Monday, January 03, 2011


Two hearts beating
as one.
Romance is my business. I promote the idea that happily ever after is attainable. In addition to being a romance writer, I'm an avid romance reader. I love happily ever after novels with all the plot threads tied up in a nice red bow. Many detractors say romance novels are just pie-in-the-sky or mind candy, that it's all a silly fantasy. Is it?

You've read it, right? Across the crowded room, her gaze meets his. Tingles of magnetism shiver through her. She knows he's The One for her. They overcome a couple of obstacles and then live happily ever after. Big sigh. In fact, I just read a very clever story like that. The hero and heroine knew one another only a few days before they committed to forever.

Stop and talk!
Wait! Stop right here! Is that possible? Does instant attraction equate enduring love? Does enduring love even exist? Hmm. Good question. Here's my take on the answer.

Instant attraction is a good thing, but it's not enough. A healthy marriage takes committment that involves much more than great sex--although sex certainly is a good thing. For instance, there's a terrific couple at my church who knew one another only FOUR days before they married---and that's been fifty-two years ago. Frequently, the wife says, "And I haven't killed him yet." It's a joke, because they are enjoying happily ever after, even though they have had tons of problems over the years. Although generous and caring, these are both headstrong, stubborn people. They've moved many times while he was in the Air Force, taken care of elderly relatives, raised foster kids, adopted kids, given room and board to homeless teens, helped found a mother's day out program and a shelter for abused women and children, and mostly raised two granddaughters. Here's my point. Sure they have had disagreements, obstacles, tragedy, and health issues but they talk them over and/or get through the problem together. That, my friends, IS happily ever after!

Happily ever after doesn't mean a problem-free life together. It means that a couple stands together as a team to meet any problem. That's why it annoys me so much when a young couple divorces after only a few months of marriage with some of the following: "He doesn't want kids and I do." "She wants me to go to her church and won't go to mine." "I want to stay here and he wants to move to another state." Yada, yada, ad nauseum.

Couple talking
People! Talk to each other BEFORE you marry. It doesn't take years of engagement to cover the basics. A couple hours of conversation would do the trick. No matter how good the sex, eventually you have to get out of bed and talk to one another. Oops, did I say that? Well, it's true. Sexual attraction is powerful, but don't base a marriage on that alone.

Happily ever after
is magic!
Romance is my business, and I truly believe enduring love is attainable. My sweet Hero Husband and I are still very much in love. That is what I wish for everyone. In the meantime, I write about couples who come from different backgrounds, but who overcome many obstacles to commit to happily ever after. It's my way of offering hope to those in untenable situations and to entertain those who believe in romance. Happily ever after is magic for those who find it!

That's my soap box for this blog post. LOL

My daughter reworked the blog header with one of her winter photos. She also included my book covers. I hope you like the new winter look. Please let me know if you think the book covers detract and should be removed.

I'll be back on Wednesday with a post on plotting a novel.


Vince said...

Hi Caroline:

Fairy tales have HEAs. Romances only promise a happy ending. That’s a big difference that critics often miss.

Often in a romance the hero and heroine are wounded souls who may not be right for anyone else. But together they work to heal each other. Each becoms the ‘right’ person for the other. They actually build their own happy ending. This takes superior writing and, when done well, is as good as any literature being written today.

I loved the picture at the top! It's like a bright welcome when the page opens.


Bebo said...

Caro: I love the winter photo header, no the book covers don't make it too busy.

And I think I agree w/ Vince and you - real HEA/Romance/Love does take work, overcoming obstacles, etc. I've far outgrown the Fairy Tale.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Vince, thanks for your sound comment. I appreciate your recognition of the skill it takes to write happily ever after that seems credible.

Thanks also for answering my question about the photo.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Bebo, Thanks for your comment about the post. Thanks also for answering my question about the photo.