Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Weathersbard Decoded: The Cure For All Ills?


Weathersbard. Eleanor and Grant. To Time Captives readers, words synonymous with heartbreak. She's stuck as a twelve-year-old. He has to grow up. It's a would be romance with an unhappy ending...or is it?

I didn't intend for Eleanor to fall in love when I first sent her to sea. However, as soon as Grant tapped her on the shoulder on the wharf, I shipped them. At first, I tried to figure out some wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey way for them to be together, but I quickly came to the conclusion that that wasn't how it was meant to be. And so I wrote their story, parting and all, jumping out of order to write their reunion in Crannig Castle over Independence Day in 2014...the reunion that would conclude their story and enable them to finally move on with their lives.

Though when I initially wrote that part of the story it made perfect sense to me, when I edited it in preparation for release, I didn't get it. I didn't get how Eleanor--after spending fifty years miserably pining after Grant--could move on. How she could accept never seeing Grant again. Why wasn't she even more heartbroken? I was, reading it. It hurt. My readers talked about how sad and heartbreaking their story was too, and we all, me included, wished for an AU (alternate universe storyline) in which Grant and Eleanor could be together.

Then Kendra presented me with a happily ever after headcanon, wherein young Grant comes to our world to marry Eleanor, then eventually, after a long life together, returns to Calhortea to live out another life there. It seemed like the perfect ending for their story.

It was a slow day at the library, and I was sitting at the desk cleaning audiobook CDs, dreaming up a Weathersbard reunion scene when suddenly I stopped. Something was wrong. Something about this happy fix-it-all reunion scene was actually ruining their story. Somehow it undermined the ending.

And that was when I realized the theme of Grant and Eleanor's story. See, I don't write with any particular theme in mind (except maybe a general one of faith and freedom), so sometimes the themes hit me out of the blue later. Grant and Eleanor's story isn't so much one of unrequited love as it is one of contentment.

Eleanor spent fifty years of her life pining after the guy she loved. And she was miserable. The whole time, she was thinking that if only she had been able to marry the guy she loved, everything would be perfect. She'd be happy. She'd stop being so agonizingly lonely. Nothing would ever be wrong again. So you'd think that seeing Grant again, seeing that she absolutely can't have him--after all, he's old and she's still a kid--would make it worse. But yet it didn't.

Why? Because when she saw him again, she realized something big.

The key to happiness isn't getting the guy you want. The key to happiness is accepting with contentment the plan God has for your life.

Eleanor accepted that Grant wasn't the cure for all her ills...God was. Getting Grant wouldn't make everything okay...accepting God's plan would. And sure, she probably still had moments where she missed Grant very badly and wished things had turned out differently, but it wasn't debilitating like it was before. She was okay. Because she had finally accepted that God knew what He was doing, and His plan was better than hers.

So if you've ever struggled with contentment, especially in regards to a relationship or lack thereof, remember Eleanor. Remember that getting the guy (or whatever it is you feel will fix everything) won't make it all better. You may or may not get the guy you want, but even if, unlike Eleanor, you do get him, remember that you won't be happy, you won't stop being lonely, everything won't be made better, unless you've already let God do that for you. God is the cure for our ills, not the "perfect" guy, and God knows what He's doing, even if it seems hard at the time. And when God is first, the other blessings He gives you are a wonderful bonus.

But go ahead and have a happily ever after Weathersbard headcanon if you feel like it. ;)


  1. But who's to say that Grant can't be in the plan later down the road as per my headcannon? I don't think that it undermines it.

    1. I never said it wasn't a good headcanon. It's just not official canon at this point. I like it as a headcanon. And I still want that fanfic. ;)

    2. Also, it was your headcanon that alerted me to the theme of their story. I'd totally missed it before.

  2. Here's my fanfic/headcanon: Eleanor and Grant never marry, but their nephew and niece do. Both are similar to the first two, but different. Eleanor tells her niece about Time Captives, posing it as a bed-time story. Grant tells his nephew on his death bed.
    I know that's kind of lame, but I like it.

    1. It works. ;) They have plenty of relatives with no story yet. :)

  3. This is a very good point. I think I am able to empathize with their storyline because I would also like to be in a relationship (with no particular person yet), but God hasn't brought that about. I've struggled with feeling jealous as friends have married, but now, thanks to prayer and long talks with Mom, I'm learning to be content in this season of singleness.
    We've talked about ways Eleanor and Grant could've been together, but I think you made the right choice in not doing so. If a storyline doesn't feel right, why force it?

    1. It's hard to be in your twenties and not have a relationship...especially when friends get married. It's hard not to go "when will it be my turn?" but God has it under control, and His timing is perfect. We just have to make sure to not waste our single years wishing we were married; we can and should use these years for big things for His kingdom.
      Yeah, it's rough for them, and for readers (including the writer), but in the end it's better. Their story has more power, in a theme I didn't have a clue was there for two years. But the headcanon isn't totally outside of the realm of possibilities--I just prefer to leave it ambiguous.


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