Tuesday, September 23, 2014

When Things Fall Into Place, You Can't Help But Fall In Love - Again by Margo Hoornstra

Did you ever throw a concept out there and have it reworked and expanded on by someone else then given back to you more fully formed and developed? That happened to me recently with CP Jannine. As the back and forth volley of ideas and possible situations continued, two books, containing a total of six stories, were resurrected and given new life.

A few years ago, we each wrote three novellas based on the premise of what would happen if former classmates came together for their twentieth high school reunion. Unfortunately, they didn't go far. Why not reclaim our rights, rework then release them ourselves? That was the original concept. To be honest, I'm not sure which one of us thought of it first. The important thing is, based on that initial conversation, everything started to fall into place.

I know, Jannine told you about this a few days ago, but stay with me.

The location for our Serendipity books became the fictional town of Serendipity, Vermont located on the shores of beautiful Lake Champlain.



In Saturday In Serendipity by me, a twenty year high school reunion changes the lives and former classmates and leads to unexpected futures. In Road To Serendipity by Jannine, a question is answered. Will a twenty year high school reunion inspire old classmates to risk it all for love?



The most fun, for me, was writing a phone conversation between her character, Kate Abbott and mine Blane Weston. Check out the same dialogue with two different points of view.

Kate's plan, to arrive in Serendipity the Friday night of the reunion happens to fall by the wayside.

With a sigh she flipped open her phone and pushed the speed dial button for Blane. Her friend answered on the third ring.

"Hi, Blane, it's Kate. How are you?"

"Well, hello, stranger! I'm hanging in there thinking about what to wear on the cruise tonight." Her voice lowered. "After I get some issues resolved with one of my construction sites."

That was Blane, never giving herself a break. "You're working?"

"Remotely through my computer. It shouldn't take long. Are you in Serendipity? Have you checked in yet?"

She cleared her throat. "That why I'm calling. I'm not going to make it tonight. I'm so sorry, but we're still in Ohio, and there's just no way to get to Serendipity in time."

Blane was quiet for a moment. "Don't worry about it. I've had a few complications, but I'm sure everything will work out fine."

Her grip on the phone tightened. "What complications?"

"Long story." She let out a sigh before her voice regained some its usual spirit. "Wait a minute, did you say we? Who's with you?"

Kate took a deep breath. "Do you remember Tyler North?"

Her friend's squeal nearly deafened her. "Are you kidding me?"

"We ran into each other on the road, literally, and we've been traveling together."

"What!"

Kate held the phone away from her ear. "Like you said, long story. Anyway, we'll be there for the dance tomorrow night."

"Oh no, you don't get to hang up now. I want details, girl! Old love 'em and leave 'em North. Bop 'em and drop 'em, do 'em and shoo 'em, this is the guy we're talking about, right?"

Her cheeks heated. "He's changed."

"I hope so. I can't picture you with Tyler North."

Kate glanced at Tyler who kept his gaze fixed on the road. She wondered what he was thinking. "Uh, we'll talk at the dance."

"Can't wait. Have you done the deed yet?"

"Blane!"

"Fine, you can tell me about it when you get to Serendipity."

"I really am sorry I can't be there for you this evening."

"Don't worry about it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed everything will work out."

"I'll cross mine too. So, you and Aaron?" She sighed as she pictured her friend's old flame. "Did he keep his looks?"

"You bet. Unlike some of us, he's improved with age."

Kate let out a spurt of laughter. "Speak for yourself about the age thing." She leaned back in her seat and gazed out at the scenery rushing by. "Aaron always had a way of making a girl feel special. Is he still and smooth and charming as ever?"

"He is that." There was a brief pause before she spoke again. "I'd better get to work. I'll see you tomorrow night. Bye, Kate."

"Bye, Blane." She clicked her phone shut and smiled. "It looks like I could have saved myself a cross country trip."

He glanced sideways at her then gave his attention to the semi he was passing. "Why do you say that?"

"Because Blane told me she has everything under control." Her brows knit. "At least I hope she does. Anyway, she took the news of our delay well."

