Romance in the Air!

Valentine’s Day! This is a romance writer’s favorite time of year. I mean, this is what we LIVE for–romance in all it’s varied and wonderful forms. And while I’m never one to turn my nose up at a beautiful bouquet of flowers or a decadent box of chocolates, those are not the first things that pop into my head–or heart–when it comes to romance. So, I thought I’d ask, what’s the most romantic thing someone has ever done for you–or you for them? And it doesn’t have to be tied to St. Valentine’s Day. I’ll start us off with one of the most romantic things my husband has ever done for me–and believe me this is just a sample of the wonderful things he’s done. And yes, I really, really, really lucked out when I found him.

I was in graduate school and working full time. In addition, I was attempting to finish my first novel for publication. Was I stressed out? Oh yeah! One of the classes I took in my graduate studies included a study abroad component in Rome, Italy. It was a quick trip and while I love Rome and was happy to be returning to the Eternal City, I felt weird about going without my husband. Of course, he was super supportive, as he always is, so I left for ten days of Roman history, literature, and la dolce vita.

Montecassino, outside of Rome. Is that a romantic view or what?

Italy was as I remembered it. Historic, beautiful, breath-taking, and chaotic. But after about five days all I could think about was getting home. It just wasn’t the same without “The Dude” to share it with. Of course, we FaceTimed every day and he made sure to get the dogs and cats into the frame whenever he could, but still, I was ready to go home. He happened to mention on one of our calls that he was working on a little project at the house.

Now, we live in a one-hundred-year-old farm house near Lake Michigan. The second floor houses my writing studio, which at the time was a perfect reflection of a graduate student, full time employee/part time writer’s space. In other words, it was a nightmare. Books stacked everywhere, furniture shoved in without a lot of thought, and no art on the desperately-needing-to-be-painted walls. It was serviceable but not very comfortable–and certainly not a great incubator for creativity!

When I returned home I was so happy, and also exhausted. For the first couple of days I was home, I didn’t even go upstairs to my studio. Finally, my husband said, “Will you please go upstairs!?” Up I went, with him right behind me, and when I opened the door I was blown away. Freshly painted walls, furniture carefully placed, and a brand new 27″ monitor on my desk. It was beautiful! His thoughtfulness brought me to tears. While I was running around Italy, enjoying everything the country offered, he was home, making my writing studio absolutely magical. And every time I come up to write (like I am right now), I think of him. Pretty romantic–am I right?

So please, share your most thoughtful actions/romantic moments in the comments. Who knows, maybe it will eventually end up in one of my novels! But don’t worry–I’ll change the names to protect the innocent!

Love image by Valentine Hearts Vectors by Vecteezy

Are you ready for this?

Hello, friends! It has been a busy couple of weeks. Graduation is over, the summer is beginning, and I’m getting ready to publish Ghost of a Chance. As I get closer to publication my anxiety is ramping up and I keep asking myself, “Are you ready for this?”

I’ve incorporated my business, hired Karin Star, a kick-ass, super talented illustrator for my book cover, and finished a final edit on the manuscript. Next week I’ll be doing a shoot for my author photo with my all-time favorite photographer, Albert George. I’m now working on the back cover copy and setting up accounts with Kindle Direct Publishing/Amazon, and all the other digital storefronts.

It’s been fun during the writing and planning stages but like I said, the anxiety is ramping up—big time! What if after all this work, all this blood, sweat, and tears, people hate it? Ghost of a Chance has been my baby that I’ve nurtured along for almost two years. I’m not saying everyone has to love it, but what if…. What if no one buys it? What if someone (or many) leaves a dreaded, awful Amazon review?

I’ve performed in front of thousands of people without a moment’s hesitation. I feel more myself onstage—more confident, and more in command of my talents. But this whole publishing thing is not for the faint of heart. Nothing has felt more personal than publishing this novel. Maybe I’ve spent too many years reading incredible writers… how can I hold a candle to them?

Now, I realize this is turning into a REAL buzz kill so I’m going to stop wallowing in the muck and mire of self-doubt. Instead, I’m going to do what I always do when that voice in my head tells me I’m not good enough. I’m going to channel my inner diva and say, “Get out of the way, bitch. I’m driving!” I’ll close with these beautiful flowers and a reminder that Ghost of a Chance will be released in August/September 2021. Watch this space!

For you!

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