Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Right Place

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How often have you heard people saying, “Poor guy, he was at the wrong place in the wrong time?”

Being a thoroughly positive person, I will analyze how being at the right place in the right time affected my life.

I married my husband because we were both at the right place in the right time. We lived on opposite sides of the country, but I spent a vacation with my cousins in a different town and he happened to be visiting friends in the same place and attending the same organized tour where we met. Voila. Many, many years later we are sitting across from each other for better or worse.

My first book was published because I was at the right place in the right time. More precisely at a conference. Picture me walking to a workshop, passing by the room where editors held the pitch session and taking a peek through the door. An editor sat by herself because the writer never showed up. What a waste of precious pitching time. The coordinator asked if I wanted to talk to the editor. I wasn’t planning on pitching, but I decided to give it a try. I sat across from the editor and explained I really wasn’t prepared. “Why don’t you tell me about the story you really love?” Once I started I couldn’t stop, and she said she loved it. A month later I signed my first contract. Four years later, I have five books published the sixth one coming in three weeks, quite unexpectedly, but that’s another story.

I also got my first big job because a recruiter called the Chemistry Department’s Lab looking for soon-to-be graduates, and I happened to answer the phone. He insisted I come for an interview although I wasn’t graduating for another six months. They offered me a part-time and later fulltime job. I took an early retirement a few years ago from that company.

Editors often mention not to base a story on coincidence. Is being at the right place in the right time a coincidence? Fate? Part of our destiny or as a friend of mine often tells me: it is meant to be.

What’s your opinion on that subject? Have you been at the right place in the right time? Did it make a difference in your life?

Rx in RUSSIAN:  Fyodor Vassilov is a Russian widower, surgeon and officer. Duty demands that Fyodor provide a mother to his four little boys and marry a woman who loves children and big family. Jillian Burton is an American pediatrician on a mission to improve medical conditions in Belarus. Jillian blames herself and her ex-husband for their son’s death, and has lost her illusions about men and marriage.

When they work together for six months in his hospital, their fascination with one another shocks them both. Can attraction and love overcome guilt, duty, and a clash of cultures?

In spite of his good sense, Fyodor wanted to impress the lovely Dr. Burton. He wanted her to think the best of his hospital...and its director.

“We can raise and lower the bed with this handle,” he added with pride.

Jillian approached the bed and rotated the handle. A metallic screech filled the silence. Damn bed. Fyodor hoped she didn’t notice his blush as she played with the handle. Why did he feel as if he must pass a test? It wouldn’t have bothered him to admit weakness in front of an older colleague.

“I’ll add automated beds to the list of equipment to be shipped to your hospital,” she said, her tone calm, revealing no arrogance or criticism. “Dr. Vassilov, I’ll do my best to modernize the place while I’m here.”

Spacibo bolchoy. Thank you so much.” He wanted to hug her, kiss her, tell her he was happy she wasn’t the well-aged expert his government had promised as visiting physician. If she conducted business in this highly professional manner, it would be a daily pleasure to work with her.

He studied her oval-shaped face with its serious expression and lingered on her high cheekbones, delicate straight nose, and the chocolate brown strands that curled on her shoulders. A daily pleasure indeed.

Her eyes widened as she leveled a business look at him and dug two white teeth into her lower lip. “If there are things you specifically need from me, don’t hesitate to ask.”

“I will keep your offer in mind. Spacibo bolchoy, Jillian.” His gaze swung to her delectable mouth. “I hope I may call you by your given name?”

She nodded and smiled. “Of course, Fyodor. No need to be formal when we’re going to work together for six months.”

He liked the way his name trailed on her lips. Fy-o-dor. Like honey. Her accent glided over his skin, caressed his heart, and stirred a desire he thought he had well under control.

Nyet. Stop there, Fyodor. His smile of admiration faded.

The lovely American was out of reach as far as he was concerned. He had an altogether different mission, a father’s duty to find a good mother for his children. A well-disciplined officer and doctor, he always performed his duty, no matter what it cost. His glance swayed toward Jillian. The cost of performing his duty was escalating by the minute. Regret knifed through him, and he repressed a sigh.

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with heat.


BABIES IN THE BARGAIN winner of 2009 Best Romance Novel at Preditors & Editors and winner of 2009 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite.
Rx FOR TRUST, winner of 2010 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite and 2011 EPICON

All books available at


Stephanie Burkhart said...

I think there's something to being at the right place in the right time. I was from NH, my husband was from CA and we met in Germany while both serving in the army.

I think coincidence is very real!

Keena Kincaid said...

I completely agree that there's something to being in the right place at the right time. I once wrote a character who had terrible trouble with timing. No matter what he did, it was always a bit too early for everything. It was meant to be comedic, but I found it very depressing.

In stories, I think coincidence will work if readers understand the events that led to that particular crossroad.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Steph, so what would you tell the editor who insists that coincidence is not acceptable in a romance? Especially during the dark moment or to bring about the resolution.

Mona Risk said...

Keena, I like the way you put: to understand the events that led to that particular crossroad.

Pamala Owldreamer said...

