Monthly Archives: October 2014

Self-Discovery and Love

There’s a reason why the hero and heroine in my debut, In the Cards, each undergo a significant journey of self-discovery before they fall in love.  Why?  Because I don’t believe you can truly love others until you know and love yourself.

But people change, you argue.  True.  Sometimes those changes bring a couple closer, sometimes they push them apart.  In either case, however, one must understand those internal shifts in perspective in order to communicate and connect with others, and to find compatible partners.  How we, as people, approach that inner journey can also make a difference.

December 9, 2014, Montlake Romance

December 9, 2014, Montlake Romance

Consider this snippet between my hero and heroine (Levi and Lindsey):

“So, Lindsey, what brings you to the West Coast? You mentioned leaving a lot of people behind. Why?”

Even if he doesn’t recall rejecting me years ago, I’m not about to admit my fiancé cheated on me.

“I need to make some changes.”

“Obviously.” He raises one brow. “Why?”

“Does it matter?”

Sitting back against a kitchen stool, he folds his arms across his chest again and watches me, waiting. Finally, he speaks.

“Yeah, it matters. You’ll make different changes if you’re searching than you will if you’re running.”

The frame of mind of a person actively seeking self-understanding during quiet times is quite different from that of someone who has come up against a dead end or crisis, especially in the context of a dynamic, living environment like that of an intimate relationship.

For me, self-reflection is something of a reflex, and the image in the mirror is not always pretty.  But at the end of the day, I know myself, my limits, and my needs.  If ever a friendship, familial relationship or marriage does fail, it won’t be because I didn’t understand the one thing within my control…myself!

Do you agree or disagree?

XO-Jamie

Favorite TV Couples

Given my “day” job, it’s no surprise I spend a lot of time thinking about heroes, heroines, and the chemistry that makes a couple work for a reader. To some degree, that’s a subjective call. If you like a tough, snarky heroine, you might not be too excited about the hero falling for a more shy, reserved woman. And as a writer, it’s easy to fall into the trap of my own preferences. I don’t want to write variations of the same couple over and again, so I’m hoping you can help me.

I’m curious to learn about why some couples work for you and others fail. For fun, let’s focus on TV couples for the purpose of this experiment, as most everyone has surely had a favorite or two over the years.

Sawyer & Juliet

Sawyer & Juliet

To get you thinking, here are some of mine:

Sawyer and Juliet (LOST)

Doug and Carol (ER)

Derek and Meredith (Grey’s Anatomy)

Ben and Felicity (Felicity)

As you can probably tell, I have a history of liking complex relationships and brooding men!

Ben & Felicity

Ben & Felicity

But what about you? Might you have included couples like Friends’ Ross and Rachel, Sex and the City’s Carrie and Big, or Jim and Pam (The Office)? Or maybe you enjoy the banter between Modern Family’s Mitch and Cam (I admit, these two are hilarious). Then there’s the real old school shows, like Cheers’ Sam and Diane?

Tell me, who are some of your favorite TV couples, and what did you love about them?

XO-Jamie

Are You Really Living?

Society has an absurd general belief that life is about hanging on as long as possible. So people [are] often hanging on for the sake of hanging on and not really living… ~ Andreas Fransson

This week, the world lost two amazing extreme skiers—Canadian J.P. Auclair, and Sweden’s Andreas Fransson—to an avalanche in Chile. As I am currently in the midst of writing a series of romance novels based on extreme skiing heroes, this unfortunate news hit me a little hard.

At thirty-seven and thirty-one, respectively, these young men were taken too soon. But no one can deny they packed more thrilling adventure into those three decades than most will experience in seven or eight.

Obviously, Fransson did not wish to live a safe life. The rest of his above-quoted passage reads:

I can go on for days about this, but the important things in life are unsayable, so lets’ just live it out and see what we find behind the curtains in front of the big game we are all playing.

Perhaps their families and friends will find some consolation in the fact that they died while pursuing their passion. It’s about all any of us could hope for, I think.  And while I won’t put my life at risk because I want to “hang on” and watch my children grow into adults, there is something to be said about finding meaning in life through pursuit of a passion.

I think I’ll honor them, in spirit, by naming the next hero in the series after them (J.P. Fransson??), and by carrying a little of Andreas’s philosophy into my daily life.

By the way, here’s a cool excerpt from a video of J.P. Auclair for you to enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IdS6RuTzI4

And one of the two of them skiing together:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97BiLuRYELc

What’s your view: play it safe or push the limits?

xo-jamie