Tag Archives: romance

Frozen in Silk: A Trip Down Poetry Lane

I’m trying something different today. Something that I haven’t dabbled much in. Something that, when I’ve attempted it, has thoroughly kicked my butt. I’m posting a poem I wrote.


While I’ve studied poetry, I never had too much interest in writing it. Those times I’ve had to for class, I struggled to put words together to create a dense, but flowing story, a story that was supposed to sound like music, but always seemed to clatter loudly.

This poem came together by piecemeal. After many edits, my fingers are crossed that the image and message I want to convey is received. Let me know what you think!


Frozen in Silk

My love,


Do you dare shout?

Do you dare sing?

Do you dare breathe?


Or are you forever holding your breath,

staring straight ahead,

a living statue.


Do you ever dance?

Do you ever laugh?

Do you ever see me?


Or do you stare through me,

never seeing what I hold in my hands,

a heart that beats less and less,

a breath that is turning cold;

I am freezing with you.


Soon we will be together,

two statues, a Romeo and a Juliet,

frozen just before their time-shattering deaths.


Living, breathing,

encased in ice made of satin and silk.

One day the ice may break, and

we may be free to walk hand-in-hand.


But for now we wait,

sleeping an endless sleep.


(Photo courtesy of Shutter Runner.)

“Me Before You” Book Review

Okay, so this is my second week in a row posting a book review, but after reading this novel, I had to share my thoughts with you! (And with the movie being released on June 3, 2016, it might be a good idea to get this book read.)8522901355_96c1bdf450_z

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes blew me away. I laughed. I cried. I experienced the full range of emotions. More than that, I become fully immersed in the characters and story. When I closed the back cover, I felt that I had lost a really good friend.

Eccentrically dressed, small town Lou and once high-powered, adventure laden Will are two people who would have never met, if Will hadn’t been the victim of a horrible accident, which left him a quadriplegic, and if Lou hadn’t been hired as his caretaker (despite being seemingly unqualified for the job).

When the truth behind why Lou was chosen as Will’s caregiver unveils itself – that Will wants to end his life – Lou has six months to change his mind. And, of course, this novel being predominately a love story, Lou and Will begin to fall for each other, and have to deal with the complications that arise with their more unusual circumstances.

The question remains: Will Lou’s attempts to cheer Will up help to change his mind?

More importantly: Will their love for each other be enough?

Yes, this book contains romance, and, yes, it deals with some serious and controversial issues. (You may find you disagree with some of the decisions made in this novel. That’s perfectly fine. The characters certainly didn’t all agree with each other. Or all like each other.) However, the core of this story is about the choices people make in their lives and the impact of those choices, not just to the people who make them, but also to those around them.

(A quick note on the romance: It’s not the mushy, star-crossed insta-love that’s so often seen in romance novels. There’s actually not a huge amount of overt romantic moments. The love that develops between Lou and Will is subtle and realistic.)

A good portion of what made this novel so successful was its combination of humorous situations common in fiction and hard shots of reality that force readers to question their beliefs, ideals, etc.

Engaging and thought provoking, Me Before You is a book, not simply to read, but to experience.

(Photo courtesy of Johnny Lai.)

Without the Cheese, Please: Creating Non-Cheesy Romance


8685962293_e0500d9d14_zI’m all for those sappy romantic scenes full of stereotypes and tropes, however, there’s nothing fresh or exciting about those types of romances. And if I’m not in the right mood for a more chick flick oriented romance, the romance is going to annoy me endlessly. Sometimes, I’ll take my annoyance out on the entire book.


Because an over-the-top romance takes away from what may have been an otherwise well-written novel. One of the best examples I have is from a young adult novel, where the romance seems thrown in. It was as if the editor and writer agreed that because the book was YA it needed a romance between the protagonist and her male lead.

It didn’t.

Remember that scene from “Silver Linings Playbook,” where Bradley Cooper’s character chucked that book out the window? I was sorely tempted to mimic his actions with this particular YA novel. The forced romance killed the rest of the book, and made the protagonist, who would have been awesome, into some lust-filled whiny girl, who made idiotic decisions.

So, how does one avoid the stereotypic romance?

  1. Keep characters acting like themselves. If your character isn’t the type to trust strange men, then why would she suddenly let a guy she’s known for less than a week make all the decisions for her? If your character is incapable of talking to the opposite sex, then he shouldn’t suddenly be Mr. Charming. Be consistent with your characters. Your characters quirks are what will make the romance unique and believable.
  2. There’s more to a story than just romance. Even romance novels have more going on than just the romance. Something has to keep the two lovebirds apart. When plots get lost in the romance, the story falls flat. There’s only so many times people can read about a cute, shy girl who falls in love with two guys, where guy A is the obvious choice and guy B is there because…why?…because he’s supposed to add drama. (Hint: he only adds irritation and makes the protagonist seem like a dolt.)
  3. It’s about the relationship. Too often romance is focused too much on the physical. Yes, physical attraction is important… when you first meet a person. You’ve probably had this experience: you see someone you find incredibly attractive, you have a very physical reaction, and then that person opens their mouth, and – bam! – that attraction is gone. A person’s looks gets you interested. It’s the personality, and the ensuing relationship, that makes you stay.

How do you avoid clichéd romances?

(Photo courtesy of Pedro Ribeiro Simoes.)