Tag Archives: romance

Romantic Living Or How to Inspire Romance

Romantic Living

Creating the romantic life can be easy. For example, I enjoy spending quiet time with my husband. Sharing a candlelit meal at home is special, too. Even handwriting a note to say “I love you, have a good day,” can inspire romance.

Romantic Dinner.

I’ve spend a lot of time thinking about the subject because I’ve always loved reading romances. Now, I’ve also started writing them. So I did a little research into the meaning of the word romantic to get a better background for my work in progress and here’s what I found. This not only benefits my writing, of course, but also how I’m living my life. The little things I’ve started doing are ones that inspire romance for me. You’ll need to figure out what touches do that for you. Personalization is key.

The Romantic Adjective

A variety of meanings for the adjective form of the word can be found on Dictionary.com. These include: a desire for adventure, a preoccupation with love, displaying or expressing love or strong affection, ardent, passionate, fervent.

Enduring Thoughts of Romance

To prove this is a topic I’ve thought about for awhile, you can look back at my earlier post Romance in Real LifeI still feel the same way about the subject that I did when I wrote that post, but I’ve also refined my thoughts a bit. The little things are just as important now as they were then. I’ve just added to them.

For example, I now make breakfast each weekday morning. To create a romantic atmosphere, I serve our morning juice in wine or champagne glasses. Seasonal decor brightens our eat-in kitchen table and a wax-melt light wafts a light scent over us as we eat. These are little, inexpensive touches that make the idea of facing the outside world a little more bearable. This is just one of the many ways I’ve chosen to live the romantic life. Hopefully, this might inspire you to try out a few ideas of your own.

And remember…

Romantic decor.

 

Writer Wednesday: Georgette Heyer

fridays-child
The cover of my most well-loved edition of the book.

When I first read the Georgette Heyer Regency romance, Arabella, back in high school, I fell in love with the author’s style and story-telling ability. Everything about the book appealed to me: the large, impoverished, Tallant family; the arrogant Robert Beaumaris; and the descriptions of the Regency era, from the difficulties of getting into Almacks to the use of postillions for a traveling chaise. I re-read the book so often I started to think in the language of the time with a modern British accent.

While Arabella is near the top of the list of all the Heyer books I’ve enjoyed, I have to say that my all-time favorite of her romances is Friday’s Child. From the opening of the book, when the Viscount Sheringham (Sherry) decides he’ll marry the first woman he sees, until the convoluted series of improbable events of the climax, I couldn’t put this one down until I finished. I adore the heroine, Hero Wantage (Kitten), and how her innocent naivete keeps getting her into ‘one scrape after another.’ The way Sherry’s friends Gil Ringwood, Ferdy Fakenham, and George Wrotham want to protect Kitten is incredibly sweet. Wrotham’s desire to duel everyone who shows the least bit of interest in the woman he wants to wed, Isabella Milborne, is an amusing thread throughout the story. And the development of the relationship between Kitten and Sherry is not only well-done, but takes on a heart-wrenching quality about 2/3 of the way through the story. I can almost quote verbatim the beginning of my favorite chapter of the book since I’ve re-read it so many times.

Reading the works of Heyer has influenced my writing style in subtle ways. I tend to use more formal words than are common to most contemporary romances. The relationships between my heroes and heroines develop slower than many modern readers might like and physical intimacy between them happens late in the story. What I haven’t mastered is Heyer’s skill at conveying her stories in such a way as to make readers fall in love with them so they want to go back and read them again and again. That skill is a very important one to authors in any genre and can be difficult to learn, though some seem to have a natural talent for it. Heyer seems to me to be one of the naturals.

Georgette Heyer is credited with having created the genre of Regency romance. She did extensive research into life in Regency times: the language, the clothing, and societal trends. She wove her research into her books in such a way as to make the reader feel as familiar with the times as the author. Many of her readers were so inspired by her style and skill that they started writing as well.

I knew nothing about Heyer’s background or influence on others when I first came across her books all those years ago. All I knew was that her stories took hold of my heart and refused to let go. That’s why I continue to search for any of her books I haven’t yet read, why I often re-read my favorites, and why I continue to work to make my own writing better. If someone someday says something I’ve written has made them as happy as Heyer’s works have made me, I’ll feel I’ve achieved success.

Isn’t that what every writer hopes deep down inside?

Everyday Romance

Valentine’s Day is once again on the horizon. A day for declarations of love, flowers, candies, cards, jewelry, proposals, and weddings. This is a day when some want to enjoy a romantic date: dinner and dancing, a movie, or a weekend getaway. The day also seems to cause irritation or outright panic for anyone trying to create the perfect romantic gesture.

Trying to live up to outrageous expectations on Valentine’s Day isn’t a problem in the Carson/Hume household; we live our love every day of the year. I asked JT today whether he wanted to do anything special for the holiday and then realized I had no ideas of what might be any more special than our normal life. We enjoy meals together all the time, share movie nights in his “dungeon of doom” (otherwise known as our basement), take walks together, go for drives together…well, you get the idea.

Our relationship has been romantic since we met as co-workers at a local fast food restaurant. For our first date, he took me for a steak dinner and then to see Beatlemania at the local university. We had only a handful of outings as a couple before he left for the Air Force, but he managed a surprise visit at Christmas, which led to a New Year’s Day proposal. We married the following June.

