Nonfiction Spark for Fiction: A Wedding Dedication


What a great weekend.  Congratulations to Jeff and Steph Mirabito.  Let’s now get back to writing.


That’s all that needs to be stated to contradict my wordy passages.  Don’t worry, this will be a shorter entry.  I can see the decline in readers due to the longevity of some of these posts.  I want you, my readers, to be entertained, not overwhelmed.


I have now regained the 100 percent confidence to start writing fiction again.  Although, I am looking for the “Notch 11” in the grand scheme of things, but the confidence is on steady incline.  This weekend was a bombardment of feelings, fluctuating amongst excitement, regret, depression, elation, silliness, comfort, exhaustion, relaxation, acceptance, and ending in confidence.

The basis for the first novel I had begun a handful of years ago, the same novel I stopped and restarted a ridiculous number of times, defining the belief that someone is their own harshest critic, was intended to be a simple story.  The time frame of the novel was to be one year, the ups and downs of the central character would be shared with the reader in first person, incorporating second person to have the reader feel as if they are part of the book.  However, I am not making my character totally omniscient; he doesn’t know what everyone else is thinking, or reasons why they do things.  He’s going to make mistakes, he’s going to expect different outcomes, and he’s going to get the shit kicked out of him due to his being fallible.

I want the movie tangible, so I am modeling the story after movies:  Garden State, Elizabethtown, Serendipity, Definitely Maybe, and (500) Days of Summer.  Yet, I want to experiment a bit, throwing in some

Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop.  Wait.  See what I almost did?  I almost gave away some critical aspects.  So, to put it simply, I am taking inspiration from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Synedoche, New York, Punch Drunk Love, and Magnolia.  I want to test myself, and I want to confuse the reader (a little).

The end of the story, although it has not been written, is carved in stone.  It will probably annoy the majority of the readers.

To fulfill a cliche, I have included a wedding in the novel.  That chapter has already been started, so it’s not going away until it is decided by The Trinity (me, myself, and I) that the Holy Trinity (The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost)

I have no idea where I was going with that, but I am loving the strikeout.  The wedding scene will most likely stay, until it is finished or I decide it’s unnecessary.  It plays out, however, differently than this past weekend.  I was expecting irony to come into play a bit on Saturday, but it (thankfully) didn’t.  To go along with the weirdness of events happening in my life recently, I expected the parallel between life and novel to coincide. 

Sometimes life is stranger than fiction.


The morning of the wedding started off normal, except the beer had gotten to me from the night before.  When two parties combine, they ultimately reach an agreement over having a good time.  I even got a sweet free Harpoon pint glass out of the night, and no stealing necessary.  I, also, need to start teaching myself to stay away from the jukebox.  I guess I am really addicted to music and sharing my favorites.

Needless to say, I went to bed early, and that was my saving grace.  The throbbing was at a Notch 3.5, so a bit of coffee and water did the trick.  The trip seemed short and sweet, as it was a beautiful day for a wedding.  Trips go by much faster when it’s actually nice out, and when you’re on the thruway/highway for a short amount of time.  Then the trip down memory lane begins when you hit Exit 42, going into Geneva.  The signs for Belhurst Castle and Seneca Lake Wine Trail are ripe and vibrant to pick out of a long strain of past memories. 

Moving past the Seneca Lake area, you travel into Keuka and it’s majestic beauty.  As we arrived in Hammondsport, the sign from Bath rang out in its green, white-lettered entirety.  The Zajacs moved there when I was in fifth grade.  They, ironically, moved into a house that was a reversed version of their home in Syracuse.  Essentially, this made their transition a smooth one.  Plus, having family closer to home is always a good thing.

