Monday, June 23, 2014

Life and Romance Quotes

I collect romance quotes. They are revelatory of life’s vagaries and pathways. As a writer, I use these quotes in a number of ways. One way is to sprinkle them into tweets for @RomanceRighter. People like quotes and retweet them a lot.

There are life lessons in some of these quotes I interweave in character development or plot points. Imagine this quote by Erica Jong being used to define who a character is at heart:
“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”
Is she too timid to take risks? Was she affected by failure when she last risked something? Should one take risks? In taking risks, what are the factors to consider?

Some of the quotes can be the basis for plotting. Take the first quote below:
“Man is a knot into which relationships are tied.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
Imagine a story whose mother has long apron strings. She could have an approach-avoidance or passive-aggressive relationships with family and friends. What secrets does she hide about herself and others as she protects the family?

See how that works for writers? But you know what, I just plain enjoy the sentiments, too, whether the engender tears or laughter.

Man is a knot into which relationships are tied.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Having someone wonder where you are when you don't come home at night is a very old human need.  ~Margaret Mead

If you want to feel rich, just count the things that money can’t buy. ~Proverb

Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.  ~Swedish Proverb

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us.  That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand.  ~Emily Kimbrough

If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. ~Erica Jong

Don't smother each other.  No one can grow in the shade.  ~Leo Buscaglia

For lack of an occasional expression of love, a relationship strong at the seams can wear thin in the middle.  ~Robert Brault

Sometimes it is the person closest to us who must travel the furthest distance to be our friend.  ~Robert Brault

Assumptions are the termites of relationships.  ~Henry Winkler

"Life is like a moustache. It can be wonderful or terrible. But it always tickles."   ~Nora Roberts

I like her because she smiles at me and means it.  ~Anonymous

Hope is a waking dream. ~Aristotle

Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings.  ~Miles Franklin

In the end, who among us does not choose to be a little less right to be a little less lonely.  ~Robert Brault

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.  ~Frederick Buechner

Present your family and friends with their eulogies now - they won't be able to hear how much you love them and appreciate them from inside the coffin.  ~Anonymous

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.  "Pooh!" he whispered.  "Yes, Piglet?"  "Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw.  "I just wanted to be sure of you."  ~A.A. Milne

I felt it shelter to speak to you.  ~Emily Dickinson

Are we not like two volumes of one book?  ~Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

Trouble is part of your life, and if you don't share it, you don't give the person who loves you enough chance to love you enough.  ~Dinah Shore

Lust is easy.  Love is hard.  Like is most important.  ~Carl Reiner

Basically, the only thing we need is a hand that rests on our own, that wishes it well, that sometimes guides us.  ~Hector Bianciotti
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.  ~Marcel Proust

When something is missing in your life, it usually turns out to be someone.  ~Robert Brault

To know when to go away and when to come closer is the key to any lasting relationship.  ~Doménico Cieri Estrada

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.  ~Flavia Weedn

No road is long with good company.  ~Turkish Proverb

If fame were based on kindness instead of popularity, on understanding and not on worldwide attention, you would be the biggest celebrity on earth.  And to my heart, you already are. 

Are there particular relationship quotes you remember, quotes that resonate with your life? Share some in the comments section.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Date Night

If you’ve been following me here, you know that I read lots of those Internet articles and magazine features on relationship flaws, successes, and pitfalls. Love ‘em!

One recurring theme is that you have to keep a relationship fresh. Yeah. After 30+ years of marriage. Yeah. Got it! Does a different lunch menu every day count? Well, it might for some.

You see, DH made his own lunch for decades. He packed a luncheon meat turkey sandwich, chips, grapes, and a couple of cookies. When he retired, and thus was home for lunch, I told him to get over it. We weren’t going to eat sandwiches every day, with or without processed meat. If he didn’t like it, he could continue to make his own lunch. He ceded to me. Now we’ll have soup or quiche or taco salad or something else. Never the same lunch twice in a row. BORING! So that ought to count for keeping the relationship vital, fresh. Right?

I’ve never seen lunch variety in the list of how to keep love alive, but, hey, why not? There are so many ways to show love. The way to a man’s heart blah blah blah.

Oh, I do other stuff, too. No showing up in Saran Wrap at the door (not the way this body has spread out all over God’s green Earth), but I do keep it snappy in other ways. Like putting in a mysterious notation in his appointment book. (On the patio, 6:30) Or sending him a “just because” card from

 But I think the most successful way of reconnecting is our date nights. We don’t have it regularly scheduled like some do, which means some weeks we have two date nights and some months we only have two date nights. That doesn’t seem to matter.

I think date nights are successful for a few of reasons:
1)   We plan them together so there is time spent in anticipation as well as the time together on date night.
2)   Date nights encourage best behaviors. We would never argue on date night. It’s light, bright, and happy.
3)   Date nights get us to try new venues, experiences, and therefore create new topics of conversation.
4)   We dress differently so we think differently. Clothes do add a dimension to an experience whether fancy dress for the opera or swim suits for scuba diving.
5)   And “date nights” don’t have to be at night to count as a date!

As a teen, anticipating dating and looking at my parents’ times together, I wondered how in the world I could sustain conversation for the several hours a date lasted, never mind years and years of marriage. Whatever could one find to talk about after so much time together? Don’t you just love how concrete and naïve young daters are?

Conversation is not at all a problem, I discovered, with the right guy at the right time. Date night or not, time with my fella is a treasure I value over all else. But I do love date nights.