And They Lived Happily Ever After…

By Patricia Bradley

weddingSo, did you ever wonder what happened afterwards? You know, after the bloom wore off the roses, when Cinderella was up to her arms in soapsuds, and the Prince had lost his hair? Hopefully their love sustained them, and it truly was ‘til death do us part.

Like with Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher in New Bern, North Carolina.They took their wedding vows to heart and would’ve celebrated their 87th anniversary on May 13, 2011, had he not passed away in February. Herbert was 105. Zelmyra was 103.

Why do some couples stay together a lifetime while others do not? I think the key lies in something the Fishers said in an interview.

When asked what one thing transcended everything else, the Fishers replied: “We are both Christians and believe in God. Marriage is a commitment to the Lord. We pray with and for each other every day.”

Almost two and a half million couples are expected to marry this year in the United States. My prayer for them is to have that commitment. So many times more emphasis is placed on the wedding than on the marriage. A total of $72 billion is spent annually on weddings. I wish couples would remember the wedding is for a day, but the marriage should be for a lifetime. They will have many joys but will also have many arguments.

I love what Zelmyra said when asked how they handled differences of opinion. She said, “Remember marriage is not a contest – never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.”

When asked about the fondest memory of their 85 years, both talked about the same memory. Zelmyra: I cook dinner every day. One Valentine’s Day, Herbert left work early and surprised me – he cooked dinner for me! He is a very good cook!
Herbert: I said that I was going to cook dinner for her and she could relax – the look on her face and clean plate made my day!

I’m thinking there has to be a way to incorporate this couple in one of my books. Because isn’t that what our writing is about? Recycling those things in life that touch us.

One last thing. What words of advice would you give a newlywed?

 

 

Super Sleuth Solution – Dead Air

Radio

photo by martwork

Wondering who killed the radio star? As you’ll remember from Wednesday’s Super Sleuth Challenge, in 2006 a Denver-area DJ and radio personality was killed and found in the waters near Santa Catalina Island. So who murdered him?

The correct answer is:

3. The DJ’s roommate, who had been swindling money from the inheritance left to the DJ by his father. The roommate pretended to be an investment banker, but was in reality, skimming money out of the DJ’s accounts. The two went to a marina, intending to go sailing, but the DJ wasn’t seen alive again.

Hope you guessed the right answer. Swing by next Wednesday for another challenge!

Wednesday Super Sleuth – Dead Air

Radio

photo by martwork

Television shows often kill off radio DJs in their booths, while sitting at their microphones. It’s become almost cliche for the shock jocks to wind up shot while on the air for offending an angry listener.

But in 2006, a Denver-area DJ and radio personality from the ’80s was actually a victim. After being missing for about two weeks, his body was found in the waters near Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles. He’d been shot once in the head.

Who would want to murder the famous voice beloved by Denver listeners?

  1. One of the DJ’s old radio partners, who was jealous of his success. The man tracked the DJ down, asking to borrow money. When he refused, the man lashed out, shooting the DJ and dumping his body in the ocean.
  2. The DJ’s wife, who had been having an affair. The DJ took his wife on a vacation to try to revive their ailing relationship. While on Santa Catalina Island, she arranged for her partner to attack her husband on a deserted beach. Then they dragged his body into the ocean.
  3. The DJ’s roommate, who had been swindling money from the inheritance left to the DJ by his father. The roommate pretended to be an investment banker, but was in reality, skimming money out of the DJ’s accounts. The two went to a marina, intending to go sailing, but the DJ wasn’t seen alive again.

So, who do you think silenced the famous voice? Leave your guess in the comments section. Maybe you’ll be this month’s Super Sleuth.

Music Monday: Flashing Romantic Scenes

ID-100296024

Hi everyone! Hope y’all had a wonderful weekend. I made my honey a from-scratch (including icing) strawberry cake and his favorite meal: roast and potatoes for Father’s Day/birthday. I’m stuffed.

But writing must go on even when you want to hibernate. :) I’m gearing up to write a new novella, the last one in my Seasons of Hope Series. Something I like to do (I’m sure I’ve said it before) is make a playlist on Spotify. As I’m searching music, scenes start to take shape. Like flashes. I may not have a clue about their back story or their struggles, but the romance is there. Always. One of my favorite things in a romance movie or TV show is when the music is playing and you see several scenes (sometimes flashbacks) of the couple falling in love or dealing with romantic pain. The music, lyrics, and actions bring all the feelings!

That’s what happens inside my head as I’m thinking about my story. Here are a song I’ve been seeing flashes of romantic scenes to: (Play the song while you read the next paragraph. You can see how I’m arriving at my thoughts!)

