Potential conflicts exist in everyday life. Tweak or twist a problem and you have a hero and heroine at odds. But, with true love, these insurmountable obstacles are overcome. Isn’t that what romance novels are all about?
There is one conflict that is all too prevalent throughout Central Illinois. I am sure it occurs in other places, but I am most familiar with its impact on my hometown. It divides neighbors and families. Fights have broken out and name calling is not uncommon. In my own family there is a division. My son is siding against me and I hope it is only adolescent rebellion. I am not so concerned on how this affects my son, because I can always ground him until he sees reason. I am more concerned with my nephew and his new bride, whom I adore by the way. This huge conflict between the two existed long before they met and it is still in existence. My nephew has a son and his new bride has two. It is hard to meld two families, especially when they are three boys all within a few years of each other. Also, she is a tad bit older, not that it matters to either one of them.
No, the conflict is much larger than age differences or the melding of families. You see, she is a Cub fan (brains and beauty) and my nephew, much to my disappointment, is a Cardinal fan. I’ve been in their family room and the plaques for each team are displayed proudly on the wall. Whoever is ahead at the end of the season is displayed above the other. And yes, the Cubs have been there for those who want to utter disparaging remarks about my favorite team.
To bring home how important baseball is to this couple, their marriage took place in the conference room at O’Brien Field, home of the Peoria Chiefs, Class A Affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Why would my nephew ever agree to such a setting, being the die-hard Cardinal fan that he is? Because the Chiefs were playing the Quad Cities River Bandits, Single A Affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. So, there the couple was, neither one of them in baseball clothing, but the bride’s children looked dapper in their Cub shirts and my nephew’s son, handsome, even though he was wearing a Cardinal Shirt.
Following the ceremony we adjourned to an outdoor private box and enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, coleslaw, popcorn and beer. All the food necessary for a successful baseball game and wedding reception. I only half paid attention to the game when it started because I was visiting with family and friends. However, I watched whenever Aramis Ramirez, Cub’s Third baseman rehabbing in Peoria and playing with the Chiefs, came up to bat.
The couple is happy and in love, and I pray their happiness continues despite what appears to be an insurmountable difference. In the meantime, I need to figure out how I can take this love story and conflict and set it in a historical period. How important was Cricket and when did it become a sport? Second, I must use the name Aramis in my next novel.
What are your thoughts on everyday, modern conflicts being used and tweaked for historical settings?