Thanks to Rebecca Waters for providing this guest blog, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”. She offers a different angle on writing romance. Great to have you back, Becky!
What’s love got to do with it?
Nothing. And everything.
When Jenn asked me to write a post for her blog, I was delighted. I write contemporary Christian fiction. Then she said she wanted an article about romance. Hmmm….
I met my husband when I was sixteen. I started dating him when I was seventeen and married him when I was eighteen. The steamiest our relationship ever got before we married was a goodnight kiss at the front door of my parent’s house. Not romantic by the world’s definition of romance.
So what do I know about romance?
Nothing. And everything.
Though I don’t write the kind of romance the world defines as physical, characters in my books have been hailed as romantic. I believe it is because true romance is tender and mysterious. True romance expresses care through thoughtful and selfless acts.
And romance isn’t unique to the young.
Characters in my stories are often between thirty and fifty-years-old. They are married or have been. They understand the depth of true love and care and have learned how to express it. The women in these stories have learned to appreciate those small acts of thoughtfulness more than a bouquet of red roses or dinner at an over priced restaurant.
Breathing on Her Own is the story of a family dealing with a terrible accident that leaves one woman dead and the other paralyzed. There is nothing too romantic in that scenario. There is a time when Molly’s husband takes her away for a few days. Away from the intense pressure the accident has brought to all of them. A getaway alone may sound romantic. However, the real romance here is when Molly pours out her heart to her husband. She shares her innermost thoughts and fears and weaknesses as well as her discovery of her relationship with God with Travis.
The romance? Travis listens. Travis cares.
Here is an excerpt:
To his credit, Travis listened. He listened on the long boat ride back to the docks. He listened, her hand in his as they sat in one of the little cafes drinking coffee and sharing a piece of the sweet baklava. He listened over the strains of Greek music playing at one of the outdoor courtyards as they walked back to their bed and breakfast. He put his arm around her as if to protect her from her uncertainties and fears.
The air conditioner in their room was running and the cold air assaulted their sunburnt skin. They turned it off and sat on the loveseat in front of the window, wrapped in a blanket.
Travis asked a question here or there. He offered a word of encouragement when Molly’s strength seemed to waiver, but for the most part, this was Molly’s story.
They talked, they laughed, they cried. And they prayed. They didn’t move to turn on the light even when the shadows of twilight engulfed them. Eventually, the moon crept across the treed lawn and made its way through the blinds covering their window, casting lines of moonlight across their faces.
Spent, Molly and Travis climbed into bed and the two of them, wrapped in each other’s arms drifted into a peaceful sleep.
There you have it.
So what makes up true romance? I believe it consists of behaviors that demonstrate you are cherished, valued, and respected. So what’s love got to do with it? Nothing. And everything.
Molly Tipton and her husband have finally arrived. Their daughters are grown. Two beautiful grandchildren delight their hearts and retirement is within sight. Molly’s life spirals out of control when her older daughter is involved in a terrible accident.
Losing control of a car is one thing, but when had Laney lost control of her life? How could God let this happen? Gripped with fear, shame, and doubt, Molly questions her own beliefs. Can her relationship with her daughter be restored? How about her faith in the God who allowed all this to happen?
Rebecca Waters is an author, speaker, and writing coach. She is the author of two novels, Breathing on Her Own and Libby’s Cuppa Joe. Rebecca’s novella, Courtesy Turn appears in the anthology From the Lake to the River. Rebecca’s stories have appeared in many of the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul collections. Her freelance work has resulted in articles for The Ohio Reading Teacher, Language Arts, The Lookout Magazine, Christian Communicator, Church Libraries, Squares and Rounds, and the Home Health Aide Digest. Her latest release, Writing to Publish is a compilation of presentations, blog posts, and journal articles offered to help writers reach their publishing goals. Follow her at her website A Novel Creation, on Twitter @WatersAuthor, and to sign up for her newsletter, email@example.com.
As a romance novel junky when I was in my teens and early twenties, I can attest to the damage conventional romance novels with it’s unrealistic standards and interpretations does to young minds. It took me a period of disillusionment, confusion and finally understanding to fix that. Maybe my case is a special one lol. But I’ve heard similar experiences.
I wish I had found a more wholesome interpretation like yours back then. Thanks for this lovely post.
What a refreshing approach to romance!