happens for a reason. Now, we, the avid-readers and hopeless romantics get the pleasure of reading your books. I have read all your flirts and loved all of them. Looking forward to your future writings. Congratulations on all your publishings, Lisa!!

  8. Guy Ogan says:

    Nor is it fun to hop from one bus to another while both are still moving! While in the military, I had a “Passover” (having nothing to do with the Jewish Holy Day). Not making promotion is what that means…I finally got promoted after finishing classes to switch to a civilian job selling real estate (in hindsight, I would have been bored to tears doing that). I loved the military, but felt I’d have little chance on further advancement (eventhough my boss was trying to get me promoted). At just over twenty years, I retired in 1988, seeing a new President was going to slash the service. Fortunately, while military, I’d finished a Master of Arts in Psychology and had some skills, but refreshed my Psychology and Counseling with another masters (M.Ed.) getting hired to assess and help ADHD children, adolescents and adults I soon opening my own clinic when my then “boss” moved to “the big city.” I also became an part-time instructor at a college and junior college, while substitute teaching and working for another university as a student advisor on the base. At the same time, I wrote an ADHD Assessment Book for parents and other. That kept me busy and I kept doing most of it even after I got hired by the State of Texas to work in their Criminal Justice, Substance Abuse Treatment Program (they all but closed the program when a budget cruch came). It was sad, as our effectiveness was much higher than a politically sensitive sex offender program that was kept full strength. Seeing the handwriting on the wall, I moved into a prison Psychology Departments at a slightly lower pay grade. When my father passed away, as the only child, I retired to care for my disabled mother. Upon her passing, while going through the large files of my late father, I came upon the picture (shown on p. 2 of my first book, “Immortal Relations”) that started my paranormal romance writing careeer. Book two, “Immortal Relations, Love and War” is out and I’m working on book three. In my Counseling and Human Development courses, it said men and women of today’s generation could expect to experience three different careers…I guess I just got started a bit early being forced to switch busses!

  9. Annette Reyes says:

    You daughter is so sweet but also wise beyond her age. I love how children can be so perceptive and explain things in such a way that we see new light in what they’re saying. You have your own angel!

  10. I’ve been dragging my feet against change ever since I was a kid, daughter of a career Air Force officer. I hated moving. I would look back crying as we drove away or flew away–one time we sailed away. I’d take my little box of souvenirs, became (and still am) a pack rat. But I’ve had some wonderful adventures and made some big changes in my life. I’ve come to realize that all that moving was as much a part of my education as formal schooling, maybe more so.

    I still find it hard to change, but I’m reminded of the poetry of Robert Frost. Life’s journey is full of forks in the road. Change is inevitable, and it’s continual, but we don’t always see that it’s happening until we come to a fork in the road. Then we make a choice.

    In our books, the fork in the road is where the story begins.

  11. Roxanne Rustand says:

    What a wonderful story about your journey from one career into the next, and the charming, simple wisdom of your dear little girl. I just love your book covers and titles, and your books sound wonderful! I just now popped over to pick up the two short stories you mentioned, and look forward to reading much more of your work!

    Best wishes to you now, and in the future!

  12. Cindy Gerard says:

    Great story Lisa. congrats on the new release. And you should hire that little daughter of yours out. People pay a lot of money for that kind of career advice :o)

  13. Annie says:

    You are resilient and strong to have triumphed. Many times over my life adversity has struck and our strength comes shining through. Our abilities are numerous and creativity allows us to seek greener pastures.

  14. loisgreiman says:

    What a beautiful story, Lisa. I’m absolutely in love with your daughter and your telling of the story. As for me, yes, both my publishers dropped my series just weeks apart a couple of years ago, so I started some brand new things…ventured out on my own, took some risks, took some blows…but voila…life goes on. Congrats to you and your wise children.

