Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Wedding Crashers; Part I

    Writing makes me happy, so does being a mother.  Now, the great thing about being a writer AND having children, is that you suddenly have a captive audience who can't get away.  Plus, kids will give you instant, HONEST feedback.  If they don't like something you've said, they might throw a shoe at your face.  If you've created a dumb subplot, they'll be the first to let you know by spitting up on your shoulder!
    When the Scribe was almost five and the Hippie was two, I remember taking them for car rides.  We'd drive everywhere and the whole time I'd tell them stories.  They couldn't run; they couldn't get away, and after a time (although it was tough at first), I think they grew to love my stories.
    There was this one road where a castle sat.  The Scribe would point and ask, "Mama, do you know the story about that castle?"
    "Heck yeah, I do."  
    The truth remained, the place was a wedding reception center.  I'd loved the place so much, I'd wanted to take pictures of my clothing designs there.  (Remember how I used to own a sewing business, but I closed it to pursue a writing career?)  Well, here are some of the sets I made around that time, hoping to have someone model them in the castle: 

These little models were so sweet to work with!  
Whenever a child would model, I'd pay them in clothes--I think the parents loved that.



    Anyway, I called the owner of the castle, told him about my business.  He said he'd charge $50.00 a person to come inside of the castle--it would cost even more to take pictures there.  
    I found out later, they held free tours every Wednesday night!  The man must have thought I was made of gold or something.  Anyway, after finding out what an intense rip-off it was, I was pretty ticked.  So, when the Scribe asked if I knew the castle's background, I wanted to tell her everything about a scam artist and his tricks!  I didn't tell her that, though.
    Instead I made something up, something much cooler.


    "Once upon a time," I said. "There was a stunning princess, and she had a stepmother!"  
    The Scribe gasped because she knew as well as I did, if you have a stepmother in a fairytale, that's just begging for conflict.
    "The princess grew up in the castle, but her stepmother was so jealous, so evil, she put a spell around the place.  It was like Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Snow White all the greats . . . even Fiona.  The princess couldn't get out, unless her prince found her and saved her with true love's first kiss."  
    "Wow," the Scribe said and I suddenly understood why so many people keep using that storyline; kids just think it's epic.
    We drove for a while longer and I thought the Scribe had completely forgotten about the castle.  "So, your birthday's next week.  What do you want to do?  You'll be five this year.  Name anything and we'll do it."
    That was a bad thing to say.  I didn't think an almost-five-year-old could be so creative, but she was.
    "Anything?" she asked, and I'm sure my face paled.
    "Ummm . . . yeah, that's what I said.  Any . . . thing."
    "Great," she smiled.  "I want to meet the princess who lives in that castle back there."
    "Seriously?" I asked.
    "Yep.  That would be the most amazing birthday ever!"  
    So much hope shone in her eyes, so much joy.  I knew I couldn't afford the greedy owner's fees, but somehow I had to get my child into that place.
    I called Grandma Gertie later and told her my problem.  "Even if I could afford it, a princess won't be in the castle!  Plus, someone's getting married there on the Scribe's birthday.  It won't even work if I could scrounge up the cash."
    "Sure it can," Gertie laughed. "Have you ever crashed a wedding?"
    I never had, and the thought of meeting a bridezilla scared the crap out of me.  But still it might be worth a shot.
    "No," I said, "but that is something I want to do before I die."
    "Great," Gertie said.  "I'll see you then."

    To be continued tomorrow . . .


  1. Oh, I've always wanted to go into that castle! I grew up near it and at least twice a year we'd drive to see the castle. It wasn't always a reception center though, someone actually lived there once..upon a time (sorry, couldn't help myself). They had a big sign saying "something or other residence, no tresspassing". It was vacant for a while before becoming a reception center.

  2. Wow. What a wonderful story. Your writing totally captures me. I came here from Dee Ready's blog, to read her guest post. So glad I took an extra five minutes.

  3. Wow you have a castle in your backyard, that is cool. Sounds like a scammy scam artist runs the place, but evil always does lurk about in stone halls I guess..haha...crashing a wedding, this should be interesting.

  4. For those of us who have the patience of a gnat, two part stories are FRUSTRATING! You rope me in with your beautiful writing & then....

    As Arnold Scwartzenegger said, "I'll be back!"

  5. I'm infinitely jealous that your kids appreciate this while my kids mostly just rat me out.

    Of course I'm sure context has a little to do with it.

    "Mom! Does dad really have a pack of wolves in the basement?"


  6. I can't wait! And I love the costumes. Someone I Love would have looked so beautiful in them, and still would if she hadn't gotten taller and grown gigantic shoulders from rowing crew.


  7. We have a castle nearby, but it's really small. My kids always love to go there. I think I'd be cursed with an asthma attack. Cute story and lovely dresses.

  8. We have a castle down the road and around a thousand corners from my house, and I want soooo badly to drive down the private drive and barge in there like I own the place. It's so private that they don't even put the name of the owner on the mail box. It makes me wonder if it is a celebrity getaway home or something mysterious like that. There are so many weddings that I want to crash. I was blamed for "messing up" my aunt and uncles wedding when I was 10 because after the wedding I ran to the bedroom and changed out of my dress and got into a comfortable pair of overalls! :) My aunt swears I ruined her wedding pictures.

  9. Also, I have my regular blog back! Yay!

  10. Dear Elisa,

    I can hardly wait!!! for tomorrow's story.

    And please do wish the Scribe a happy belated birthday from Dulcy and me.


  11. Well done! I can't wait to find out what happens next! Nice work roping us in :)

  12. Giggling!
    The pictures of the girls are just priceless! they look adorably princessy. :)

  13. Uh-oh! Can't wait to read part 2 tomorrow!

    I must be a bad writer because I don't think I'd be that creative. I write short stories and poems that are based on realistic events with characters that are either people I know or based on people I know (myself included). I just enjoy reading and watching shows/movies/stories that I know could never happen in real life (Wizards of Waverly Place, anyone?).

  14. $50 to enter a castle? That's pricey

  15. OMG I love this!!!!!

    So didn't see it going there.

    Can't wait for the rest!

  16. FABULOUS story! I can't wait to hear the rest. Your costumes were beautiful, Elisa!!! What a great pity you no longer do them, although I can imagine the heart & soul that must have gone into creating them could never really be recompensed! You are exceedingly talented!!!

  17. heehee.... kids... not only can they not get away, give you constant (pretty) critical feedback, ... but they also offer PLENTY of ... um,... inspiration! ;)
    love the post, love the pics...

  18. The term "castle" to our crew means an indoor play area about an hour away from us. I am thinking for $50, maybe the one you mention has one serious jungle gym and trampoline set hidden inside.

    Darn cliffhangers, I'll be back for the rest of the story...

  19. Oh- I can't wait to hear the end of this one! I crashed a wedding- once!

    Beautiful dresses by the way!