Persist

As we head into the flurry of holiday activities, I think the word that comes to mind for me this year is relief. 2018 has just been a strange year.

I found love / I lost love

I made new friends / I clung tight existing ones

I wrote some books / Got a kickass new agent / Rewrote some books…

My oldest is getting more independent, and our mommy/son days are evolving / I’ve been getting more one-on-one time with my youngest

In other words, a lot has changed, and a lot has stayed the same.

So what can I take from all of this? It’s just life, plain and simple.

But as I was working in the yard last week, I came across a straggly little snapdragon that had me thinking of another word to summarize the year: persist.

You see, I haven’t actually planted a snapdragon in this part of the yard for years. Though they’re my favorite flower (and I can’t help but squeeze each plant and go, “rawr, rawr, rawr” every time I see one) I’ve learned to let them go to seed. What comes up next year will be a surprise, their colors evolving into cool hybrid combinations. This year, I didn’t see any, and it bummed me out. Then all of a sudden, when I assumed the season was over, this little guy peeked its head out to say hello.

Sceneries change, emotions do their roller coast thing, but still we persist. It’s what we were made to do.

I attended the Indiana Women’s Conference last week in Indianapolis, and Dr. Catherine A. Sanderson gave an awesome talk on the Science of Happiness (she has a new book coming out soon, check it out here). Turns out, I’m one of the 50% who were born with a “glass-half full”, typically sunny disposition. (It also turns out that the other 50% aren’t big fans of my type LOL). Even so, not every day is all rainbows and butterflies for either group. As such, she offered 10 strategies for finding and maintaining happiness in your life. As we head into the holidays, which can be tough for many, I thought I’d share them with you:

  1. Change your Behavior. Get enough sleep, get regular exercise, spend more time outside, meditate. (Basically, do all the sh!t you keep meaning to do, but don’t.) 😉
  2. Find your match. This is intended for you both personally and professionally. Do what you love, be around the people you love.
  3. Read a book you love. As an author, this one definitely brought a smile to my face. If you need recommendations, shift your gaze a few centimeters to the right…lol.
  4. Keep a gratitude journal. Jot down things from your day that you’re grateful for in your life right now.
  5. Make a gratitude visit. Think of someone who’s inspired/mentored you in a major way. Write them a letter…then hand-deliver it. For them, there may be no greater gift than to know their impact on your life.
  6. Smile. Even when you’re not happy, smiles have been proven to decrease pain (and they’re contagious, you know. Sorry, that’s coming from my 50% group…)
  7. Perform random acts of kindness. Your choice, just do it.
  8. Spend money on the right things. You can’t take it with you, so spend on experiences, not things. Don’t go bankrupt doing it. 😉
  9. Avoid comparisons. Comparison is the thief of joy. Social media makes this all too easy…don’t fall into that trap.
  10. Build and maintain close relationships. This, per Dr. Sanderson, was the BEST predictor of happiness. Take the time, spend the energy, work through the conflict, learn to compromise.

Life’s highs and lows can be stressful. And we all know stress is a part of life. We can either let it exhaust and overwhelm us, or learn and grow from it. In other words, how we react to stress is up to us.

So persist. Don’t lose sight of the joy you want or have in your life.

Persist.

You’ve got this.

Happy early holidays, everyone.

 

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Pizza, Pages, And More!

Happy Monday, everyone! I wanted to share some exciting news with you all — I’m hitting the road! Albeit a short road, but hey, the road all the same.

This Saturday (Nov 17th) I’ll be joining 4 other amazing local authors from 6-8pm at The Next Page Bookstore & More in the lovely town of Decatur, Indiana for a night of book readings, sales, and…PIZZA?!

Yep, you read that right. Books and pizza. You can feed your hunger for shopping and, well, food all in one place! Famous Monster Pizza is connected to the bookstore, and will be sharing their stage with us.

What kinds of books will be for sale? Romance, urban fantasy, thrillers…we’ll have something for a wide range of fiction readers all in one place. And with the holidays coming, why not stock up Saturday on books for the readers on your list? If you haven’t grabbed a print copy of my latest book LOVE AT THE BEACH SHOP, now’s your chance to grab one!

So come on out and join us for a night of food and fun. TG Wolff, M.L. Rigdon, Judy Post, L.A. Remenicky, and I will be sharing some of our favorite excerpts from our novels, so it’ll be like dinner and a show. Come out to Decatur early and shop the town’s stores, then head on over to The Next Page Bookstore & More to snag a seat in front of the stage.

