A while back (and by that I mean a couple years) I started a story that I was calling “Brave Love.”
The story, as I recall (and confirmed by reading through the 22 pages worth), is about Paige Nelson, a 23-year-old journalist looking for a chance to prove herself. Her opportunity comes when she is assigned to a Valentine’s Day special section in the newspaper, charged with finding a quality love story to write about. As her editor tells her, she needs to take something people have lost interest in, and make them care.
Paige is also single, and when she visits California for her sister’s wedding, is sent on four particularly bad blind dates. (I think they are amusing, but I also made them up, so they may not be as funny as I think they are.)
With only a few weeks to get her story done, Paige is running out of time, but she runs in to her subject on her flight back home to Colorado, finding herself seated next to Gavan Walker, an old man with lots of adventures in his past, and a love that lasted 50+ years.
Gavan shares his story with Paige, starting with his childhood in Australia during World War II, riding broncos in rodeos in America, meeting Ruth, his love, fighting in Korea, and making the brave choice to love and win Ruth back when distance comes between them.
That is about where my story left off, and, naturally, I never wrote down exactly my thoughts for where it was headed, though I do remember some.
Paige gets invited to a birthday party for Gavan, who conveniently lives not too far away. The family wants to meet the woman who captured his life so well in words. So Paige goes, and gets welcomed in to the family. I planned for her to fall in love with one of Gavan’s grandsons, who would be around her age. They’d probably fight and Gavan would give his grandson the same advice he told Paige in closing– if you want to prove your courage, trust someone else with your heart and love her unconditionally.
It all sounds pretty Hallmark, even to me, and if there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s Hallmark. Which means, I get to start planning and working on the second half of this story, because I recall being really excited and interested in it when I began, and I do want to finish it. I just need it to finish and not be utterly cliche and predictable. A little bit is OK, it’s hard to write about love without it, but, I need to be enough different that it is still interesting. And that’s where the challenge lies. So, I have my project for the week (the same project that I was supposed to do this week and blog about, but I didn’t so now I’m going to do two blog posts on this same project).
I probably won’t reveal how everything ends (though, I might, if I choose to post an outline). But I’m interested in finishing this story, looking at the idea that loving someone, committing to someone, is a great act of bravery.