reflections on love…

On this Valentine’s day I thought that I would reflect on love (as if I don’t do that daily…haha). Love means many things to even just one person. For some it is easy to say ‘I love you’ to another without thinking twice about it and yet for others there is so much emotionally tied to those three small words that it is an obstacle they struggle with before the words will form.

So here is a question, what makes you “love” someone. I’m not talking strictly of romantic love either. It can be love between friends or family. Is it certain qualities that the person has that you admire? Is it the way that the person treats you? Or makes you feel when you are with them? Simple attraction? Or something indefinable?

If I had to answer this personally I would confess that it is different depending on the person and the situation. Despite my being a “cancer” one of the romantic/touchy/feely astrological signs I am cautious with the giving and accepting of love. It takes awhile before I let someone in past the first layer of my ‘shell’ and allow them to know the real me. For me trust and love are linked. I believe that if you can’t trust someone then you can’t truly love them. I also believe very strongly that there are gradients to love as well as there being different types. The love you feel for your child is very much unconditional, you will love them no matter what even when you may not always “like” their attitudes. If you were raised in a loving environment as a child, you may even feel that you love your parents and possibly siblings in a similar manner. Friends are different than that. But once in a while we are gifted with a special someone whom we feel as close to as a sibling, we love and care about him/her and want the best for him/her. Lovers/husbands/wives reside in a completely different category. Here is where the gradient comes into play. I think that we are all capable of a deep love bordering on unconditional for our lover or spouse. But I also believe that for that kind of love to occur both parties must be willing to open themselves to that level of feeling. This is the sticky part. In my experience it seems that not everyone is capable of this, or maybe it is that they don’t believe that they are capable, or maybe it’s that a deep level of love is simply not necessary for the average person to be happy. I marvel at the concept of not wanting more actually and wish that I too could be happy with surface to moderate feelings of love.

The whole process once in motion can be quite simple…Two people meet, are attracted to each other, get to know one another and see that their good characteristics outweigh their bad, they fall in love, become lovers or get married or both. Occasionally he/she will do something special for the other that makes that person feel “loved” and as long as this play happens between the two of them they remain happy. It sounds ideal and easy.

Taking it further, we have the concept of true love or soul mates (and yes Fred I do believe). I am merely speculating when I say that this must be the deepest truest level of love that two adults can share. I often wonder what it would be like to feel free to fully ‘be yourself’ with another person. To have no fear of judgment or reprisal. The possibility of this makes me wax romantic.

So that’s love… or my concepts and reflections of it, for the moment anyway… I think my blog today is more about being a stalling technique to finishing Marrok and Arienne’s story. I like the love that they are building between them. It is a lovely thing.

Does anyone care to share some of their notions on the subject of love? Come on now I know people must have strong opinions about this subject.


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Friday Feb 11… stumbling into melancholia

I’m stumbling a little bit into the land of melancholia. Why? Well that’s the thing. I’ve known this whole week that Marrok and Arienne’s story is about to close. I’ve seen the resolution and I’m happy with the decisions that I’ve made about it but I’m still finding it hard. I was however doing ok and happily writing along that it until lunch. I decided to take a break, eat a turkey sandwich and finish watching The Time Travelers Wife. Oookay. Well how ++bleeping++ sad was that?! Ugh! I hate it when movies do that. They create this wonderful scenario where a man exists that loves his woman so much that he does all of this really great stuff to just be with her and then poof they kill him off. Is that like a certifiable reality check or what. Yup, I think so. The message here is clear… even if you do find happiness… your soul mate… the one you were meant for, well you too can lose it all in a heartbeat. Now me personally I would have told him to take the damn meds and stop the traveling stuff at least for that one night. It’s not like they weren’t forewarned. Ick, bad movie!

I believe that I’ve mentioned before how in awe I am of the concept of a soul mate/true love however you wish to personally phrase it. I still am in my dreams but in reality I have accepted that it is not for me and so I will continue to write my little heart out about it. And I won’t be killing the man or the woman in my stories. Who would want to read that? The only bittersweet I like is the chocolate chips in cookies… thank you very much! It sure as hell doesn’t belong in a story. Don’t we have enough of that in reality. Look at all of the people who lost loved ones on 9/11 if they had known don’t you think that they would have changed their plans for the day. I say hell yes they would have. 

