Nichole Bennett, author of Ghost Mountain and Sleeping Bear, wrote a blog post in honor of Valentine’s Day next month, entitled Are you romantic? Or romantic? She admits that she’s not romantic, “at least not in the “wine me, dine me, we live happily ever after” way. Then again, if you mean “romantic” in the Edgar Allen Poe, basing your writing on the Supernatural, I’m so romantic it’s not even funny.”
I can relate to that. I used to enjoy a bit of traditionally defined romance in movies, books, and in my own writing, but I’ve noticed lately that I’ve become something of a romance-phobe. I think it has to do with dealing with my loneliness, getting on with my single life, and accepting aloneness as my current normal.
I first noticed a change about a year ago. I could no longer handle books with a happy ending for the romance subplot (I don’t read romances per se; the romance always has to come as an adjunct to a more compelling story.) I didn’t like that the character got to have a romance when I no longer could. (It made me cry, if you must know.) On the other hand, if there was no happy ending to the romantic subplot, well, that made me cry too, and quite frankly, I’m sick of crying. So . . . no more reading.
Lately I’ve noticed that the romantic subplot in movies makes me itchy. Not only does secondhand romance seem pathetic, it makes me feel lonely, and I certainly don’t need anything to a) remind me that I don’t have a romantic relationship and b) make me feel lonelier than I already am.
Which brings me to writing. I’ve been thinking about writing fiction again. I want to find time and space (mental space, that is) to write the dance murder mystery that was once suggested to me, but beyond that, I haven’t a clue what to write. My work-in-progress features a necessary romance (necessary because they have to have a baby. Although that baby doesn’t show up until the very end of the book, he is the crux of the story). But I begrudge those poor characters their romance and so the book remains a work-in-pause. In two other WIPs, the poor girl goes off into the sunset by herself, which at one time fit my idea of romance, but now just seems . . . lonely.
So . . . no books, no movies, no writing. No coupling of any kind. If that’s romance, then yes, like Nichole, I am so romantic it’s not even funny.
Click here to read Nichole’s post: Are you romantic? Or romantic?
Click here to read an interview with Nichole R. Bennett, Author of “Ghost Mountain”
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.
January 29, 2015 at 5:53 pm
Write the book! I want to buy it and read it! What exciting news! Hooray for you and your writing! Hugs.
January 29, 2015 at 6:45 pm
I reckon it is fortunate that you had a romantic relationship. Not everyone has that and more people than you might want to believe get by without it. Hence the popularity of romance novels. I tend to steer clear of them.
The last romance novel I read was Tender is the Night. The one before that was The Great Gatsby. Both written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He wasn’t one for penning happy endings. I read F. Scott Fitzgerald out of curiosity and because I like Jazz. He is great at capturing a moment in time and space in his prose.
Also he is great at creating the notion of a desire for someone who, in the real world, cannot possibly exist. Here I am thinking of Daisy. You have someone, Gatsby, who has longed for her for so long he has made her more fictional than real in his mind. When he does begin to really know her, however, the illusion begins to fade but not before he gives his life to and for the illusion. I suppose that is romance.
No. I haven’t seen the latest Great Gatsby movie and don’t want to. I hate the director. If he can botch up Romeo and Juliet I don’t want to know what he can do with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work. Luhrmann managed to destroy the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet. Who knows what he’d ruin for me in The Great Gatsby. I don’t care if he is one of my countrymen. I hate what I have seen of his work.
I suppose there is some romance in the book I have planned right now and hope to publish this year but it is romance gone wrong. Hence pointing out that if you have or had romance that went right then you were very lucky.
January 29, 2015 at 6:51 pm
I’m not sure I’d term Jeff’s and my relationship as romantic. We were connected in a way that baffled us, but for me to call that romance, I would have to redefine “romance.” But you are right — I was exceedingly lucky to have such a relationship.
Australia did spawn one of the best directors ever; Simon Wincer. He had a wonderful touch!
January 29, 2015 at 7:00 pm
Yes. I agree about Simon Wincer. I loved Operation Dumbo Drop and also The Light Horsemen among others. He makes you proud to be Australian.
January 29, 2015 at 7:09 pm
I expected Dumbo Drop to be a silly movie, but Wincer made it . . . important. I also liked Quigley Down Under and Lonesome Dove, And Lightning Jack. Wincer and Paul Hogan together — what a treat, especially since Cuba Gooding kept his mouth shut.
January 29, 2015 at 7:39 pm
Lonesome Dove was great.
January 30, 2015 at 2:08 pm
I just started reading “Out of the Woods,” a memoir by Lynn Darling, about a woman who leaves her New York apartment and moves to a rickety old house in the Vermont woods, hoping to find herself or whoever she is or supposed to be at this stage in her life. So far, I find every word intriguing and am thinking of you and other women I know who have had to start over at some time or another, often more than once. This seems to be common with women, perhaps because our relationships seem to define us and relationships are always changing. Some women strike out alone, some connect with other women, and others look for romance again. I’m a romantic so there was only one outcome I wished for, even though other people had plenty of advice to the contrary, but I do enjoy stories like this one.
January 30, 2015 at 7:14 pm
It is amazing to me how common this redefining is with women. It’s nice to know that some women redefine from scratch, doing something totally different and unknown rather than just rearranging their known lives. It gives me hope.