We hope to see you there!

 

 

P.S. I will not be at the ACPL Author Event in downtown Fort Wayne this year. It fell on a family birthday, and sorry-not-sorry family comes first… 😉 

No Tricks, Only Treats

Happy Halloween, everyone! Fall in Indiana means changing leaves, chilly weather, and shorter days…which generally leads to spending more time indoors and READING (and writing, if you’re so inclined). I’m doing both, as well as working with some of my author friends to line up a few appearances in the NE corner of the state, so stay tuned!

For now, I wanted to share that my LOVE AT THE BEACH SHOP publisher Tule Publishing is offering a pretty sweet deal right now. Order ebooks through them today, use their TREAT31 discount code at checkout, and you’ll receive 31% off your entire order. That means you can stock up on LOVE AT THE BEACH SHOP, as well as the entire PARADISE KEY series for a fraction of the regular price.

And while you’re shopping, be sure to check out some of the other amazing books Tule has to offer in a variety of genres. Might as well stock up for the winter months and keep your ereader happy! Books also make fantastic gifts – so keep an eye out for covers the readers on your holiday shopping lists may enjoy.

Ugh. Holiday shopping. Yeah, I guess I just went there. LOL But hey, ’tis nearly the season. 😉

Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable Halloween!

Road Tripping with TG Wolff

One of the best parts of author life is meeting and supporting other authors. It’s always awesome to find people from your tribe who don’t glaze over as you share your latest plot twist idea or editing stumbling blocks. So naturally, when TG Wolff called and said she was doing a reading down in Indianapolis this month to promote her thriller EXACTING JUSTICE, I said count me in.

Not only does TG’s writing totally rock, she’s also an awesome road trip buddy. 😉

Our destination this past week was to an indie bookstore off Massachusetts Avenue called Indy Reads Books, where she and several other authors would be reading excerpts for the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Multi-State “Murder at the Mic” night. And oh, what an awesome place! I fell in love with the cozy bookstore the second I stepped inside, and loved it that much more when I learned it’s a not-for-profit new and used bookstore whose proceeds all feed back into Indy’s adult literacy programs. Plus, the holiday decorations added an extra dose of fun. If you’re ever in the area, I highly encourage you to stop by 911 Massachusetts Avenue!

Though I’d never been to a reading event quite like this before, I have to say it was a blast. Hearing excerpts from all these different books was like getting to “taste test” half a dozen or so novels and stories. Each author had their own style, their tales each unique. And of course, once the pressure to read was off, there were smiles all around.

Seriously, if you get a chance to attend a multi-author readings event like this, I highly recommend it. And I know the authors would appreciate you coming out to support them, more than you know. (Hmm…come to think of it, there might just be an opportunity in Fort Wayne coming up over the holidays for such an event. Stay tuned… )

Great job, everyone, and bravo for being brave enough to write the words you love, and then taking the stage last week and sharing them with us. Keep writing, keep dreaming, and keep inspiring us all.

Until next time,

So, why fantasy?

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in rewrites the past two months, kicking book 1 of a new fantasy romance series up a few notches before my agent starts shopping it around for the perfect publishing company home. She wants more weird, more crazy, and I freaking love that—I’ve got plenty to pull from, trust me. But as I’ve been rewriting and letting my imagination run wilder, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit my inner critic has surfaced a few times.

“This is too far out there…you’re gonna start scaring off your friends and family.”

“Will anyone even read this?”

“Is that goblin too short?”

Doubt, second-guessing—it’s all part of the creative process. (Heck, it’s all part of life in general…) Thankfully, most days I’m able to douse those flames by writing a witty dialog between characters. Enough laughter, and I’m off and running with the story once more. Other times… well, that’s where my writer friends come to the rescue. They talk me back from the ledge, tell me to go with my gut and, most of all, have fun.

And THAT is the answer to why I’ve started writing fantasy romance: because it’s fun.

Don’t get me wrong, I have fun writing contemporary romances too. Writing anything fiction, really. Sometimes even nonfiction stuff. But when I get the chance freedom to throw in magic and mythical creatures, it gives my imagination free rein. If I get to build the world my characters live in, that means I get to make the rules. I also get to decide who’s allowed to break them and how.

