Buzz Aldrin once said, “Timing is very important…I have been blessed to be in the right place at the right time.” He was responding to a question on how he ended up being one of the first people on the moon. He was undoubtedly lucky, but what if you’re not? What if someone is in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or they think they’re in the right place, but it turns out the timing couldn’t be worse? These are the dilemmas characters in my new novel, Timing Is Everything, are grappling with.
I suspect almost all of us have had the experience of feeling as if timing is screwing with our lives. I certainly have. Almost 20 years ago when my partner and I were trying to fost-adopt a child, we had an incredibly supportive caseworker who was doing our home study. We were the only lesbian couple in the agency and she believed we’d be great parents. A week before the home study was finished, we were informed that she was no longer working at the agency. (We never found out why.) The new caseworker procrastinated endlessly and even after we were certified, she never placed a child with us. At the time all I could think was, if only we’d joined that agency just a few months earlier everything would have been different.
At the other end of the scale, I’ve also experienced perfect timing, even if it didn’t seem like it at the time. I came to the USA on a student visa, and then received a temporary work visa based on my job in a social work agency. Once I met my now-wife Carol, I was determined to stay in the USA, but how? I went to meet with an immigration lawyer and based on what I told him, he said the only way I’d get a green card was to marry a man. I returned to work and burst into tears, frustrated and scared. A colleague passing by my desk asked me why I was crying. I told her. She said she knew an immigration lawyer who was doing innovative work for a friend of hers and she believed that attorney could help me too. She was right. That lawyer did something completely unique and I became the first social worker ever to get my green card based on a national interest waiver – a category generally used for famous basketball players or wealthy businesspeople. If I hadn’t burst into tears at that moment, we’d never have had the conversation we did, and my whole life would have been different.
Wynn Larimer (who you might remember from Along Came the Rain) is putting out the trash late one night when a car smashes into her, injuring her so badly her entire livelihood is in jeopardy. Gabriella Luna (Gordy) is about to achieve permanent resident status in the USA when she’s accused of a felony crime. The timing couldn’t be worse—she’s terrified of being deported. The woman who wants to help both Wynn and Gordy is Kat Ayalon (who readers met in Devoted.) Wynn is Kat’s best friend and Gordy is Kat’s new love interest. But when the worlds of Wynn and Gordy collide, Kat doesn’t know how she can support both women, if helping one means selling out the other.
Timing really is everything—I planned on having this blog come out on release day, but I got so sick that by the time I contacted Jove to set up the date, all the blog spots were full until today. I have to believe there’s a reason for my bad timing, and I can’t wait to find out what it is!
This blog was first published in Women and Words