Today I finished polishing my second Charity book, Charity MacCay and the Saintly Wives. It feels so good! Sure, I still have a few sentences to add in a couple places, but that’s it. I’m DONE!
What struck me about the final chapters was how I make Charity suffer through some pretty rotten luck. I don’t feel bad about it because she’s had a comfortable life. She was born into an upper class family, she’s never known hunger, she’s beautiful and buxom and so very smart, and underneath her impulsiveness and selfishness beats a generous heart. So I figure readers won’t mind if I inflict her with some bad karma, especially since it adds to the plot twists and humor.
Anyway, it’s ironic that over breakfast I read an article about a woman who in most ways had the opposite early life of Charity, but now Karma seems to loves her to pieces.
She’s on the cover of Vanity Fair this month, her name is Natalia, and she’s a supermodel (those rare one-name creatures I haven’t paid heed to in years). She looks like she’s eighteen but is 32. And she has three beautiful children. And a doting, gorgeous, wealthy husband. And two homes in France. And she was in a bikini on the swimsuit cover of Sports Illustrated, never mind that she’s had three kids so she should have stretch marks and blobs of fat on her hips.
You know why I forgive her even though she make me want to slit my wrists?
Turns out she had a grim childhood in her native Russia. Badass dads who came and went. A severely handicapped sister. A mother who struggled to sell fruit on the streets while paying off the local Mob to let her work. Soon Natalia was also on the street selling fruit. What a tough childhood compared to my Charity character.
Flash forward to Natalia at 22: She’s a supermodel, has bought her mother a house, and has founded a major charity foundation that has built over a hundred playgrounds for children in Russia.
You know, if any of us wrote a novel about someone with such a fantastical life, we’d be laughed out of the business. But here’s what a friend said about Natalia, and you tell me if it doesn’t sound like a solid background for an exciting lead character:
“She is a fighter. In Russia… she had to survive. The qualities she needed—the constant awareness, the readiness to fight, the sixth sense about danger—these things are in her blood… She is like a combination of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.”
This kind of reminds me of the old TV series My Name is Earl. I liked its humor and how Earl was trying to atone for his past bad actions so that he could straighten out his Karma. Do good stuff and Karma will do right by you, Earl preached. That rule never seems to work for Charity MacCay, however, because for her no good deed she does goes unpunished. But then, that’s why my book is fiction and funny.
How about you? Any wild Karma stories you’ve written or lived through? Known people who seem to experience extremes of good or bad luck?