I’ve had to tell people on a few occasions that my novel is not a romance. Not a big deal. There is no explicit anything to worry anyone. It’s all safely “cozy.”
But I do think about the theme of Love in terms of attraction between characters in a few situations.
· I explore how two people can know each—not like each other—but maybe become open to a change if the situation allows.
· I’ve got a couple who, for the best of reasons, make some unconventional choices.
· I’ve gone briefly into the past for another couple and tried to tie their romantic stories to the present.
Taken together, I’m hoping these subplots will combine to make things interesting.
Another reason to spend my time on romance—I’ve been thinking about family weddings. One occurred recently and the other will happen in the near future.
I saved a wonderful newspaper column by Dr. Wallace who wrote in response to a young person’s question about defining the word “love.”
Dr. Wallace quoted Haim Ginnott:
“Love is not just a feeling and passion. Love is a system of attitudes and a series of acts, which engender growth and enhance life for both lover and beloved.
“Romantic love is often blind: It acknowledges the strength but does not see the weakness in the beloved. In contrast, mature love accepts the strength without rejecting the weakness. In mature love, neither boy nor girl tries to exploit or possess the other. Each belongs to himself.
“Such love gives the freedom to unfold and to become one’s best self. Such love is also a commitment to stay in the relationship and attempt to work out difficulties, even in times of anger and agony.”
I saved this clipping for years. To its call for commitment and grace, I would add the following ingredients to a happy marriage:
· A sense of humor
· Extra patience
· And a big dose of kindness
I find all these things to be useful and true on a daily basis.