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1,180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It occurred to me that as both a reader and a writer, I much prefer general discussion to specific q&a, so maybe that would work better for other people as well. (I'll still keep the q&a threads going for anyone who prefers that way.) But be warned: this will be a discussion for the book as a whole, so anyone who hasn't read Waiting For Spring in its entirety will run into spoilers here.

So to kick this off, let's talk about the love story/stories (awww... :-* ).

While I was writing the first half of the book, I knew that there had to be specific points in the story where it would have been possible for Jason and Tess to get back together.

- In chapter 1, if Jason had shown up to court it would have happened.

He was gone. He hadn't even shown up in court, and it was probably just as well. Because I was drunk enough to remember that I'd planned to beg him to take me back.

Please, Jason? Please? Five months apart and that's long enough. Long enough to know that it's stupid to throw everything away. All those years together. A whole lifetime of love. We can't just give up on it. Please, Jason…


I was going to beg him. To take me back.

Chapter 5

And, in my mind anyway, he would have taken her back. I personally think it's why he didn't go. (Also, this would have been THE shortest book in history if that had happened.)

"Tess, I forgave you a long time ago, the second I closed the door behind me that night. I was just too stupid and proud to open it back up again and tell you."

Chapter 40

- The second time it would have been possible for the two of them to get back together would have been if Tess and Jason had been at the hospital for her nephew's birth at the same time.

What if I'd come last night? What if I'd held the kid this morning with Jason standing in the same room? Breathing the same air. Smelling the same aloe. It's why he came, why he stayed. He was waiting for me, waiting to see it. And what if he had? Would it have changed anything?

Chapter 6

Yes, it would have. (Sorry, Tess. I'm kind of a meanie.)

- Finally, if Tess had gone to Jason's mother's funeral.

"It wasn't until my mom died that I understood what the word actually meant. It didn't occur to me until that moment. I had it, all that time. She was my family. And you were my family, Tess. You and me. And I blew it."

Chapter 40

By that time Tess and Brian were together, and she might have been a little bit torn between the two of them, but she would have gone back to Jason if she'd gone and if he'd opened up to her. That, in my mind, is not why she didn't go, however. She was afraid of seeing that he was still angry (ie, more rejection).

So at what point was it Too Late for the two of them? In my mind, it was the disastrous Fourth Of July family gathering, when Brian stood up to Tess's mother (something literally no one else had ever done for her before).

I looked into his eyes again and I said it. Even though I'd said it to him before, more times than I could count.

"I love you, Brian."

I said it to him again. Because it was the first time that I'd really meant it.

Chapter 14

When Jason decides to conquer his pride and try to go get Tess back in Chapter 18 (the first time the reader actually meets him), it's too late. (Sorry, Jason. I'm kind of a meanie.)

1,180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's the same book. The only plot-related difference that my Encore editor suggested I make was (in chapter 32) where Tess quits her cleaning job with the Kendalls after Mr. Kendall's son insults her. She thought it was more in character for Tess to keep the job. I thought it over and decided she was right because 1) she needs the money 2) earlier in the book, she was afraid that her conduct would risk Brian's job. Why would that change here? and 3) she's not strong enough to take a stand at this point anyway. It also gave me the opportunity to rethink Mr. Kendall as just a sweet, doddering old guy. This is a guy who trades in his wives once they reach age 30, after all. This is the edited passage:

So I smiled, even though Mr. Kendall couldn’t see the smile, and when he begged me to reconsider quitting I opened my mouth to tell him I’d stay on. Until he said it.

"I’ll double what I’m already paying you."

I grabbed hold of the chair that was leaning against the wall, waiting for Brian to fix it, because the room was spinning and nothing was in focus. And through the fog I searched for words that were Polite.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Kendall. Unfortunately my schedule is just too full right now.”

"I'm sorry, Mr. Kendall. Unfortunately my schedule is just too full right now."

There was a long pause. Then he said, "Excuse me, Miss Dyer?" He sounded irritated, almost angry. I didn't know he was capable of it. "Are you saying you won't come back to work for me?"

Of course I couldn't say that. Not to this man. Not to his money. Because I really did need it. And because there was still Brian's job to consider. So I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and said, "No sir. I'm sorry. I only meant...I only meant that a raise won't be necessary, sir. I'll be back next week."

"Very well, Miss Dyer."

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