Blane tries hard, after hearing the news, not to fall to pieces.

Blane struggled through the door to her standard, nondescript hotel room and dropped her cumbersome bags on the floor. She was about to set her purse on the cherry wood dresser when her cell chimed. Digging it out, she answered on the third ring.

"Hi, Blane, it's Kate. How are you?"

A friend at last. "Well, hello, stranger!" She walked over to flop down on the bed. "I'm hanging in there, thinking about what to wear on the cruise tonight." Her voice lowered. "That is after I get some issues resolved with one of my construction sites."

"You're working?"

"Remotely through my computer. It shouldn't take long. Are you in Serendipity? Have you checked in yet?"

Momentary silence was followed by some throat clearing. "That's why I'm calling. I'm not going to make it tonight. I'm so sorry, but we're still in Ohio, and there's just no way to get to Serendipity in time."

Blane closed her eyes as an uncomfortable emptiness hit the pit of her stomach. Alone again. "Don't worry about it. I've had a few complications, but I'm sure everything will work out fine."

"What complications?" Kate's voice was edged with worry.

"Long story." Letting out a sigh, she shook her head and sat up. "Wait a minute, did you say we? Who's with you?"

Her friend inhaled before answering. "Do you remember Tyler North?"

Standing, Blane let out a squeal. "Are you kidding me?"

"We ran into each other on the road, literally, and we've been traveling together."

Mouth open, Blane sat back down and tightened her hold on the phone. "What!"

"Like you said, long story. Anyway, we'll be there for the dance tomorrow night."

"Oh no, you don't get to hang up now. I want details, girl!" The grin stretching her cheeks felt fabulous. "Old love 'em and leave 'em North. Bop 'em and drop 'em, do 'em and shoo 'em, this is the guy we're talking about right?"

Kate let out another breath. "He's changed."

"I hope so." She moved the phone to her other ear. "I can't picture you with Tyler North."

"Uh, we'll talk at the dance."

"Can't wait." The grin felt so good, she held on to it. "Have you done the deed yet?"

"Blane!"

"Fine, you can tell me about it when you get to Serendipity."

"I really am sorry I can't be there for you this evening."

"Don't worry about it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed everything will work out."

"I'll cross mine too. So, you and Aaron?" Kate's sigh brought back old memories. "Did he keep his looks?"

"You bet. Unlike some of us, he's improved with age."

Kate let out a spurt of laughter. "Speak for yourself about the age thing." There was a space of silence before she went on. "Aaron always had a way of making a girl feel special. Is he still as smooth and charming as ever?"

"He is that." She took a moment to take a breath. "I'd better get to work. I'll see you tomorrow night, Kate."

"Bye, Blane."

Pushing the off button, Blane tossed her phone on the bed. "Long stories. Turns out that's what this weekend is going to be all about."

Once Jannine and I got going, everything just started to fall into place. We didn't have anything really fall by the wayside. And, both of us were able to fall in love with some old stories made new.

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8 comments:

Jannine Gallant said...

Definitely an interesting experience writing a conversation from two different perspectives. Took a few emails, but it worked! If any of you ever work on a project with common characters, you should try it.

Liz Flaherty said...

I'm in the middle of #3 and having a very good time reading it.

Margo Hoornstra said...

It was that, Jannine. (sorry, I was on the road today!) I enjoyed it.

Liz, love hearing that. Thank you.

Leah St. James said...

What a cool concept. I have both stories and can't wait to start them! (Pushing my way through the latest "Outlander" book right now, probably 700 or so pages to go!) :-)

Alicia Dean said...

Fun, fun! I loved reading the same convo from different perspectives. My critique partners and I are currently writing simultaneous stories (our Martini Club stories) and it is tricky getting all the events and the timeline consistent. Good job, girls...can't wait to read them!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Leah. Great we made the TBR list. Thank you. Enjoy!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Alicia. Jannine started it! I had a blast with it! Good luck to the Martini group!

Alicia Dean said...

Thank you!