Please welcome author Dana Pratola to The West Corner!
Outstanding. Individual. Unique. One of a kind. Distinct. Different. Odd. Weird. …all words used to describe people, in some cases, us, and depending on which end of the spectrum we hear most often in relation to ourselves, words that help or hinder.
Growing up, I spent a great deal of time alone. By choice, mind you. I had a mob of friends — the neighborhood gang of fifteen or twenty who could always be seen together (much to the displeasure of our neighbors) — and I had a sister and three big brothers, so self-imposed solitary confinement was often not only enjoyable, but a necessity. But no one got it.
I remember days friends would knock on my door or yell out front of my house to get me to come out, when I was more interested in introspective daydreaming. Though I loved to write from an early age, I had no idea it was what God had planned for me, only that I knew this thinking and creating and pensive imagining was for me. I needed it like I needed the air, or my collection of Bee Gees tapes (before CDs, folks), and I didn’t care what anyone thought.
It troubles me when I see a young person being nudged into some little mold their friends, school officials, even parents have designed for them. They’re drawn away from the things that make them unique and outstanding into a flat, four-sided construct meant to hold the average and the bland. It’s tragic. Don’t get me wrong, a degree of conformity is a good thing. We can’t all run around naked shooting each other with paperclips and rubber bands (though it would be kinda cool if we could), but what of who we were created to be?
I think anyone who knows me will tell you, I don’t fit in a box, and I still don’t care if anyone thinks I’m weird, or not hooked up right. I don’t say that as a prideful thing, merely a fact. People have asked me, “What’s wrong with you?” and, “How does your mind work like that?” To answer both questions: Nothing, and God made me this way.
He made us all the way we are – maybe not the way some people have steered us – to be different, distinct. To shine. We are fearfully and WONDERFULLY made. God didn’t look at us and say, “Eh, she’ll do.” And neither should we, whether we’re looking at others or our reflections in the mirror.
I hope we all do some introspective daydreaming from time to time and perhaps rediscover that hidden spark we may have snuffed out because it was considered weird, or was easier than explaining it to someone who wouldn’t get it anyway. That spark may be the very one that ignites your life for the Kingdom and shows you who God intended you to be.
About the Author
God gave me a passion to write Christian Romance. These books don’t contain explicit sex scenes, but my characters have real desires, struggles and choices to make. A lot of the time they make the wrong ones. No subject is prohibited, but good always triumphs and God is glorified.
In my personal life, He has also blessed me with a wonderful husband and three dynamic children, all of whom are destined to make wide, colorful splashes in this world. We share our New Jersey home with three dogs. I have no hobbies to speak of, unless you include writing. I don’t.
Sophia Gallo is celebrated and adored by millions, but in her meteoric rise to fame, it might appear she’s forgotten the One Who gave her the gift that made possible her life of wealth and glory. She hasn’t forgotten. She’s reminded every day as she endeavors to hide a secret that could change everything and expose her as the freak and outcast she always thought herself to be.
Cade Fioretti has never backed down from finding the truth, and he’s not about to start now. It’s his job and his passion. Sophia is beautiful, talented, and the subject of his next book; but she’s hiding something. No matter what it takes, he’s going to dig it up, and in the process learn all there is to know about this woman who’s stolen his heart.