Like any couple, we’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve survived the tough times and enjoy the good ones. In the days before instant and constant communication, we wrote each other notes when we were working different shifts and didn’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. We enjoyed time together at the arcade for video games and cheap hot dogs or saw the occasional bargain matinee when we couldn’t afford anything else. We’ve spent many an anniversary at a Wendy’s somewhere because that’s where we met (even when we lived in Japan and had to take trains to get there). I’ve got kitchen cabinets full of vases from the too-numerous-to-count flowers I’ve been given for birthdays, anniversaries, when I wasn’t feeling well, or just because he stopped off at the store for something else and picked up a bouquet. He also gets me cute cards, chocolates or my favorite ice cream, and other little mementos all the time. Now that we have computers and smart phones, we text and instant message each other whenever we’re apart. He tucks me into bed every night and I see him out the door each morning as we head off to work.

You can see how I’d have trouble trying to come up with something to do for Valentine’s Day. While I enjoy the holiday as much as anyone, I’ve already gotten boxes of chocolates, roses, and cards in the past weeks. We had a quiet breakfast out together just this morning and enjoyed a nice walk in the crisp February air afterward. This past Friday evening we watched Shakespeare in Love, one of our favorite romantic movies. What could be better?

The most special thing I can think of doing for my partner, best friend, better half, and the love of my life, is to let everyone know how much I appreciate him and all he’s done for me over the more than thirty-two years we’ve been married. I’m so thankful that we’ve been able to share our everyday romance for all this time and look forward to many more years of the same.

ValentineHeart

Happy Valentine’s Day, my love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Taste, A Little Tease

A popular bakery in our town has a cute little dessert shop with a case containing mouth-watering pastries, pies, and cakes. Every time I walk past the window I stop to look in, imagining how good those sweets would taste. Looking at, and smelling, the baked goods is enough to send me into overdrive with the desire to taste one of those delectable morsels again.

Reading a snippet of a delicious romance often causes the same kind of reaction as seeing those sweets. Of course, not all romance is of the sweet variety. Some contain equal amounts of bitter, like unsweetened dark chocolate, which can be just as tasty.

Here’s a small morsel of my upcoming paranormal romance “Royal Flush” that I hope will whet your appetite for the rest of the story. Meanwhile, I’m off to the bakery on the way to work…

 A brilliant flash lit the gloom and the magnificent black stallion reared.

“Whoa!” He lost his grip on the reins and grabbed for the long mane. As he slid off the side, one boot jammed in a stirrup, shooting excruciating pain up his leg. He realized the bone must have broken just as the back of his head slammed into the hard ground. The iron taste of blood filled his mouth.

As the terrified animal dragged him along, jagged rocks tore through his clothing and sliced his flesh. His helmet caught and the strap squeezed his windpipe. He struggled to draw breath as the horse pulled him along, stretching his neck. The edges of his vision darkened.

Then the strap broke, freeing him to draw a blessed breath into his air-starved lungs.

A distant voice shouted, “Where is he? Do you see him?”

Sharp brambles stabbed his raw skin as the horse changed direction yet again. The stirrup broke free of the saddle and dropped him, face-first, into a mud puddle. Dirty water filled his nostrils.

“Look…there’s his horse!” The voices sounded closer this time.

He rolled out of the water and coughed up a mouthful of muck as another rumble shook the ground. Rain dripped through gaps in the trees and he squeezed his eyelids shut when a drop fell into his eye. His head throbbed with each heartbeat and the darkness edging his vision thickened. A buzzing in his ears masked the sound of the people he saw approaching when he reopened his eyes and tilted back his head. The movement caused a pain so bad he thought he’d vomit.

Disoriented from seeing the world upside-down, he tried to maneuver into a better position, jarring his injured leg. The pain sent him over the edge…and he fell into the dark abyss.

 

 

 

 

Housekeeping – Writer Wednesday

After finishing a second draft of my current WIP, a paranormal romance I’m calling Royal Flush, I started preparing myself for the next go-round. The manuscript showed some gaping plot holes, a few inconsistencies in story, and places where I need to finalize some of the more interesting details. Since this book will be the first in a series, I also need to get a handle on the overarching details that will carry forward into future installments.

A trip to our favorite local office supply store allowed me to pick up some basic supplies. I’ve got red pens and highlighters for proofing and editing, a portable file to organize my notes, colored magnets for my white board calendar, and day-of-the-week binder clips to separate my manuscript into manageable chunks.  I’ve tossed all the old dried-out pens in my cups and replaced them with fresh ones.

Digging through the basement turned up a nice ‘new’ set of drapes for my office window; with autumn on the horizon, the changing light is causing glare on my computer screen while I work. My shelves are now neater thanks to a couple hours spent gathering all my writing books into a ready reference area right next to my desk.

I’ve placed a few things on the shelves across from my desk: a sign that says “ready, set, write,” a quill pen and inkwell, and family photos I can stare at while I think. The supports of the high shelf above me (where my creepy dolls stare over my shoulders while I work) dangle lengths of twine where I attach reference photos and note cards with clothes pins. Once I get a frame, a sepia-toned map will also go up on my wall.

The finishing touch to my office area is the old boom box that plays an oldies station while I work. I’ve also got old CDs of classical music that helps set the mood for certain scenes.

Housekeeping like this is a means of procrastination, of course. Yet getting my office into shape as I progress through a writing project helps me to get a handle on my story. This is also a good way to use up some of the excess energy that builds up after I’ve spent long stretches at the keyboard.

Now that everything in my office is organized again, I’m off on the most crucial part of my writing process – cleaning up the mess I made of my story during my first edit!