Romance is the top-selling genre, netting 55% of all sales.  Of that percentage, the vast majority of readers are women.  Is it any surprise that we want romance?

I read other genres, but nothing beats a good romance.  For a  brief period of time I can escape the sink full of dishes, the carpet that needs vacuuming and all the other less than glamorous things that are every day life.  I can experience by proxy the roller coaster ride that falling in love can be.  Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough that can keep me from you love. 

It can’t just be a simple boy meets girl, they fall in love kumbaya, and they live happily ever after!  How boring would that  be? Flash fiction has more oomph than that!

No, we want a romance that takes us on the magical mystery tour of love.  Undying devotions, a love that never fails, a passion so great that life is meaningless without it; this is the stuff of dreams.

Truly Madly Deeply

Ah! My inspiration, my love; the man who inspires me to write passionate scenes of ardor, the one that quickens my pulse and sets me on fire  with a mere glance.  The one!  The one that takes me over the edge, that laughs and splashes in the deep pools of my soul, the one I let inside. I dare to bare my soul, my heart.  The promise behind the eyes, the words spoken or barely whispered in intimacy that make my heart zing like a rocket launched  into the universe.  It’s more than a physical attraction.  It’s more than being friends. There’s nothing casual about it at all. With the internal fears of trusting someone so deeply and intimately comes the intoxicating seduction of complete passion.

When you would do anything for the one you love, feel that you could survive the worst if they are there for you, and are willing to lay your soul bare for them – that is love.

It’s the brass ring we are after when we lose our less than perfect selves into a fictional tale.  The hope of it happening in our lives propels us forward, seeking it in our own lives.  Some have become disenchanted and given up on it ever being real for them.  A few lucky souls have found it.  Many more are still seeking.

Love and passion can be separate things but the love we hope for, long for and desire is the passionate love that nothing else in life can compare to.  I can’t imagine a 14-year-old writing effectively about being heartbroken, or experiencing true love.  There’s a depth that has to be experienced in order to convey.

Ah, and I’ve touched on the other element of passion, the painful side.  It’s a fine razor’s edge when the heart is laid open, vulnerable to another.  It’s the ones closest to us that can hurt us the most.  Betrayal, heartache, pain – any time we make ourselves vulnerable we risk those.

Is it better to keep your heart guarded and never let anyone in?  Or risk having it broken?

We put characters through impossible situations and unbearable circumstances to test them.  We find out just how much they can trust each other, how much they care, and sometimes what lengths they go to show that love.  We throw natural disasters, impossible obstacles, and even dangerous villains across their path and make them perform like mice in a maze.  Dance little mouse and go for the cheese at the end.  I guess now would be a good time to tell you I’m a firm believer in happily ever after in my books.  I don’t care for noir fiction, life is dark enough.

The mere nature of our fragile mortality is often a driving force of passion.  Our lives are but a flickering flame of a candle and can be gone like a vapor.  Life is too short to not take chances for happiness and love.

Have you ever fallen in love; truly, madly deeply?  Do you have someone in your life that you feel this way about?  Have you expressed it to them lately?  Passion without expression is lifeless.  If you don’t live passionately, you’re not really living.  Just going through the motions in a daily grind,  where’s the joy in that?

If there’s someone in your life that you feel desperate for, can’t imagine a life without them in it; tell them, show them.  Let them know there’s someone there for them and hopefully it won’t be a unrequitted love.

The most tragic love of all, unrequited love.  To give yourself completely, without reservation to someone else, and they don’t return that love – well, that’s often a heart ache that leaves a permanent scar.  The deepest wounds are inflicted upon our souls and sense of self worth.  It leaves us shattered to the core, giving up on ourselves and life itself.  A few eventually rise from the ashes bearing their battle scars, but most never trust again.

We are at our inner beings delicate flowers after all.  Fragile petals that are easily crushed or bruised.  In the hands of one who cares, the blossom opens and becomes something of beauty.  A passionate love beckons the beauty even from a damaged blossom.  Be careful who you let in your inner garden.

Write on my friends, write on!

What’s In Your Garden?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row.

We know she had a nice tidy little garden with flowers.  What does your garden look like?   A writer always has a garden, but it may not be the type you think.  While some have flower gardens, herb gardens, or even a vegetable garden, writer’s often have ideal gardens.

