Wedding Dress

Twenty years ago today, CJQ and I stood in St. Cecelia’s church in New Jersey and said “I do.” All three of our daughters were there, as well as all three of our precious godchildren who we consider nieces. It was hot as blazes, but we had our reception in the courtyard behind our townhouse, under large white tents and had great food and a wonderful time.

Holy Moly, but a lot changes in 20 years. Two of our girls are married now (dress above belongs to youngest one), third doesn’t speak to us at all. The kids now have kids. We’ve moved to Florida. We love the heat and despise the cold. His parents have gone home to the Lord, as have a good many of our friends. We’ve got our own health challenges. After more than 37 years in Corporate America, I have my own writing business, helping people realize their dreams. It pays a few bills, helps a few charities, and I’m in control of the downsizing plans. No more pink slips for me!

When asked how long we’ve been married, CJQ will sigh and say, “Seems like a hundred years,” and I laugh, because sometimes, it really, really does. I feel the same way. Over the years, he’s bought and sold enough man-toys to fund the Wounded Warrior Project. Every time we got a home the way I loved it, he wanted to move. We’ve battled over the kids, the money, the jobs, the toys and the moves. He even refused to read the first short story I sold back in 1999, and he was the main character.

But our battles, struggles and scares, have brought us closer – to God and each other. Not that we don’t still have our share of disagreements from time to time, but we disagree differently now. More quietly. More respectfully. We agree to disagree on things, I guess.

As I mulled all this over very early in the morning, just after the sun came up and the rooster up the road crowed, I had an aha moment. My writing career started its journey in 1993, too. Not that there weren’t starts and stops along the way.

A writing career isn’t that different from a marriage. It isn’t going to work if you don’t stand pat, stick it out, learn what works and what doesn’t, struggle to get it right, forgive what didn’t, keep dreaming, keep working hard, keep moving forward. Keep learning new things, keep growing and keep believing in yourself.

Anyway, life, love, and writing careers ain’t perfect. But I’m certainly grateful for all three, particularly for the people I’ve met along the way, the children we’ve been blessed with, the lessons learned.  

I wish all of my readers much joy, peace and success, in your writing and your life.

And I wish CJQ a very Happy 100th Anniversary! 

See you Sunday – keep reading and writing! Nancy Q.


About NL Quatrano

Award-winning author, speaker, editor and ghost writer, Nancy owns a full-time editing, writing and specialty publishing business: On-Target Words/WC Publishing. Volunteer/member of professional writing organizations including Florida Writers Assoc., Sisters in Crime, and AWAI. 2010 Professional Woman of the Year by the NAPW. Linked in Editor Pick May 2013. International Women's Leadership Association nominee for Outstanding Leadership 2014.
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4 Responses to Committed

  1. owenobs says:

    LOVE IT;[ screw Elmore (rip) Leonard’s “rules”] Should I alert the Fire Department to stand by when you light the 100 Candles ;^D[The comment protocols are stuck in MARS…]Later – Jack

  2. Claire Sloan says:

    Nancy, I loved your anniversary tribute to your marriage, It was so grounded, so real, so beautiful. You had me caught, nodding my head at each stumble, thinking that, except for the name, this is me, this is all of us, loving and trippping and making it better. Then, you blew me away at the seguay to writing and how the author’s path is similar. I ended smiling and thinking if we all could have a “relationship coach” as skillful as you are a writing coach, then we would get where we want to be without faltering in too frequent miscommunication, learn faster, and be wizer and better persons. You are a special lady, and I am glad to be on your earth at the same time.

    • NL Quatrano says:

      Thank you, Claire. And I too, feel blessed to part of your life as well. You are part of what makes my life special! I’m afraid, that after all these years there is little I don’t see writing analogies to. LOL. Keep writing!

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