Breaking the rules

You know how I wrote in my first post that I'm an habitual rule follower? Well, I am.

Except lately. I've been breaking all the rules.

In the past few weeks, we've had a spate of absolutely gorgeous spring weather. Perfect patio weather, as we like to call it in Dallas. That gorgeous kind of day that warms to the low 80s and makes you yearn for five o'clock so you can head to the nearest patio to bask in the lingering warmth. And laughter of your closest friends. And maybe a few Texas-brewed beers.

Even though I no longer work a nine-to-five, I still keep a fairly regimented schedule. But when my friends had Spring Break, I kind of took one, too, even though I'm no longer in the world of academia.

And it was awesome. (Breaking the rules is fun!)

We took a girls' trip down to Shiner, TX, to the Spoetzl Brewery (and got a speeding ticket--it was a trap). I lounged around and read lots of great books. I went out to absurdly-priced lunches, with friends and also by myself. I got a manicure when I really didn't need one. I spent an awful lot of time on patios.

And I wore white(ish) shoes...before Easter.

grandmother's iris

I think it's important to break the rules sometimes. Not the big, bad rules of church and state, but those rules you impose on yourself.

In my current manuscript, the heroine Laura Reynolds is pretty uptight. She has a lot of rules. Sure, she's capable of being fun and funny--but only with an approved list of people and always on her terms. And our hero is not on that pre-approved list.

It's amazingly fun to watch Laura learn to live a little. Sure, wearing white shoes before Easter might not seem like all that big a deal to some, but to girls like Laura (and me) it's breaking down a social code that our mothers and grandmothers upheld faithfully.

And speaking of grandmothers, I can't wait for my grandmother's iris to bloom. Each year, those plants I transplanted from her garden to mine hundreds of miles away defy the odds (and my benign neglect) and bloom again.

Riotously.

Maybe that's my sign Grandmother doesn't really mind me breaking the rules now and again.

--AH