Saturday, October 24, 2009

Looking for the "Happy Ever After"

A dear friend, also a romance author, recently lost her husband, and it got me thinking... For those who don't know, I lost my Gary to bone cancer just over 12 years ago and I can still vividly remember the pain and loss and confusion, and the overwhelming sense of "aloneness" it brought. Even now, this far down the road, I still have moments where the "missing of him" is intense, where the waking up alone in the small hours of the morning is a sad and difficult place.

I wonder, then, why I write romance, why I've chosen to pursue the "Happy Ever After" in my books, along with innumerable other authors, when I know the sad reality is that, too often, it's snatched from us too soon. Writing romance, for someone like me, seems almost an anomaly. Except for one thing. Okay, maybe a couple of things...

First, I've known love. Real, life-changing, friends-lovers-partners love, chemistry and companionship, enduring and giving love. That is a gift, something precious that many people "out there" have never been blessed with. For that reason only, "writing love" is also a gift, a way of giving some of the blessings for others to enjoy.

Second, I write what I know. Having known that kind of all-encompassing love, I can write it - not just with my head but from my heart. I know the journey, the "angst", the excitement, the fulfillment. Sharing it, again, is a gift - not only for those who have never known it, but to remind others that it's there, and it's real, and it's worth holding on to.

Third, through the words and the characters, I get to share the "happy ever after" of so many others. I get to explore the sweeping emotions that define love, I get to "live the moment" with them, and to enjoy the potential their love brings to their lives.

It's an odd thing, really. Here I am sharing a friend's grief, because I've been there and understand what she is experiencing. And that's what "writing romance" is for me. To share in the lives of others, for my experience and the emotions and events, joys and sorrows, beauty and losses that I've gone through, to colour the lives of others and bring a lasting gift.

In a way, my writing is my own "happy ever after". The one I never had, and which sometimes I miss with such intensity. Perhaps, having lost it, the pure pleasure of being able to "give it" to others is that much keener.

For all of us, "happy ever after" is simply a moment in time. Through my writing, I get to make it "timeless". I get to celebrate every minute of it. And, most of all, I get to create a place where the beauty of it will live forever.

That is the true joy of my craft.

Take care, everyone, and thanks for sharing with me.


Judah Raine
Still Running, The Look and A Thick Black Line


Lindsay Townsend said...

This is a powerful, heart-felt, very poignant blog, Judah. I read it and feel so very sad for your loss. Yet I also understand why you write romance - yours is a very generous, loving gift.

Thank you.

Linda Banche said...

Judah, there are too few like like you. Most people who've suffered become miserable and drag the innocent down with them. Only the best take loss and turn it into something wonderful.

Savanna Kougar said...

Judah, so beautifully said and written.
I won't add anything from my life story.
I'll just let your as Lindsay said ~ "powerful, heartfelt" words stand.
Thank you.

Bekki Lynn said...

Very beautiful post, Jude. Thank you for sharing it with us.