Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love & Romance

Gillian Layne you are the winner of my Valentine's Day Week contest. Please email me at: www (.) christie-craig (.) com and let me which book you will be wanting.

Thanks everyone for playing along! Happy Valentine's Day!

Oh, on Friday, I will be guest blogging over at Jenyfer Matthews blog site: http://www.jenyfermatthews.com/blog/ Please pop over and learn how I deal with people who need to be gently educated on the romance genre. Okay...maybe I wasn't so gentle, but they deserved it!!! Bless their hearts.

CONTEST! Post a comment today and be entered to win the prize of: one of my books, a "silly" pen, a pack of note cards, and some yummy chocolate.

Also, please pop over to: http://www.examiner.com/x-3098-Houston-Romance-Novels-Examiner
and read my interview. (You might learn things about me that you didn't know.) If my interview isn't on the front page hit the word "previous" and it will take you to my article. Now for my blog . . .

LOVE AND ROMANCE


I don’t consider myself an honest-to-goodness expert. Not because I don’t feel qualified in the topic. Why, if I’ve earned a degree in any subject in this college called life, I’d have a masters in . . . The Matters of the Heart. The only reason I don’t think I’m a true expert is because love is a tricky son of a witch. Love sometimes befuddles me. It comes in all stages and degrees. It makes us laugh; it makes us cry. It makes us bare our souls and it turns some of us into stone—cold fear hits at the first glimpse of this mighty emotion, and some lock their hearts away, refusing anyone passage into their lives.

Love is all-consuming, it’s beautiful, it’s the cream in life’s cream puff. It’s the prize in the box of life’s Cracker Jacks. It makes us strong; it makes us as vulnerable as a new born child left alone in a snowstorm. Love is the thing that most people, facing the end, will measure their lives upon. Unfortunately, in so many cases, love comes with an expiration date.

Some could argue that short-term love was never really love at all. But try telling that to the person in short-term love. Some think that it takes two hearts to be a true love. But try telling that to the person who has given their heart and received nothing back.

Some believe it takes years for love to grow; others believe love happens at first glance. Some believe that you can truly love only once. But tell that to a young mother and widow, who finds a hero willing to help raise her child and build a life with her. Tell that to the elderly couple who found each other in a nursing home.

Some will insist that love heals all wounds—that with love there is nothing that cannot be conquered or overcome. Others will tell you that that little tidbit is the biggest pile of horse crap they’ve ever heard. That love alone is never enough.

So love confuses me. However, this so called masters degree in love that I feel I’ve attained stems from both personal experience and from an in-depth study. In my study, I’ve written not one but almost fifteen theses on love. Yup, I’m talking about romance novels.

I’ve created 19th century heroines, who found their hearts taken by Native Americans who refused to love. I’ve penned stories about women who fell in love with a man determined to take the child she considered her own. I’ve created heroines who talked to dead people and fell in love with a half-fairy whose only fear were ghosts. I’ve written about a nervous puker falling head over heels in love with a sympathy puker. Every character, every story taught me something about love.

Personally, I’m known the beauty of this sweet emotion. I’ve experienced the chills and the thrills of lust which is so often love’s companion. I’ve been used and abused by the one person who was supposed to love me. I’ve suffered from a broken heart. I’ve watched my parents with over twenty years in a marriage, walk away from each other and the life and love they had built. I watched a beloved aunt, divorce the same man three times--and marry him four. I’ve held hands with my sobbing grandmother as she watched them lower the body of my grandfather, the man she’d devoted her life to for over sixty years, into the cold ground. I’ve lived with, and loved my own hero for twenty-four years. I know the sweet intimacy of making love to same man for the thousandth time.

So what has all this taught me, what is it that I really believe about love?

I believe love and relationships are like the plant in my window sill—without food and water, it will flat-out die.

I don’t believe love solves problems, but I believe love can instill in us the ability to work through them--even if it takes three divorces and four marriages to find what works.

I don’t believe love is 50/50, but it’d better be about give and take or it will pack its bags and skedaddle.

I believe the “firsts” that we experience in love—the first touch, the first kiss, the first “TIME” are mind-blowingly awesome. Almost as wonderful and seeing an elderly couple—married for fifty years—holding hands as they make the last of their journey though life . . . together.

I believe a lot of people walk away from a real love so they can re-experience those firsts. Sadly, they have forgotten that the real prize is the kind of love they just left—that what our hearts are really seeking is someone to make this journey with.

