Friday, July 15, 2011

Thanks for the Inspiration, Cowboy

People ask me all the time, "Where are these cowboys you keep writing about?"
Honey, let me tell you. At 7:30 a.m. they are at the grocery store, on the cereal aisle. I was pushing my grocery cart up and down the aisles one morning when I saw them striding toward me. Okay, okay. They weren't coming for me, but for the Cheerios I was standing next to. Four real, live, working cowboys.
I was looking my best, because this girl has learned the hard way that living in a small town, the one sure way to guaranteee you'll see everyone you know is to go to the store in sloppy sweat pants, with no makeup on and you hair not done. In fact, I've come to understand that the more unsightly my appearance the more likely I am to run into an old crush or ex-boyfriend. Those people need to see that they missed out on one hot mama. But...that's another day and another blog post.
As they sauntered up in dusty boots, cowboy hats, thin, faded cotton shirts and blue jeans, I kept hearing a rhythmic sound. You guessed it. One had on a pair of spurs. Some of you know that jingling sound, when attached to a cowboy, will reduce me to an idiotic, mumbling puddle of drool. I kept it together, collected my Honey-Nut Cheerios and got out of their way, all while managing to not trip over my feet or my jaw. One of them winked at me. No lie. I may have injured my neck ogling them as I pretended to peruse the Pop-Tarts.
I finished my shopping and headed for the front of the store to check out. I was unloading my groceries onto the conveyor belt when that sound drew my attention again. There they were, in all their testosterone-soaked glory. I swear it was by chance that I chose the lane they were in.
Three of them split off to run an errand and left one behind to pay for the impressive amount of groceries the cashier was scanning. With a few minutes to kill, he turned to me and smiled. He struck up a conversation, I responded and we enjoyed talking while the cashier did his thing.
The cowboy had a twinkle in his brown eyes and a crooked little grin. We bantered, laughed, and joked until the cashier announced the total and he paid the bill. The flirtatious cowboy winked at me again and then said, "Have a good day now, darlin'." I responded in kind and several thoughts occurred to me as he walked away with his spurs jingling.
Number one: I am a sucker for a cowboy.
Number two: An angel like him needed to be the hero of a romance novel.
Number three: I HAD to set aside the paranormal erotic romance I was already working on to write his story. That's what I did. He was immortalized in Heavenly Angel, Book 3 in the Divine Creek Ranch Collection.
Just a few weeks ago, I encountered that same cowboy in the grocery store. I'd promised myself that if I ever got the chance to thank him, I would. Unfortunately, with kids in tow I had to bite my tongue. But if I ever run into that cowboy again, I know exactly what I'll say.
"Thanks for the inspiration, Cowboy."

28 comments:

Ebony Dreams said...

I loved this. Thank you for the smile this morning.

Stacey said...

What a great blog, Heather! And lucky you :)

Chele Blades said...

what cereal aisle is this? where can i find one or three? *sigh*

when you see again tell we all thank him....great story that provided a really great story for you readers in Heavenly Angel

Heather Rainier said...

Thank you Ebony Dreams, I love hearing that I brought you a smile this morning;-)

Heather Rainier said...

Thank you Stacey. Yeah, I do feel pretty lucky most days. thanks for including me here:)

Heather Rainier said...

Thank you Chele. They found me on the cereal aisle of my local, small town grocery store but I have the best luck spotting these elusive cowboys early in the morning, before the heat of the day. If I ever run into him again, I will pass on not only my thanks but yours as well. Thank you so much for commenting:)

Lisa Kait said...

This was an awesome blog Heather...And now I love Angel even more, knowing that he was the inspiration for your story. Thanks for sharing your moment with those hunkey cowboys and most of all, for all your wonderful stories.

Bensgirl said...

I wanna go to your grocery store. Of course I would have forgot to pretend to look at pop tarts and probably walked into a display of somesort, tripped or something really bad to embarrass myself. Good job on keeping it together.

Heather Rainier said...

Lisa Kait thank you for being such an awesome fan girl! I'd say that was definitely a defining moment in my life, LOL. You NEVER know when they are going to happen and just have to seize the day:)

Heather Rainier said...

