On This Day January 25th…Guiding Light

There is a destiny that makes us brothers, none goes his way alone. All that we send into the lives of others, comes back into our own.-Edwin Markham

Last year I did a series of “Did You Know” and “On This Day” posts. Posts honoring men, women  and writing/publishing related events. In particular for Black History Month. As well as Women’s History Month. Well, it’s back again, this time all year around. Featuring local, national and international events. And today’s event in history is sure to be a doozie. If you’re a soap fan that is, especially this one.
On this day, January 25th, the first broadcast of The Guiding Light (shortened to Guiding Light in 1975) aired on NBC Radio in 1937? The series was first created by actress and writer Irna Phillips. In fact Ms. Phillips was the soap’s chief writer for 21 years. Before she transferred to sister soap As the World Turns in 1958. Another soap she created. And for a bit of trivia, her protege Agnes Nixon, took over as head writer after Ms. Phillips transfer. And later went on to create the soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live.

I hope you’re not thinking that today’s post is in no way historical because it’s about a soap. Or how does this relate to writing. Because think again. Guiding Light is the longest running daytime drama in television in American history. It’s even included in the Guinness World Records. Guiding Light had its last episode September 18 2009, marking 57 years on television. Now add the 15 years it was on radio before the first televised episode. That’s 72 years-after 18, 262 episodes! That’s a whole lot of writing.

Also, soap operas is a storytelling genre that focuses on emotional relationships. Moral conflicts, tensions, family, friendship and love relationships. Racism, LGBT, drugs and addictions, Aids, cancer, etc. You name it, they did the storyline. In my opinion, watching soaps is also a great way to study how to write seductive romance story lines. And I’m sure some of us have watched a soap, have a favorite soap(s) and or still watch them too. I did.

I got into soaps because my mom was into it. And  she’d have me watch it so I can recap for her after she came home from work. This was during the summer, school breaks and holidays. I loved All My Children, Days of Our Lives and General Hospital. I especially loved Jason Quartermaine and Sonny Corinthos. Man that man was all kinds of smoldering hotness.

But I didn’t get into Guiding Light until the late 1990s and early 2000s. After actress Bethany Joy Lenz joined the show as Michelle Bauer. I adored the actress and loved the story line with her and Danny Santos. I’m a sucker for good girl and bad boy, contract relationship/marriage story lines. Then coupled with the fact that Danny Santos is part of a mob family, making him a good bad boy…I was hooked.

Here’s another trivia fact for you. Bethany Joy Lenz went on to play the role Haley James. Who married high school boyfriend and basketball star Nathan Scott, in One Tree Hill. Lenz along with Chad Michael Murray  were the reasons I watched the show from episode one. Chad Michael Murray also had recurring roles in the beloved Gilmore Girls and Dawson’s Creek.

Then came Passions. And yes I loved it too. It had witches, curses, soul mates, etc. How can I resist? Though the two week long narrative thread of Kay Bennett dragged into hell through her closet was a bit much.

Anyways, I just want to say Happy 79th Birthday Guiding Light! And though you’re no longer on air, you have not or will ever be forgotten. Nor the directors, the actors and especially the writers.

Tell the truth, you’ve watched Guiding Light and a soap or two. Have any favorites? Have a favorite story line, couple or super couple? Or characters you wished had a romantic story line but never did? Was there ever a story line you wished the writers developed more, that they didn’t drop? Or wish they had? What are your thoughts about soap opera in general, love them or hate them?


Credit image: soapoperanetwork.com


January Writing Update:

  • Haven’t heard from Agni yet about my poetry submissions. Keeping my fingers crossed.
  • I missed the Boulevard Emerging Writer 2016 Short Fiction Contest. But will be submitting my short to Glimmer Train.
  • Finally heard from Black Fox Literary and it was another rejection. Sigh.
  • I’ve submitted my poems to Duende, Gemini Magazine and the Women’s National Book Association.
  • Written ~5,235 words so far for The Soul Traveler, an urban fantasy novella (~12,000+ words to go). But will put it away at the end of the month. And focus on my contemporary romance novel Dreaming of You next as part of NaNoWriMo Now What? Month in February.
  • Will return to rewriting and revising my Nadia the Fire Witch novel. You can read the chapters I’ve uploaded so far on Wattpad here. Critiques, comments, shares and feedback will be much appreciated.😀
  • Poem count for Triplicity: 3 poems in the manuscript (cut a bunch out) and 10 new draft poems for possible inclusion (and a possible father-daughter poem written years ago). 35+ poems and two more months to go.


PS I’m looking for a few more good bloggers to become blog hosts for my poetry chapbook Can You Catch My Flow? It’ll be soon available in print but you can find the ebook at Smashwords and Amazon.

