Thanks to Ellis for inviting me to blog. I'm delighted to be here. Since I write romantic suspense, which falls under the larger umbrella of romance, I'm always looking for inspiration for reasons my hero and heroine will be attracted to one another. And romantic moments are more important than writing the love scenes, because they illustrate what kind of a person the character is.
What do you think of as a 'romantic' moment? Flowers and chocolate on Valentine's Day? A glittery something on your birthday? Flowers delivered every Friday?
For me, romantic means thoughtful. Doing something unexpected. Sure, a guy's going to be in deep yogurt if he forgets Valentine's Day, but it's the action that says "I'm thinking of you all on my own" that trips my heartbeat.
Is a Swiss Army knife a romantic present? Some would say no, but the circumstances, not the gift, define the romance. Years ago, I watched MacGyver. Hubby could take it or leave it, and it definitely wasn't a 'let's sit down and watch this together' sort of a show. I was vaguely aware that he'd come into the room, but didn't even turn my attention from the set. When Mac got out his trusty knife, I mumbled, "Why don't I have one of those?" So when I unwrapped my birthday present and found my very own "mini-MacGyver" (hubby wasn't sure I was ready for the real MacGyver version), I was thrilled. Not for the knife, but for the fact that he actually heard me, even when I wasn't staring right at him, and making a specific request.
Sometimes the gifts can be glittery – such as the time when hubby and one of our daughters were out for dinner. Afterward, as we walked through the strip mall toward our car, I decided to look in the jewelry store. Hubby was definitely against it, but daughter and I pointed out things we liked while hubby grumbled. The next week was Valentine's Day, and daughter and I each received one of the, "that's nice" pieces.
Other things that say romance to me:
Hubby saying, "You're working hard, how about if I take over washing the dishes and one baby feeding every day." Bonus points for it being the 2 AM feeding.
Coming back from the Y and finding the bed made.
Hubby saying, "I'm making eggs, should I cook some for you?"
Note: leaving the dirty frying pan on the stove 'in case you wanted to have eggs' is NOT thoughtful and romantic.
If we have to ask, it's not romantic. If those Friday flowers are because you (or your secretary) has a standing order at the florist, it's not romantic. If, however, you bring home flowers for no reason other than, "You looked sad when you had to throw out the last ones," then that IS romantic.
Terry Odell writes romantic suspense as well as contemporary short stories. Her latest release include her Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops novels, WHEN DANGER CALLS, WHERE DANGER HIDES, and DANGER IN DEER RIDGE. Find her at her website, http://www.terryodell.com or her blog, Terry's Place, http://terryodell.blogspot.com. And be sure to check out her Deals and Steals tab on her blog. Right now she's offering a 2 for 1 special.