I was losing my job as a research nurse due to government cutbacks and asitting bymyslf in the hospital cafeteria looking pretty grim.One of the interns I had worked with in the neonatal ICU asked if she could sit down.we started talking and told each other our mutual stories of woe.She looked me in the eyes and tasked if i had ever considered working as a hospice RN.I had a rep in the unit of asking for the babies who weren't going to make it.She gave me the name and telephone number of her friend who was the team manager of the hospice and I called and interviewed the next day and was hired on the spot.I loved my job.Twelve years later I retired from nursing and started writing full time. Sometimes I miss the feeling of making a real difference in the last days of a dying person.I was definitely in the right place at the right time.I so believe that the powers that be puts us where we are supposed to be at the right time.I guess one could call it Destiny.

LK Hunsaker said...

Ah, I had a reader once say she couldn't imagine how people could fall in love with just letters. Well, it happens! So do such "coincidences" as being in the right place "accidentally."

I met my husband through friends who thought they were being funny shoving us on the phone together from different states. Well... 23 years later....

Fiction might have to make more sense than real life, but it should also reflect real life, coincidence and all. Nice post.

Luanna Stewart said...

Heck yeah, I believe. I happened to be babysitting a little girl and boy when their dad decided to return to London to get his PhD. His wife got a job over there and they invited me to go along as their nanny. I was 19 and got to spend 8 months in London, with every weekend free.

My husband was working as assistant prof at the college I was attending, needed to hire researchers, I was one of them, and we've been married almost 26 years. He was from WI and we met in Nova Scotia.

I'm a believer!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I think our lives are often ruled by coincidences, by strange quirks of fate. It's up to us to be open to what God or fate or kismet puts in our paths. Don't you love that feeling of experienceing new things, of having a little unplanned adventure, of meeting someone who makes a profound difference in your life? I met my husband online and we drew close via emails. When he mailed me his first book, I fell in love with him between the covers--ooops, did that sound right??? I figured if a man could write such a sensative love story, he was worth getting to know. We met face-to-face a month later at a bookstore. Ah, now there's a romantic story. I'm all for coincidences.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Pamela, I'm sure it's destiny that sent you to help the old residents. They must have loved you. When I visited my mother at the assisted living, the other residents looked at her with envy, saying she was lucky to have someone to talk to daily.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Loraine, that was exactly what occured to me yesterday when I started plotting a story and then stopped saying loud: nope, that sounds like coincidence, and my hubby answered, what's wrong with coincidence. That's how we met.

Mona Risk said...

Lu, I love your examples. Spending a year in London and getting a good husband through lovely coincidence is a god-sent. Maybe that's what we should call the coincidences.

Mona Risk said...

Yeah Vonnie, that's a perfect coincidence for a writer.

Mary Ricksen said...

I so know what you mean Mona. I wouldn't have published myself it it wasn't for a similar situation!
Great blog that rings so true...

Unknown said...

Hi, Mona--I don't remember a time that something wonderful happened to me because "I was in the right place at the right time."
However...I love stories based on that fact, the serendity thing, if you will. I do know it happens, and if I can think of a story, I'm going to write about it! Celia

Mona Risk said...

Yes Mary, I remember that story. LOL

Mona Risk said...

Celia, I can't believe you've never been faced with coincidences. Although I'm sure you mean you had to work hard for everything. That I can believe and relate too.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Oh, Mona, a subject close to my heart. I don't believe in coincidence at all. I think we are where we are supposed to be and able to accept what is meant for us. All we have to do is take advantage of it. I know a lot of time people question why something happened to them. They just don't understand until a time later when they see it all happened for the best after all. Of course, I question some of the sadder parts of my life, but have learned not to fight fate anymore and deal with whatever happens the best I know how.

Your Sam is so lucky to have you - you are a great friend and I am glad 'coincidence' put us in the same playground. :)

Mona Risk said...

I apologize in advance for not answering any more comments today. I am shutting down my computer and heading to the airport.

Please stay tune. I will have agreat blog on Thursday June 9 here at my blog, and another on Tuesday June 7 on the Pink Fuzzy Slippers blog.

Until then au-revoir.

Lilly Gayle said...

As alwas, great blog Mona. I absolutely believe in timing and being in the right place at the right time. It's how I met my husband, how I got my current job, and how my breast cancer was discovered before I had any symptoms. And once when my hubby and I were vacationing in the Bahamas, we ran into someone from my hometown. And she was not there with her husband. lol! But at least they were separated. I'm sure she was afraid of who'd I'd tell, but to this day, I can't remember her name. I just remember we once went to the same church...

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Mona,
Great blog. I think coincidence and being in the right place at the right time definitely go hand in hand.



Mary Marvella said...

Mona, I have wonderful friends because I was in the right place at the right time an took the opportunity offered me. I have editor and agent friends who might never buy or represent my work, but who knows?

And then there was the prom I attended without a date and met my ex.

Mona Risk said...

Since I'm able to connet from the ship cruise I will quicly answer.

Marlene,you are an amazing example of courage. I am so glad I have you for friend.

Lilly, you were a smart woman to take advantage of your opportunuities and it paid of.

Mary, it must be a fun story you should tell us one day.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Margaret, coincidence do happen, we have to take advantage of them.

Unknown said...

Mona, in all honesty, the "coincidences" that I've had which have brought me love, friends and successI proves to me that I have yet to be in the wrong place!!! LOL!!!

Great Topic!!!

Mona Risk said...

Kathy, thanks for stopping by. Your last being in the right place was the best. Yeah!!!