Can We Go Home Again? – Riverton Road Monday

High School ReunionEvery story is a conversation with myself as the author and myself as a person. I usually don’t recognize what that conversation is about until I’m at least halfway through the writing. Or maybe not until after I’ve typed The End.

In A Wrong Way Home I knew all along that Kara’s dilemma has been my dilemma for decades. Can we go home again? Can we return to the place that birthed us and nurtured us? Or – as is the case with Kara – the place that failed to nurture us.

The answer is more difficult when we’ve had a hometown experience like Kara’s – the non-nurturing kind and the hurtful memories that go with it. For Kara those deep dark memory pits have to do with two things – her family and her past relationships with men. She doesn’t want to fall into either of these pits again.

Yet she can’t seem to stay away from one of those men even though she knows for sure that seeing him again will mean heartache for her. Matt Kalli is like the sore tooth we can’t keep from flicking with our tongue. Maybe we do that to make certain the pain is still there.

Isn’t that true of most of us when – for example – we can’t stop ourselves from signing up for the high school reunion. We shop long and hard for the perfect outfits to display ourselves at our best advantage. We have our hair styled. We struggle to lose weight. At my age we wish we could afford a facelift.

We’ve got unfinished business back there. Battlefields we didn’t conquer the first time around. The mean girls. The lost boys. The warm friendships that went cold. We long to write an alternate ending to those stories.

“Look at me,” we’d like to say. “See how special I am now. Don’t you wish you’d been nicer to me back then? Sorry. You’re too late to make up for it now.”

That’s the best case scenario. What will the real scenario be? We can’t resist finding out. We can’t keep our tongues off that nagging sore tooth memory. So we clean up as pretty as we can get and trek back home again.

I’ve gone to two high school reunions. One was a disappointment – no closure to be found. The second was very different. Why? Because I stayed away from the mean girls and boys I’d lost and the bad friends. I hung with the folks who’d been my true besties and I had a marvelous time. I also took my husband. He cleans up nice too.

Like Kara I found out that we can go home again. We just have to choose our stopping points wisely. We have to do that choosing with our warm hearts instead of our broken ones.


 My latest story is A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #1 – Matt & Kara’s Story. Available at This is my 12th novel and it’s all about going home again.

 Alice Orr –


2 thoughts on “Can We Go Home Again? – Riverton Road Monday

  1. Your words really resonate. I ride the fence on astrology but will concede that side-stepping an issue is supposed to be a Cancerian trait. Perhaps because I used to focus on crab-claw tenacity and found myself being flung off into the cold, deep drink one too many times, I don’t even try to go back anymore. “Let sleeping dogs (and mean girls) lie.” I have learned to choose friends more wisely and I’m grateful for that.

    1. Hi Maria Mascaro. Most of us have our mean girl stories. They cut deep and they stick around in the memory. As a writer I think the best use for all of the intense experiences in our lives is to adapt them to our novels. Because we feel these real life scenes so deeply and lived through them so intimately we remember the specific details that can make them come alive in our fiction – not just for us but also for our readers. These scenes that started out as personal hurts can end up to be some of the most powerful writing we will ever do. And in writer terms that’s the opposite of painful because it gives us the joy of satisfaction. So bless those mean girls. They make great material. You have my permission and encouragement to use them at will.

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