    • Lois – Speaking as a loyal fan – I loved the Chrissy McMullen series. I would be so happy if you started another contemporary. And, btw, forget your publisher. Self-publish ebooks. You have enough of a following that they would sell. I’d certainly buy them and promote them.
      Unsolicited assvice. Sorry. Couldn’t help it, though.

  15. Nicole says:

    Life takes us places we didn’t imagine sometimes. People use to work at the same job forever, these days people are changing careers sometimes 2 or 3 times in there life time. It’s exciting, I think. In our case, throught my husband’s job, we made big moves. The last one brought us tu a new contry. I am very happy now where we are but it’s been hard to move away from family and living in a different environment and language.
    Your daughter is so precious.

  16. CateS says:

    Your little girl is amazing!

  17. Your daughter is definitely your champion, Lisa, and you were wise to listen to her. Changing buses when you don’t even know the schedule of stops can be frightening. Standing alone at the bus stop watching the one you thought you wanted go zipping by is devastating. Getting on the wrong one – shoot, that’s a disaster. I’ve waited and changed and missed quite a few of those rides in my lifetime, ’cause I’m actually older than most of the buses now, but if I’ve learned anything during the wild ride of Life, it’s this – for everything good that passes you by, something better comes along. You simply have to be ready with eyes wide open or you’ll miss those the little things that turn out to be blessings in disguise. How wonderful you waited to catch the next bus. May your bus ride take you exactly where you want to go.

  18. Lisa Scott says:

    Thanks for all the great comments and stories everyone. I guess life wouldn’t be all that interesting if it was just one long ride on the same bus. Looking back now, I’m able to say it was for the best. I was getting up at 3am every day to go to work and just trying to get through each day. I’m not richer, but my life is. :)

  19. Quilt Lady says:

    Be so proud of your daughter she is amazing. I have had to change buses several times in my life and I guess the worse one was loosing a job I had for 21 years, they just up and closed one day. Then every place I went to done the same. Right now I stay and home and we live on one income which is very hard but we are making it. This past year has been really hard because I had to have back surgery with a lot of medical bills has made it very hard. Now they tell me my hip is worn out so I will be going through the same thing this year. Its always something.

  20. bellwriter says:

    Lisa, out of the mouths of babes. What a wonderful story. And what a wonderful daughter you have. I’ll never look at chasing a bus the same way. The next time I’ll see opportunity. You certainly have!

  21. Alissa says:

    Lisa, i think your journey is inspiring and fantastic at the same time. Generally i think my favorite authors are fantastic but there’s something about your experience going from one bus to catching another in a different route that amazes me. When i think about my future, i hope i won’t have to change careers along the way, so years of hard work don’t seem like a waste of time. But, your story shows clearly that there’s nothing to worry about because at the end i might be doing something i enjoy and that was meant for me.I enjoy your stories very much and thank your daughter for being so brilliant :)

  22. Lisa Scott says:

    Thanks so much everyone for the great stories and the wonderful comments! My daughter certainly is a special girl. My son, too. Alissa, I think I’d advise anyone to have a plan or an idea of what they’d like to do if their current job were no longer an option. Luckily, I had been doing a bit of voice work and writing while I was still at the station so I had an interest to pursue when I decided I didn’t want to return to the corporate world. I’m excited that I have a new career and new interests to pursue at this stage of my life. When I first lost my job, I honestly thought my “best” years were over. I wish I could back in time and shake some sense into that woman!

  23. Lisa – I love this. What a wise 5 year old. Funny the places that truth comes from. Going after the short story book and I bet it leads me to buying the rest of your work!

  24. Alissa says:

    That’s a good advice. And i will keep that in mind during my four years in College. Thank You for sharing your story!!! I would feel the same way if i had lost my dream job. I’m really happy for you. And as they say “Your best Years are far from over” :) By the way, i watched the promos for your Beach Flirts and the novel Spouse Hunting, and they are so much fun! I hope you’ll make promos for the other Flirts collections too.

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