My garden is a year round ongoing venture.  Some ideals are just seedlings, while others are fully ripe and ready to harvest.  I’ve been neglecting my garden lately, and it’s bursting with ripe fruit.

My ideal garden looks like a vegetable garden that’s gotten out of hand.  I haven’t tended my garden properly, because I can tell there are weeds amongst my ripe fruit.  I have a strawberry bed, that’s in a similar state at the moment.  I’ve been limited in my mobility with my knee injury, and the weeds are about to outnumber the strawberry plants.  I’ve already harvested about five gallons of berries – yes  you heard me, five gallons.  You’ve got to have a lot of berries to make jam, not to mention the fresh berries and strawberry shortcake.

With the mild winter and early spring, my plants are doing their job, even though the dandelions and purslane are trying to choke them out.  Now that I’m able to get out there and do the weeding, the strawberries are just about done doing their thing.

My ideal garden has suffered the same plight.  I’ve been having a bit of a pity party for myself, mostly over this injury.  I know, you’d think with all the pep talks and self-help motivational stuff I listen to and repeat back to you I wouldn’t be such a pill.

This past weekend I did some assessment of my ideal garden as we are coming into a new month – tomorrow!

There were definitely some weeds in there.  Unfortunately, the biggest ones I planted myself.  Weeds of  excuses in several varieties.  Hmmm, somehow I think they may be related to the nightshade family.  Weeds of poor time management, bad habits, and past failures.  There were also weeds of the Inner Critic, that nasty little beastie that lies within me, ready to pounce at the first sign of weakness.

There’s the varmints to deal with – the critics that can’t wait to tell you what you’re doing wrong, and the ones that say you’ll never amount to anything.  Evidence of bunny trails crisscrossing my plants were noticed and residue of pests  were also detected.

In natural gardening there are beneficial pests, as well as benefits for certain animals in our gardening.  For example, a snake – as much as I loathe snakes – is useful to eat the mice and rabbits that are munching on your ripe fruit and veggies.  They also keep the poisonous snakes at bay.  Creepy, but useful.

I spent the weekend assessing the garden, seeing what I need to plant, what I need to tend, and what weeds need to be yanked out.  I gave the snake wide berth, I know he’s there, and while I may not like everything about him, he is useful.  It’s interesting, after pulling just a few weeds out, it was starting to look like a garden again.  I got excited!  some of those ideas have been in there for a long time.

Friday afternoon I felt defeated, my best laid plans were cast aside as  “life happened”, you know those parts of our lives like wife, mother, sister, employee?  Yeah, well I can’t very well cut out the paying job to “play” in my writing garden, as it was told to me.  I was ready to chuck it all, cry myself a river, and sit by the bank and watch it all flow away.  What would that get me? Not what I want, so I chucked that ideal – it was a weed after all.

Saturday, amidst the family stuff, I did some research, and organized my thoughts.  I planned  my attack for the next month, and planted a new ideal seedling.  Like a new baby, a new ideal seedling attracts a lot of attention, but I have to focus on my nearly ripe, so close to being finished WIP’s.

I’ve come up with a simplified gardening plan for my ideal garden for this next month.

  1. Do It!  Yep, just like the Nike ad, just do it.  1000 words a day adds up over a week, or a month.  During NaNO I managed to crank out 75K words.  Surely I can manage 15K over this next month.  That would complete Both WIP’s.
  2. Go to my Zen Den.  Mine isn’t an actual hard and fast location, it’s more of a state of mind where I block out all those other demands, and focus my best efforts.
  3. Post the Scarecrow You know what the purpose of the scarecrow is right?
  4. What If?  Every writer knows this is the Miracle Grow to our ideas.  This takes your ho-hum puny plant to be a producing giant with whopper tomatoes!
  5. Game ON!  this means I bring my A-game.  I pour my heart and passion into it the way I should.  Pursue my dream with passion, zeal and fervor.


That’s it. That’s the plan.  I’ve got a million and one more things I could say about it and you’ll hear them eventually – over the next few weeks, in progress reports, and updates.  I have some cool things planned for this next month, I hope you’ll stay tuned to find out.

Write on my friends, and write now!