Welcome to my Second Acts Series!
Today, we have Soul Mate author Neva Brown talking about the optimism and work ethic that inspired her amazing life journey.
I grew up a country kid, my dad’s top cowhand. I learned to ride on an old cow horse then graduated to a horse trained just for me. I worked cattle and sheep, built fence, repaired windmills, and helped lay in bundled feed and baled hay for the livestock to eat through the hard winter months. I also learned to garden and to preserve vegetables, fruits, and berries for the family’s food. Regular school and church attendance were givens. My dad wasn’t allowed to finish school. Consequently, he was determined my siblings and I would be educated (five of my public school years I didn’t miss a single day). Above all, I was loved but not coddled.
My first date was with the best looking cowboy in high school. Four years later I married him. When our two sons were less than three years old (not twins), we lived on a ranch twenty-three miles from town with no phone or electricity. It was there I wrote my first little stories.
In time, drought and my husband’s battle with debilitating arthritis sent me back to school to get a teaching degree which served us well in the ensuing years. Our sons grew into productive citizens and married wonderful women (found them without my help—can you believe it!). Now the grandchildren add joy and sparkle to my life.
What triggered the need for change?
I retired from teaching and my husband’s health dictated that we move to town where our life style changed. We now live in a community of “active mature adults.” Life is good!
Where are you now?
This second act of my life is fun, challenging, and just might be a little self indulgent. I write romance novels—contemporary and historical. They range from sweet to sensual. I love spending time with my characters be they naughty or nice. They used to be my guilty, secret pleasure. Now I acknowledge them openly. Some of my contemporaries raise their eyebrows and look a little shocked, but others are a regular cheering section for me.
I found kindred souls in the San Angelo Writers Club and connected with my first critique partners. Soon after that, I braved the internet and found a wealth of supportive online writing groups. Just last year, I finally took my courage in hand and sent a novel, CASEY’S COURAGE out into the publishing world. It found a home and is now on Amazon. My second novel, A PRETTY PENNY, is to be published this spring by Soul Mate Publishing. Life gets better and better!
What advice would you give someone considering a second act?
Never let “I’m too old” or “I don’t have time” be excuses for not doing what you down deep in your heart know you want to do.
Any affirmations or quotations you wish to share?
My two maintstay quotes…
“I do the very best I know how—the very best I can, and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.” Abraham Lincoln (1860)
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7
LOVE hunkers down and hides but abides until Casey and Tres realize life without love is just existing not really living.
Just as accomplished horse trainer Casey Mason, PhD, feels she’s earned her independence, disaster strikes and her life is forever changed. She must put her life back together bit by piece. The obstacles and her old beliefs seem insurmountable; making her wonder if love can conquer all.
Jordan Spencer III (Tres) inherits Spencer Ranch where Casey, the riding buddy of his youth, still lives. Casey, a beautiful, complex woman, creeps into his mind and heart. Bitter experiences make him shy away from a serious relationship with a woman; yet he and Casey have a special connection. As she struggles with her rehabilitation, he micromanages her life with quiet efficiency until he pushes her past some invisible line. When Casey disappears from his life, he learns more about himself than makes him comfortable. Coming to terms with the past so he can move on to a future with Casey is a challenge that tests his mettle.
Where to find Neva…
What an uplifting post! Thanks for sharing your journey, Neva, and best of luck with all your literary endeavors.