The tour dates is from March 1-April 30, 2016 and if you’re interested, click the banner below to the sign up form. Looking forward to hearing from you!😀

Sign Up For the tour banner- Can You Catch My Flow- http---bit.ly-1SCJdyM


27 thoughts on “On This Day January 25th…Guiding Light

  1. I like these kind of posts which delve into our history. If I am honest I have never heard of this soap before… but I do watch one soap which is really British. It’s called Corination Street and I love watching it. Did you know they are called soap operas because they were originally operas that the female laundry workers used to watch as they worked with the soap? Eventually these operas turned into on screen running shows but the name soap opera stuck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Another reason they’re also called soap opera is because soap companies were the sponsors of such shows. I haven’t heard of Coronation Street but I have heard of EastEnders. Just not sure if I’ve watched it. Also, there’s a difference between British and US soaps, where the former has storylines focusing on the working man families. While the latter is centered around affluent,powerful families in the community.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fond memories of watching oh so many of them with my grandmother as I was growing up and for many years long after (GL, ATWT, Y&R, B&B, GH [during the Luke and Laura years] and many others that left the air ages ago!). About ten years ago, I got fed up with one and stopped watching them all. However, I had to catch the final week of GL and ATWT and boo-hooed through them all. They were leaving permanently and it was a sad thing to realize. I couldn’t just go back to watching them if I wanted. I did catch some old ones (Y&R and GH) on YouTube recently and got lost in the nostalgia of it all. There’s a time of GL that holds a soft spot for some of my friends and me – Philip, Beth, Mindy, and Rick were in the same high school graduation year with me. Oh, and my son as a little boy, had a crush on Reva!!! He still gets a little gleam in his eye today if you mention her. LOL. Thanks, Lidy, for a sweet post. It brought back some fond memories of characters that could take up good study time too.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome Tonya. I was never really into ATWT, B&B and Y&R. I was more into AMC, DOOL, GH and Passions. Guiding Light came later. But I understand the nostalgia of revisiting characters, story lines and couples. I too felt close to such characters as Belle Black, Shawn Brady, Chloe, Philip and Brady Black from DOOL as they were close to my own age. The same with Charity, Whitney, Theresa, Miguel and Kay from Passions. Emily Quartermaine, Lucky, Nicholas, Elizabeth, etc from General Hospital. It’s just too bad that The Soap Opera network is gone now. Because then we can walk down memory lane, watching our favorite soaps from the beginning. And it’s funny how your son had a crush on Reva. My crushes were Jason and Sonny from GH, Danny Santos from GL, Brady Black, Eric Brady and Brandon Walker from DOOL. And I had a huge, huge crush on Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald from Passions. According to my crushes, aside from Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald, they were all bad boys.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a huge soap fan and was devastated when Guiding Light went off the air. As an actor and now writer I put my love for the show, coupled with some fictionalized real life events into a web series called “Misguided” I hope you’ll check out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I barely have time for television anymore.
    You have a lot of projects in the works. If you can come up with a topic that fits my blog (publishing-promoting), I’d be happy to host you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Diane. I didn’t know GL started first on radio either. I knew there were a few soaps that began on radio but I didn’t know GL was one of them. And considering it’d been on for 72 years, which is why it was heartbreaking for a lot of fans when the show had its final episode.


  5. I never got into soaps. Maybe it was the 5 brothers or the fact I rarely sat in front of the TV, but I know they had a huge following. I remember once in NYC we went to a clinic for the kids. This black woman came into the office, went and turned the TV her direction, sat in the middle of the room and continued to comment loudly about the characters and their decisions–as if everyone in the room was a fan. Kinda made me chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, that I believe. Soap fans are more than just fans. They feel connected to their characters and care about the decisions they make, good or bad, to talk at the TV as I’d they can hear them. Sometimes wanting to smack some sense into them when they’re being foolish.


  6. I’m a child of the 70s/80s, so soaps were part of my upbringing. I loved General Hospital when I was around 11 or 12 because my babysitters were always watching it during the summer when I stayed with them. I got hooked during the whole Luke and Laura thing and thought she was SO beautiful. As I became a teenager, Days of Our Lives was the soap all my friends were watching because of the strong teen storylines (Bo and Hope, Jack and Jennifer, Pete and Melissa, etc.) Plus here in Middle Tennessee, it came on at 3pm every day so we could watch it after school. We’d watch that, then Oprah! People make fun of soaps but it took a LOT to come up with original storylines back when they had such huge audiences. Now there are still loyalists, but sadly it isn’t what it used to be thanks to reality TV. Who needs soaps when we have Real Housewives’ bad acting?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Funny enough I got hooked on GH because of Lucky and Elizabeth. Then Days of Our Lives because of the fighting between Sami and her sister over another guy and her younger sister Belle and Bo and Hope’s son. I don’t know but it seems to be traditional that after General Hospital or another soap that ends at 4pm, you watch Oprah afterwards. And yes it took a lot to write the compelling story lines for soaps to keep viewers watching year after year. Decade after decade. But personally, though I don’t watch soaps like before, I’d take a soap opera over a reality TV series any day.


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