It’s Birthday Bash! One of the most wonderful times of the year, right? We love this time, and know you do too.
So, yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Some love it, some don’t. As a romance author, I do love Valentine’s Day. Not that I expect anything fancy, or even to go out with my husband. If you want to know the truth, I’m a card girl. Just give me a card. A meaningful card. One that says I love you somehow, and I’m a happy Valentine’s Day girl.
So, onto today’s post.
I rented a movie on Amazon Prime. I will not say the name of the movie, but it was a romance. It wasn’t good. But I’m glad I watched it. Why you ask?
Because I just finished a book requested by an editor. (I don’t have a contract, just a request.) I’ve let it sit for a couple of weeks while I went on vacation. I like to do that, then dig in deep to do the final edit. The movie reminded me of all the things to look for.
Transitions—When you leave the hero/heroine in an emotional state at the end of one scene don’t pop into the next scene with them in a totally different mood without an explanation. The heroine can’t leave the party mad at the hero and the next time she sees him she’s smiling and happy to see him. That leaves the reader confused. (Am I right?)
Emotional draws (or attempting) that have nothing to do with the story—The hero or heroine see something/someone from their past, and it causes them to become sentimental and pour out their heart to the hero or heroine, only to have that particular aspect be unrelated to the story. Why waste pages on something, even if it’s emotional, when it has nothing to do with the story. (I’ll check out my emotional pasts angles and making sure they relate!)
How many tropes can you have in one story? I know writers use more than one trope in stories sometimes, but there is a limit. Too many and they all lose meaning. It’s hard to have a boss/client, city to rural hometown, love triangle (misconstrued even), fake girlfriend, hometown hero lies to town, and more and have them have impact on the story. (I’ll be counting my tropes!)
The dress as your favorite book character high school reunion dance and neither the hero or heroine ever talk about this and even though they’re in a big fight they both show up separately to the dance in full costume. Huh? (I’ll be looking at my events and making sure the reader knows how these things came about.)
These are just a few of the aspects of the movie that caused me, (and my husband, which never happens) to pause and look at each other quizzically.
Even though I’m up there in age, I’m still learning and growing as a writer. My books probably have some of those things I mentioned above in them at some point, but as we grow, we learn, and we can catch them, and make the story better. I’ve learned from a lot of great writers as well as through workshops, online classes, and conversations.
We’ll have a fun comment section today. Either tell me about how your Valentine’s Day went, (or what you love and don’t love about it), or a recent great book you’ve read, or an area you are still learning and growing in. Since it’s Birthday Bash month, one commenter chosen at random will receive a $10.00 Amazon gift card.
I’m really still learning to show love and compassion to my enemies… or to people who in general are “enemies” for many like criminals.
Or just unpleasant people who are not interested in being nicer or better. Especially when the constant message we get from society is how much fun revenge is.
Oh sure I know we are all sinners who need grace and the blood of Christ but knowing it and feeling it are two different things.
Lilly—-Yes, society is counter-cultural to Kingdom living. And you’re right, knowing and feeling it are different. Congrats on working on something that is natural to us as humans, but Christ provides us with the fruits of the spirit to help combat these types of feelings and behaviors. Thank you for sharing.
Lori R says
My Valentine’s day was fine. I had to sub and the kids were so sweet. I got a surprise phone call from my son in the evening that made my day.
Lori–Ah!! Surprise phone calls from sons are awesome. My son doesn’t care for Valentine’s Day–Boo!! But, I know you were thrilled at the call. Thank you for sharing!
Hi Lindi! This is my 8th year to enjoy the Inspy Romance Birthday Bash. This avid reader is so thankful for the talented and generous Inspy Romance authors. It is fitting that I just finished reading Toni Shiloh’s In Search of a Prince and Teresa Tysinger’s Suddenly Forever. As a retired teacher and pastor’s wife, I am a life long learner. Not many CCR are set in Africa. Our church conference had Nigerian missionaries, so Toni Shiloh’s story had me researching more about Nigeria. As we grow, mature, and change so do nations. Suddenly Forever was the first book I read by Teresa Tysinger. I always enjoy a story with grandmas and 93 year old Ina reminded me of my mother. I enjoyed the fall lake setting. The imagery was implicit.
Hubby and I enjoyed a low key Valentine’s Day at home. Best wishes.
Hubby and I
Renate—Happy 8th year with us! You are an inspiration to us. I just received Toni’s book in the mail—I’m looking forward to reading it. Did you see there is a sequel? Yay! I haven’t read Teresa’s book. Thank you for the recommendation. I love your heart for people and the Kingdom!
kim hansen says
Just another day for me. Busy.
