Tag Archives: love

Goodbye, Old Friend

Not a happy day for us.

Sixteen and a half years old, Romeo left us today. I’m feeling quite down while my daughter says, “Are you sad? Do you miss Romeo? It’ll be okay. I love you.” Then she gives me a big hug. My four year old is stronger? But I’m not sure if she understands how final this is. 

I’ll be making a couple videos this weekend. One about Romeo and one about Tommy’s first day of school. Look for them when they’re done. 

My Daughter Amazes Me

Now more than four and a half years old, it’s hard to believe it’s been so long since she was a non-verbal baby. Now, she talks. She talks non-stop! It doesn’t matter if it’s in Japanese or English, she will continually talk until everyone is hoping she’ll be quiet for a few minutes.

The rate at which she’s acquired English is amazing. She’s become conversational in English, although her grammar is still odd. That’ll sort itself out over the next year, I think. She still lacks vocabulary, but she’ll learn quickly. School starts in September for her, so she’ll have a great opportunity to speak more.

But there’s something I’ve noticed this week. She can negotiate. She’s a bit manipulative. She’s stubborn. And she is very strong-willed. She wanted something to eat, and she asked for three of something (I don’t remember what!). But that was too much. We said just one. She settled on two, and we said okay. And tonight, while going to sleep, she was being so incredibly cute, I would’ve loved to have had the conversation on camera. She wanted to hold our hands, then she wanted my wife and I to hold hands. She said she loves us, and we’re her best friends. She was very happy to have us cuddling with her. She was happy to just be with us.

We’re doing something right. She’s actually quite generous. She’ll ask for some gummies, candy, or something else, and she’ll give everyone a piece. She likes to share. But she can be bull-headed and refuse to do things when we ask. I always have to talk to her about not listening to us, and she always apologises. Have to be stern with her sometimes. But in the end, she’s happy.

She’s my best friend.

Authors Answer 67 – The Challenge of Writing Romance

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, chocolates are soon to be eaten. Romance is in the air. But how easy is it to write romance? Some authors are not romantic, while others do it with ease. Making it believable is a challenge. Nothing worse than cheesy romance. How do our authors handle it?

Francesco_Hayez-RomeoandJulietQuestion 67 – Valentine’s Day is coming up. How do you handle the romantic aspect of writing in fiction?

D. T. Nova

The way that feels right to me.

The most involved romantic subplots I’ve written don’t follow many conventions of the actual romance genre.

One thing I do with particular intent is try not to treat any big step forward in a relationship as an “ending”. There are plenty of stories that do that that I like, and I don’t have an issue with any specific one of them; I just think it’s already common enough as it is, and plenty of other ways to handle things.

Eric Wood

Depends on what you mean by romance. I did write a story (which I did publish on blog titled “Dylann’s Waterfalls“) in which characters fell in love or more aptly were already in love and came to realize it through their friends. It was a nice, happy story with a bit of comedy. Think “When Harry Met Sally” kind of story. I attempted to write the kind of romance story my DW enjoys reading. The hot, sweaty, lusty kind. But they were on a secluded beach and ended up with sand where sand doesn’t belong and it wasn’t all that romantic so I quit. Perhaps if I read my DW’s books I could write it better.

Gregory S. Close

Just like hunting wabbits.  Vewy cawefuwwy.

I include romance in a story as dictated by the logical intersection of plot, circumstance and characterization.  I am often surprised which fictional characters in my head are attracted to each other.  But even when that happens, since I’m not writing romance-driven stories, I only include it if it’s instrumental to moving the plot forward, providing insight into character, or character growth.

Linda G. Hill

I have absolutely no problem writing romance – it’s what I do. It often even shows up in my horror stories.

Elizabeth Rhodes

The short answer is “not well.” I’m not a very romantic person and tend to shy away from romantic aspects in fiction. I made the attempt in a previous draft of Jasper and tried to turn Edward and Cynthia into a couple, but I scrapped it in the end because it didn’t feel right to me.

