“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.”
Clearly, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a huge General Hospital fan. I’ve been watching the show for twelve years now, and have seen too many storylines to count. Some tugged at the heartstrings. Some motivated. Some made happy tears trickle down my face and some made sad tears blur my vision. Some brought laughter. Some were history-making. Some worked their way inside my mind and heart, and then did the very same thing for viewers everywhere. Some inspired. Some changed my life. Some made me feel. And now, as the show celebrates its golden anniversary with the first Nurses’ Ball – Port Charles’ biggest fundraiser that combines singing, dancing, love, drama, and charity – in over a decade, I find myself falling in love all over again. Today’s episode was so good that I immediately wanted to re-watch it. The performances were adorable, entertaining, and compelling (Favorite of the day = Kelly Monaco’s character Sam lighting up the dance floor with Maks from Dancing with the Stars – I still maintain that she was robbed during last year’s all-star season and should have gone home with the mirrorball trophy!). But beyond the talent sparkling on stage, there was also a fairy-tale unfolding behind-the-scenes. For months now, we’ve been seeing the love story between Patrick and Sabrina slowly come to fruition. Word by word, page by page, chapter by chapter, we’ve gotten a glimpse into Sabrina’s world as she fell head-over-heels for the handsome, kind-hearted doctor. When she confessed her feelings, only to learn that he’d never thought of her the same way? When her declaration made him realize that he’d missed what was right in front of him? And today, when they finally got their living-on-cloud-nine, give-you-butterflies moment? When Sabrina finally got her guy? I probably looked like the goofiest person ever, sitting there with my smile stretching from ear-to-ear. You’d think they’re my personal friends, I’m so happy for them. Obviously these characters aren’t real, and because this is a soap opera, it’s more likely than not that something (or someone) will rain on their parade, but for now, I don’t care. Sabrina is very much an “every girl.” We can relate to her. We know what it feels like to put our hearts on the line – sometimes internally, sometimes externally – and to see it pay off, to see her giddy sense of joy and elation, it made me giddy, too. Life is not a daytime drama. Life is not a fairy-tale. But stories like this give me hope.
Then there’s my WIP. I’m (approximately) forty-percent through the first draft right now, and the scene I wrote today is one I’ve been anticipating since the beginning. It was Charlotte’s big confession, her time to finally come clean about something major she’d been hiding. Excited as I was to write it, I was also nervous. That usually happens to me with these turning-point scenes. I just want them to carry the proper emotional weight, you know? To play out on the page like they do in my head. To do justice to the characters and their feelings. And so I sat for awhile before writing, just imagining what was to come. I felt the way Charlotte’s mouth would go sandpaper-dry, saw the way her fiance paced back and forth across their tiny apartment, heard her tearful explanations, smelled the wildflowers that tumbled from their pitcher as the door slammed and knocked it over. And then I wrote. And wrote. And wrote some more. Of course the scene will go through edits when I get to that part of the process, but I’m satisfied with it. More than that, better than that, I’m happy with it. From day one, this book has been a very different experience for me. It’s tough to put into words, really, other than to say it’s reminded me how joyful writing can be. Charlotte and Nolan may not be in as good of a place as Patrick and Sabrina right now – and as for my other main character, Remi, she’d currently laugh in the face of anyone who told her that fairy-tales can blossom in reality – but their story makes me just as giddy. Remi’s story makes me just as giddy. Charlotte and Remi’s story – because, although they’re separated by fifty-six years, this book is, at its heart, about the bonds they share – makes me giddy. It gives me hope.
I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post. I just felt compelled to share it after today’s storytelling experiences. One was as a writer, the other as a viewer, and both reminded me of the beauty in creativity. How wonderful it is to fall in love with fiction, to get lost in its embrace and inspired by its journey. How wonderful to find characters we can relate to and tales that inspire us. How wonderful it is, and how lucky we are, to experience this blessing every day, to live it with our full hearts and souls. And who knows? Maybe by finding joy in these fictional stories, we’ll be writing a part of our own, too.