Love is precious and yes sometimes fragile but if you are ever so lucky to find it then nuture and  cherish it. Know that love is a rare and wonderful gift that you’ve been given. A long time ago I wrote a poem, (oh yes, I was a teenager once too) and it was about two pieces of sand being tossed together by a wave and how briefly those two pieces of sand would interact. Clearly I don’t recall the verbage but you get the gist. If it were me I’d grab on with both hands and never let go.

Back to Marrok and Arienne. She has some emotional baggage and I knew that going into the story but today I realized what has been wrong with her all along. She has always harbored a secret fear that she is not good enough to be loved/not worthy of being loved. Her father left her mother when he found out she was pregnant because he didn’t want kids. Her mom blamed her and after she was born her mom blamed her for the loss of her meager powers. Her mom bailed on her and her grandparents raised her. So that’s why Arienne has always wondered if she was worthy of love. She reasoned that her grandparents “loved” her but to her mind as grandparents didn’t they have to? The only person in her life that she feels truly loves her is her best friend Emilie. That’s very sad for a woman in her early 30’s and to think what a powerful witch she is. She’s never let any man close and she’s used her power to deceive them into believing that they were lovers but it never was. She will accept the gift of Marrok’s love because he is her destiny (how great is that- I love that! “He was her destiny”) oh and lets not forget that she is his. Most definately! And Marrok, oh Gods I love Marrok. He is a stand up man. He has acted nobly throughout his life and he deserves to find love. I think I’ll let them have a daughter. That may not appear in the book and in fact I know it won’t but in a couple of years I will have to post a supplement about a special day in their lives, of them being happy together and they will have a young daughter whom Marrok will dote on. A man who is capable of loving like Marrok is will make an excellent father and the Gods wouldn’t be able to help the fool who came near her with any sort of threat in mind. I seriously doubt that there would be large enough chunks to indentify the remains as having been human. It’s the protective wolf in him, what can I say…

To everyone out there who has someone special in their lives, I shall toast you (it’s a bit early in the day… so later on this evening) with a glass of fine red wine. Grab the love of your life and kiss him/her senseless and revel in the feelings that flow between the two of you. THAT is what life is all about.

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The light and/or the dark

Interesting thoughts are running through my mind. I was reading Gerry Bartlett’s blog and let’s just say that she is having less than a stellar day today. I whole-heartedly agree with her that the day today is somehow off. Actually for me it’s been a few days now. Anyhow, somehing she wrote in response to my comment struck a chord.

So what do you think… does what you’re reading have the power to effect your mood? It sounds possible, especially if you’re the type of person who is susceptible to subtle influences. Personally, if I think back to what I was reading when the funk overtook me I’d have to say that it was not all that dark. It was a YA series and all of the main characters and even the secondaries were intact at the end of the book. So no, not dark/dark. Of course there were some evil beings causing trouble, but that doesn’t count, I mean almost every book has a villian of some sort. 

But… how about… what you are writing? How does that influence your mood? I believe that writing something should have much more impact than simply reading something. Of course I’m assuming a lot here, which is that most writers immerse themselves in their characters and plot to the extent where it can and probably does effect their mood.

Take Marrok for an example. When I was writing Julien and Laurel’s story suddenly Julien had an Uncle Marrok. He came out of nowhere honestly but when he did I was really quite happy. Here he is, this super hot Alpha wolf, who is a man in every sense of the word. He pushed himself to the front of my mind after I wrote the first scene with him in it and after I wrote the second, his story began to unfold. Naturally he got his own book. How could I resist him, he’s not only a super hunk but someone that I would be proud to be friends with. His story has effected me. Writing about the pain in his life before modern times was not a great day. Writing about his mate and some bad things that happened to her was not a great day either. The most telling of all is that I had to stop after Marrok and Arienne “got together” because their relationship was too intense and emotionally charged for me to write about it at the time. It was one of those things where, being honest, I have to say that I was fully jealous of the relationship that they will have together.

But I prefer not to wallow. For long anyway. So, I guess in the end it has to be about balance. Mostly light with just enough dark to provide your characters with some emotional depth. Because lets face it, someone who has never experienced any type of adversity just wouldn’t be very interesting. Nor would they appear very real. Because that’s life as we know it, anywhere on the planet and possibly beyond.

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It’s in the stars…

Last Saturday I saw a very interesting presentation at the Griffith Park Observatory Planetarium. The program was based on the origins of our galaxy. Of how life was made possible on our small planet. It discussed different astronomers throughout time and explained how they’d arrived at their theories. The show was progressive over time, showing how once widely held beliefs had given way for modern science.

