CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-MOLLY PEYTON

Tell us how long you’ve lived in Peakview County.

My husband, Jim and I purchased Peaktop Guest Ranch almost thirty years ago. We absolutely love these mountains and the community. We also love running a guest ranch. Our two children grew up here.

What exactly is a guest ranch?

I’m glad you asked. A guest ranch, or dude ranch as they’re sometimes called, are wonderful places for family vacations. It’s an American-style all-inclusive vacation. The main activity is horseback riding, although there is plenty of other activities to keep our guests busy if the don’t ride. There’s many miles of hiking trails, fishing, tennis courts, and a swimming pool. During the summer months, everyone stays a whole week, from Sunday until Sunday. We have activities every evening. We have a square dance, singing around the campfire, cookouts, hayrides, and an old fashioned melodrama. During our off-season, September through May, guests can choose to come for a weekend or just a couple of days. We are closed in January and most of February.

That sounds wonderful.

People like it. We have many families that come year after year. We’ve even gotten to the point where kids who grew up coming here are now bringing their children.

Any plans to retire?

Not in the near future. Our hope is someday when we get too old to want to do this full time, that our kids will take over. Our son, Brandon is a junior at Colorado State majoring in animal science with a minor in business. He hopes to become a vet. It would be great to have our own with so many animals on the ranch. He loves this place as much as we do.

Where is your ranch from the town of Peakview?

It’s located about fifteen miles northeast of town. It’s very isolated, which is what guests like. They come to get away from civilization. We still don’t have cell service, and we like it that way. There’s always something going on. Stop by and check us out if you get the chance.

RIP Derek Shepard

derek shepardWhat makes a memorable character? As writers we all strive to create memorable characters. Those that our readers can identify with, fall in love with, not want to live without, cry and laugh with. The trick is making these fictional personas come to life. I think a lot about what makes this work. Nothing illustrates this point quite like the surprise and unfortunate demise of Dr. Derek Shepard, aka Dr. McDreamy this past week on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy.

Now Grey’s has been on the air for eleven seasons, and I have been a faithful viewer since show number one. There have been major characters come and go before, but the backbone of the show has always been the relationship between Meredith Grey and Derek. Women all over fell in love with the dreamy doctor, so much so that in the second or third season the nickname Dr. McDreamy emerged. The role propelled little known actor Patrick Dempsey into super stardom.The very first scene of the very first show has them meeting in a bar. Classic. For eleven years we followed their ups and downs, highs and lows, love and hate, marriage, birth of children and finding their way together. Just when we thought all was well, BOOM (literally he was hit by a truck) Derek was gone.

What surprised me more than what happened was my reaction. Now I admit I am a softie when is comes to shows and movies. If its a good show I cry somewhere before the end. But this show literally left me sobbing, and sad–for hours! I had to turn the TV off when it was over. The sadness was too overwhelming to watch anything else. How could this have happened? I write romance and we always have happy endings. I so wanted the show to end someday with them living happily ever after.

Even more surprising was when I clicked on the Grey’s Anatomy Facebook page the following morning to find that over 3 million, that’s right 3 MILLION people had done same since the show aired less than 10 hours prior. And the almost 40 thousand comments ranged from sadness and despair to anger and rage. People were SO upset, threatening to never watch the show again. A few days later I saw a petition with tens of thousands of signatures being circulated begging the show to somehow miraculously bring him back.

As a writer all I could say was WOW, WOW, WOW. Shonda Rhimes, despite her current status slightly below the devil himself, had created a character so real that millions were grieving his death. That’s what we strive for. We should all be so lucky!