Indivisible: Based on a True Story

Here’s a blog about one of my upcoming films, that I co-wrote, Indivisible.

Cheryl McKay (Screenwriter/Book Author)

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As a writer, every movie that gets made is a dream come true. I believe stories have the power to change hearts and the world.

I had the extreme privilege of working on a feature film based on a true story about a U.S. Army Chaplain, Darren Turner. I got to work with David Evans, the co-writer and director of Indivisible. (He also did the movie The Grace Card.) I have a new love for movies about marriages.

From IMDB story synopsis: “Upon returning from serving in the U.S. Army, Chaplain Darren Turner faces a crisis that shatters his family and faith in God but through the help of former soldiers, they help him return to his faith and family.”

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It’s always neat to see what you envision on the page come to life. Through the cast, set design, locations etc. Movie making takes a lot of people and…

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Love’s a Stage: a novel about making marriage last

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Today marks the release of one of two novels coming out this fall as part of my partnership with Rene Gutteridge and now Redbud press. Both are based on my screenplays. This first one is called Love’s a Stage. After I got married, I started to notice a lot of marriages around us crumbling. I wanted to explore themes of what it means to keep vows and how to make marriage last. My quirky, yet good-hearted lead character may go through great lengths (sometimes comically) to save a marriage while also learning along the way what it takes to make a marriage work and to find lasting true love.

Hope you enjoy the read and to one day bring you the feature film version:

Love’s a Stage (Hometown Romance) (KINDLE)

SYNOPSIS for Love’s a Stage:

Grad student and future marriage counselor Aly Brewster had a perfect childhood with perfect parents. Now she’s heading into her own perfect life: Finish her Master’s. Build a successful practice. Husband at twenty-six. But when her parents blindside her with the news they’re getting divorced, her perfect world shatters.

Actor Nick Armstrong has been in love with Aly since they met during freshman year. He’s happy to accept his assigned place in her Friend Zone because it lets him be close to her. But it’s been over five years—time to move on. Then the usually-unflappable Aly comes to him begging for help to save her parents’ marriage. Nick has the perfect plan: fake an engagement to each other to inspire her parents to fight to save their marriage. And who knows? It might trigger Aly’s feelings for him. But when Aly takes the ruse to the next level—planning a wedding in her parents’ backyard and hiring additional actors to play his family—enough is enough!

As the lines between acting and reality grow decidedly blurred, these two improvised fiancés must decide: are they going to finish the play…or exit stage right. Alone.

* * *

Later this fall, our other novella will be out. We participated in a book of novellas called The Boy Next Door, where all the authors wrote different love stories about falling for the boy next door. The one Rene Gutteridge and I wrote is called O Little Town of Bethany.

We’ll let ya know when it’s out.

Both projects have scripts available for production.

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover:

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Celebrating Marriage, Making Memories

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Every year, we celebrate our anniversary by taking a trip away instead of giving each other gifts. Given that we are both “quality timers” in the love language department–with gifts as a low priority–this has worked well for us. We’d rather save our resources toward focused time away with each other.

My husband edited together a video / slideshow of this year’s trip to share the beauty of California. Since we’ll be leaving the state of California soon and Highway 1 is our favorite place to visit on earth thus far, we decided to extend this particular anniversary trip to see more of it before we go.

My encouragement to those who are married is to take is take the time to celebrate milestones, like anniversaries. Take the time to build precious memories together. Never forget to have fun together or remember if you have kids that you are spouses first, parents second. One of the topics we speak about to married couples is making sure you have good memories to look back on so that if you ever hit a rough patch in your marriage, you have good memories to draw on to remind you of how it can get better. It’s kind of like with God, when we go through a dry patch where we wonder where He is, and it “seems” like He’s absent. When we have memories with God to draw back on when He was faithful to us, they can carry our faith through until we sense His presence again–if we let it.

Have you ever seen the picture within a picture idea on Pinterest, where they suggest you take a photo of yourself on each anniversary holding last year’s anniversary photo? By 50 years you’ll have yourself in the image 50x. All four of our photos so far have been from Highway 1. It’ll be an adventure to see what those pictures will be in the future as we leave here. It’s never too late to start one of these. Now, go make some great memories with your spouse.

