Saturday, July 14, 2012

ANNIVERSARY GETAWAY


This week Susan and I spent two nights and two days in Port Orford, a charming small town on the southern coast of Oregon. It’s a place of wonderful hikes through forests and over the headland hills, a couple of fine beaches known for lively tide pools and agates, and a couple of fine restaurants. The place where we ate both our dinners was called Red Fish, and the food, the service, and the view were superb.
In the past we’ve stayed at the Castaway, a serviceable motel on a bluff overlooking the Port Orford harbor. Great view and a reasonable price. This time, though, we splurged and stayed inland a bit, in a “guest habitat” called Wild Springs. It was worth every penny. The accommodations are five separate cabins, set deep in a forest. Part of the forest has been turned into a wild garden, decorated with sculptures. Breakfast—and what a breakfast!—is served in a lodge that’s up the hill a bit, affording a splendid view of the Pacific beyond the forest.
Our cottage was named Earthsea, which was appropriate because Susan was reading Ursula LeGuin’s Sea Road at the time. (The story collection is fiction, but it could have been set in Port Orford.) Earthsea was cozy and comfortable, decorated in old-fashioned elegance. Though other cabins were occupied also while we were there, we felt alone in the quiet forest.
A number of special touches made Wild Spring unforgetable: a generous shower head, Chinese checkers, plenty of candles in the cabin, the absence of television but a screen for watching DVDs, a vast library of CDs and DVDs to borrow, and a deep, hot spa for a late-night soak.
For more information about Wild Spring, see http://www.wildspring.com/

Why did Susan and I decide to splurge on this two-night getaway? To celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
These have been the twenty-five happiest years of my life, and Susan says the same. During these years we have worked and played side by side, day and night. We have built a business together, and a life, and a marriage. I’d like to write a novel starring this relationship of ours. Why not? It would have romance, love, sex, humor, travel, adventure, hard work, growth, family, and a passel of grandchildren.
Yes, these twenty-five years have given us a treasure chest of memories, and those memories also serve as a teaser of adventures yet to come.


But the story of this relationship would never make a good novel. Why? Because it lacks an essential ingredient of fiction. What is that missing ingredient?
Guess the answer and leave it in a comment below. First five people to guess correctly will win a free book. Leave your email address so I can contact you.

REMINDER: The invitational blog post for August will be 99-word autobiographical stories inspired by “Cinderella” or “The Ugly Duckling.” Please contribute. Open to all writers. Deadline August 1.

27 comments:

  1. Congratulations to a couple of good-looking youngsters. Is it gonna last? You sure look happy.

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    1. Thanks, Dac! Yes, it certainly will last, though probably not for another 25 years. Till death us do part.

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  2. Congratulations to both of you. 25 years of marriage is a great beginning!

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  3. Oh and the answer is "conflict." johnmbrantingham@aol.com

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  4. Loved the post and the photo, John, and that hideaway sounds like a bit of heaven on earth.

    Now -- what your marriage story lacks is the same thing writer Tom Sawyer says makes a love scene so hard to write -- there's no conflict.

    And in real life, how sweet that is! Wishing you another 25 years of a good marriage --

    Pat Browning

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    1. Thanks, Pat, as always. You're right: no conflict!

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  5. Happy anniversary. Sounds like you picked an ideal location to celebrate.

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    1. Thanks, John. Yes, it's a lovely spot for a lovely occasion.

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  6. Soumds like an ideal getaway, John. Best wishes for another 25 years together.

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    1. Earl, if we have another 25 years together, we'll be lucky--and ancient.

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  7. John,
    I'm too late to enter the contest but I want to wish you and Susan a Happy 25th Anniversary.

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  8. You look so happy in the picture I have to guess there's no angst for either a thriller or a murder msytery. Happy anniversary.

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  9. Your getaway sounds memorable. Happy anniversary and my best to you both for another 25 wonderful years. I would guess that in order for it to be fiction it would have to be made up. Your relationship is quite real. My hat's off to you.

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  10. You taught me that the missing ingredient for a good piece of fiction is conflict, or some Eddie Evildoer. Since you and Susan have all the gifts and none of the negatives, it must remain an old fashioned Fairy Tale. And a happily ever after to you both.

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    1. Madelyn, you're wonderful! ANd you're right, so you win a free book.

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  11. Congrats, John and Susan, and many, many, more. Lovely picture, and such a nice story to end my day with!

    Madeline

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  12. Conflict, of course.

    This is a great story and I know exactly what you mean.

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  13. The story lacks CONFLICT. Am I right, John?

    What a lovely blog. That Oregon getaway sounds so wonderful. If and when I'm up that way, I'll check out the cabins. (My son lives in northern California at times; I have relatives in Coos Bay, Oregon).

    Happy Anniversary to the happy couple. XXX

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    1. Many thanks, Eileen. Yes, Conflict is the answer.

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  14. Congratulations, John and Susan! And yes, I would have guessed the missing ingredient is conflict. I teach my students that a story is not a story without it. But yours is an ode, a prose poem of a relationship. And I wish you both the best for another twenty-five years. Cynthia Drew

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    1. Thank you, Cynthia. Yes, a story without conflict is a sandwich with nothing between the slices of bread.

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