Kim—I know what you mean. I worked, stopped by with some things for my step-mom. Left overs for dinner. Thank you for stopping by Inspy!
Jeannette Harbottle says
I have just finished reading Autumn MacArthur’s book ” The Real Thing “. What struck me was how often we miss out on God’s best for us ,and just real friendships, because we wear a mask and pretend to be something other than we really are!
Jeannette–Love book recommendations! Being who God created us to be is the best we can be. Thank you for sharing!
I’m reading Patrica Bradley’s Logan point series. I’m on book 2. She’s got a new fan!
JCP–Whoo!! We’ll have to check out her books.
Kimberly Rose Johnson says
Hi Lindi, I enjoyed your post. My most recent great read was by Toni Shilo In Search Of A Prince. I listened on audio and seriously enjoyed it.
Kimberly-Yes! I can’t wait. It’s on my side table in the living room—I did read the first few pages because I couldn’t wait. I love her writing. Thank you for sharing.
Paula Marie says
We don’t do much for Valentine’s Day and always eat at home!
Paula—I think you have the right idea. No wait, less expense, more time to enjoy each other’s company.
Valentine’s Day was no different than any other day for me! I spent the day reading a romantic suspense, doing some embroidery, going to a routine doctor’s appointment, riding my bike, and proofreading a book. I have to say, I can relate very well to you with the movie! I spent Christmas with friends last year, and we watched quite a few Christmas movies. My friend had never seen White Christmas, so we watched it, and she LOVED it! Then, we watched a few others. One, we turned off because of how it was going. However, we found another one that continued into two other movies, and in each there were things going on that she and I didn’t solve until they did, and they were surprises to us, too! So, we were really pleased with those!
Trudy—A Valentine’s routine day! I love it. Mine was that way, too. And I LOVE White Christmas. Love, love it! Thank you for sharing. And I do love the Hallmark Christmas movies. There are several I’ve seen time and time again, and they never get old. :)
Lori Smanski says
Welcome today. Our valentine day was laid back and relaxing. We went to lunch and then picked up a movie. And yes our movie was so much fun. No romance but fun. We spent the evening together and just hung out.
Lori–Sounds like a perfect day to me. Spending time together is the best way to celebrate every day. Thank you for sharing!
Elizabeth Litton says
The most recent book I read was The Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen. It was a good one!
Elizabeth—Ah—Love Julie’s book. :) Thank you for the recommendation!!
Kendra Muonio says
Yesterday was just a regular day for my family we don’t really do anything big for Valentine’s day and I’m still single so didn’t have a Valentine’s unless u could count my 3 year old brother and my 1 year old sister.I have been reading love inspired books I just finished 4/6 of the February 2022 love inspired books and they were really good.
Kendra—They definitely count! How sweet–and I’m reading the Feb LI’s as well. Good so far. :)
Deb Galloway says
I didn’t do anything different yesterday but also have no significant other. I can’t remember the last ‘pleasure book’ I read. I am doing two new Bible studies right now that I’m thoroughly enjoying all I am learning from! I’ve also been working on an editing job that is taking a lot of concentration for me. I put it up yesterday to do a regular ARC. I will be finishing that and sending corrections today, then back to the non-fiction. I do love reading books that make me curious enough to look up facts for myself, probably why I enjoy historical fiction mixed in with romance. I watch very few movies anymore and any TV I watch is usually true crime shows. I will watch some movies made from books but always read first, almost always preferring the books. I think I like to read books that make it easy to envision the settings on my own. That way I feel like my eyes are reading but it is a movie in my head….a two in one!
Deb–Sounds like a full schedule for sure. I can’t watch crime dramas, but do listen to real crime podcasts…just typing that makes me see I need to reevaluate something there, right? Bible studies are always ongoing with me….I love learning more about the heart of God.
Priscila Perales says
Hi Lindi! It’s funny how we can learn from pretty much anything so long as we’re willing enough to do it. :) Yesterday my mom decided to bake a cake to celebrate as a family, so it was a fun time with a yummy treat. :)
Priscila—Fun times and yummy treats! That works!!
Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds says
I’m currently reading Mrs. Witherspoon Goes to War and really enjoying it. Have a blessed day.
Hi Lucy!! Thank you for the recommendation. Have you ever read Rosamund Pilcher? Just curious. I love her!
Valentine’s Day was good! My dad bought my family a whole bunch of food to celebrate my mom so that was great!
Angeline—Food! What a great way to celebrate. I’m glad you had a good day.