I believe love comes with a price—death being the highest, but it’s a price worth paying.

I believe some people suck at love—the cheaters, the abusers—and they don’t deserve it.

I believe love is a gamble—we sometimes can’t tell the keepers from the creepers—but it’s a gamble worth taking—no matter how many times we get our butts burned.

I believe love is an enigma.

And last but not least, I believe love makes fools of us, but only a fool doesn’t want it.

So there are my thoughts on love. What do you believe? Would you please share?

Come on, this is Valentine’s Week and today I’m giving away one of my books, a pen, a pack of note cards, and some chocolate. So . . . don’t be shy. Post a comment to be entered in my contest. And make sure you come back tomorrow to see the winner posted at the beginning of my blog.

Crime Scene Christie

54 comments:

Zed-Aitch said...

I believe you are right, and I believe the same things you do. Hard to add more, because what you wrote makes perfect sense to me. See, this is why I'm not a writer and you are, because you can put thoughts and feelings like that into coherent words :-)

Zita

Gillian Layne said...

Christie, how poignant! You've pretty much covered it. The only thing I might add is that after twenty years of marriage, I'd say passionate love is cylindrical. If people would just accept that "life" can get in the way of the stars and fireworks, and wait out the inevitable doldrums, some little touch or gesture will reignite that "new passion" again. And yes, it's just as fabulous the second (third, fourth...) time around, because you've got all that history with it.

Great post!

Christie Craig said...

Zita,

Thank you so much for visiting.

Sometime I think being a writer is just being a painter. Just throw the words on the paper and see which ones stick. (Smile.)

Thank you.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Gillian,

You are 100% right! There is something great about passion when two people really know each other and know what the other person likes.

It doesn't have to end.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

CC

Jana DeLeon said...

I agree with you on love, Christie! Did you know that biology suggests that the "in love" feeling only lasts up to two years and it's after that the couple has to decide to remain in the relationship without the "high" the in love feeling creates. So many people bounce from relationship to relationship looking to feel that high and never realize it's temporary. Sad.

Christie Craig said...

Jana,

Yup, that's the whole great "first" feeling. It's why are romance novel are so popular. But I believe the true high of love is so much more. I think one could almost compare it to motherhood, or even getting a new puppy. When we first get those little ones, wow! we are so into motherhood, into taking care of this new life--we are so sure our lives will forever be complete. Then that new motherhood feeling fades, not that love fades, it's the new firework kind of emotion, but watch that feeling come back ten-fold when anyone tries to hurt that child or a beloved pet. It doesn't matter if that child is nineteen and over six feet tall, or an old dog with gray around muzzle. So the "highs" might fade in love, but true love is so much more.

Linda Warren said...

Christie,
Wow! That was just beautiful and I don't have anything to add. You said it all so eloquently.
My favorite line "we're looking for someone to make the journey with".
Linda Warren

Christie Craig said...

Linda,

Thank you. And isn't it great when we found that guy. Loved you blog about how you met hubby.

Have a great Valentine's Day!

CC

terrio said...

Beautiful blog and I couldn't agree more.

Christie Craig said...

Terrio,

Thanks girl.

You know, I thought of you when I wrote it. Here's to never giving up on finding Mr. Right.

Have a great day.

CC

Michelle said...

Christie, I completely agree with your assessment on love. I've been there, my parents have been married for 43 years and I don't know how they do it, but i'm so glad they stuck it out.

I too saw my grandmother bury her husband, of 53 years, and go on to live another 15 without him. But it amazed me because in all that time she never removed her wedding band. She eventually dated, though she was in her 80's and honestly what can someone in their 80's do on a date? Besides hug, if they can get their arms that far up.

I also think the cheaters, abusers, liars all end up getting what is coming, but I don't think they will ever find what they left, hurt or took for granted ever again. They may try and try, hurting others time and again, but once it's gone you can't get it back.

But I hope all who are looking for it, find that love they are seeking. I include myself in this, as I'm always that ever elusive thing we call love.

Thanks for a wonderful blog!

Michelle

red said...

Wow, you said a lot in there. I would add that I believe you can choose to love. You have to open your heart and mind to the concept of love. Not all love feelings are the same though. How I choose to feel about my bestfriend/husband of 14 years and how I feel about my children is two different loves, but I choose to love all of them. Love isn't easy but it is worth it.

Edie said...

Christie, what a fabulous post! You gave me an idea for a character in a future book.

I'll just add that love is being there for each other during the good and the bad.

