The world is truly in a different place than when I grew up some fifty years ago. Between the crime and political division making headlines every day, I can hardly watch the news on any given day. Having spent twenty-seven years in law enforcement, I have lots of feelings about where we are heading, the innocence of life, and the pain and suffering that humans cause one another for their own personal gain.
I have to admit that, these days, my sanctuary is my writing. Being bombarded every day by all the current negativity in the world is also a reason why I write about romance. Romance is sweet. Romance is about trust. Romance is about being vulnerable. Writing about romance is an intentional way of preserving the positivity and goodness that is within me and allows me to live with hope in spite of the harshness of today’s world.
For me, to be able to write romance and, because of who I am as a person, I truly have to dig deep within myself to build a character, a heartfelt scene, a believable story. I can tell you, coming from a career where only the facts mattered and were concisely recorded, this is tough to do for three hundred pages. The fact that it is hard, is all the more reason to write; to intentionally expose myself to the vulnerability of what it means to be human.
Compassion, empathy, acceptance and forgiveness are unique qualities that separate us from most other animals. They are also qualities that allow us to understand and experience love.
Romance is about the heart fluttering, the feeling that if you had to spend another moment away from that special person, you feel that you just might die! Now, I’m not talking about the mushy stuff our mother’s may have read in an old-fashioned romance novel. No, I am talking about real relationship issues that deal with moral dilemmas that are often complicated by dishonesty, hurt, risk, and most importantly, the question of whether or not the struggle to find real love will make it all worth-while in the end.
Is love worth the risk? This is a question my characters have to ask themselves? Father Morales, Coach Silva, Ben, and Diego all take that leap of faith and ask that question. They each know that in being vulnerable and coming out, they could lose everything they have worked for and that by choosing love, there is a real chance they could get hurt and have their heart broken. Yet, they are still willing to jump at the chance. After all, it is romance!
Some questions in life are asked by the brain but can only be answered by the heart! These two body parts couldn’t be more different from one another. They are like oil and water or the odd couple. In love and romance, they have no choice but to work together and figure it out.
During my parents’ marriage, I often asked myself what in the hell did they see in each other that made their relationship endure over time? I asked my mother one day what it was that she loved about dad so much. She answered, “you will never see him as I see him. The life he came from, the emotional scars that no one has ever seen, to read his quietness when he is hurting, or scared. His unconditional love is why I love your father.”
Sometimes, my husband and I are like two ships passing in the night; both in the same space, but not seeing each other, not really recognizing one another’s feelings and the space we are in in that moment. Remembering my mother’s words and adding in a little romance almost always fixes it. Romance is so much more than rescuing a damsel in distress, a cheesy love scene, or a bunch of powdery fluffed up words. It’s about real life and what we all want… to feel loved.
With all that is going on in the world today, it is increasingly more important that we talk about love, say the word, breathe it, keep it in the frontal lobe of our brain. I know, for me, it’s the starting point in most of my decisions during the day. I will dismiss what everybody else is doing on the news, and ask myself, is this the space I want to operate from today. The answer is always a definitive and resounding no. Love wins! My Happily-Ever-After starts by choice, with each cup of coffee in the morning!
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