December 13, 2011

true love

Twelve Days of Writing No. 5: Learn people's real love stories.

Love may not always be as poetic or perfect as it seems in books or in the movies, but it has its moments — even in real life. One of the greatest gifts we can give as writers is sharing it.

The good news? It's everywhere for you to learn and take inspiration from.

During a school trip to England, one of my professors' husband told a few of us students how he met his wife. By the end of the trip, I heard the story a few times, but each time I enjoyed it as much as the first. Each time he told the story, he ended with the same words, "I asked if I could walk her home, and I've been walking her home ever since."

Their story was sweet, and it definitely tugged at my heart. But the best part was the delivery. You could see how much he loved to tell it. It was his favorite story to tell, and one he had practiced well and recited countless times. Each time he arrived at the final line of the story, his smile was the same. He loved his wife and you could see it.

In moments where life is difficult, or seems impossible, it's nice to be reminded that a little love story can brighten your day.

I've always enjoyed learning people's love stories. It started when I was young.

I grew up asking my parents about their first date. I knew some of the particulars — they met on a blind date through mutual friends. Both in their 30s when they met, neither of them was looking to find love. But they did. I always found that terribly romantic growing up. I still do.

My parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last December. When as the date approached, I wanted to know the whole story.

While still living in Houston, I secretly interviewed them in summer 2010 during a Skype conversation. When I came home for a short visit in July, we drove by the restaurant where they had their first date. It had just been torn down and all that remained was the sign in the parking lot. I told my parents we had to stop so I could take their picture next to the sign while it was still there.

I am glad we did. The sign and remaining parking lot were removed soon after, and a new building is in construction. Though the restaurant is gone, we have their photo, and now I have their story.

Here's my challenge to you: Talk to your parents. Talk to your friends. Talk to the person you sit next to on an airplane. Ask them to share their love stories. You'll be glad you did. You might also find inspiration for your own stories. Like Hugh Grant's character says in Love Actually, "Love, actually, is all around."

Giveaway challenge: What's your love story or your favorite true life love story? 

Answer in the comments below to be entered to win this week's Twelve Days of Writing drawing. Be sure to check back Friday at 2 p.m. CDT to see if you are this week's winner. Read about the contest and what prizes you can win here.


  1. I do not have my own love story yet...but can't wait until I do. I'd probably say my favorite true life love stories are with my family. I know a couple of them but mostly it is just what I have witnessed. I have been blessed to have family with long marriages. My grandparents celebrated 70 years last April! I like your idea and am going to dig deeper to find out more about the ones I don't know. While there's been tragedy and difficult times, it gives me hope because they have worked through it. Ultimately, Love triumphs all.

  2. Definitely inspired me to ask my mom about her love story. :)

  3. Beautiful post :)

    I think it's so admirable that people can stay married for so long. I just hope I'm that lucky...well and can work that hard!

    Thank you for your review on Amazon as well. I truly appreciate it!