What struck me the most was that those philosophers and astronomers had been such dynamic thinkers. I know that it couldn’t have been easy to assert their ideas which were so contrary to the popular beliefs at the time. Yet, through their belief in themselves and their ability to hold true to their ideals, they changed the world. Amazing. Truly. Not many people over the course of history were able or willing to stand against the masses to make their original thoughts known. The reasons for this are clear. The inability to conform has never been a treasured character attribute. 

Today that hasn’t changed. Today’s schools don’t teach us to be independent thinkers. In fact if anything they teach us not to think independently and certainly we should never question things. In school we are presented the educational rhetoric that is deemed most acceptable by the government and which will most probably lead to improved scores on the almighty beloved standardized tests. Modern education represses the independent thinker by allowing you to succeed only when you follow the rules. Unfortunately, parenting today does next to nothing to correct for this. 

As I was leaving the observatory, I passed the astronomers monument on the way to my car. It depicts the six men who were discussed in the film. Seeing their likenesses cast in stone, I couldn’t help but wonder what they would think of the way that things are now. If they were to somehow be transformed from stone into living men, what would they make of the world. Would they revel in the modern day science that is now available to them. Perhaps a few of them would dash inside the observatory to see how astronomy has changed. Maybe they would form a que at the telescope to see all that technology now reveals about the stars, or the heavens as they would have called them.

Then, after they’d had some time to discover all that is right and all that is wrong in today’s world, would that change anything for them. What I mean is, would they be happy that their discoveries had led to all of this. That their ideas were the building blocks of our modern society. That they are still instrumental today in our current understanding of the stars and our physical world. Or, after having taken in every thing around them would they regret that what they’d contributed had brought us all to this point.

I hope not, not on principle anyway. There are many wonderful things in today’s world. We now have the ability to look outside of ourselves and understand our environment in a truly meaningful way. And beyond that we can look to the stars and for the first time see the concepts that those great men once only imagined. However, I have to allow for the fact that it is a very real possibility that they would be less than pleased with the ultimate result of their collective works. Look at Albert Einstein as an example. His brilliant discoveries were ultimately used by the government for a plan of their own design. His research had not been about atomic bombs, but about theoretical physics. His work was tweaked and twisted until it became something that he never intended. If we were to pose the same question to him what do you think he would say. Would he, with the foreknowledge that this theories would one day lead to so many lives lost, still choose to pursue his interests regardless. All indications say no, but we will never know for sure. Just as we won’t know what the six men on the sides of the astronomers monument would decide.

What is my point. It’s simple really. We’re different than all of those men. First off, some of us now are women. Secondly, we have the knowledge that the things we create have the potential to be twisted into something else. Armed with this knowledge, we need to be cautious. Scientists, inventors, philosophers, teachers, leaders, writers, musicians and many more have the ability to touch many lives. Some obviously have a farther reach than others. So, I wonder, knowing this, how could any of us set out to put ugly and negative things into the world. We should instead be responsible and make our mark by introducing something good into the world, or at the very least something harmless. It’s important that we illustrate that we are independent thinkers and continue to expresses our beliefs, but we should do so without magnifying the ugliness that already exists in our world.

Someone gave me an idea about a rather ugly story the other day. I won’t say who and I won’t say what. Why? Because I would never write about things that would cause a negative or fearful response in a person. We live in a world where we face adversity in our daily lives. Reading should be an escape. A place to retreat to when you need a smart beautiful heroine and a sexy loving alpha male. A place where even if your own life has yet to see a happy ending, you can rest assured that somehow the characters on the page before you will find one. Good words, happy words give hope into the world and hope is a very good thing. And we can all use more good things in our lives.

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Rainy days

It’s raining today. It’s been raining all weekend and they say that it will continue for the better part of the week. I was hoping to see the lunar eclipse tonight but I suppose that won’t be possible with all of the cloud cover. I do enjoy the sound of the rain falling… now if only we could have some thunder and lightning and I’d be a happy girl.