Is it easy?

Hell no! Making up stuff only works if I make it believable. Flying imps? Talking trolls? Bouncer yetis? Cool stuff, but if I don’t make them well-rounded, don’t have their words and actions match their environment, then it’s just a handful of 2D creatures stamped on a page.

Ah, but if I make the troll heart-broken because his woman left him, now I’m digging deeper. And if his heartbreak is delaying my heroine’s escape and now she’s got to deal with him while trying to save her own neck, well, now it’s getting interesting. Add in that the troll smells to high heaven and needs to be deodorized…and either my readers are gonna ask “WTH?” or start to laugh.

…please laugh. Please, please laugh…

With this book, there’s been plenty of self-amusement. As a writer, that’s my litmus test for a book—if it amuses me, then I’m more passionate about getting it right, about making it funnier, sexier, wittier. I keeps me invested.

Am I nuts? Yeah, maybe.

But only in my books. 😉

And don’t worry—I’m not ditching the normal sane realistic contemporary romance writing (my next Bliss book ON THE MEND is due out this October, more details to come!) Instead, I’ll be writing both, having fun mixing it up a bit.

Because hey, life’s short. Gotta have fun while we can, right? 😉

Happy hump day, everyone.

Kyra_sig1

Turn it Off

I don’t know about you, but I think about things. A lot.

Things I have no control of, and things I do. Things that won’t matter 5 days—or 5 years—from now, and things that will. Things that I should be doing, things that I shouldn’t. Things I wish were happening, things I wish weren’t.

If you’ve followed my blog the past few years, you’ll notice this is a reoccurring theme. Apparently I haven’t quite gotten this under control yet. And man, it’s exhausting.

Sometimes, all that thinking is a great thing—when I’m working through projects at work or when I’m pondering the plot for my next book. Definitely great when I’m writing. Other times, it can really wear on you. Or worse, steal the joy you could be having in any given moment.

I was mowing last night (oh, the joys of summer!) and as usual had my earbuds in, trying to tune out the day and get lost in the mindless trek back and forth across my yard. And it worked…sort of. But all too often, my mind wandered right back to where I didn’t want it to. Back to the land of “what if’s” and “why’s”.

And then…breakthrough. What triggered it?

I focused on something else.

There’s a tree in my backyard I love, but it’s getting a bit big for its britches. Once a year or so, I’ve got to trim its lowest branches, because the farther they grow, the heavier they get and the lower they hang. After ducking around them a mow or two (oh, let’s be honest – at least half a dozen times), I get fed up and bring out the loppers. I do so love those loppers…

The branches were thicker than I’d realized, and trimming took some doing. But soon enough it was mission accomplished, mowing path cleared. And as I was hauling the large, victim branches back around the side of the house to break down and dispose of, I felt a surge of accomplishment. Of confidence.

Silly? Maybe, but you know what? I’m owning it. The action I took, it was all mine. I saw, I came, I conquered. And I won’t have to duck for another dozen months or so while I mow.

Even better, it shut my damn brain off for a while.

Thinking can be a wonderful thing, greatly beneficial at times. But when thinking starts eclipsing doing (or living in the moment) then we start selling ourselves short. Shifting my focus and rolling up the proverbial sleeves worked last night, and helped pull me out of my funk. It’s a trick I need to try and remember.

Sure, I try to catch myself before my mind wanders too far down the rabbit hole, but it’s not easy. And because habits can certainly be hard to break, it seems I have some work ahead.

Guess it’s a good thing I like to be challenged. 😉

Happy Tuesday, everyone. And to all my American readers, happy Independence Day tomorrow!

What Shapes Them?

Shapes.

Nope, not talking about physical attributes (tall, petite, rail thin, built like an ox) today, but rather what shapes a person. Or, more specifically, fictional characters. But since they’re just the book/comic/movie version of us, it really applies across the board.

Have you ever read a book where you just couldn’t connect to a character? Maybe they were too negative, too positive, too much of a push over, too much of a bully. That isn’t necessary an indication that they were written incorrectly—some people we just don’t connect with. And that’s okay (so long as they weren’t the main character that we were supposed to fall in love with and cheer on for 200+ pages).

But have you ever read a book where you were like, “Wow, this character is (insert less than desirable characteristic here)”? They were dull, boring, said and did the same (annoying) thing over and over, not the brightest bulb in the box. Predictable.

