Reinventing Rita A Midlife Moxie Novel #1 by Nancy Christie Genre: Women's Fiction
Is fifty too old to start over and reinvent yourself?
Rita Reynolds is an empty nester with a second shot at life. Her college-age son is spending the summer with his new girlfriend instead of at home with Rita as she had hoped. Her part-time job might be ending, which will toss her back into the job market. Underscoring it all is the realization that since her divorce, she's been coasting on the highway of life. Now, the bumps in the road are too big to ignore.
A chance to teach a six-week baking class brings Rita's almost-forgotten dream of becoming a professional baker back to the surface. Can she overcome her fear that it might be too late for a fresh start? With the help of two friends—Donna, her employer, and Karen, her ex-husband's second wife—she's about to find out.
“Well, that’s not how it was supposed to look! Can’t anything turn out right?”
I dropped the paint roller on the tray and pushed my hair out of my face, then took a better look at the color. It was meant to be Marine Blue to go along with the nautical theme I had envisioned for my son’s room, figuring it would be more appropriate for a twenty-one-year-old than the sports motif wallpaper that had been on the wall since Zack turned twelve.
That was the idea anyway. But as the paint dried, it was a darned sight closer to robin’s egg, giving it the unmistakable air of a nursery. Granted, he would only be staying here during summer break, but still I wanted it to be perfect.
I wanted everything to be perfect—the color, the room, the entire three-month visit. I wanted it to be so perfect that, when Zack graduated next June, he might just come back here to live.
But so far, nothing was going according to plan. Not only had I selected the wrong shade of paint, but I was also now left on my own when it came to picking out new curtains and bedding for Zack’s room, since my mother had backed out of our Sunday shopping plans.
“Oh, honey, I forgot to call you,” she said when I finally reached her. Lately, every time I called my mother, it either went straight to voice mail, or if she answered, it was a brief conversation because she was on her way out. For a woman in her mid-seventies, she sure had a busy social life.
“I can’t go. I promised the group that I would be one of the drivers for the trip to the outlet mall in Pennsylvania.”
“Couldn’t you have told me this sooner?” I asked.
“I’m sorry, Rita. But can’t you get your boss to go with you?”
“No, I can’t. Weekends are busy days at Design2Go, and Donna can’t take time off from her business to go shopping just because I need advice,” I said.
“Well, maybe we can do it another day. But now I really must go. Have a good day, sweetie,” and without waiting for my answer, she ended the call, leaving me thoroughly aggravated, although I wasn’t sure whether it was at her or the prospect of venturing alone into the home linen and accessory arena.
Design had never been my strong point, which made my position as a salesclerk at Design2Go problematic. People flocked to our thousand-square-foot store for everything from curtains for the kitchen and towels for the bathroom to décor for living room walls and throw rugs for the laundry room. And my job is to help them develop a look that was uniquely theirs—despite my woeful inability to distinguish between trendy and classic, modern and contemporary, or organic cotton and polyester.
And apparently, if my most recent purchase was any indication, between nursery room blue and the navy shade I really wanted.
Nancy Christie has been making up stories since she learned how to write, and she plans to continue as long as her fingers can work the keyboard. She can often be found walking the streets of her neighborhood, reciting lines of dialogue or recording plot ideas on her cell phone before they escape her mind. Reinventing Rita (the first in her Midlife Moxie novel series) is Nancy's sixth book. Her other books include The Gifts of Change, Rut-Busting Book for Writers, Rut-Busting Book for Authors, Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories and Peripheral Visions and Other Stories. Mistletoe Magic, her third fiction collection, will be released late 2023. Her books and short stories have won awards and earned contest placements.
Nancy is the creator and host of the Living the Writing Life podcast and founder of the annual "Celebrate Short Fiction" Day. She's a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Women's Fiction Writers Association, and the Florida Writers Association. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads. For more about Nancy, visit her website at www.nancychristie.com.