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Celebrating Your Anniversary

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It’s only appropriate I post this marriage tip for Wisdom Wednesday about celebrating anniversaries on my parents’ anniversary.

So HAPPY 47th ANNIVERSARY, Mom & Dad.

Now this may seem obvious… marriage advice that says “celebrate your anniversary.” Doesn’t everyone? We are the types that like to celebrate everything. Perhaps it’s because we waited so long for marriage, we like to enjoy the “little things.” No one would be surprised to see “Happy 17th Month Anniversary, babe!” So feel free to celebrate each other, anywhere anytime.

To follow are ideas we’ve collected and done, to commemorate the occasions, like the big anniversaries.  Enjoy our anniversary ideas in pictures. Some of them you can do together. Others are photos you should take on the occasion (inspired by Pinterest).

Picture Ideas: 

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Action Ideas:

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Make a Gift idea:

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For more ideas check out my Pinterest Board:

Celebrate Anniversary Ideas on Pinterest

Funny Marriage Advice

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How about enjoying some humor today? Naturally, when you solicit marriage advice, you get quite a variety of ideas from novices and veterans alike. Today’s Wisdom Wednesday will focus on some of the funny tidbits we received from others. Hope you enjoy a good laugh:

“Don’t read, or let your husband read, Proverbs 31:10-31.” (CS)

“Fight naked.” (NS and DB and AC, yes three people gave us that one.)

“Don’t eat that one year old cake!”  (CA) (We didn’t! I think it’s still in his sister’s freezer.)

“For the bride: lingerie is your next best friend.” (A)

“Have lots of s*x” – (We got a lot of these notes on note cards)

“Don’t always be right, even though you are.” (VB)

“He’ll put up with our girlie food for a while then declare his need for MEAT.” (SH)

“Earplugs, sleep masks, and tiny reading lights are bliss savers.” (SM)

“The secret is two words: ‘Yes, Ma’am.'” (MP)

“Don’t wear fanny packs.” (LR)

Funny Marriage Advice

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Be Grateful

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This week’s tidbit of marital wisdom is something we heard often from many people, but we don’t have a specific quote. So we’ll take a couple straight out of the Bible, the best book of wisdom out there.

Colossians 3:15b (niv) “…Be thankful.”

Psalms 147:7a (niv) “Sing to the Lord with grateful praise…”

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We sometimes start our prayer times by singing praises with Chris playing the guitar. Admittedly, this is harder to do if we are weathering some difficult circumstances. Sometimes, it’s easy to focus on what we don’t have and what isn’t going right. We can forget what is a wonderful blessing right before us. If Chris and I struggle with disappointments about what God isn’t doing right now, we lose sight of what He is doing. We try to make it a practice to remember to be grateful for the many blessings that are in our lives. We know this is good advice, even if it’s not always easy to follow. However, we definitely find that our household is a lot more peaceful when we have an attitude of thankfulness.

Along the lines of gratefulness, we should always remember to thank our spouses for all that they do for us and the wonderful ways in which they contribute to our lives. A “thank you” is so easy; it doesn’t cost us anything. Yet, it can mean so much.

Be grateful

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No we are not just being silly for our blog. These photos were taken by Susan Rohrer during the video shoot we did for our wedding reception (produced by Caroline Way). We took these to make thank you cards for those who came to our wedding.

Speak Well of Your Spouse Publicly

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While some who submitted marriage advice cards to us were coming from the perspective of the newly married, offering how to get things started on the right footing, others who submitted marriage advice cards have a long history of marriage:

* * *

“Always believe the best of each other and never speak poorly of
your spouse in public. After 37 years, what started off as a practice is now a way
of life.”  (PP)

“My favorite piece of advice for someone getting married is this:  ‘Remember, you are now the reporter or press agent for your husband-to-be.’  What you say about him to others will either be good or bad.  Choose the right way and be a terrific reporter for him.” (BH)

Speak well

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