Sunday, September 28, 2008

Love Notes

When I write, I write with the complete and total focus of a brain surgeon. I tear myself away from the computer for dinner time, and if my muse is hot on the trail of a plot thread, I return to the computer later in the evening. During the active writing phase (as opposed to working on a second draft, or doing promotion, or tackling edits, all of which require a somewhat lesser degree of focus) I take time off for errands only when we’re out of essentials like toothpaste and toilet paper.

This degree of total concentration is -- ironically, given the nature of my writing -- less than conducive to nurturing a relationship. I may be writing scorching love scenes and tender romantic moments, but I’ve found I need to make a concerted effort to find a few minutes at the end of the day to say something to my husband other than, “Has the dog been walked yet?”

This fall, I’ve been exploring ways to bring a little more romance into my life, even as I dive into writing Pentacle of Storms. I started out simple, with love notes. I found a bunch of art I liked on the web -- an assortment of sentimental, sexy, and humorous images -- and copied and saved it all in a document for easy access. Combined with brief messages or little poems, the images make for appealing notes to leave on my husband’s pillow in the evening, sometimes along with a piece of chocolate.

Along with the love notes, I’ve added in other romantic elements -- backrubs, candlelight, French bistro music at bedtime, classical guitar on the stereo during family dinners, apple and cherry tarts for a late-night dessert for two… None of this takes much time to arrange, and we’re both enjoying the ambiance.

One benefit I hadn’t anticipated is that we’re finding more time to talk. The other night, my husband initiated a conversation about Pentacle of Storms and spent a good deal of time helping me firm up plot threads. Wow. This went so far beyond, “Have you walked the dog?” that it took me completely by surprise. He had some great ideas, too, especially in areas where my muse had been slacking.

I didn’t start out with any expectations other than adding some thoughtful, romantic elements to our daily routine. The little side benefits, like increased communication, have been a delightful and unanticipated bonus.

So what about all of you? What’s your favorite way of stirring up a little more romance in life? Ever do anything sweet and unanticipated for your longtime sweetie? Has anyone ever presented you with a memorable romantic surprise?


Brenda ND said...

Wow, I like your description. I write more like a abstract expressionist (think Jackson Pollock)--paint and words all over the place so. . . well, complete focus like a surgeon is something I admire.

Eden Rivers said...

Oh wow, that's a great comparison. I love Jackson Pollock :-) And when I used the brain surgeon metaphor, I meant the obsessive focus -- not the precision, ROFL. I tend to be much more of a pantser than a plotter, so when I write I'm 100% focused on what I'm doing -- because I'm thinking furiously to stay one step ahead of the current scene, lol.