Monday, June 25, 2018

Flashback to 1998!

I'm a little bit country, too!

And I'm not afraid to admit that.

There's just something about being a writer now (2010-present) that the longer I do it, the more I think about certain times in my life where a little bit of that inner writer has caused me to think about random things in my life that have led me up to this moment.

Let me take you back to 1998.

I was 24 and had become a certified personal trainer (a profession that quickly caused burnout), in college at Liberty University studying exercise science, and working part-time as a sales associate at Sears.  By this time, I had already a certified aerobics instructor. I spent the summer of 1998 teaching thirteen classes a week (yes, that number is not a typo). I would lead group exercise classes until a decade later when marathon running took over.

One thing I didn't want at all at the time: a boyfriend. Though I didn't have any dates, I did have a male friend whom I met through a friend I had at the time. He was in the Navy studying aviation in Millington, TN. We started writing to each other. We shared a mutual interest in being determined to set goals and country music. By this time, I had met him once, when he had had plans to pass through my neck of the woods (Lynchburg, VA).

Though nothing serious happened between us, looking back on this acquaintanceship I had had with him, he inspired me. I'm not sure what specifically it was, but he seemed to care about my well-being in spite of what had been going on with him.

One of the country singers I liked back then (and still do) was Aaron Tippin. Many of you are familiar with such hits as "You've Got to Stand for Something," "Kiss This," or "Working Man's PhD." But the one song I have always liked by him is "That's As Close As I'll Get to Loving You." There's just something about that song; I still don't know what it is. This was the song that brought out the romance writer in me. Though I never wrote down this plot, I still remember it after twenty years:

A young single woman meets a young man through a friend. He is in town on a break from flight school. Though she does have a boyfriend, they keep in touch, writing to and calling each other (because this was in the days before Facebook and e-mail). The one song they like is "That's As Close As I'll Get to Loving You." When they talk on the phone, they sing it to each other. The young woman eventually breaks up with her boyfriend and tells this young man. He writes her a detailed letter about how he was jealous of him and wanted the chance to go out with her. However, soon after that, he gets into a serious accident and is in the hospital. This young woman visits him. When she goes into the room, he is unconscious. She takes his hand and starts singing the first four lines of their favorite Aaron Tippin song. As she is doing so, he wakes up and recognizes her.

But darn those copyright laws! 

It was a good idea. I know I can always think of some other title and lyrics for it. 

In fact, it's such a great idea. After all, I still remember this twenty years later. There must be something to it. I'm on a roll now with writing romance. How about I tweak this and see what I can come up with?

Patrick Peterson, though I know we haven't spoken since 1999 and you might not even remember me, if you're reading this, in the short time I knew you, you inspired me. Look at what I'm doing now.

Now, for the featured song....

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