Coming home from coffee with a girlfriend, and after a sushi dinner earlier with another girlfriend this week, I heard love stories. There is no need to repeat them verbatim, because while they are simply anecdotes my friends told me, for me the thing is the fact there are so many love stories. Not all of them are happy; many are not the ones we, as romance authors, want to write. Well, that most of us want to write.
I have been accused of liking the dark side of romance, and it is true. For example, I have an idea swirling around in my head right now about a Stockholm Syndrome scenario, but outside of romance fiction, a lot of the stories I hear are not happy. Yet as a single romance writer, even I am never at a loss for writing, or coming up with, ideas for happy ending romances. Even when I tried to write horror, I ended up romanticizing it.
I am a violent romantic. Violent and aggressive, which is why I write what I do. It is how I see the world. Even my newly acquired photographic endeavors are romantic --pictures of flowers, candles, chocolates and full moons. I am violently wistful; at my age friends and family have commented that I am almost naive. But it is who I am. Still I had to wonder, how is it that I am like this? How can I be such a romantic in a world that does not support romance. Where people stand on lines outside of movie theaters to see thrillers and horrors but not an independent romance. Like romance is a big taboo.
I read an article years ago in Self about individual love histories and how they affect our lives, our experience of love, starting with our families. I won’t go into the specifics of my own love history, but I can say that I have never been to a wedding. But with love and romance, though, I am higher than the sky itself when I am into someone. Maybe I am above the clouds all the time. I ponder why I am such a violent romantic. As my friend descends into the subway, I am looking at the clouds floating like water lilies behind the Empire State Building; pulling out my camera to take a photo to go with this article about the persistence of love, despite everything. Love is the thing that, even when it is damaged, it exists. Even when it is wrong, even when it is not expected it exists – may even be better then!
Perhaps it is always wanting to see that which is not exposed all the time that makes me such a violent romantic. Violently wanting to believe in what seems so elusive to so many. Every moment a new love story can be born.