The Ornament is a story spun from the romantic ideals shaped by the works of Bronte, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Austen and Cervantes. In my formative years, I was glued to the screen watching old black and white tales of love as they played on television on weekend afternoons. The stories of loss and unrequited love filled my imagination leaving me with, in some ways, a warped sense of what love was. I guess the line from the Man of La Mancha "To love pure and chaste from afar" summed up my almost Victorian sense of romance. I quickly became an expert on romance, relationships and broken hearts for others but unable to find or act on that advice for myself leaving me constantly in the company old friends like Anne of Green Gables and Lizzie Bennet.
When I found myself working in a newsroom, falling for a reporter and doing all I could to make her notice me as more than a friend, I needed an outlet. That is how The Ornament was born. The story was conceived in the early hours of the morning on a dirty desk from the Rubbermaid collection in a small-market newsroom in between bouts of breaking news and chamber of commerce breakfast meetings.
I wrote and rewrote the story adding and subtracting never knowing where this more romantic world would take me. I remember truly being happy when I realized what was going to happen next, or that time I was driving to work and began to cry as I realized what tragedy was about to befall our hero. The characters may have started out as copies of people I knew, and even myself, but after countless rewrites each one became an amalgam of many people I've met in my career.
The Ornament is, if anything, a statement of my firm belief that a true friendship, even a chaste one, is an example of love more powerful than all the passion ever kindled.