Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Novel Approach

I have been tagged for the novel idea. I realized that I can put words together fairly well, but simply am not a story creator. I can tell a story of something that happened, and if I wrote a novel, it would definitely have to be based on fact. I have a hard time making up a story for my grandkids! The question is:

If you could write a novel about any subject, what would it be?

Believe it or not, every time I woke up during the night (more times than I wish!), I tried to think of a subject for a novel. Pathetic! I devour novels, probably more than I should. But I just can't think of an original idea for another one.

So - I really don't have a good comment for this idea. I do have a book in my head. I've been ruminating on it for years, but haven't put anything down on "paper." The title came out of a period of time when things were really tough for us. I wanted to call it It's Out of My Hands, But it's Still in My Face. The idea came one day when a co-worker and I were commiserating about the yucky stuff in our lives at that time. I said I wished my kids were still little so I could still have some control over their lives. She said, "But it's out of our hands!" I lamented, "I know, but it's still in my face!"

Someone later told me that it was a negative idea - that if I truly trusted God in all of my problems, I shouldn't consider it to be "in my face." What I meant by that statement, and by the title (I thought Barbara Johnson would like that title), was that no matter what happens, whether or not you can have any input or control, good or bad, if it happens to your family members, it affects you. You can't just pretend it didn't happen, or ignore it.

I know I didn't answer the question at hand, but that's the best I can do. If I get a flash of inspiration at a later time, I will be sure to let you know!

Several commented from my engagement story that they'd like to hear the volleyball story I mentioned. I'll try to make to short and sweet - especially sweet!

I was living back in my parents' house after a couple of years of teaching and being in my own place. It was pretty hard, though my folks and I got along just fine. But finances dictated that I do this for awhile. I was driving 100 miles to and from work every day and loved the job I had. (On a side note, I had a little Mustang and spent about $10 a week on gas! You could get a Big Mac, Fries, and a Coke and get change from your dollar, as I remember the commercial - the change was a penny).

I was really lonely, because there were very few young adults in our little church, especially of the male persuasion. My dad, who was also my pastor, was very involved in the association of evangelical churches in our town. This was before mega churches, when we all needed each other for fellowship, because we were all under 100 people in attendance. He and his pastor best friend suggested that I contact all of their fellow pastors to see if we could get a group of young adults together for fellowship, and maybe make it into a regular occurrence. I happened to know that this friend of Dad's had a son about my age - according to the grapevine. Unfortunately, he wouldn't introduce us, so I had to take matters into my own hands.

I truly did try - I called all of the churches. I couldn't seem to get much interest aroused. But I did get the name and phone number of the pastor's son, and learned that there was another young guy in that same church, who had just moved out from Illinois.

At that time, our SS class was playing volleyball every Thursday night. I alluded to my clumsiness in the engagement story. I don't know how it happens that sports entered into two of my big romance stories. It is quite ironic, since I really don't actively participate in any sport -the closest I come is walking and bike riding. I was one of those who was chosen last at recess - painful memories! I was fairly good in basketball in P.E., but only because I was so tall and could actually make a basket.

But I digress. After I had the two names of the single guys, and didn't have much luck getting any more (or maybe I quit trying very hard, I can't remember!), I made a suggestion to my SS class that we invite their church young adult SS class over to play volleyball some Thursday night. Nobody suspected my ulterior motive. I even went out and bought a new pair of slacks and a top for the occasion - red gingham pants with a red shirt. Yikes! All the other girls came in their usual grubs for the game. You gotta use all the ammunition you can get!

I am REALLY lousy at volleyball. I can't serve, I duck every time the ball comes toward me. I basically hate volleyball. I just liked the fellowship every Thursday night. This particular night, with these two young guys who did show up (they loved sports of any variety), I fell down more times than I can count. Truth be told, I was spending most of my time flirting with the pastor's son, kind of ignoring the other one, the new guy in town.

Sorry - this is turning into a book! I went away for the week-end to visit my college roommate, fearing that one of them would call and I would miss it. Worse news! Neither called!

But -- the next Tuesday night, New Guy in Town called. We had a great conversation and it ended in a date for a Sunday drive that week-end. The next night Pastor's Son called and asked me to go to the Icecapades on Saturday night! I couldn't believe it. My social life had been a total desert for years. Two dates in one week-end! And I kind of made it happen!

As Pastor's Son and I headed out of town on Saturday night, New Guy in Town saw us. We didn't see him. The Icecapades were great - I'd always wanted to go. Pastor's Son didn't ask for another date at that time. New Guy and I had a great ride. We talked and talked and talked - had so much in common as oldest pastor's kids. We'd both been through several traumatic romances, had lived by ourselves long enough to know what we were looking for in a mate. He mentioned at least a dozen possible dates for the rest of the summer. We did many of them.

Well, there's much more, but this is too long already. Suffice it to say that we fell in love, got engaged, got married 8 months after we met, and it's now almost 34 years later. We introduced my sister to Pastor's Son when she came home for our younger brother's wedding. They began a long distance romance and he told her he loved her at our wedding reception. They were married 11 months later. We have been best friends and relatives ever since.

Not The End, but a good stopping place!


Brenda said...

Okay. I totally love the title for your yet-to-be-written book. I think it's a wonderful idea!

I enjoyed your volleyball story. Funny that the boy you had your eye on isn't the one you wound up with and is now your brother-in-law.

Thanks for doing the meme!

Rhonda said...

I, too, love your book title, and I think it quite realistic. I have a bunch of things "in my face" right now that I cannot get away from. It doesn't mean I'm not trusting God, it just means that there are right here and no relief in sight. God doesn't promise escape or relief, just His presence and guidance. Write away!


Nikkie said...

I really enjoyed the valleyball story! I think its great that you ended up with the new guy in town and the Pastors son ended up being your brother in law!

Diane said...

I love fiction, but nothing can beat real life stories like yours, Dawn. :-)

I'm not a preacher's kid, but I've been in church practically my whole life and I have some great memories of my teen and young adult years from church. :-)

Barb said...

The title is so intriguing, I sure wish you'd write the book!

And it's funny how our love lives turn out sometimes, isn't it? I didn't think this was too long. Injoyed reading it.

Jessica said...

Sound like you've put a lot of thought into this...and sometimes...that is how a book comes about! :)

Tammy said...

I loved reading this!
And that sounded like my love life when I was single...a desert, then all of a sudden, I had more than one date!

I just did this novel meme today too! Please come on over and check it out if you have time!

kpjara said...

I love your "book title" and I love your story...okay I love ALL these stories from everyone! Yours is extra special because of the ending + some!

Pamela said...

Oh my goodness, what a delightful, charming and sweet turn of events. I can hardly wait for the sequel. I love the story behind the book title.

PEA said...

What a wonderful way to meet your future husband...loved hearing all about how it happened:-) Also love your idea for a novel!! Take care and have a great weekend!!

MugwumpMom said...

Love the idea of your book title...perhaps it is an inspirational teaching book?? And your story of meeting Mr is wonderful!

I won't be around to visit this week...going camping. Hope you have a great week. See you next weekend.

Rhonda said...

Hello again, Dawn,
You asked about my music? There is a link to it in my sidebar.

About our "stuff", its not going away yet, and its festering right now. It should come to a head today or tomorrow, then we'll have to do damage control. ARRRGHHH!!!!

If you don't write a book with that title, I just may!


Kathleen Marie said...

Your title sounds perfect! I'd go with it. Sometimes God just has to get in our face and we need to be in His.

Shalee said...

My oh my, that is a good one. And all the work to get them there! That was a great idea.

And so is the book title.