S. R. Carrillo

Romance, whether the primary focus of a story or not, I see as a major driving point. I love romance. I love watching people love each other. It says a lot about an author to exclude romance in any way, shape or form. Romance brings characters alive. Lots of other things do, too, but nothing can like romance can. I always seem to have it intertwined into the network of my plots, on some scale, either micro or macro – it’s there.

Paul B. Spence

I try to show that people in my stories have lives, even if I don’t always show all of it. My first novel has several romances, but very few sex scenes. I show that people that are in love, love each other, but my stories tend to be about big dramatic life-threatening/destroying events.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

I don’t really know how to answer this because I don’t really consider the romantic aspect of writing fiction to be something that I need to “handle”. I find that romance comes fairly easily to me. Maybe that’s because I’m not nearly as good at writing it as I think I am, but I’ve just always found the romantic scenes to be pretty simple. Mind you, I’m also the kind of writer who likes to torture the living hell out of her characters, so often romance turns into a great deal of misery, but…yeah…I should probably leave that right there.

Jean Davis

Ah, romance. I enjoy writing romance, well, in the dark and often snarky way that I do, but I don’t like to get too graphic. I prefer to let the reader’s imagination fill in the blanks. That puts me in the fade to black category of bringing romance to a its peak.

H. Anthe Davis

In my personal life, I’m not at all interested in romance, but I try not to let my nature influence my characters too much.  They all have their own wants and needs, so while my first book had nothing of the sort, the subsequent ones have seen relationships form, plus some brief not-quite-sex scenes.  It’s not obligatory though; I have several characters who are asexual or aromantic and quite willing to say that they’re not inclined. I think it’s an important part of character development either way (interested or non), but I haven’t made it a big part of the plot; in fact, the largest relationship-related storyline is the anti-romance between the protagonist and his (ex?)-girlfriend, who both need to figure some things out.  No Twu Wuv around here.

Allen Tiffany

Not well. 🙂 Not a strength of mine. Not sure how to do it other than to show genuine caring between the characters.

Jay Dee Archer

This isn’t a major concern considering the nature of what I write. I won’t say that I’m not going to write about romance, though. Of the four different series of books I have planned, three have nothing to do with romance, while my main project, Ariadne, will have some aspect of romance. However, it’s going to be more in the background. I don’t plan on writing romance scenes. I just leave it to the reader to imagine. Unless romance furthers the plot, it’s not necessary to my stories. But if it is integral to the plot, then I will include it.

How about you?

If you write, how do you depict romance in your writing? Or do you do any at all? Let us know in the comments below.

Best Conversation with My Daughter Ever

Every night, my daughter has a bedtime routine. First, I change her into her pajamas, then she brushes her teeth. She has a drink of water and uses the toilet. I then read a book with her. She’s actually learning to read now, which is great to see. And once that’s done, she lies down next to me and talks a bit.

Tonight, she had an amazing conversation with me. While she speaks almost entirely in Japanese, and I speak to her in English, we understand each other.

She talked about all of the people who are important to her. She started off by saying that she’s a big girl, her friend Tsuki is a big girl, and her mommy is a big girl. She then said that I was cool and her mommy was cute. Then she said she was cute, her cousin was cute, her friends were cute, her relatives were cute or cool (she still calls my mom, her grandmother, a boy or cool). Then she hugged me and said “Arigatou (Thank you).” She hugged me very tightly and talked a bit more about everyone. And then she said “Daddy daisuki (I love you, Daddy).” And finally, “Hontou ni arigatou (I really mean it, thank you).”

My heart has melted. I have the best daughter.

Authors Answer 26 – Impossible Love

Have you ever read a book and found one character you wished were real? A character you’d want to date? I’m sure many people have fallen in love (not real love, of course) with a character. Someone they thought would be a wonderful person if they actually existed.  Well, this intriguing topic comes to us from stomperdad. Linda G. Hill are absent for this month.


