Happy Friday, my dear Inspired by Life… and Fiction readers! It’s my pleasure to introduce you to my friend Melissa Tagg, who is guest-posting here today. Melissa writes charming, funny, sweet, and wonderful contemporary Christian romances. If you haven’t read her books yet, you’re in for a treat! Thanks for joining us, Melissa! -Becky
One of the things I love about writing romance is it gives me such a good excuse to watch and rewatch my favorite classic romantic movies…and call it “work.” In fact, I should probably get a tax write-off for all the money I spend buying and renting old movies online for “research.” (Note to self: call tax guy after finishing this post.)
The couples in old movies, in my humble and slightly film-obsessed opinion, completely blow away any of the couples in current flicks. I’m sorry, not even George Clooney and his latest leading lady can compare to couples like:
Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant
William Powell and Myrna Loy
Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert
Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray (probably not one of the more well-known couples, but they are amazing together)
Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur
Classic movie couples just sparkle with chemistry and wit. And people who know me and know that I love these movies generally assume these are the couples who inspire my character romances.
BUT…there’s one couple who probably more than any couple in any movie inspires my view of romance…in fiction and in real life. And that couple would be my parents.
Today is my Mom and Dad’s 34th wedding anniversary. They were high-school and long-distance sweethearts and really, the story of their teenage romance is kind of my favorite thing ever. Just recently one of my sisters and I were hanging out at home and got a few more details on the beginnings of that relationship and it’s just great. I won’t tell the whole story here, though, because I’m convinced one day I need to write a novella about them. I’m going to call it Two Leaves, named after a song my mom wrote for my dad when they were sadly parted by geography.
I could write a tome of a post about all the way my parents’ relationship has inspired my thoughts on life and love and faith, and how those things end up woven into my stories, but as I’m thinking about their anniversary, the thing at the forefront of my mind is how much they delight in each other. They love each other, yes. But I love how much they like each other, too. They love spending time together. They value each other’s gifts and talents and strengths. They amuse each other. They laugh together.
They delight in each other.
And I’m realizing, right now as I’m writing this, that’s such an important ingredient in a relationship—not only romantic, but also a friendship. I love those moments in a story where I get to put a guy and a girl in a scene together and simply let them enjoy each other. I love those moments in my own life when I realize all over again how much I genuinely like and adore the people in my life.
And it reminds me…that’s how God sees me. And you. And all of us. He loves us, yes. But I think He likes us too. There’s a verse in Zephaniah that talks about God taking delight in the Israelites…rejoicing over them with singing. What I especially love about that verse is it comes on the heels of disappointment and rebuke. Despite their (and our) tendency to turn away, God always welcomes His people back and makes the choice to delight in them all over again. I love that!
And I love the way my parents are a reflection of that. Which is why they are, without a doubt, the most inspiring couple I know.
Melissa Tagg is a former reporter and author of Made to Last and Here to Stay. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Twitter (@Melissa_Tagg) and basically anywhere online.