Lessons in Love?

I think anyone who knows me knows how excited I am about signing a contract with Secret Cravings Publishing for “The Sunset Series”. Currently the contract is for the first book of the series, Not the Marrying Kind, to be released in January 2014, with an additional three books to follow at approximate 6-month intervals. Of course, I hope to have each title available ahead of schedule. I truly enjoyed writing Not the Marrying Kind, fell in love with the characters in my head, and am having a wonderful time re-visiting the little town of Sunset as I work on the second book, Keeping Faith.

Although “The Sunset Series” currently includes four titles, I still have many more stories — and lots of characters — running around inside my brain. It’s a crowded and confused place.  If reader response to the series is favorable, maybe the publisher will let me write a few more stories about Sunset, Colorado.

One story I have in mind centers around a young man who comes to town to set up a school. My characters occasionally share certain of my own beliefs, and this fellow, like me, believes whole-heartedly in the value of education. I don’t have a complete plot outlined for the story…just a general idea of what the story might involve. Being a romance, of course, it’s going to be a story about falling in love. For now, I’ve given this vague little story a tentative title: Lessons in Love.

It seemed appropriate when it first came to mind. Teacher. School. Love. Lessons. Aha! Lessons in Love. Yes, that works.

I enjoy those “Aha!” moments when things suddenly seem to come together in perfect fashion. The title does work, I think. For fiction, at least.

But what about real life? That’s another question; that’s another story. When I gave it a little thought, I began to wonder about this crazy thing we call love.

Is it something we learn? 

Or are we born with the capability of loving others? Isn’t it, really, something natural within each of us? We don’t need to attend classes, read books on the subject, or study the art and science of falling in love. We aren’t required to pass any examinations or demonstrate any proficiency in order to find love.

As I pondered those truths, the title I’d chosen seemed to somehow miss the mark a bit. Love, I realized is not something we learn. We don’t need lessons IN love; we receive lessons FROM love.

Falling in love comes first. Yes, it’s natural, it’s instinctive, it’s as much a part of the human experience as waking, sleeping, and breathing. It’s only after we’ve taken the plunge, have had that “head over heels” experience, that we really discover what love is and how it can change us and our life.

Love brings changes into our lives at many levels. Some are external changes, of course. Relationships often require adjustments in our schedules, our living arrangements, even our career decisions. Relationships also expand our circles, giving us new friends and family members to cherish.

But there are internal changes, as well. Sometimes these present challenges. In fact, as often as not, internal change creates conflict and complications. As a romance writer, I draw upon this simple truth in every story.

Of course, good romances always have happy endings, and those come about because of the lessons the characters learn. In stories I’ve written, love has taught my characters many important lessons:

  • Gratitude is vital to happiness
  • Giving to others brings joy
  • Grief is part of life, and love can help heal our sorrows
  • Truth always comes out, but love brings acceptance
  • Love helps us see the good — in others, and in ourselves
  • Love can lead to understanding and forgiveness

These are only a few of the many, many lessons we learn from love. What has love brought into your life? What has love taught you?

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6 Comments

  1. Best of luck with your book and congratulations to you! Thanks for including my blog which has led me to yours! 🙂

  2. Well said and nice food for thought.
    It always irks me when I come across the saying “love makes blind” because I believe it’s exactly the opposite. If it is really love – and not infatuation or some such – then it opens your eyes. To who you are and want to be, to what you need and don’t, to others and their wants and needs, to the little joys of life, the meaning of life, new possibilities…

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