*Yawn* Close book, reshelf, DNF (do not finish).

DNF?! As an author, that’s the last thing I want to see happen!

And yet, as a reader I’ve been there. If the character isn’t someone I can root for, or find even remotely interesting, I have a hard time plugging away until THE END. So as a writer, I try to make sure to give my character’s current state of mind sufficient thought. And that state of mind is determined by WHAT SHAPES THEM.

The first item that comes to mind may be their past, and that’d be partially right. Our past most definitely shapes us, and so should it shape our characters. What did their childhood look like? Did they have two, one, or no parents in the mix? Single child, or were they one of a gaggle of siblings? Did they have a creepy next door neighbor who barked at them to stay off their lawn, or sweet grandmotherly type who always invited them in for cookies? Were they the class clown or class nerd? Super jock, or super flop?

Ah, some of you are cringing at the memories, others are reveling the glory days. See? Your childhood shaped you. They should shape our beloved fictional characters, too.

So, what else shapes us, and in turn, our characters?

The present? Again, partially right. The mess that a character is currently facing most definitely shapes their actions, their decisions, their mindset, their mental and physical health, their level of freedom. While the past is an important piece of who a character is, it isn’t the end all, be all. It also doesn’t have to hold them prisoner. Painful as it may be to step out of the shadow of their past, characters written well who choose to grow and stretch toward new hopes and dreams will have devoted readers at their side, cheering them on as they stumble toward a better tomorrow.

Which brings up another piece of what shapes characters: the future. Or, as many of us so often devise, their expectations of how the future should or shouldn’t go. Whether a character is an optimist or a pessimist (or an insistent “realist”), they expect their lives to go a certain way and when it doesn’t, ack! Disaster! As a fiction author, it’s my job NOT to give them what they want. LOL At least, not until they’ve gone on a story-long journey and stretched and grown.

You want a cookie? Nope, that jerk of a coworker snatched it out from under your hand yet again.

Want the cute guy down the street to notice you? Oh, I can do that…but you’re probably not gonna like the scenario (insert evil author laugh here).

Goal setting can be great, but setting ourselves up to always meet them can be detrimental. Because guess what? Life happens, and not all goals/expectations are met. Be prepared for that, and you won’t walk around feeling gipped all the time. Same goes for characters—if they’re all “woe is me” for 200 pages, you’d better darned well believe that book is going in my DNF pile. Just as in real life, fictional beings need to keep their whining to a minimum.

And chew on this: sometimes what we end up with wasn’t what we wanted…but turned out to be something even better. Hmm…

Okay, so we’ve gotten past, present, and future covered. What else shapes a character? Oh, only about a million other things.

 

Location, climate, season, weather, the economy, their finances, employment (or lack thereof), hormones, age, stage in life, major life events…the list goes on and on. And while not all of these defining pieces need to necessarily be put on the page (or put on with great detail), they do need to be in the author’s mind if the character is to jump off the page. Otherwise, they’re just a flat, 2-D character relying on ink to move their story along, not heart.

But pull it all together, and you’ve got a beautiful, believable, relatable character you’re readers can hold near and dear. *starry-eyed sigh*

 

How about you?

Authors—what do you use to shape your fictional darlings?

Readers—what were some of the things that shaped your favorite characters?

Do tell, inquiring minds want to know. 😉

Have a great week, everyone. I’m headed back to the writing cave to keep shaping my current motley crew of characters…

The Good, the Bad, and the Oops Don’t Label It

I’ve been reading a book in between bites of lunch the past week on how to find joy at work. Now, let me pause right here and say I’m not unhappy with my day job–this book was a Christmas gift given to our staff a few years back. Yep, just now getting to it. Have you seen my TBR list?!

Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m not the fastest reader, either. Not a good thing for someone who spends so much time writing and having to re-read and edit their work. But… oops, I did it again:

I labeled something as “good” (or really, in this case, “bad”).

So? Well, this book I’m reading (which I am not going to name, because honestly? I’m not sure I’m fully buying into its message just yet) is pretty upbeat. Like, annoyingly so. Ha, so if you think MY blog is upbeat, this is like taking a bowl of Frosted Flakes and adding a few more cups of sugar to it. Kinda hard to choke down at times.

