What Are You Reading This Valentine’s Day?

In order to write, one has to learn how to read. If one wants to write romance, then one must read romance, or some would argue one must experience to know. I read not only to learn the skill of writing but also, I enjoy going into another world my mind creates from words on antique paper. Books take me on a journey. Not only to where the author has gone, but also to where I want to go next. I ask myself, what do I really like about this book? How can I combine these likes into my own writing? If you are a writer, you may experience this outlook for guidance. We look to our history to know where we want to go. It brings new ideas and prevents the bad ones from repeating themselves…even in writing.

I look back further to John Keats and wonder what so many saw in his work. I personallyย can easily pick out what I love about this Romantic’s work, but what interests me most is what I can take away from his poems of love for Nature and women. I can carry it with me throughout all my writing. I too love Nature and romance. I have discovered my writing style to be descriptive, I love describing things of Nature…who knew!

So as a writer, what am I reading leading up to Valentine’s Day? It may surprise many of you, but I have paired my typical “Sweet Surprise Collection” with…wait for it…Fifty Shades of Grey.

What? Some of you might be thinking, oh it’s terrible writing, while others might think, been there done that. Whether we like it or not, it is soon to be a major motion film…when? Valentine’s Day! As a writer, I ask myself this…if so many say the writing is horrible, why is it a number one seller? There must be something good in the writing besides sex…right? Or, does sex sell?

So far, I’ve discovered a love story flaming to begin. The writing is a distraction at times when a mistake is so easily noticed, but I find myself forgiving the author based solely on how intrigued I’ve become with Mr. Grey and Miss Anastasia Steele. The love story is fascinating as of now. I am almost done with the first novel, and I’ll see to reading the second and third.

Why read such a novel? One reason…the people like it! Heck, I like it! Sometimes in writing it’s not about perfecting grammar and all that comes with it. You have to intrigue your audience. Fifty Shades of Grey is doing just that. Romance writing has many twists and turns, and learning what people like is a huge help. Am I excited to see the movie? Oh, yes. Well, I’m off to romance land in both my reading and writing…enjoyment and work.

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Love, life, and happiness…

You can define it. You can even describe it. But, how do you actually feel love, life, and happiness? And how do you know you are in love and living life with happiness? To answer that, it all comes from
the heart. A part of us that we can see deep within the iris, like sparks between young love.ย aa2b57f7-2c82-4a28-8ec0-54793c8f37a8_zps28238790You feel it inside. To know what love is, one must know hate. To know what life is, one must know death. And finally, to know happiness, one must know sadness.

Some of the most inspiring people I know have gone through loss, have lived through times of sadness, and yes, lost love. My grandma, the most inspiring person I know is one of these special people. She had a young love many, many years ago. She still talks of him, the love of her life.

He was working in Illinois when she was living in Wisconsin. He was tall, dark, and handsome with the kindest heart is how she describes my grandpa to me. One day, she found out she was pregnant and like many at that time marriage soon followed.

The day they were married, he was to meet her in Wisconsin. The whole time she waited, months, her mother said he won’t show up, “he’s not coming.” She told her mom that he would be there, and she believed in him. She loves him still as he is gone. The day they were to get married, he was five minutes late, “I forgot the ring and had to go back.” They got married and had five children. My mom was the baby.

But, something happened. Something terrible happened. A furnace blew up while he was working on it in the house. The burns were so bad, that they took my grandma’s love from her and left her with their five children. Sadness.

Today, my grandma is the most inspiring woman I know. How? She’s gone through a lot and has learned that love lives on. It lives on in all of us. She is a special person because throughout all the sadness, she remains happy-grateful for the time she had with him. To know happiness, one must know sadness. She is one of the happiest people I know. She’s grateful for the happy memories she had with him, her love.

I think that’s what happiness and living is about. Cherishing the precious moments you can hold onto for a lifetime. He may be gone, but he is forever in my grandma’s heart. I know he is watching over her from heaven.

When she talks of him today, and I see those beautiful pictures from the past, her eyes always light up. Life, to me, is defined by the love we carry with us and the happiness that those loved ones and memories bring us. Love will always live on and I’ve learned to hold onto moments, moments with the love of my life. I know happiness, because I know what sadness is. The faster we learn to be grateful and love, the happier our lives will be.