Question 26: If you could date any fictional character, who would you date?

H. Anthe Davis

I’m not the relationship type, but I am very fond of certain characters and would like to hang out with them, if only they weren’t all action-fantasy types and thus generally the epicenters of rampant death and violence.  I mean, I guess if I was in their world and had magical powers myself, it would be feasible, but then there’s the fact that most of the characters I like best are somewhat evil…

Elizabeth Rhodes

I honestly don’t have an answer for this one.  Maybe I’ve yet to meet a character that sparks my interest.  Maybe I’ve just avoided taking an interest to unavailable fictional characters.  I’m picky enough when it comes to people in the real world, so I can’t say that there’s any one character I would be interested in dating.

Amy Morris-Jones

This is a tough one! I don’t tend to think of characters in books as dateable when I’m reading, I guess! The first name that came to mind was Sydney Carton from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Okay, so he may perhaps have a bit of a self-esteem issue, but he’s willing to sacrifice himself so that the woman he loves can be happy. What woman can’t appreciate that kind of adoration?

Caren Rich

This would be a much harder question to answer if I had not started reading the Outlander series. I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve made up for it.  I just bought book 3.  Jamie Frasier, is a wonderful character.  He’s smart, handsome, and wears a kilt.  Not to mention deadly with a dirk.  What’s not to love?  On the other hand, James Bond would make for a great evening.  Handsome, suave, and deadly. Never a dull moment there.

Jean Davis

Because my favorite fictional men are usually up to no good, I’m going to restrain myself from dating them. I’d end up with a drained bank account, probably with nothing to wear but a bed sheet, and surrounded by people who want to kill me after the one they really wanted to kill left the building moments before, knowing they were on the way and having left me behind to stall them.

D. T. Nova

I can honestly say I don’t think about this kind of thing very much.

Maybe Nora Barlow from the Leviathan trilogy.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

For me, this is actually a really hard question, because there are so many fictional characters that I love wholeheartedly. My husband even has a mental list that he calls, “Tracey’s Boyfriends”, full of fictional characters and the actors who sometimes play them.

If I have to pick one for this question, I think I’ll go with Jon Snow from the Song of Ice and Fire series. He’s one of my favorite characters because he’s brave and bold, but he makes mistakes and does what he can to live with them, not to mention he’s incredibly loyal and sweet. I think he’d make an excellent date!

S. R. Carrillo

Geryon, from Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson. If I remember correctly, he gets his little red heart broken by Herakles, and he was such a wonderful, curious little dude that I’d love to heal him again. :3 Or Gideon from Gideon from Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I guess. I don’t know. I really don’t, like… like people enough to wanna date them.

Paul B. Spence

Either Lessa, from the Pern novels, or Clarissa MacDougall, from the Lensman novels.

Jay Dee Archer

I found this a surprising easy question to answer. There’s one character that came to mind as soon as I saw what this question was. When I was in university, I was into the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. One particular character from the Dragonsdawn novel had me intrigued. That’s Sallah Telgar. She was an all around good person who was very heroic. But despite the heroism, I felt that she was my favourite character from the book, and quite likely one of my favourite characters ever. I need to read the book again.

How about you?

Is there a character you’ve always thought was good to date if they were real? Let us know in the comments below.

Flash Fiction #13 – I’m an Idiot (Flash! Friday)

I joined another Flash! Friday, and this one was written while I had a headache and was rushed.  But it seems I’ve had some positive responses to it.  The requirement this time was a theme: a fleeting moment.  The photo prompt was a man walking in the rain with an umbrella.  Here’s my entry:

They approached each other, both holding umbrellas in the pounding rain.

If she asks me to stay, I will, he thought.

I wish he would stay, she thought.

They made eye contact and smiled. Gary’s heart thumped. He heard the heartbeat in his head. Hannah’s stomach twisted. The butterflies were very active.

Gary’s eyes drew downward, then locked onto Hannah’s.

“Hello,” he said. “It’s not so nice out, is it?”