Kathleen Mattingly says
My husband and I haven’t exchanged gifts for Valentines Day for years. We just tell each other “ happy Valentine’s Day” and give each other a kiss. That takes care of it! 😊
Kathleen-We’re the same way with gifts. But I do love a good card. :)
Valentines Day isn’t as big in Australia. Its bigger than it use to be but still not like in America. What I dislike being single is the emphasis on the day and I have noticed on forums, etc the question is always what did you do, are you doing and the assumption is everyone is married, in a relationship etc. Most of these places totally forget there are single people on the forums, lists etc. Some will actually make a point to include singles but many forget. As its never been a big deal for me I don’t have a big issue until its pointed out. (Doesn’t help having a birthday coming up where I will probably be alone as its on a Saturday.) At times it can make a single feel lonely, unloved, inadequate and inferior a little like mothers day can for childless couples who desperately want to be parents. That is partly how I was feeling by the end of the day.
On the movie I have Amazon Prime and I had a couple of Christmas movies I started and thankfully hadn’t paid for cos I just couldn’t handle them. I disliked the heroine she was just so intense in her work and life. The hero was so nice, happy and what ever she said he smiled and was too nice. I know she was going to change but I just couldn’t get past the dislike at the beginning to go further. In fact both I quit were the same the Heroine was so intense and rude and intitled. (If the hero was the same I would have had the same reaction). I admire you persevering and glad you can use it as a learning tool.
I have taken on Secretary for a volunteer group (Hospital auxiliary) I am learning and yesterday the president was away and the vice president and I are both new and we forgot things. Thankfully we were able to fix them but because of both being new and while we knew what was needed we were both flustered. I learnt I need to have my own agenda of what I have to make sure is done in future.
Jenny–You are so right when it comes to assumptions on Valentine’s Day. I think that’s why the Galentines is so big now. Girls sticking together!! And on those movies—geez—I’m glad you didn’t pay. At least you can stop watching with only a time loss. :)
And yay for new volunteer positions this year. And look, like me, you’re still learning in the process.
Thank you always for your comments!
Alicia Haney says
Hi, my Valentines Day was very nice, I had my 2 grandchildren that live in our same town here , I gave them their Catechism lesson and my granddaughter went and cooked cookies with her friend that lives across from my house and my grandson stayed and ate lunch with me, after my grandson and I had lunch here at my house my son in law picked him up. My husband is not here, he went out of state, he’s dad (my father in law passed away a week ago) I did take my pup for his usual morning walk, so we had a nice walk. Thank you for the chance. Have a great rest of the week and stay safe. I enjoyed reading your post.
Alicia—How awesome to spend the day with your grandchildren. I’m sorry to hear about your father in law’s passing. Thank you for the encouragement on the post.
It was a low key day here. My husband had an all-day program to attend, so I was home alone for most of the day. That really was fine with me since I needed to play “catch-up” on some personal projects.
Who knew that watching that not-so-great movie would help you zero in on potential writing faults?
Mary—Yes, who knew? Again, I love that I’m still learning and can spot probably earlier mistakes and see new things. And Yay for catching up on projects. I’ve got too many in my back pocket.
I enjoy spending time at home with my family. I got special treats for my kids to celebrate Valentines.
Susanne–Family time is the best. :)
Mary Preston says
A quiet Valentine’s Day, which is exactly how I like it.
Mary—there’s a lot to be said for quietness. I love the quiet.
Amy Perrault says
My Valentine’s Day was a nice dinner with my family & watching a nice Netflix series. We had nice family time. I find it’s more of a money grabbing for flowers & chocolate time. I also spent a lot of time at night reading a new book called “Screwed”.
Amy—I agree about the money grabbing aspect of the holiday. Book reading and series watching. Sounds like a great day with family.
Sylvain P says
I mainly did my regular day but had time with my family. I find it’s a good day to celebrate when starting a relationship but as it gets stronger like mine we both find it a waste of money due to buying things for each other other times. I’m reading a book called, “Alfie the Captain of Ottawa Senators”. It’s from the older days.
Sylvain—Oooh–thank you for the book recommendation. I love reading older books, too.
Jessica B. says
I didn’t really do anything for Valentine’s Day, other than wear some heart earrings and a red sweater, lol. I am currently reading Under Scottish Stars by Carla Laureano and can’t wait to see how the ending is resolved.
Jessica—I love the fashion accents, here. Thank you for the book recommendation. I hope there are twists and turns at the end…..or maybe not? Ha!
SARAH Taylor says
I had a nice Valentine’s Day as I spent it with My Daughter and my Grandchildren Have a Blessed Day!
