Thursday, March 24, 2016

Why Write?

I've spent three-fourths of my life to date studying human behavior. Psychology is my first intellectual passion, so why do I write fiction? Most especially, why do I write lesbian romance?

Honestly, I've always written stories in my head, mostly to entertain myself on long road-trips, but occasionally to entertain friends and family. Eight years ago, on a long flight out west with some very bored colleagues, I told them a story that I made up on a road-trip through Grand Teton National Park. I thought the story was about what would happen if a National Park Service employee who loved her job and worked hard (for very little pay, for a long time) to get exactly that job in that place met the love of her life and discovered her soul-mate had to work in the city. What happiness would this heroine decide to keep pursuing? If she couldn't have both, what would she sacrifice? Her love of meaningful work and the life purpose she had already chosen, or her chance to grow true love and companionship? What would she do if the deck was further stacked--if a large chunk of society didn't condone the relationship? If her soul-mate turned out to be another woman?

Hooked by the emotional dilemmas (my colleagues were psychology nuts as well), they encouraged me to just write the story--to make it a novel. Thanks to some inspiration from National Write a Novel Month (, I discovered I did want to and could write a novel. That story became the lesbian romance, A Walk Away published by Affinity. But I also discovered I wanted to write lots of novels. And as I scribbled out plot after plot from mystery thriller and absurd horror to traditional contemporary romance I made another discovery. I had an epiphany. All my stories, no matter the genre or setting, were all about love.
More specifically, everything I write is about how letting someone love you (being completely vulnerable) is the scariest, hardest, and most rewarding thing you can do with your life.
Elated and thinking myself rather clever and self-aware, I told my encouraging colleagues about my epiphany. They smiled benignly and said something along the lines of, "Of course. Why do you think we told you to write? It's something the world needs to be reminded of again and again."

So I write, because nothing else sticks in the mind and makes a philosophy tangible and true like a story. I write because reading is one of the first places so many people test and observe behaviors, and I want to inspire people to learn to behave more vulnerably. Behave vulnerably enough to let someone else love you. The greatest gift we can give, the best stories we will ever write, are the ones where we let ourselves be loved.

I think this is especially true when social norms, or our individual perceptions of social norms, tell us that being that vulnerable with someone else isn't appropriate (like when we fall in love with someone of the same gender, or a different race, or a different religion). Letting yourself be vulnerable enough to be loved by someone opens up unknown worlds, unexpected joys, and contributes your single drop of inner peace to the filling of the world peace bucket. At least that is what I believe, based on my study of human behavior, and so I write. Especially lesbian romance.

Like heart rocks, meaning is where you find it and writing helps us do that.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Carnival of Wants

I want to light you up

from soul to sole,

like a Tilt-a-Whirl,

until you know exactly how this love

feels banging around my insides.

I want to free you up

from doubt,

like a Cotton Candy swirl,

until you know exactly how this hope

feels sticky-sweet, complete.

I want to bowl you over

from head to heel,

like a Ferris Wheel,

until you know exactly how this fear

feels a little fun tilting over me.

I want to fill you full

of laughter and cheer

like a silly, slow Teacup ride,

until you know exactly how to slide

our rich lives closer entwined.

I want to read you complete

from cover to cover,

like a carnival adventure novella,

until we can keep the joy written 

twirling in lights

between you and me.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Would voting feel better if?

I'm no political scientist. I'm not even what one would call a person with deep political convictions. However, I am someone who wants to elect the best person for a job, and in my lifetime I have yet to feel that I have ever been afforded an opportunity to do that on the political scene. I realize I have (so far to date) only been able to vote for the person I suspect will do the least harm in office.

I am also a writer and artist, and as such I feel a responsibility when I realize something isn't as good as it should be to start asking the questions I know will lead to a new model.

Maybe it is time to start thinking out of all of the boxes on the ballots?  Are we wise enough to try blending all the best parts of all the political systems of the world?  Are we brave enough to attempt managing the change before it manages us?  How would we want to do it?

When voting for the leader of the free world feels this awful and contentious, I take it as a sign that it is at least time to start asking these questions. As Buckminster Fuller said, "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

So maybe building a new model means building a new party?  A moderate party? As my grandmother said, "everything in moderation--the tricky part is finding the right mix."  I propose we build a new party model, based on humanistic principles that blends the best of both parties.  I think this could lead us to a new reality where voting feels better.

But more importantly, I think a country 239 year-old country should be wise and brave enough to start building and testing some new models--based on all that we've learned since our fore-fathers did it to make one country, out of many colonies.  I hope to spark you to start asking yourself, your friends, and certainly your governmental representatives and elected officials one question:
How do we blend all the best parts of all the political systems of the world and history in a way that allows America to be an ever greater place for more and more people to pursue happiness?  

Popular Posts