Monday, June 13, 2016

Why We Need Romance by Cheryl Harper

 "You're so nice." That's what the guy whose office I share says to me sometimes after I hang up the phone. My job is to answer the phone and to offer assistance. I do that with a smile in my voice whether I feel like it or not. That's kind of the job.

My internal response: "Well, he's bamboozled."

Sarcasm is my native tongue. The green-eyed monster has a permanent spot on my shoulder. And sometimes my inner monologue curses like a sailor (but only when it really helps).

But given a choice, I'm going to try to contain my own rain clouds and celebrate your sunny day. With the current news cycle, it's hard to maintain any sunny disposition. Tragedy, loss, the looming election--there's plenty to cloud up clear skies.

So, instead of blah-blah-blahing about how much I'm learning about writing novella-length stories, I wanted to take my chance to say thank you for the gift of romance.

To my friends here who are writing romance, thank you for doing the hard work to bring stories that encourage people. Writing is hard, but it's rewarding. For every person who needs a distraction in hard times, your work matters. Most of us were readers before we were writers so we know personally these stories about people who overcome obstacles to find happiness can lift spirits and encourage that thing called hope.

To my friends who are readers, our favorite people, thank you for helping me understand that I'm not alone here. Romance comes in so many shapes and sizes, but at its heart, it's about people and community and even the changes we wish for. Thank you for supporting that.

"I don't read those stories." I've heard it over and over and over, often enough that I don't even roll my eyes anymore. But I feel sorry for people who don't have the gift of romance which, to me, is all about hope.

There is power in the stories we choose. I'm thankful for the gift of romance and the Heartwarming community. What about you? Is there a book encouraging you now or a favorite re-read that you turn to when you need the lift?

29 comments:

  1. It IS a gift, isn't it? Both the writing and the reading of it. Thanks to my fellow writers who've added so much to my life with what you do, and thanks for bringing it to mind, Cheryl.

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    1. Yes! We are so lucky to have found it, Liz!

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  2. I love a book that has the power to draw me in so completely that I can forgot for a short while about some of the horrific things that are happening in our world.

    I'm just finishing THE OBSESSION by Nora Roberts. I have to admit that my favorite character in it is Tag, the dog. I hope some day I can develop the talent to create such an enthralling and lovable four-legged character!

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    1. Oooh, Tag the dog! You know I'm in! (as long as you promise the dog has a happily ever after, too!)

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  3. Good morning, All! Our warm and accepting Heartwarming community has contributed so much to my life, I can't describe it - even though words are my business. And over 60 of my 71 years, countless authors with messages of hope and love have sustained me. Two beautiful messages of love and hope were spoken on the Tony Awards last night - the intro by James Corden, and the acceptance speech (he wrote a sonnet) by Lin-Manuel Miranda. They'll blow you away. Keep the faith Cheryl - we need your skepticism and sarcasm to keep us grounded, but don't let go of whatever buoys you.

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    1. Maybe my words missed the mark. Skepticism isn't really my strong suit. I expect good things and grieve when I'm so wrong. I saw both of the messages at the Tonys, and sobbed over LMM's. Do skeptics reach for hope? If so, maybe I can handle the assignment. :)

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  4. I'm with Kate...with all of the terrible things going on in the world, reading is my escape to a happier place. So thank you all for what you do. Without love, we're an empty shell.

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    1. Definitely! Good, happy books are what the world needs!

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  5. Well said, Cheryl. Romance is all about hope and I am so thankful for it. The guaranteed HEA is precisely the reason I read romance. I often say that if I want a story where I get my heart broken I'll just look around me or watch the news. A big thank you to my fellow writers and readers!

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  6. What a nice post on a dark day. Romance books have always been my escape because it's the only thing I know will make me smile at the end. Or cry happy tears. So I'll add my thanks to authors and readers who keep the industry going.

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    1. That smile, that's what I love about what we do!

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  7. LOL, the last time someone said to me, "I don't read those stories." I said, "Oh, I feel so sorry for you. You don't know what you're missing."

    I speak sarcasm, too.

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    1. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE MISSING. This is a fabulous answer! I'm stealing it.

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  8. Just to weigh in on that - I usually get, "Oh, my housekeeper reads those." I like your response, Pamela. I don't think fast enough to be clever.

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  9. The gift of romance is the gift of hope! When I read the wonderful Heartwarming books created by the awesome writers on this blog, I know I'm going to come away lifted up. It makes me smile thinking about it, even on this sad day.

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    1. Yes, this is it exactly, why we go back to the books we love, the stories we trust, because we will be lifted up. This is excellent.

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  10. Thank you for this post, Cheryl. Romance is hope. It's a salve to the soul and I'm honored to write and read it. Love the Emily Dickinson quote. Posting that on FB right now. Hugs!

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    1. You are so welcome. Words are all we have and sometimes they don't seem like they are enough. Words matter. So much.

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  11. As a romance writer, I also love the hope that the genre gives. I can't throw myself into writing something that depresses me. But romance shows us a world where it does work out, against all the odds. I think we need that hope all all parts of our lives.

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  12. Hi Cheryl Harper!!! Sorry, couldn't help it. ( :
    I've become a lover of romance books since I started reading Heartwarming novels. I can't thank you all enough for the beautiful stories you write. They are such a wonderful diversion from this messy world, and they inspire love and hope amidst the odds.
    I am currently reading Sophia Sasson's First Comes Marriage, which is so great. I should be finished today or tomorrow. At the same time I'm reading Katharine Swartz's The Lost Garden, which is a follow up to one of my favorite books of 2013, The Vicar's Wife. And I just finished The House on Primrose Pond by Yona Zeldis McDonough which was an amazing read. Ahhh...books. ( :

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    1. HI, hi, Hi, hi, Laurie! We're so glad you've joined us and grateful for all you do to encourage us. BOOKS ARE AWESOME!

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  13. "I don't read those stories." I've heard it over and over and over, often enough that I don't even roll my eyes anymore. But I feel sorry people who don't have the gift of romance which, to me, is all about hope." - YES! I couldn't agree with you more, Cheryl! Great post!

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  14. It is indeed this wonderful gift that these "gifted" writers share with us that keeps me coming back again and again and keeps my heart and soul watered in these times of drought where very few rays of hope shine down. It's through their written words we can escape to somewere else and live some other life for a short time and hope for a while. Thank you again for all of you who do those wonderful things for me since I am one of those who haven't the talent for it.

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    1. We're so glad you're here, Tressia! Such a beautiful image. Thank you for sharing.

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  15. I love books that make me happy. I am reading Kristan Higgins Anything for You and I can barely put it down -even when I need to go to bed!! And I love Pam's comeback - classic!

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    1. That's on my list. I'm so glad to know it's good. Maybe now is the time to break the glass on an "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY" book.

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