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This Matter of Marriage
Writers are often asked where they get their story ideas from. The answer varies depending on the author. As for me, I steal a lot of my ideas. Does that surprise you? Let me give you an example. The entire plot of This MatteR of Marriage came to me as a result of reading another book. This happens often. I'll read something wonderful, the creative juices will start flowing and the next thing I know I have a plot of my own, inspired by another writer.
About 18 months ago, I was innocently scanning the bookshelves in a local book store when I stumbled upon Dates From Hell. Who could resist such a tempting title? Not me! I bought it and started flipping through the pages, chuckling as I went along.
I recalled a few of my disastrous dates, and one in particular stands out. The summer I graduated high school, a best friend had a cousin over from Australia. I don't remember much about him except his accent, which sounded like the Beatles, who were all the rage. He asked me out, and I was thrilled. Knowing this date was important, my pesky younger brother hogged the family bathroom. My hair was in those giant plastic pink rollers and I needed to put on make-up and do my hair. Rather than play his silly game, I announced I was going to the store, demanding he be out by the time I returned.
Terry, my brother, was out all right, but he made it impossible for me to use the bathroom. He'd locked the door and jumped down the laundry chute. I was outraged. In a panic, I phoned my dad, who was playing cards, and begged him to come home and get the door opened for me. (My mom was at work.) Because I was desperate, I braced both feet on the wall and started to work the knob. Unfortunately, I didn't hear the doorbell, and my dad let my date inside after he arrived home! Needless to say, my date saw me at my very worst. He never asked me out again.
When I read Dates From Hell, it didn't take long for my creative mind to develop a story line. The idea of a woman determined to find herself a husband zoomed into my mind and Hallie McCarthy was born. Almost 30, she realizes it's time to give serious thought to marriage. How difficult can it be to find a decent guy these days? Not nearly as easy as it sounds. Her first date, arranged by a friend, is an accountant with a point system, and asks her a number of intrusive questions. You'll be pleased to know she scores highly with him. Unfortunately he doesn't measure up nearly as well with her. Then there's the medical equipment salesman who specializes in condoms. Soon Hallie has dated enough frogs to supply her own pond.
Discouraged, Hallie discusses her woes with Steve, the guy next door. Steve is a sports nut with bowling shoes for brains and he quickly becomes her best friend and advisor. Unfortunately, he's hung up on his ex-wife and is scheming to get back together with her. When his ex remarries, Hallie consoles Steve the same way he cheered her when she turned 30 and not a bridegroom in sight. You know what they say about best friends?
You'll love This Matter of Marriage. It's guaranteed to tickle your funny bone and you just may recall a few sour dates of your own. Who knows, it may inspire you to write your own book! Write to me at P.O. Box 1458, 700 Prospect St, #203, Port Orchard, WA 98366.
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