Finding Romance in Real Life
I think the chance for romance lurks around every corner, whether you’re single or in a relationship. That’s part of the reason I so love writing it; nearly any situation can lead to love.
For a while, I was writing short story romances for a magazine and turned every real life event into a story. When I took a class to learn how to install my koi pond, it became perfect fodder for a meets-cute short story. The teacher helps his student install a pond on her grandmother’s property fulfilling a dream she had been never completed before she died.
My love of post-holiday bargain sales turned into a cute little story where two shoppers meet in the day-after Christmas return line. A friend who mentioned she was sick of dating because she was always the one doing the dumping, prompted me to write the story “Never Been Dumped.” I even know a woman who met her husband after crashing her car into his.
While the potential for meet-cute scenarios is endless, what happens after that ‘aww’ moment? When the relationship has shifted into regular gear and you’re arguing over Chunky Monkey or Chubby Hubby for Friday movie night? And who gets to pick the movie this time, anyway? Where’s the romance now, baby?
It’s there; it’s just different after that first blush of mad love has faded. For me, the little things have always meant the most. My husband no longer drives thousands of miles to see me (we were long-distance lovers for a while there.) Now, he makes the quick trip downstairs to do the laundry. Yes, there’s a lot of love in a load of dirty clothes, especially when I’m not the one cleaning them. When he tapes my favorite shows or brings home my favorite treat, I know he’s telling me he loves me.
Little gestures like that let you know that special someone really knows you. They notice what’s important. Everyone wants someone who ‘gets’ them, right? The characters in my stories notice the little things. While a romantic night out with wine and roses might seem like the ultimate gesture, learning how to cook her favorite French dish because she can’t forget that magical honeymoon is Paris would trump a night on the town any day.
My husband doesn’t bring me roses; he’ll bring me a potted orchid because for the life of me, I can’t keep one alive. But he believes in me that I’ll get it right eventually. It’s also a bit of a running joke at this point. But I think it’s lovely and sweet—something that is uniquely ours. To me, that’s romance.
Yes, just like you can find your one true love in the strangest ways, you can find evidence of your love in the most unexpected gestures, too. So here’s to love, whether you found it in the produce aisle or the emergency room, whether he’s keeping the flame alive by picking up your favorite tea and cleaning up after your cat gets sick. (The cat he wasn’t thrilled about getting.) In the end, the little things really are the big things.
Lisa Scott is a former TV news anchor who now enjoys making up stories instead of sticking to the facts. The first book in her Willowdale Romance series will be released by Belle Bridge books in November 2012. In the meantime, she'll be releasing short stories linked to the Willowdale series, in addition to her Flirts! collections.
When not begging her husband and two kids for a few minutes of peace to write her stories, she works as a voice actor and putters around in her koi pond and garden in upstate NY.
Blurb: Every volume of the Flirts! Collection features five sweet, funny romantic short stories, linked by a loose thread. It all ties up in a fab, fun ending, bringing together characters from all the stories in that collection. Each short story is 8,000-12,000 words long--the perfect length to squeeze in during your lunch break or kids' practices. Sometimes you need a little love!
excerpt: from "Washed Up" story #4 in the Beach Flirts! collection
He woke to darkness and pain, with a pounding head and churning stomach; but soft lips crushed against his, so the night couldn’t have been that bad. His mouth moved in response, and he reached to find the body attached to those remarkable lips. He wrapped one hand around the back of her neck, while the other trailed further south over her collarbone, cupping a round, firm…
Slap! His eyes opened to an explosion of light. Then he sat up and puked. Seawater spewed from his mouth and someone rolled him onto his side.
“He’s okay, but get the lifeguard!” a woman shouted. She rubbed his arm. “You’re fine. Everything’s fine.”
This wasn’t exactly his definition of fine. He blinked away salty brine and fell back on the sand. “What the hell happened?” He looked up at the woman—petite, with dark eyes, and long hair that glowed in the sun.
“I’m not sure. I found you washed up here.”
He winced at the familiar phrase. Just ask his agent, who hadn’t been able to land him so much as a mall opening in the past three years.
“And then you kissed me?” he asked. Crazy fans had tried worse. At least duct tape and handcuffs hadn’t been involved this time; an actor without his sense of humor might have pressed charges.
“Kiss you?” She rolled her eyes. “Ever heard of CPR? I was a lifeguard in high school. You kissed me, and then you tried…” she winced.
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