THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP, a romantic comedy with a whopping side dish of chick lit, is a hilarious and touching look at re-entering the dating world after divorce.
Meet Dorsey Bing. She’s been divorced for five years and was recently dumped by her mega-hot Brit boyfriend, Theo. Smart, funny and a wee bit angsty, Dorsey brainstorms about a dating workshop for divorced men. Too bad she’s an idea person with zero follow-through.
That all changes when her best friend Pilar, a feisty go-getter, opts to set up the workshop with herself in charge and Dorsey as her “go-fer.” But do things ever really work out as planned. No. No, they don’t.
A startling mishap, rebellious workshop attendees and the arrival of handsome but wily Finn Woodall soon send things topsy-turvy for Dorsey. Even more trouble arises with the unexpected re-appearance of Theo. Will Dorsey want him back or is she smitten with Finn who could possibly be a back-stabbing rat bastard? And with everything that’s happened in the workshop will Dorsey face her biggest challenge to win the love, and life, she’s always desired?
Having just lost her job after “The Pee Incident,” Dorsey Bing, the novel’s main character, curls up in her bed, scared of the future.
A fresh wave of anxiety swept over me. What to do? What to do? I crawled out of bed and found my CD player. Good. My favorite relaxation CD was still inside. I loved the narrator’s wonderfully deep, sonorous voice, which was almost as good at inducing sleep as high school algebra. The next thing I knew it was dark outside, and my front door was rattling. I was about to panic when I heard Pilar’s voice. “Hey, girl. Open up. We brought ammo.”
In record time, the ammo (a bottle of Merlot, Thai chicken lettuce wraps from Pei Wei, and chocolate almond bark from Trader Joe’s) was spread out on the coffee table. Goblet in hand, I told them about my miserable day.
Mimi voiced her concern and gave me a comforting look while Pilar, seated next to her on my plum-colored loveseat, checked her watch. “Okay. Our two minutes of commiserating with you is” — she counted under her breath — “up.” She arched a dark eyebrow. “Let’s talk about your brainchild.”
She exhaled loudly. “You know I love you, Dorsey, but you really do have zero follow-through. It drives me crazy.’
“What are you-?”
She cut me off. “You’ve been this way forever, so I guess I should be used to it by now.”
“Used to what?”
“How you never act on your ideas. Remember your ‘Suck-It-In’ body girdle? You had that idea years ago, but did you follow through on it? No. The woman who did is now the Spanx zillionaire.” Pilar held up a finger. “Well it’s not happening this time, my friend, because this time I’m willing to help you give it a go.”
I swirled the wine in my glass. “Give what a go?”
Pilar picked up a lettuce wrap. “What you said last night.”
“Last night’s a blur, Pilar. You know how I get when I’m snockered.”
She finished the wrap in two bites. “This was before you saw Theo. You weren’t snockered then. You were talking about divorce and dating and how you hated the online scene. You said what people really need is a place to meet each other, and that’s when you brought up this dating workshop idea. You said men suck and this workshop might help ‘desuckify’ them. Ring any bells?”
I gave her one-shoulder shrug. “Little bit.”
“During our first pitcher at Casa Oro, you started brainstorming about the workshop. You wanted it to go deeper than the usual date-doctor spiel, and really get men engaged in learning about their expectations and what’s going on inside their heads. You called it ‘soul-fetching’ which”—Pilar snorted—“isn’t such a hot marketable term so I say we drop it.”
“I like soul-fetching,” Mimi said dreamily.
Pilar ignored her. “Frankly, I’m not sure about it being only for men, but we’ll deal with that later. Anyway, that’s the gist of what you said last night, Dorsey.”
I rolled my eyes. “I must’ve talked your heads off, huh?”
Mimi smiled. “Oh, yeah. You were on a roll. You started asking strangers at the next table what they thought of your workshop idea. You got a couple thumbs up.”
I cringed. “Jeez. Please don’t ever let me drink again.”
Pilar leaned forward eagerly. “Here’s the thing. I’ve been thinking about it, and I like it. I like it a lot. I think it really has potential.”
I made a face.
“Don’t do that, Dorsey. Don’t put it down.”
“You can’t be serious–”
She cut me off. “I am. I’m very serious. I think it’s worth pursuing.” She grabbed the wine bottle. It was empty. She set it down with a thud, snorted “I’ll be back” and bustled off to the kitchen.
Her reaction to the workshop idea had really surprised me. I was under the impression she loved being an event planner and traveling around the country setting up fundraisers for charities and non-profits, although, come to think of it, she had been griping about not feeling fulfilled in her work life lately.
Just last week she said she felt like she was helping other people live their dreams, while she had put her own on hold. I’d chalked it up to her needing a vacation, but now I suspected it might run deeper than that.
“Any takers?” Pilar asked, returning with the bottle of Zinfandel from my fridge.
Like she had to ask. After filling our glasses, Pilar sat across from me. “Last night, you talked a lot about how your mother was divorced for a long time, and how things changed when she met Ralph, and how she knew he was such a great guy.”
I sensed where she was going. “But he didn’t go to a workshop to be a great guy.”
“That’s because he’s a natural. The point is, we’ll help the ‘not-so-great’ guys become more like Ralph. That’s exactly how you put it last night.”
“Hellloooo. I was drunk. I say dumb things when I’m hammered.”
CeCe Osgood lives in Texas after many years in LA working in the film industry. Her writing career includes magazine articles and screenplays as well as being a freelance script analyst (main client HBO). She also has had two screenplays optioned.
Being a novelist has been her lifelong dream, and now it’s becoming her reality. Her debut novel, THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP, a romantic comedy with a whopping side dish of chick lit aka lighthearted women’s fiction, is about dating after divorce. She loves red wine and hates pretzels. See more about her at http://www.ceceosgood.com.
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