I can see my heroine hurt and struggling with her past mistakes, sitting on the edge of the dock gathering strength to go on while the hero isn’t too far away, painting furiously (he’s an artist), completely shredded and unsure of what to do, so he does the only thing that comes naturally. He paints his pain. Then at the end of the song, she stumbles upon him, their eyes connect. He lowers his paint brush…she lowers her head and fade to black. Oh how music can make the imagination soar! Wanna know what happens next? Me too!

Writers: Do you listen to music to help you in the brainstorming stage? Readers: Do you like the romantic scenes in movies set to music? Have a favorite scene? Share it with me! Or just a favorite song. I always need new inspiration!

photocredit: freedigitalphotossatit_srhin

Anniversary Time! All About Love

Today is my wedding anniversary! Twenty-one years ago (please do not do the math on my age!), I married my best friend. We were high school sweethearts, although I’m not sure the word “sweetheart” describes either of us. In many ways we’re opposites.

Jill Kemerer

This picture was taken last year in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

He’s reserved. I love meeting new people. He’s not afraid to confront someone. I’m more of a peacemaker. He’s hilarious. I can’t tell a joke to save my life. Our marriage isn’t perfect–I know, shocker!–but what keeps us together through the tough times is our faith, our commitment to each other, and most of all God’s grace.

Yes, God is the main factor in our marriage. He’s the third cord in the rope of our life. Without prayer, Bible study and fellowship in church, I really don’t know if we’d be as committed to each other. We’ve had the typical trials and blessings of any marriage. We’ve gone to bed angry. Hey, sometimes we still do! But I can’t imagine going through each day without my husband. He’s a keeper!

So how are we celebrating? The last five years we’ve had a baseball game on our anniversary. This usually means a quickie meal of hot dogs. Last year’s game was cancelled due to weather, so we celebrated in style at Carraba’s restaurant. Yum! Tonight we’ll be grilling with my son’s baseball team.

It doesn’t matter what we do or where we eat. I’m just thrilled to have another year with my guy.

What is your dream anniversary date? I’m pretty sure it isn’t grilling hot dogs at a baseball game! Ha!!

Have a wonderful day!

What do you listen to?

First, the answer to my last Who Done It post is:

 2. The thief steals an AK47 and stuffs it in his pants and is arrested as he limped out the store. I  wonder if he thought no one would notice? Now on to today’s post!

What do you listen to when you write? I usually go to Pandora and select something from Jim Brickman.

This allows my mind to relax and let the thoughts flow.

If I’m writing a suspense scene, then I choose something like this.

I have a friend who writes funny Southern stories, and this is what she listens to:

and

So, what do you listen to when you’re writing a scene?

How To Write In Summer – Mom’s Survival 101

Photo by jacarino

Photo by jacarino

Last week that magical day dawned full of wonder. It was the first day of summer break for my kiddos. No more school, homework, or lunches to pack.

We are home free. . . free. . . free. . .

Hold up! No uninterrupted writing time during the day?!

I love spending time with my kids in the summer going to the park, the beach, the museum, and eating watermelon. The challenge is sneaking in all the fun time and still meeting my writing goals.

Let’s face it, being a mom and a writer is not for the faint of heart! It’s hard work.

I don’t have all of the answers, but I’ll share a few tips I’ve learned from friends and experience.

How To Write In Summer – Mom’s Survival 101:

1. Set realistic goals. Goals that are unattainable only discourage you and keep you from writing the next day. Do not make goals cumulative, but a day at a time. If you don’t reach your goal on Monday, the end of the week goal feels impossible. Make each day a goal unto itself, that way every day is a fresh start.

2. Set goals for your kids. Find something that your children are able to do that is good for them like reading or journaling. Set a timer and encourage them to work toward that goal for 30 minutes independently. Find two such time slots a day and you have gained an hour of writing with few interruptions. Google kid’s summer goal setting and you will find a variety of resources.

3. Celebrate when you reach goals. Have the kids celebrate their reading goals and your writing goals when they are successfully reached. A trip to the park, or a Friday trip to the beach. The time you gain when you follow the goal plan is enormous because there is less wasted time. (My mentor Susan May Warren always encouraged me to do this and it works.)

4. Keep everyone active. When you have physical activities planned that get everyone out of the house, they are less hyper while inside. Physical activity and sunlight also helps us focus as we write.

5. Ask for help. It is sometimes difficult for us moms to ask for help, but in summer this is essential. Ask your spouse, grandparents, aunts, friends to pitch in by taking your children on a fun outting. If you are using this as writing time, make yourself be accountable for it. Set goals to reach while your children are adventuring and stick to them.

What helps you or others you know reach summer goals while kids are home from school?