I had a long, lovely and very restful Thanksgiving weekend, and I sincerely hope you did, as well. I did a lot of thinking, praying, reading, painting and resting–and, of course, some eating of turkey and trimmings, graciously served by Wendy and Jeremy at their place.
It seems to me, upon much reflection, that good romance novels (and other kinds, too) are mainly about personal transformation. I may have bitten off more than I can chew here, at least at one sitting, because transformation is a BIG subject, and I’m sure the previous statement seems painfully obvious (as in, ‘well, duh’), to many of you. It’s not as if this is new knowledge, after all. I’ve known it for as long as I can remember, and I’m sure you have, too. But I know lots of things that don’t really have any bearing on my day to day thought processes, and this insight seems to be one of them. I plan to delve into it until I begin to understand.
The Bible, for instance, is all about transformation–of the heart. And just look at our favorite secular stories: Beauty and the Beast=Transformation. Cinderella, ditto. “The Matirix” and “Star Wars” and “The Fellowship of the Ring”–the list goes on and on, of course. Why do we love stories about change–people who are afraid to love, and then learn to open their hearts, for example? Or characters who must face some daunting challenge–or many daunting challenges–and surmount them? (Harry Potter comes to mind.) I believe it’s because there is a deep human yearning to experience profound transformation hidden away in every heart, and well-told stories resonate with that yearning. Like most writers, I’m all about figuring out what works in a story and what doesn’t–rodeo mistakes included :)–and the whole subject fascinates me. More than anything I set out to do, I want to touch your heart. I want to encourage you, reassure you, and make you laugh, if only for the span of some three hundred pages in a book. To paraphrase my dear friend Debbie Macomber, I’m not here to change your life–just your afternoon.
I’ll be seeing Debbie soon, along with numerous other writing friends, at the annual Christmas party over in Seattle. Looking forward to that!
I’ve loved your ghost stories–every one of you deserved a prize but alas.
This week’s question(s)–winners will be chosen THIS Wednesday–In five years, looking back on this time in your life, what will you wish you’d done? Why don’t you do it?
My answer: I will wish I’d exercised and taken better care of myself in general. And I plan to do it.
What about you?