In all fairness, the first few chapters were easy enough to follow. Trying to see the best in situations, trying not to get too focused on the difficult/petty stuff, cutting people some slack (we don’t know what struggles they’re walking through), yadda yadda yadda. But then the author suggested that we stop labeling life events as good and/or bad aaaaaand they lost me.

No labeling? Ever?

Have to meet with a coworker you can’t stand? Don’t say it’s bad, it just is what it is.

Need a root canal? Don’t label as bad, it could lead to other opportunities.

Car breaks down? Don’t think of it as bad, it’s just how life goes sometimes.

Uh, no. Sorry. Even upbeat me is struggling with this one. Some things in life are really good, and some are really bad, no matter how you spin it.

HOWEVER….

As alien as this concept is, it HAS slowed me from making snap decisions. I’ve been trying to catch myself when I feel a label slipping into my thoughts, and then double-checking it.

IS it horrible that I have to meet w/ a coworker I don’t particularly care for? It doesn’t have to be I suppose. I mean, I could always picture them with a banana sticking out their ear or something to distract myself from overthinking.

A Root Canal?!?!

IS getting a root canal a bad thing? Sorry, I’m still going with hell yes on that one. LOL But it WOULD give me the opportunity to get my nitrous oxide fix, so there is that…

IS my car breaking down a bad thing? Well, let’s just hope it doesn’t. But if it does, please at least let the tow truck guy be cute…

But this works on the little things, too. Here in Indiana, our weather has been nuts all year. Winter forever, spring for like a day, and then wham! summer heat. Now we’re stuck in a monsoon or something. Last weekend, the rain began. And while I love cheering from the soccer sidelines, I’d prefer to do it without juggling umbrellas and rain gear. So when I woke to the sounds of thunder and pouring rain, I groaned (and silently hoped the games would get cancelled … we have a built in rain out date, after all.) Alas, the games were only postponed.

BUT, rather than label the upcoming outing as a bust before I rolled out of bed, I decided to reserve judgment on it. I mean, why waste energy building up this crappy image of how the walk from the car to the sideline will be a sloppy, soggy mess and my shoes will get soaked so maybe I should just wear flip flops but no I shouldn’t do that because it’ll probably rain again and then I won’t be able to run as fast to get back to the car and by then we’ll all be soaked and I’ll need to put a towel down on the seats in the car and oh man, my son’s stinky cleats are really gonna smell now and……..

See how exhausting that negative thinking can be? Instead, I turned my brain off, drank my coffee, got the youngest out the door, and you know what?

The sun came out.

Even better? They won their game.

Now, in my mind, the outcome (sunny day) WAS good. And, being the competitive sort that I am, the win was too. So I’m giving myself a bit of creative interpretation with this book I’m reading to say, if it’s good, it’s okay to acknowledge that. But maybe instead of assuming the worst, or assuming less-than-good, we just … stop assuming. Let what comes our way, come our way. How we choose to react is up to us.

And really, isn’t that the hardest part of all?

Or maybe the hardest part will be me finishing this book, but I’ll give it a try. Who knows, maybe there’s something else tucked away in there that will give me more ah-ha moments. Maybe not. But trust me, I won’t call it good or bad. I’ll just call it done. 😉

Have a great week, everyone, and watch your labels. They just might be causing you more grief than necessary…

I’m Singing in the…Car

Photo by William Christen on Unsplash

Some people were born blessed with amazing singing voices, some can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Me, I’m somewhere in between. That leads to a lot of singing when no one’s around—so I don’t have to watch them cringe—or singing at church because I know there the crowd will drown me out. (Besides, after listening to a number of tone-deaf people there over the years, I’ve decided God must enjoy the discord.)

So, yeah, if you pull up next to me at a red light, my lips are probably moving. Thumbs are probably drumming, too, but that’s a story for another day.

With a 30+ minute drive to and from work each, singing helps pass the time and clear my head as I transition from home to work and vice versa. It also lets me play around with harmony.

Ah, sweet harmony.

See, growing up, I discovered early on that I didn’t have Whitney Houston’s pipes. Nope, my choir teachers quickly pegged me as an alto, and shuffled me over that “that” group. Already being a big of an odd duck out, I just accepted it and moved on. (Except when I was home in my room, where I tried and tried to hit Whitney’s notes… Apologies to my family, I didn’t have a car to hide in back then.) It wasn’t long before I discovered my mom was also an alto, and realized she was singing something other than the main melody at church.

