Sunday, April 8, 2012
H is for Honeymoon
I read an interesting story yesterday in the local paper. A woman bought an old dresser or trunk, and inside the piece she found some letters written during WWII from a soldier to his new bride. They couldn't wait until they could go on their honeymoon, which was postponed due to the war.
The woman who found the letters located the couple, still living in the area, and returned them. What a miracle it was that they were both still alive and they were able to re-read the letters, and pass them down to their children and grandchildren.
I thought about what a great romance that would make. Sometimes I wish mainstream romances involved older lovers, sometimes. Seems like what sells are books about people falling in love in their 20's and 30's, and believe me, there is nothing wrong with that! Maybe with the Indie opportunities, another kind of love story could be written, and sold. And wouldn't it make a great story about a honeymoon taken maybe 50 or 60 years later? People finding each other after years of marriage and raising children, and perhaps burying their spouses?
The picture above is my honeymoon in 1971. We left for Europe the day after the ceremony, and spent the next 3 months driving all over England, Scotland, Spain, France, parts of Germany, Belgium, Italy, Yugoslavia (called that at the time) and all the little countries in between. We camped the whole way, cooked over a fire pit and met people from all over the world. We had bought our car in the Netherlands, with Dutch license plates, so no one knew we were American until they talked to us.
It was a wonderful trip. Towards the end, in Spain, we were robbed. Don's passport and all our money was stolen. We spent this day in the American Consulate in Barcelona, applying for and receiving a small loan and papers to get his passport re-issued so we could leave the country.
In the lobby was an assortment of people: An American woman who had gotten married to a Spanish man the night before after a raucous party, and now wanted an annulment; a barefooted teen spacing on acid who had lost everything somewhere he couldn't remember and couldn't string two words together in a sentence; a father who had lost his son on a train accident, and was trying to bring his body home since he had been buried as a John Doe.
It was a good look at the life of a consular official in the 1970's, and I can imagine it would be a tough job, dealing with all these problems. But none of this could diminish the glow we felt on our Honeymoon, and the love coursing through our young veins. We were literally drunk on love, and being penniless and without passport made no difference. Even trying to communicate with the police officials to report the theft (and I had to speak French because they didn't understand Don's Spanish), we laughed off as just another experience we'd talk about for years.
Some of these stories would fit into an Elmore Leonard book, and I've often thought he could write about The Honeymoon From Hell type of thing I'd enjoy reading.
Watching people has always been a pastime of mine, starting way back before I was married. It makes me the kind of writer I am today. I love the creating characters, putting them in places they would not normally be in, getting them into jams and getting them lovingly out.
So because today is H and stands for Honeymoon, let me do a little shameless promotion. Here's my blurb for Honeymoon Bite, now available on Nook, Kindle, and Apple: