Nurse Ratched and Me
by Meg Benjamin
Thanks to my efforts at healthy diet and exercise, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Nurse Ratched lately. You remember Nurse Ratched, the nightmare administrator from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? What you may not know is that most writers have a Nurse Ratched living in our heads. She’s the one who mutters “Shouldn’t you be writing?” as you sit in the sun, reading your paper and sipping a latte. She’s the one who says, “Three pages? Really?” when you’re ready to knock off for the day. She the one who sneers, “You call that a love scene?” over the pages you spent hours constructing. Nurse Ratched keeps you writing, but she also makes you miserable.
In my case, Nurse Ratched usually takes over my efforts to diet. This has its good and bad points. The good, of course, is that she really does keep me on course as much as possible. The bad is that she drives me crazy. If I want a snack, Nurse Ratched steps in—“You’re not really hungry, you know. You’re indulging yourself.” If I want to take a day off from exercising, Nurse Ratched is there. “A day off? With those hips?” Nurse Ratched surveys my wardrobe with a critical eye, pointing out that that shirt I was going to wear is just a wee bit tight around the middle. She counts the glasses of wine I have with dinner, and starts muttering at glass two.
Now eventually, I’m either going to reach my diet goal or decide I’m tired of dieting—that’s what usually happens. The problem then becomes making Nurse Ratched shut up. Because, of course, she never goes away when you want her to. Chances are I’ll have Nurse Ratched on my case for several months to come. I only hope I can distract her back to being my muse. Cranky, never satisfied, eternally critical. Yeah, that sounds about right.
A future with the woman of his dreams is within his grasp…if the past will stay that way.
Konigsburg, Book 4
Erik Toleffson wasn’t looking to become Chief of Police. He’s got enough trouble trying to rebuild his relationship with his three brothers who, until just recently, ran the other way when he approached. He’s not the bully they grew up with, but bad memories are tough to overcome.
Morgan Barrett is as worn out as a vat full of crushed grape skins. She never planned to run Cedar Creek Winery, but there’s no one else to shoulder the load as her father recovers from an injury. All she needs is a little sleep. Just a five-minute nap in the booth at the Dew Drop Inn…if that guy across the bar would stop staring at her as if putting her head down on the table is a crime.
After Morgan yawns in Erik’s face, there’s nowhere to go but up. With time, though, their relationship warms like a perfectly blended Bordeaux. Until the shady mayor digs into Erik’s past and dredges up information that could drive a permanent wedge between him and his brothers—and sour any chance of a future with Morgan.
Warning: Contains hot sex with mango sherbet, crooked politicians, yuppie bikers, Bored Ducks, and a Maine Coon Cat with attitude.