Christie Craig said...

Michele,

Thank you so much for sharing. Your post had a frogs appearing in my throat and a got an AMEN! from me, too.

Now about your grandma. God love her. She sounds an amazing woman.

However, girl, don't assume age prevents love's magic. My step-father is 93 and lives in a retirement home. You wouldn't believe what my mom had walked in on. (SMILE)

And about those cheaters and liers, that where you got the AMEN! I'd love to think that there's a special place for them in the afterlife.

Thanks so much for commenting!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Red,

You are right on the mark, girl. You have to choose love. I know people who sadly won't pay love's price, and they don't understand they are also missing out on life's biggest prize.

And for sure, love can be difficult. It's never all roses. Never! But I think some people make it harder by choosing to fall in love with people who want to follow a different path than they want. Which is the reason I think we need to be careful who we give our hearts, too.

Thank you so much for posting. You've made some wonderful points.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Edie,

YEAH!! I love it when spark the creative juices of another writer. Because so many writers spark my ideas.

Thanks so much for stopping in.

CC

terrio said...

Awe, Christie, you just made my day.

You notice I couldn't think of anything positive to add. LOL!

Here's to still looking!

Kristi said...

That was very sweet and made me tear up.

Christie Craig said...

Terrio,

You go, girl!!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Kristi,

I got a tear? How cool. Usually, all I get are snorts.

Thanks so much for posting.

CC

tetewa said...

Enjoyed the post today and totally agree!

Christie Craig said...

Tetewa,

Thanks so much for stopping in.

Hope you have a fabulous V day!

CC

Virginia said...

Christie, I think you hit the nail on the head about love and about covered everything there is to know about love and you are right love dies. After so many years you loose that spark those fireworks and we all miss it. It is not a 50/50 thing. I wish it was.

debmaher said...

What a powerful statement of love, Christie!

I also believe that in true love one must make a commitment - as the marriage vows say "for better or worse." Because sometimes it's not all hearts and roses, and sometimes the worse does come.

But if you really love, you stick by each other. Force a smile, a hug, and pretty soon it feels real again. Maybe not honeymoon real, but comfortable, married love real.

Thanks for the great post!

Terry S said...

Thanks so much for putting into words what so many of us feel.

The give and take is such a small but true statement on your list. When one person does all the giving and one the taking, love just doesn't survive for the long haul....and that is sad whether you are experiencing it yourself or observing it in someone else's relationship.

Gemma Halliday said...

Great post, Christie! I think you summed it up perfectly. And, dude, 15 novels? I’m so impressed. I wanna be you when I grow up.

~Gemma

donnas said...

Great post and I completely agree with you.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Refhater said...

Excellent post!

I hope I will some day find someone to love me like I see my father love my mother, unconditionally.

Until that happens, I've experienced love in it's purest form with my nieces. (1 and 3 years old.) There's nothing in the better in the world than hearing them say "I love you."

Happy Valentine's!

Christie Craig said...

Virginia,

Thanks! It's true, love had to cared for or it can and will die. And it's so sad when you see it.

I have found that after 24 years of marriage, someone occasionally has to shake the sugar tree to get some fruit/fireworks. However, I can say that with just a little shaking, those fireworks can go off. (SMILE)

Thanks so much for stopping in.

CC

Estella said...

I agree with you about love. I have been in some of the situations you write about, but never gave up on love.

Christie Craig said...

Debmahar,

I agree with you. You have to commit. I see so many people walk away from a relationship without even trying.

I'm not saying that anyone should stay in an unhappy relationship, but if you really loved one another, isn't it worth an effort?

I think sometimes the problem is that people don't take the time to consider a relationship before jumping in. Some people just aren't meant to be together. And then they are surprised that the relationship turns toxic.

Thanks so much for posting!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Terry S.

I think give and take is biggy. I know there have been years in my marriage that I was the biggest giver and then there have been years that the job title fell on my hubby.

Thank you so much for sharing and stopping in.

Have a great V Day!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Gemma,

Thanks Gemma.

I didn't say I've sold all 15. Just that I wrote them.

Happy V Day girl.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Donnas,

Thank so much for stopping by.

I hope you spend V Day with someone wonderful.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Refhater,

Girl, nothing...nothing beats the love of child.

Here's hoping you find Mr. Right.

Thanks for stopping by.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Estella,

I think every relationship has its ups and downs. As long as the ups outweigh the downs, life is good.

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Keri Ford said...

