So This is Love

Three years ago or so, I ‘met’ a blogger online through Dude Write, a blogging competition for men that sadly no longer exists.  I suppose, in a way, the end of this story can be credited somewhat to the founders of Dude Write, Youngman Brown and Wily Guy … thanks, gentlemen!

But I’m jumping ahead!  You’re probably thinking, “What ending? What’s she talking about?”

Let me tell you the tale.  I met Michael Walker of Defying Procrastination at Dude Write.  He even sponsored me once for a Dudette contest week there.  I considered him a casual friend back then.  He was engaged at the time and I was, well, in my own little world.  We kept in touch through comments on blogs and occasional emails and tweets, but that was pretty much it.

Skip ahead a bit to me starting this blog and tweeting to let everyone know about it. Michael congratulated me and somehow we found ourselves messaging one another on Facebook.  At first I thought, “Hmmm, this guy is awfully chatty with a single person of the female persuasion, for a man who’s married” –until I realized he hadn’t gotten married, that his relationship had ended.

A few Facebook messages turned into daily Facebook messages that turned into messaging all the livelong day. Phone numbers were exchanged and we switched to texting.  At one point I remember being shocked to see by how much my text messages had increased…I went from 254 the month prior to us starting our text-a-thons to 1,632 the next month.  Seriously!

Phone calls began slipping their way into the madness and somewhere in the progression of messages, texts and calls, feelings changed and I was suddenly thinking of this casual friend I didn’t know all that well as something more.  My heart that had been dormant for, ahem, quite some time, shook off the dust and cobwebs and, without my explicit permission, started beating to the tune of Michael’s words and voice. I was a bit unnerved…but it’s amazing how much control one little organ can have.

When we finally moved to Skype (thank you, Skype, for existing!) I couldn’t deny that an actual relationship was forming…yes, without us ever having met in person.  I know it may be hard for some to understand, but the quantity and quality of our video chats were greater than most face-to-face dates.

One moment really stands out to me that made me realize that this was much more than a blogging friendship.  I told Michael that I had been snooping around on his blog and that I really loved a particular post of his called “Michael.”  It described his life and all he had experienced, but also how the one thing he was missing was a special kind of love.  When he replied that the post had actually been his bio on a dating site, I remember thinking that had I read it in that setting, it would have surely drawn me in.  I also thought, “I think I might be that special love he’s been looking for.”

So by the time I went to visit Michael in-person, it was no shock to me that I didn’t for a moment feel like I was meeting someone for the first time.  Instead, I felt like I was seeing someone I cared about after a long separation.  We quickly confirmed that we had a connection unlike either of us had experienced before and we knew that this was a relationship we both wanted to pursue.

Michael and I at Natural Bridge Caverns...our first adventure together :)

Michael and I at Natural Bridge Caverns…our first adventure together 🙂

Michael and I at hockey game

At a Texas Stars hockey game. I know…I’m at a sporting event…it MUST be love!

The trip was amazing and fun and all the special things that being with someone you love can be.  This man has an Excel spreadsheet for planning and he’s not afraid to use it!  Michael spoiled me…by buying my favorite chocolates online so I would have them at his house…by having  a bouquet of my favorite flowers waiting for me…by treating me to one fantastic meal and activity after another.

One night I met twelve of his friends who all came out because they loved him and were eager to meet the new lady in his life.  That alone said so much about the kind of person he is.

My trip only confirmed what I already knew…I love this man. It turns out, he is exactly what I needed at this exact time in my life. He has qualities that I never even knew to dream of in a partner, but I’m so thankful for every piece of him.

Fast forward to now and I’m sitting here looking at a bunch of empty boxes that will be soon holding my favorite belongings…because I’m moving to Texas to be with Michael!  We know there’s still more to learn about one another, but we also know enough to realize that we want to start a life together…and we need to be in the same place to do it.

So at the end of March, after Michael comes to Michigan to meet my family and friends, we will be loading up my things in a truck, including my dog and three cats (yes, he is a prince, he’s never even questioned that the furry ones would ALL be coming along as well) and heading home together to Texas.

I can’t imagine anything better.

Michael and I at airport

Michael posted this selfie of us at the airport right before I left with these words: “She’s not even on the plane yet and I’m already missing her.” How can you not love a guy like that?




Angst Away!

broken heart

I love angst.  Well, maybe not in real life.  Actually, it pretty much stinks in the real world.  But in romance novels?  Ooh, I eat that stuff up.  I love a good heart pang in the middle of a romantic complication.  But, speaking as someone who’s read plenty of romances…it’s a very fine line.  Because heart-pangy angst can easily slip into annoying stupidity.

As I’ve been working on my own novel, I have been thinking of what I don’t like in other people’s books, so I can try to avoid doing that same stuff in mine.  Easier said than done, but a good goal, anyway.  And one of the most annoying things to me in romance novels is manufactured angst.

Yes, I know, I just said I love it, but what I love is the angst that seems to naturally fit the plot, stuff that the characters have no control over.  Or maybe it’s something they do have control over, but it takes them a while to figure that out and find a way to fix it.

But when it’s because they don’t or worse, won’t talk about something, or because of the silliest misunderstandings, it makes me want to chuck the book.

You think he’s cheating because the very clearly villainous secretary implied that she was with him and then you don’t even ask him about it?  Stupid.  You can’t be with her because you thought you overheard her saying she loves someone else, but again, you don’t ask?  Come on!

But give me a man who has lost his family and is afraid to open himself up again or a woman who is pretending to be someone else for legitimate reasons and I’m all over that.  And if you make me cry a little, even better!

In the end, it’s all subjective and obviously I can’t entirely anticipate what will bug other people when they read my novel.  I can only write it from my perspective and hope that readers won’t feel the urge to gnash their teeth in frustration.  Or chuck my book.  There will be no chucking my book!

So fair warning to anyone who might want to read my novel someday, just so you know, and you’ve probably by now guessed…there be angst.  Hopefully not silly, non-communicative angst, but angst, nonetheless.  Cause I love it.