So it makes me wonder. How would Arienne and Marrok spend a rainy day. Both of them being nature lovers, it’s not like they would object to being out in the rain. They wouldn’t necessarily stay inside like us So. Cal residents do.  But if they did stay inside, how would they manage to pass a day alone in the quiet of the rain? Watch old movies snuggled up on a sofa? Marrok give Arienne a full body massage? Or that reversed? Cause I know that she’d just hate to run her hands over all of those muscles of his. It’s not like she’s been dying to do that or anything. Maybe they would cook something together. And sip fine red wine while snacking on cheese or veggies while the meal cooks. I think if they went that route, then there would be some chocolate dipped strawberries involved. Or maybe they would do some shopping on the internet for Julien and Laurel and the boys and have it shipped off quickly to make it to Maine by Christmas. Of course there is always the easy way out and they’d spend the day together in bed. Perhaps that would include taking a bath in an oversized jacauzzi tub together. With fragrant bubbles of course and candlelight.

Yes, I’m a romantic sap. I admit it. If left to it’s own devices my mind would wallow through all of the romantic cliches happily. Well, not exactly all of the time…. but truly can you think of a better way to spend a rainy day? I think I may have to break out an old movie and watch the kids run for cover. 😉

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Sometimes all it takes is…

The smell of a yummy candle burning… breakfast and coffee with a really good friend… shopping and finding that you’ve dropped a shirt size… taking in the fluffy white clouds and blue sky and feeling happy to be alive… getting a new ringtone for your cell phone so you don’t have to sound like a geek when it rings… water… exercise… brightly wrapped packages in abundance under the tree… a nutcracker wearing a kilt (because no one I’m involved with will wear one for me)… giving another good friend a present that she will enjoy and actually liked… knowing same friend will have a fabulous xmas break… did I mention the candle?… the sound of children’s laughter from outside… a light breeze blowing through the window… clean air… a feeling of peace and contentment (if not exactly perfect happiness)… knowing that where I am today is okay and that the near future brings better things… knowing true love does exist… knowing that some people are cherished… believing that I can be “that” girl.. err.. woman… having wonderful friends!… bubbles… the gift of creativity… being able to help others… reading a good book… discussing same book with a friend… writing… sharing ideas/plot with friend and getting input… Audrey Hepburn movies… having a cousin and friend who are ‘wierd like me’… believing in the impossible… making it possible… a warm snuggly child with hugs for mom… hot cocoa on a cold night… hot tea on a cold morning… gazing at the moon and stars… wondering if anyone is gazing back… travel… learning new things… expanding your view of the world… good music with even better lyrics… the sound of acoustic guitar… the sound of piano… cheesecake… chocolate… RED WINE!… plane take-offs… horseback riding… dreams… to be grateful for… life…

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Leaves changing color in So. Cal

I know. Be still my heart. The leaves here have been changing color and falling for over a week now. To everyone who lives in cooler climes you’re probably laughing. I know this is not a big deal to you. Here though it’s a very big deal. Well, at least to me. Yes, certain trees do lose their leaves every year but they usually just fall looking dead. But not this year. Is is magic in the air? Maybe. I know that we had a surprising cold spell here and that is likely what induced the change. I’d prefer not to over analyze it though and just savor the moment.  So savoring it I am. Every morning as I drop the kids off at school I have the opportunity to drive down a few streets where the change is very much in evidence.

Personally, I find nature inspirational in a way seperate from music. It evokes a different sense of something. It’s hard to explain. I suppose whatever it is would be considered more organic in nature. Today I began dabbling with research of a historical nature. Yes, I know there have been loads and loads of historical romance books written. I just can’t seem to resist.  I’m being pulled in that direction. Marrok and Arienne are still marinating in my mind and they’ve again spent the night together. Perhaps it’s that I am a bit overwhelmed by writing about their passion for one another. I know it’s probably bad to put a nearly finished book aside and begin another. But honestly what do you do when your mind is taking you there. I could resist. I doubt that would leave me a happy girl though.

So what will be different about the historical that I have planned. Well, first off the story is something that I dreamed it in it’s entirety. Yes, you read that correctly. One night I had this crazy dream about a young women who’d been raised in America but schooled in England whose father had made his fortune in America but was then notified that he’d inherited a title and lands. But that’s not all. And I shan’t reveal the rest. There are several twists that surprised even me when I woke up. I’ll admit, I have a strange/unusual imagination and always have. I suppose that’s why I’ve always loved writing. Why I put it off so long. Well I know why. I figured it would be something that I would do when I had ample time on my hands (ie. retirement). I have to say that changing my mind about this has been the best thing that I’ve done for myself in a very long time. Plus it is entertaining my friends and that is always a plus. =)

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