On top of it, the Zajacs were close to their beloved cottage, a place which proves simplicity is grand.  The Volles and Malone families would often travel there, spending the day and surrounding each individual with good company, swimming, and cooking out.  The boys (Rich, Dan, Mike, and I) would venture out into the woods to shoot BB guns.  There was that one incident where my BB went through the sign and slapped my brother on the butt cheek.  I swear, comically, yellow squiggles of pain emitted from the contact and a bright exclamation point popped up above my brother’s head.  Accented by a “Yow!,” Mike turned around with vengeance gleaming in his eyes.  Dan and Rich though it was classic.

However, upon talking about it, we “kids” never got the opportunity to use the place ourselves for a weekend excursion.


Steph, of our Sherwood entourage, had been the third to get married.  Laurie and Dr. Seth preceded her in 2007, and Kaitlin another handful of years before.  Steve is next on the list, and he will most likely be followed by my brother and Erin.  Maybe one will slip in there before those two tie the knot.  Needless to say, the dominoes are falling for the Sherwood Crew marriages.  Our desire, our intent, would probably be having kids around the same age.  Who cares where we are, geographically, because they are all going to be friends no matter what.  They won’t have the brotherhood/sisterhood as we all share, but they’ll be more or less “cousins.”

The ceremony was beautiful.  The Deacon did a great job, focusing the ceremony on Jeff and Steph, especially during the homily.  I have seen very general marriage homilies, where the priest/reverend/deacon speaks generally about marriage and general.  This was very well done.  The church, itself, was small and quaint in the pleasant Hammondsport:  picture perfect.  The sun was shining, and you couldn’t ask for much more.

We then set off for the Harbor Inn Hotel in Watkins Glen, probably one of the more beautiful venues for a wedding.  The two within the past year have fit well in the ballroom.  There was plenty of time to relax before the reception, so a trip to Wildflower Cafe/Rooster Fish Brewing Company was to be completed.  Arriving before my family had, I had to scout the location, I kicked off the tab with my regular nut brown go-to.  My family arrived, and my father and brother joined me with the nut brown while Erin and my mom chose the hefe.  Corn fritters and chicken fingers were the delicious snacks we shared. 

On the way to the hotel, mom–of course–sees someone she knows.  The norm.

Before sitting at the Donovan McNabb Table with the Volles and Carmody party, we sat on the patio while enjoying our T-Squares, gin and tonics, whiskey and gingers, and Yuenglings.  It was the ideal day and event for light drinks.  The dollar game at the table, we passed the buck in Hot Potato fashion, revealed “jobs” for the individuals at the table:  I was the table’s Captain, Seth was the Bartender, Laurie was the Designated Driver, and Marg got to keep the dollar she donated for the game.  It’s probably a lucky dollar, having to end up back to her; ergo,  lotto time!

Instead of moping about, spiraling down in loneliness and still staying classy about it, defining that fictitious main character, we were having a blast with the photo booth.  The Sherwood family got a few pictures taken. Steph and Jeff were making their rounds. Marg and Les were making friends out on the patio, aside the fire.  Seth and Laurie (tried) to get as much time to themselves as they could; for the record, I let them be.  Dan, Rich and I tried to get weird.  Mike and Erin’s photo booth pictures made everyone else’s look like amateurish.

Oh, yeah.  My parents were there, hanging out, too. 

The music selection was clutch, and there were none of those stupid fluff songs (“Locomotion,” “Cha-Cha Slide,” “Electric Slide,” and “Cotton-Eye Joe” amongst others).  Like a good son, I danced with my mom to Van Morrison.  Rich and his mom shared the dance.  Laurie and I got to “Shout!”  I ended the night, taking a risk, dancing with a stranger.  I had to leave on a high note, and it was a great high note.  She was a good sport about the dance, and I found out she had a very positive personality and a very appropriately rewarding job.  We need more people like her in the world.


Like all good things, the reception had to come to an end.  We said our goodbyes and headed back home to Syracuse.  It was my turn to navigate, and I did a lousy job at it, dozing here and there up 414.  Mike, as always, got a rise of my failing and got a good laugh from everyone.  I was tired. 

I love my brother.

Congrats, again, to Jeff and Steph Mirabito.

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