My kind of story – a life’s romance

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I’m a bit late with the post. I haven’t gotten back into the groove of scheduling posts yet. On of the things I want to do this year is posts about why I read romance and what can be learned from them. Since today is the first Tuesday of the year, I figured its a good time to start.

Today is my wedding anniversary. 13 years with the hubby. Sometimes it seems like we just got together and other times I can’t believe everything we’ve been through together.  Follow me on this train of thought…I promise it all ties together.

People who don’t typically read romance tend to have a preconceived notion. Boy meets girl, boy/girl does something to lose girl/boy. One does something extraordinary to get the other back and they live Happily Ever After. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that, but I’m simplifying greatly.

When I do book signings or sit out at the local Market Days, people come up and ask what kind of book I write. Some walk away as soon as I say romance. Others, will linger a bit, but then leave because they don’t think it applies to them. Or that they would enjoy the story. Others ask “Tell me about your book.”

Ah, there’s where I’m going. My book isn’t about just romance. It’s not just about the kissing or the hot, sexy scene there in chapter 14 (or wherever it might be). My stories are more than that and thanks to these people asking about my books, I’m learning more about them myself. This is a totally good thing. This principal can be used in real life too.

I do have a few stories where the people are meeting for the first time. But so far most of the people have a preexisting relationship by the time the reader is involved. Those stories involve compromise. And introspection. And reevaluation. And reacquainting. A successful marriage/relationship requires all of those things. Finances aren’t on the right track? Sit down and look where your family spends its money. Can compromises be made? More than likely. But if you’re not willing to compromise, why should your partner?

I’ve started asking myself, what else are my stories about? Just in the novella series, Aster has to learn to trust her own heart. Flora needs to realize that sometimes someone’s ideal at the beginning of a relationship doesn’t always stay the same years down the road. And that its not necessarily a bad thing. Lily works through her grief and feelings of betrayal in order to move forward. And Iris is learning who she is and learning to be comfortable with that person instead of living up to the standards of others. Heather is learning that gaining respect can be done without being the one constantly in charge. And Daisy has to find the balance between raising a caring child and caring for her heart.

Men and women alike deal with these issues all the time. That’s why I get so frustrated when people think romance books are just about the sex. A well written romance is about so much more and the sex becomes a treat. An additional fulfillment of the characters journey.  It’s about the story, the journey.

My hubby and I are creating our own story by compromising, evaluation, reacquainting, and introspection on both our parts. I can only hope that at the end of our lives, someone looks back at our journey and says “What a great romance.”

Happy Anniversary, Babe.

Melanie

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