Great post, Christie. I think a lot of people simply have one tiff and give up. They forget those 'firsts' when they should be remembering them.

Christie Craig said...

Keri,

One of the best way to spark some excitement is to take a stroll down memory lane and recall all the firsts.

It still works, 24 years later!

Thanks for posting and have a great Valentine's Day.

CC

Keri Ford said...

Christie we hit our 5 year anniv. this past september. Our huge, framed engagement photo is hung up on the wall over one side of the bed, my bridal portrait is over the other. Those create great memories everytime I climb in bed at night.

I plan to leave them on my walls for a long time. I don't know what I'd do with them if I did want them down. They're too ridiculously huge to be storing in a drawer anywhere.

cas2ajs said...

What a wonderful post. Don't think I could add anything else. Your description of love makes a lot of sense to me. It's an elusive concept and not the same for everyone but you made some excellent observations of what it is.

Cheryl S.

Christie Craig said...

Keri,

Great minds think alike!

Keep those up and remember often why you fell in love with the man.

I will tell you that when I read this post to my husband, he got tears in his eyes. Seriously.

Of course, then five minutes later he said something totally crude. I asked him, "How you be the same man who just cried at my blog about love?"

His answer was, "Yeah, well that took away my masculinity and I had to get it back!"

I laughed my butt off!

We gotta love 'em!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Cheryl S.

Thank you. And you're right. Love can be as individual as a snowflake.

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Beth Yarnall said...

I believe in love at first sight. I believe that love is different every single time and that you can love one person for life. Soul mate? No I don't believe in soul mates, I thing you can have a deep connection with more than one person (but not at the same time!). Each time you love it touches you differently and that person fills in gaps that another may not have.
Beautiful post and so timely. Happy Valentines Day!!!

RM Kahn said...

I learned very early on, that love is as uncontrollable as the stars. I was quite cynical about love until I fell for someone, sight unseen. It was in college and he was my roommate's best friend and he and I wrote to each other planning the surprise engagement party for her and his best friend. One month later he and her fiance were dead in a senseless tragic car accident. Although he and I never got to meet face to face, I had given my heart in those letters. Later on his mother passed his journal on to me and he had given his heart to me.

I learned early on that Fate is a tricky bastard but I also learned to let your love show. I try very hard not to take my husband of almost 14 years for granted and to let him know that he is loved. Even if it is just picking up those socks that never seem to make it into the hamper!

Christie Craig said...

Beth Y.

Thank you so much for dropping in and sharing. Your thoughts on love are great and so true.

CC

Christie Craig said...

RM Kahm,

Wow. You made my heart hurt girl. That's a sad story, but it's so true.

I'm glad you found your hubby. And I'm glad he picks up his socks! (SMILE)

Thanks for sharing!!

CC

catslady said...

I don't think anyone really can give a definition of love. It can't be explained. It's as varied as each person is varied and then the combinations together give you an even bigger variance. I even think it's different every day or moment. I do believe it's one of those things you can't always live with but you can't live without either. I've been married almost 40 years but even I don't think it's love every minute of every day or even weeks or months sometimes lol.

Christie Craig said...

Catslady,

It does vary. No one is 100% at all times. But I can tell you this. I was married to someone before and I now know a good marriage from a bad marriage.

Thanks so much joining in and stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful V. Day.

CC

Julie Robinson said...

Just stopping by to say hello to you Christie. You don't have to enter me in your contest since I believe I bought all your books the other weekend at the Acadiana Writers Guild workshop, which I immensely enjoyed! Thanks so much for all your insightful wisdom.

I still have all your books sitting on my kitchen counter where I put them after the conference. They seem to be waving at me when I pass: "Soon. Pick me, pick me," jumping ahead on my TBR list.

Julie

Lucy said...

I agree that love is not a 50/50 endeavor. When I got married one piece of advice that stuck with me was that you had to be willing to go 100 of the way because if you only go 50 percent of the way, you could lose out.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Julie!

Thanks so much for popping in.

And I'll let one of my books know to reach out and tap you on the shoulder next time you walk by. (Smile)

I had such a great time at the conference.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Lucy,

That was really good advice.

If everyone, both hubby and wife, go 100%, think what a great marriage it would be.

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a great V. Day.

CC

rishi said...

Christie! I'm not supposed to want to cry this early in the morning! Beautifully expressed, thank you.

Christie Craig said...

Rishi,

Thank you girl. And know you aren't supposed to cry this early.

Thank you so much for stopping in.

CC