Yes, The Story has Romance

And I’m swooning.  You creating anything swooneriffic?

My Radiant Readers,

Writing books is romantic.

I always thought so, anyway.  It’s like that in the movies, with the man in the French cottage with his hot Portuguese housekeeper… (oh, that’s the one movie, one of my faves–Love Actually 😉.  The Story and I have had plenty a romantic moment, when I’ve found a particularly nice place to write: housesitting and nestled against landscaped hillsides in North Asheville, with new dog and cat friends for company; in a café on the luminously lit Circular Quay in Sydney, Australia–the Opera House lights shifting primary-colored pearly out past my laptop; beside the spaciously-lit window framing the library fountain, splashing less than the wind-lapped surface of the harbour in Wellington, New Zealand; and where it all began–baby-blue walls and dark rich cocoa smells of chocolate love at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge in downtown Asheville, NC.  Totes romantic, right?  Still, the majority of The Story has been created eyes-glued-to-a-screen, wheeling and dealing typed words, scouring the interwebs in research–a singular focus of getting what comes to me to you.

11406763_708320165962783_2738027904865408643_oIn the weeks of constant writing, preparing Book I for your readership, I’ve been confined to computer screen.  Granted, I oscillate from Allgood Café in Weaverville to home, so The Story gets some fresh air, but for the most part it’s me, sitting in my bedroom/office, plugging away.

However, the past twelve hours have been a highlight of romance for The Story series and I.  I’ve been plotting Book III in the past week, making sure all the whirly swirly tendrils of character and plot connection are staked throughout the series.  (Can you tell I’ve got to plant supports for the garden tomatoes during my break today?)  Plotting’s been a thrill!  (In case you’re concerned, Book II is mostly written; the idea to separate the one giant book into three was firmed up within the past couple months, leaving room to play and extend “The End.”)  In the years of editing, the creation and fleshing out of ideas for Book III has been an exhilarating part of the The Story’s process.

Let’s transform that exhilaration into the imagery of a few nature-based symbols.  As I’ve mentioned, I’ve spent the past four years living overseas and traveling.  I did an improv-spoken word piece in a show in New Zealand about how growing an avocado is a metaphor for home and putting down roots (you can check it out on my website).  Now that I’m settled in Asheville, I’ve had my avocado plant sprouting and expanding along with my writing.  My housemates mentioned the need for another avocado plant to grow alongside, to encourage pollination and the fruit, so I plucked the other seed (wrapped in paper towel, placed in a ziplock bag, and ignored in a dark cabinet during the winter months…is that how a partner is to be found? ;), which had indeed germinated.  Now, I have a pair of avocado plants.  I am home, at last.


The night before last, my housemate was giddy in the morning before she went to work.  She explained that she had seen lightning bugs illuminating the big oak tree in our backyard, around 2:30a.m.  Now, I saw my first American lightning bug last week, and that was a delight in and of itself!  Another symbol for my roots, of a childhood in hot southeastern Virginia summers, playing outside until your arms and legs are still and tired, along with the last light of day.  (I must give a shout out to the glowworms in New Zealand, and the stars in the Aussie Outback—pricks of inspiring lights in their own right!).

I went to bed exhausted last night, but woke an hour later.  Quiet, dark.  Sounds of crickets after a day of nourishing rain.  I got up and did more work to the outline of Book III.  Thrill!  Then the hour ticked past 2:37a.m., and I decided to go back to sleep.  My mind ticked with character connections, storylines…imagine a giant party line of people speaking, all wanting to tell you their stories, and you having to be patient and work on a much slower physical pace of linear capture.  Not to mention I have to wait to really write it; my focus now is Book I!  I lie in bed, my screen saver bubbling color and then fading to sleep, and my eyes adjusting to the darkness after making a few more notes on my phone (I know, it’s crazy how techie I’ve become!)  Finally, when the dark wrapped her arms around the room, I got up and watched the oak tree outside my window.  Electric yellow and blue-white beacons flashed on and off, whirly swirling in the tree.  At the base, at the top–covering foundation and space before sky.  I breathed, and the tree blinked…another, and another.  My heart swelled.  This is it.  The magic: The Story expanding, one point of light at a time, in the metaphorical idea of a tree, a network of life; starting as a dream and materializing like the lush of summer growth.  I finally went to sleep, after smiles relaxed into snoring, and my total adoration of being a Creator relaxed into more dreams.

One thought was persistent in the above transition: those fireflies are also a symbol for the books’ readership.  It’s starting slowly, growing over time, until the handful of readers grow beyond the tree…perhaps one day as cavernous and dimensional as the stars against the black Outback night.  But it begins, here, now.  At home.

Thank you for being one of those points of light—your own magnificent and complex story.

…and for playing.  :)


0613151222a P.S.  My housemate also announced this morning it’s National Outdoors Day.  And so I was inspired to move my writing station to the backyard.  So very, very romantic!! :)   I hope this inspires you to create, or at least take credit for the ooey gooey romantic goodness in your world.  If you don’t see it at first, keep an eye out.  It’ll come.


(originally written June 2015)

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