Bensgirl, see that's what was so surprising about that event because I totally expected to get distracted and then knock over a whole display of Mountain Dew or something. I'm a klutz, but it must have been a good morning for me. Thank goodness I looked up and smiled back when he made eye contact, otherwise I would never have had that conversation.

heather said...

LMAO, I love this post. But then, I'm also jealous. I have no cowboys in my small town to just 'bump' into at the grocery store, just rednecks :(

Heather Rainier said...

Thanks, Heather. LOL, some of those rednecks are just in need of training, that's all.

Savanna Kougar said...

Heather, do I wish I shopped at your grocery store! And, he does need to be thanked for being your personal inspiration. ~smiles~

Dragon Lady said...

Heather, I am so jealous!!! You are so dang lucky, girlfriend!!! I agree with Lisa.... I loved Heavenly Angel before, but even more now. *sighs*

You know what you need to do... Keep a print copy of HA with you on those times your at the grocery store, JUST in case you bump into him again. Signed, too! THEN you can say, thanks for the inspiration. ;)

Stacy

Heather Rainier said...

Isn't that the truth, Savanna! If I ever encounter him again I plan to. I guess it's pertinent for me to say that we never know when we'll make a difference in someone else's life with something as simple as a smile...or a wink. For me the difference was life changing.

Heather Rainier said...

Thank you, Stacy. I think I'm lucky as well. If that guy knew we were talking about him in such glowing terms I imagine that he'd say he was just an ordinary man. It was his ability to be friendly and open to others around him that set him apart.

Celtie said...

That is it I am moving to your town where you will find me haunting the grocery,carwash,Mexican Restaurant.............

Heather Rainier said...

I'd make room for you Celtie. And you'd have the benefit of knowing your way around, wouldn't you? I'd help you hunt one down but then you'd have to smile and make eye contact, even flirt a little! Who knows, maybe with a little luck he'd show you the proper way to use a rope.:)

Heather Rainier said...

Yeah, Stacy, that's a great idea. I can picture handing him a signed copy of an erotic novel right as one of my kid's teachers or someone from church walks up to say hello. Better yet, his girlfriend could walk up in time to whomp me for talking to her boyfriend. That's where those autographed postcards could come in handy, though. LOL, I'd probably babble a mile a minute!

Sophie said...

And you didn't take me to this grocery store, why? You're holding out on me, sister!

Dragon Lady said...

Come on, girlfriend! Live dangerously! Or at least, a little bit. :p

So keep an autographed post card on hand!!! He can then search it out. ;)

Heather Rainier said...

Hey Soph! Come a 'little' farther south and I will take you on a guided tour. I'll show you the very spot on checkout stand #5 where the action took place while the cashier watched with a bored expression on his face. Me? Hold out on you, my sweet Siren sister? Never;-)

Luna Wildwood said...

oh wow awesome story Heather! True inspiration for your characters found in the cereal aisle lol Wonder what kind of inspiration you can find while hanging around the meat department? :O ;-)

Heather Rainier said...

Luna Wildwood, it's funny that you mentioned the meat department. A funny thing happened back there one day. But...that's another blog post for another day;-)

AuthorDixieLynnDwyer said...

What a great story.I loved hearing about how exactly you were inspired to write Heavenly Angel. My, my... y'all have to tell me where this grocery store is. ;)

Heather Rainier said...

LOL, Dixie, it's the local small town supermarket. I just picked the right time of day to get my grocery shopping done, while everyone else was at school or headed to work. I'm just grateful that he made the effort to smile and be friendly and that I wasn't so caught up in my own thoughts that I didn't notice.

Stormy said...

Small towns have some of the best characters! Real and fictional!! That was a terrific post, Heather! I love hearing who/what inspires you amazing ladies!!

Heather Rainier said...

Thank you Stormy:) Let me tell you, there are some genuine characters in my town, some of whom add a lot of drama to my life.

Everyone has a story, no matter how mundane they may think their life is.

That cowboy thought he was just making a quick grocery run and wound up inspring a whole series of books that has quite literally changed my life.

You never know how you truly effect the people around you, even strangers in line behind you at the grocery store.

And...off I go rambling again;) Thanks you so much for your kind words. I loved hearing from everybody!