And so the challenge began. Not with my mom, of course, but with trying to feel my way through the harmony.

Honestly, that’s kind of how I look at life—feeling my way through the melodies and harmonies. Just like I don’t have sheet music in front of me for every song that comes on the radio, I also don’t have a roadmap for what lies ahead. I don’t know what’s going to happen tonight / tomorrow / next week / next year, and that’s if I’m even lucky enough to see those dots on the timeline. And though not having a clear view of the future can be entirely frustrating at times, I try to catch myself in those moments and remember to focus on the melodies and harmonies of today.

Not everything is rainbows and unicorns, angelic melodies and tinkling bells. Too much of that, and I think we’d be bored stiff anyway. But add in some harmony, and life takes on a whole new sound. Strike the right balance of melody and harmony, and joy is sure to follow.

Ha, balance. Now there’s a topic for another day…

Happy Tuesday, everyone, and sing away!

Romance Where You Least Expect It

I don’t know about you, but we’re a movie family. When life is spinning a million miles an hour, nothing helps settle us better than the big screen. Or, if we’re home, the much-smaller-than-big-screen living room television. Grab a few blankets, do up the popcorn, and we’re good to go.

This weekend, to break up the monotony of my oldest studying for this week’s finals at school, we were chipping away at the Rocky movies. Admittedly, this all started when my youngest selected trumpet as his band instrument of choice several months ago. And what better trumpet-screaming movie theme song is there than Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now”?

(Yep, you know just sang that in your head…it’s okay, let it run for a few bars…or a few hours. And for the serious trumpet diehards, your mind probably switched straight over to Maynard Ferguson’s version. You’re welcome LOL)

It’s been years since I’ve seen Rocky, so it was fun seeing Philadelphia through Stallone’s eyes. That lead to many questions from my youngest (Why are they setting trash cans on fire, Mom?!) and many “here’s what’s going on” explanations from me. All good, all education on some life-skills level I guess, but then came the lesson I didn’t see coming: the romance.

Yo, Adrian!

Now, this isn’t the first movie that I’d seen as a kid and completely missed the romance in. Sound of Music? Totally a romance. (What?! It’s not just about a gaggle of singing kids?! Nope.) And while Rocky is nothing like Sound of Music, they both highlight a couple who saw past their differences to find the last thing we all expected: love.

I must admit, the romance part was lost on my youngest. He was bored through the kissing face scenes, which I’m sure is how I was at his age. It’s probably why I don’t remember there being a love story in the movies at all. Now that I’m older, though, I’ll admit—I totally swooned in that scene where Rocky takes Adrian back to his place for the first time.

“I wanna kiss ya. You don’t have to kiss me back if ya don’t feel like it.”

And there Adrian is, scared out of her mind, and yet reveling under his attention, his touch. Hell, swoon nothing—I damn near teared up it was so innocent, so intimate.

So real.

Romance is out there, all around us. In today’s crazy, everything at our fingertips, orchestrate the image of our lives through social media posts-kind of world, I worry sometimes that it’s getting lost in the shuffle. How many moments of connection—snuggling, talking, dreams sharing, soul searching—are missed while we’re checking our Facebook feeds, or posting crazy cat pics on Instagram? Actions, remember, speak louder than words (and tweets/posts/chats).

And I’m not just talking bouquets of roses or boxes of chocolates, either. Heck, Adrian didn’t even get a ring when Rocky proposed to her. Did it matter? Did she even bring it up? Nope, because she was too busy reveling in the feeling of being loved. Romance isn’t about things, it’s about feelings. About lifting one another up, making each other feel appreciated, feel loved, when they need it most. About sharing fears because they trust the other person to keep them safe and guide them through life’s struggles.

About growing and cultivating an emotional connection like no other.

As crazy as it may sound, Rocky was a wonderful reminder of what I want to keep weaving into my own stories, the kind of emotional connection between two characters struggling to make something of themselves without losing themselves along the way. Of love, and the romance it inspires.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to prepare for the cold war questions that are sure to accompany Rocky IV. And oh, will the kids be upset when they see what happens to Apollo Creed. But hey, I’ll just point out that he went on to make many more great movies. Happy Gilmore, anyone? 😉

Have a great week everybody, and keep your eye out for romance—you never know when, or where, it’ll appear. Because it’s out there, I know it is.