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INCOMING: An Excerpt of Natalie Lovejoy’s “Two Roads”

Our anthology of true veteran literature, “Incoming: Veteran Writers on Coming Home” was published earlier this year. It’s a collection of real stories, written by veterans, in their own voices, on the theme of coming home. This is the book that launched a public radio show. Purchase copies on Amazon, tell your friends, tell your colleagues, tell your mom, tell your Goodreads friends. We hope you love it as much as we do.

Incoming cover

Contributor Natalie Lovejoy wrote an original musical, “Deployed,” while married to a soldier who was currently deployed in Iraq. But her story, “Two Roads” takes on what happens when somebody comes home.

One reader contacted us after reading Natalie’s piece, to say:

“…I’m sobbing and am having trouble stilling my breath to find my voice. I have never felt that anyone understood what it meant to be a military wife; and quite rightly so because no one in my immediate circle was. You have put all of those feelings into a few short pages. Thank you for writing. Thank you for understanding.”

–Jessica W

We were so glad to feature Natalie’s story, “Two Roads” in Incoming. Here’s a short excerpt:

The GPS says it’s only thirty-four miles until the beltway. We are sitting in one of our car-trip formations: His eyes locked forward, his back soldier-straight, his jaw tight, his right hand gripping the steering wheel instead of my hand. I sit cross-legged, with my body and eyes tilted toward the passenger window.

[…]

…I’d learned to keep my outbursts to myself — in fact, it was my patriotic duty to do so. Don’t tell him about your problems because it will upset him, and he needs to focus on the mission. It’s okay for you to be upset but nor for him to be. Because what he’s doing is important and what you’re doing is not. Because his life is important and yours is not. At least not as important as his. This is your role in life, and you  must accept it. You need to accept not mattering as much. But it’s really not so bad — you get a roof over your head, free dental cleanings, and tax-free shopping at the PX. Mattering is overrated. Calm down, woman, and treat yourself to a manicure.

Natalie’s piece is vulnerable, eye-opening, and brutally beautiful. Read the rest of her story, and many other stories on the theme of coming home, in a copy of Incoming. You can buy it from Amazon here.

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Natalie Lovejoy is a composer, lyricist, and bookwriter whose work as been performed at Lincoln Center, 54 Below, the Flea Theater, and The Duplex, to name a few. Her original musical, Deployed, which she began writing while married to a soldier deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, premiered off-off Broadway at the Abingdon Theatre Company in November 2013 and played again at the Gene Frankel Theatre in January 2014 to sold-out audiences. She is currently collaborating on three new musicals and is listed in the director of musical theater writers at contemporarymusicaltheatre.com. Her education includes NYU Steinhardt (MM in Music Composition), Catholic University (BM in Musical Theater), the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and the Johnny Mercer Musical Theatre Project at Northwestern University. She is a Professional Member of ASCAP and The Dramatist Guild. www.natalielovejoy.nyc

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