Hannah nodded. “Pretty bad weather.” She touched her hair and sighed. “Uh,” she started.

“You know, it’s not the best weather to leave on a plane in,” he said.

“No, I don’t think so. You should—“

“I mean, it’s really depressing, not that it’s dangerous,” he added. “They always fly in rain.”

Hannah smiled. “Yeah. Look, Gary—“ She hesitated.

Gary cocked his head to the side. “Yes?”

She shook her head. “Mm-mm. It’s nothing.” They looked at each other. “No, it’s not nothing. Gary—“

Gary waited. He looked down at his watch.

“Gary, good luck. I’ll miss you,” she said. She looked calm, but held back a sob.

Gary looked down. “Good-bye.” He walked past her.

I’m an idiot, thought Hannah. Why didn’t I say something?

I’m an idiot, thought Gary. I thought she loved me.

Comments or questions are very welcome.  Thanks for reading!

Distracted, but for a Great Reason

I had plans tonight to do some serious work on blogging and editing a video for my vlog.  Well, it didn’t happen.  But you know what?  I’m fine with that.  There’s a very good reason.  Let me tell you a little story.

It was about 11:30 pm, and I was playing Papa Pear Saga on Facebook at the insistence of my daughter.  She loves to watch me play the game.  She thinks the buckets at the bottom of the screen are “kawaii.”  That’s Japanese for “cute.”  As I was playing, she became a bit distracted.  She didn’t want to watch anymore.  Instead, she started playing with me, being her cute self.

Things turned for the worse.  She bit my hand, and I told her to apologise.  She was defiant, and said, “No!”  I told her again to apologise.  Again, she said, “No!  Yada!”  Well, it was time for a time-out.  I put her in her time-out area, where she started crying and called for me.  I took her out of the time-out area and she said, “Sorry.”

We went back to the living room, and I sat down on the floor.  I asked her for a hug, and she came over and gave me a really big hug.  She then got up, and took my hand in hers and tried to pull me back to the sofa.  The game was still open on my computer, and she wanted to watch again.  So, I started playing once more.

However, she quickly tired of it and turned around and looked at me.  Then she said, “Dakko.”  That means “hug” or “hold me” in Japanese.  So, I picked her up, and she gave me the biggest hug.  She rested her chin on my shoulder and didn’t let go.  We sat there for a minute like that, and then she lifted her head.  She looked at me in the eyes and asked, “Mama?”  I told her that she was sleeping.

She put her head back down on my shoulder and continued to hug me.  After another minute, she lifted her head again and smiled at me.  Then she kissed me on my nose.  She smiled again.  I said, “Love you.”

She put her head on my shoulder and said, “Uv you.”

After a couple minutes, she was still and breathing slowly and steadily.  She’d fallen asleep.  I carried her to her bed and laid her down.

I love moments like that.  It doesn’t matter that I didn’t get anything done.  Time with my daughter like that is well worth it.

Good night, Tommy.

Nothing Beats Being a Parent

I wrote this for my parenting in Japan blog, and thought I’d share it with all of you. If you’re a parent, I’m sure you feel the same way.

She is one of the reasons I write. She’s why I’m working so hard now on my writing.

Foreign Dad in Japan

Nothing can prepare you for parenthood.  Absolutely nothing.  When I became a parent, I felt something I’ve never felt before, something that is incredibly difficult to describe in words.  I can’t compare it with anything.

My daughter was born 1 year, 9 months, and 28 days ago.  On Monday, she’ll be 22 months old.  It’s been a roller coaster ride.  She’s been a newborn, a baby who couldn’t do anything on her own, a baby who could roll over, a baby who could crawl, a baby who could stand up, a baby who could walk, a toddler who could run, and now a toddler who can speak.  She hugs, she kisses, she holds hands.  When I come home from work, she smiles at me really big and runs to give me a hug while laughing.  When I get her out to the nursery driver, she waves and says “bye-bye.”  She…

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