I’ve spent an afternoon going through my WIP, (work in progress), after a long hiatus and honestly? I’m sick of looking at it. And it’s a good story. I like it. I just need to finish it. Yet there’s a couple of finicky storyline aspects I need to fix and the final ten chapters need penning. I know how it ends. A handful of the remaining chapters will be set in present day, revolving around a blossoming romance. I just…haven’t felt in the mood for romance. I’m obsessing over tiny details. What will she wear? What will the temperature be? Will they hold hands? Will they wear mittens or gloves? How long should the kiss last? Will he wear cologne? Will it be spicy or more aromatic and woodsy?
I’m killing the mood by being fussy like this. More importantly, I’m wasting time.
There’s been a bit of a life change happening for me recently, that REALLY has put a temporary stopper in my work. I’ve spent too much time scrolling through various forms of social media. I’ve been unable to avoid reading snippets of news articles about dreadful things happening in the world.
The politics of power and manipulation grow stronger. At the end of the day, if people want to view something a certain way, they will. Cold hard facts could come and smack them in the face like large dead fish and they’d still insist they felt nothing. Industry shoves compassion aside and egos loom like indestructible death stars, determined to subdue the masses with smoke and shadows.
War is an industry. Health and beauty are an industry. Food is an industry. Sex is an industry.
Love is not.
Likely a lot of us realise this as we scroll through whatever form of social media, searching for something to identify with. Some way to connect either for work or friendship purposes. I find myself growing numb to all of it. How odd, to seek connection by being alone. It won’t be long before all the paths that lead to understanding will be destroyed. Then, we’ll be forced to be live like cheap plastic pieces on a shelf. Alone, maybe even next to one another yet with no means to reach out and touch someone (cue vague memories of some 1980s phone advert). Our moments of pleasure and happiness short lived and replaceable.
It’s a shame people don’t get greedy for love the way they do for money.
Because money can’t buy love. It can buy weapons, food, supplies, vehicles, training, medicine, technology and influence. It can buy the services of a personal trainer, a high standard of living, organic food and high quality anti-aging toiletries. Maybe a bit of laser treatment. It can buy fashions designed to encourage sexy thoughts. A nice dinner and a fancy hotel room. It can buy people.
But not love.
Funnily enough my other WIP which I’ve shelved for the moment is partially dystopian in nature. I always disliked dystopian work. Now, reading the news, I’m feeling the pull to hurry up and finish this other so I can get going on that one. Stories of apocalyptic, chaotic societies set in a fictional future has been ‘a thing’ for a while now, but I’m sure other authors would agree that that it’s like the news is handing stuff to creative types on a plate.
As far as reading is concerned, historical romance with an idealised, sweet smelling setting has always appealed to me. Dystopian stuff with all the survival requirements, spoiled landscapes and orphaned characters depresses the crap out of me.
Back to my own writing, how to conjure those moments of deepening love when all you want to do is stop typing and go drink excessive amounts of wine? And all because you took a break to piss about on your phone and you read a news article. Then you read an article about how it was a fake. Then you read an article about how the people who said it was fake are crazy. Then you read an article about how the folks against those who spout against ‘fake news’ are actually evil manipulators hell bent on controlling us all. Then you think it’s mean to call anyone crazy for having different beliefs. Then you can’t abide certain beliefs yourself…like that mainstream media outlets are ALL lying to us. Then you read a…you get the idea.
Maybe news outlets are full of liars determined to convince the masses of certain things that would only benefit those folks in high powerful places. That kind of thing makes for the beginnings of a decent dystopian/conspiracy theory type novel. Yet I find it depressing as hell and not conducive to the development of a romance. Then I hate myself for being so childish and self-indulgent.
I want to celebrate love and compassion while the rest of the world seems hell bent on driving folks apart. Industry. Business. ‘The man’, as it were, tossing aside non-influential folks like so much garbage, destroying the earth’s natural set up in favour of progress, I don’t like all that stuff.
I don’t think all rich and powerful people are inherently evil, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself in life. I’m well aware that money is a necessity if you want to live comfortably in most parts of the world.
I just think people who desire nothing more than riches and power…might be a bit evil. And it saddens me that there seems to be a lot of these folks around. They vary from your wannabe celebrity taking butt selfies to your conniving propagandists convincing isolated, lonely people to sacrifice themselves in order to get ahead.
At the end of the day, you can’t manufacture intimacy. Virtual reality will always be virtual reality. Money cannot buy love.
But if it could, maybe this earth would be a better place. And the war lords, ginormous egos, kings and queens, lords and ladies, Death Stars and Saurons of the world wouldn’t feel so inclined to find sorrowful ways to push their bloody selfish agendas.
I call on myself and all #romance #writers to carry on. Make love stories as vibrant and beautiful as ever. Whether it’s between an eighteenth century duke and a courtesan with a heart of gold or a wayward modern cowboy and a veterinarian. Or a disillusioned artist and a witty engineer. A recovering alcoholic and a Wiccan.
Any creature deserves the chance to love and readers should be exposed to that way more than butt selfies and real life tyrants.
I hear myself speak and think ‘screw my mood’…the reading world needs love. Whether I need to call on vampires, ghosts or fairies…this story is going to happen. Let’s. Do. This.