Most of the short stories Fiorella has written are dark because those are the kind of stories that were in her schoolbooks--and also in the books she later taught from. However, when it came to writing full-fledged books, Fio chose romance, the genre that guarantees happy endings. There's enough pain and sorrow in the world already so why should she add to it?
Fiorella had a lot of time to think things out when she was a kid because, while she always had a good friend or two, she was never part of a group.
How well she remembers her misguided junior high attempt to fit in. She sat down to eat lunch with a gang of girls in her classes, and when she left the table for a few minutes, they stuck a pickle in her milk carton, then laughed at her because she hadn't tasted the sourness. From then on, Fio walked three blocks home for lunch each day.
When it came to high school, Fiorella never even tried to join a lunch-time group, preferring to go to the study room and finish her homework. Come to think of it, she wasn't part of a crowd in college either--and even now is uncomfortable in a group of more than three--unless she's holding the gavel.
Whoopie! Fio just drove the Mercedes down to the gas station and filled it up without the kindness of strangers, something she's never been able to do until neighbor Michael added a dog bone handle to the gas cap.
Can't find Sonia Dog's grooming comb and brush. Where has she hidden them?
DANG! Your girl thought she'd be able to order some iron plants and jasmine on the phone, then make use of Home Depot's curbside pick-up, but the store doesn't have any iron plants, and Fio would have to go into the store to buy the jasmine. FOILED AGAIN!