Widower Stories Due Thursday

Just wanted to remind everyone that if you’re planning on submitting a story to my final widower relationship book, I need it no later than Thursday, November 1. I've re-posted what I’m looking for below. Email me with any questions. Thanks!


I’m in the midst of writing my final widower relationship guide. Tentatively titled Life with a Widower, the book will focus on the most common problems and issues not covered in my first two books. I’m hoping to have the book available before the end of the year.

And this is where I need your help.

My other two relationship books, Dating a Widower and Marrying a Widower have included wonderful stories from women who were dating or married to a widower. These stories have added insight to the chapter and helped countless others who are in a relationship with a widower. For this book I need stories from those who are or have been in a relationship with a widower. It doesn't matter if you just dated a widower once or have been happily married to one for 30 years, if you have a story to share, send it in.

I’m looking for stories that can address the following situations:

  • How did the late wife’s Facebook page or other online memorials affect your relationship?
  • What happened when you gave your widower a second chance at the relationship?
  • How did get the strength and courage to end the relationship with a widower even though you were still in love with him?
  • If the widower told you about his sex life with the late wife, how did this impact your relationship?
  • How did memorial tattoos interfere with or enhance your relationship?
  • What are some ways you learned to better communicate with a widower?
  • How did you forgive a widower that dumped you, used you, or otherwise hurt you?
  • What did you widower do when friends and family kept trying to memorialize the late wife?
  • How did a long distance relationship with a widower work out?
  • Does your widower participate in annual events (like 5k runs) for the late wife or work in behalf of charities, foundations, or scholarships for the late wife? If yes, has that hindered or helped your relationship?

I’m looking for success stories as well as ones where things didn’t work out. Basically if you have a story that you think can help other girlfriends of widowers and wives of widowers with their current relationship I want to hear from you!

Please keep submissions between 250-750 words. You can submit more than one story but please send them in different emails. (This way I can organize them for quick reference.) Stories are due no later than Thursday, November 1, 2012. You can submit them by sending an email to writer@abelkeogh.com.

If your story is selected, you’ll receive a free copy of the new book as soon as it’s published. To protect your privacy, you can publish your story under a pen name if you wish.

Thanks for your help,


Stories I Tell My Kids


Most nights before my kids go to bed, I tell them a story. Usually the stories involve the kids on some wild adventure where they fight dragons or exploring a distant jungle or mountain with all the adventure that comes with an Indiana Jones movie. Sometimes the stories involve recapping something they did that day (e.g., sledding or swimming) only with a monster thrown in to make it more interesting.

Though I love telling them stories, there are nights when it’s hard to come up with an original story every night. I know, I know. As a writer you’d think I’d have an endless supply of stories in my head. While it’s true I have a dozen novels floating around there at any given time and a few other stories to tell my kids, there are times when the well runs dry and I need a break.

So for the next few weeks I’ve decided to read the first Harry Potter book to them. I hope it’s something they’ll enjoy as much as me since I’ve never ready any of the Harry Potter books. (Yes, somehow I managed to avoid reading them despite the glowing reviews from Marathon Girl and everyone else who has read them.) I think the two boys are old enough to enjoy them. Not sure about the 3 year old, however. If she gets bored maybe I’ll just summarize the story for her before tucking her in. As long as she feels she got a story from Dad, she’s happy.

I’m crossing my fingers that all goes well. Tonight they get the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Fidget: A Christmas Story

Fidget: Santa's Smartest and Fastest Elf

Sometime during the fourth year of life, Dad told my brother and me about Fidget.

Fidget was one of Santa’s elves that lived in our house. He watched us all day, every day and carried around a notebook where he’d write down everything we did. As Christmas time approached, he would send all of his notes to Santa for him to determine whether or not we were going to get presents.

Fidget wasn’t a normal elf, Dad told us. He was the fastest and smartest of Santa’s elves. If he was standing right behind you in the middle of the room he knew when you were going to turn around and would run before you could even see him. If you walked into the same room where Fidget was, he could hide before you could see him. He could also squeeze and hide himself into the tiniest places so no matter how hard you looked for him, you could never find it. And to top it off, no matter where Fidget was, he could see what you were doing and would take notes.

As Dad told the story I remember looking around the living room and wondering where Fidget was hiding. Was he hiding behind the leg of the couch just out of site? Maybe he was peering between the heating vents so he could keep warm while he watched us. Perhaps he was peeking from behind a corner only to run away as soon as I looked in that direction. Fidget was fast, after all.

Though Dad told us this story to elicit some better behavior from us during the Christmas season, my brother and I bought the story of Fidget hook, line, and sinker. We spend hours setting up traps hoping to catch him or searching our room hoping he’d never be as quick as Dad said he was. Proof of Fidget’s existence, however, came on Christmas morning. Not only did Santa eat his plate of cookies and milk and leave a thank you note, but Fidget’s ate the food we left for him and left a note of thanks as well.

The story of Fidget went over way better than Dad expected, so he milked the story for all it was worth. No matter what time of year it was, Dad would reference Fidget. If we were fighting or getting under his nerves all he would have to do is say “Fidget’s watching!” and we’d stop fighting. When we moved from Utah to small Colorado town that summer Dad assured us that Fidget knew we were moving and would make the trip with us.

Now, 30 years later, Fidget lives again.

A couple weeks ago, while trying to get Aidan, Steven, and Molly to behave, I blurted out that Fidget was watching them. All three of them stopped and gave me blank looks.

"Who’s Fidget?" Aidan asked.

"You don’t know who Fidget is?" I said quickly feigning surprise.

They all shook their heads.

"Come sit by Dad," I said. "And let me tell you about the fastest and smartest of Santa's elves."

So far, the story of Fidget has worked just like I hoped. Sure, the kids still fight and argue like all kids do, but the mention of Fidget is enough to end the bickering—at least temporarily—and have them look around the room, wondering where he’s hiding.

My only hope is that Fidget is something I can use after this Christmas is over.

Like Dad, I want to milk the story for everything its worth.