Gettysburg is near and dear to my heart, and why I wrote a series that is based around it – Summer Ray. Today is July 2nd and the 2nd day of the battle. It’s the 158th Anniversary. In fact, my boyfriend and I published a photography book for the 150th anniversary.
I have been coming to these battlefields since I was five years old.
My dad would take me and somehow, I fell in love with this small historical town. It is only fitting that I grew up to make this town my home. I remember when I first went into the Gettysburg National Cemetery and saw the Unknown Soldiers graves as only numbers on a stone. I pretty much flipped out and decided right then and there, to honor their sacrifice. This is when the story of Summer Ray began to really take shape. I had no idea how it would evolve from there. But it did. It has been an amazing journey so far; some of hardship; some of awesome and incredible miracles; added with an enormous amount of learning.
When I first started the story, I was a non fiction writer. I had never written any fictional novel before, and I had no idea how. When I first started writing the screenplay, I also had no idea how to write it. But I knew I wanted to learn. It took many many years of making mistakes, rewrites and edits. But, I was so thirsty for the knowledge of this business that I kept at it. God had proved to me time and time again that I was on the right track, doing exactly what He wanted me to be doing. When He was and is still with me, how could I have ever given up? Our project had some very dark days; I shed a lot of tears; lost a lot of friends; but I never quit. Well, after the first time I quit when I threw the first manuscript in the trash and a close friend drove an hour to retrieve it. She then threw it on my desk and said, “It’s a good story. Finish it!” I am still finishing it to this day, over twelve years later. Jessica’s dedication is in the first book. When I started to get the reviews of volume 1, “This Fair and Blighted Land,” it was exciting because what I wanted to accomplish, I was doing. People were happy with the story; connecting with the story; and finding some kind of encouragement with the story. (To view the book in the above picture on amazon.com, simply click on the book cover and it will take you right to it). (To view the whole series click on, www.thememoirsofsummerray.com).
When ever I go back to the cemetery, or when the Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg comes back around, it helps me to remember one of the reasons why, I wrote the story in the first place. With everything going on in America, this story is also going to help keep part of our American History alive. I refuse, to back down. I refuse, to take out the Confederate Battle Flag. I refuse, to not discuss the dark parks of history – namely slavery. I refuse, to be “Politically Correct.” This behavior has brought more harm than good and I refuse, to partake in any of it! I am an American Patriot and proud of it. I will honor our American soldiers; past, present and future.
As we move this project forward, it is nice to reflect back on the progress. All of us here at Summer Ray, wish you and yours a very Happy 4th of July!
A Redemption in Time – Full Feature Film