Sarah-Sounds like a beautiful day!
Caitlyn Santi says
As a single woman who has never been in a relationship (though I would love to get married one day if the right man comes along) Valentine’s Day can be tough, because it feels like world culture is telling me I’m less-than and that I don’t matter because I’m not yet married. And even though I know those are lies I often fall into the trap of believing them, but God is so amazing and He always reminds me that He loves me more than I can possibly comprehend and that I don’t have to work harder and do more in order to matter, I matter because He says I do, and nothing and no one can change that!
One of the ways He reminded me of this over Valentine’s Day was when I had the opportunity to watch Redeeming Love (via on demand) It was a powerful experience and filled my heart with the joy that comes when you know you are loved and accepted completely! Such a blessing! ❤️
Caitlyn–Such wise words!! Yes, true love stems from God–he is love in all ways. And so true that he has already done for us everything we need. I remember reading Redeeming Love–powerful and moving. Thank you for sharing!
Jan Hall says
I had a good day. A girlfriend of mine who is single and I went to town and bought ourselves flowers and sweets. I also bought flowers for my husbands grave.
Jan—-A bittersweet day, I can tell. For me also. My father passed away on Valentine’s Day. We cherish the memories, and continue to love. I love that you and a friend treated yourselves to a day of fun. Thank you for sharing!
My Valentine’s Day was beautiful. My husband picked very thoughtful gifts that brought back memories of past moments between us and also that lead into our future together as well.
I am currently doing Prsicilla Shirer’s Armor of God Bible study and it’s teaching me alot about how God has given us everything we need to keep the enemy from getting a foothold in our lives and our homes.
Dora—Sounds amazing and thoughtful! That’s awesome. And yes, we need to keep the enemy far away from our lives and homes. :) Thank you for sharing.
Since my husband works the early day shift, I snuck his Valentine’s card & a small bag of tootsie rolls (his favorite) on his desk the night before so he’d see it when he got up. He made me a homemade card written with his own love words & bought me some gourmet chocolates from our favorite candy shop. The highlight was having dinner at our local Chinese restaurant & seeing the new Hercule Poriot movie at the theater (Death on the Nile). That was a rare treat! :-)
I’m finishing up a book today & am planning on reading Valerie Comers series (Cavanagh Cowboys). Starting with “Marry Me for Real Cowboy” a fake engagement story. I’ve read about three books with that troupe lately & they have me hooked! I can’t wait to dive into this, it’s going to be fun!
Trixi—How fabulous–and Agatha Christie to boot! Sounds like your husband is a romantic. Adding Valerie’s books to your day just made it that much better. And I’m working on a fake couple story–may turn engagement. :) So glad you love that trope—I do, too. Thanks for sharing about your day.
I just finished reading Plot Twist by Bethany Turner, and oh my gosh it was sooo good! It made my romcom loving heart so happy.
Megan—Thank you for the recommendation. :) It sounds like a page turner. Talk about enticing a reader with a title, right?
We always do something small for our kids and get pizza for dinner. It a win for me since I don’t have to cook!
Melynda–Sounds like a fun day for the kiddos and a relaxing day for mom. :)
Debra Pruss says
Thank you for sharing. My husband and I purchased cards, but did not exchange them until Wednesday night. My Mom called earlier in the day to tell us that she tested positive for Covid at the nursing home. We were both confused and upset. We did have a nice dinner. We feel that we show love to each other every day. We do not need a certain day to share extra love. God bless you.
Debra—Oh, no. Prayers for your mom. Yes, showing the love all year is certainly awesome…..I’m a card girl, too. :)
Natalya Lakhno says
We’ve had a desert date night in church ❤️
It was such a blessing!
Natalya—Wow–that sounds like fun!!
Akemi Furuyama says
My husband is in seminary and had class until 9:00 pm on Valentine’s Day, so we weren’t able to celebrate that day. But we were able to celebrate with a sushi & sashimi lunch at home the following day, homemade chocolate-covered strawberries, & a steak dinner later in the week. (I usually request steak or sashimi for any special occasion. 🥩 🍣)
But the thing that I was most grateful for was that my son who is in 1st grade (first time in fully in-person elementary school) overcame his fear of passing out valentines to his classmates and did it! God answered my husband & my prayer. 😅
Akemi—I love your Valentine’s Day story, and super love the story about your son. How awesome is that!! It’s amazing watching them come out of their shells little by little. And we all love when God answers prayers.
Thank you for sharing your story!!
Tracy Fritts says
I had to work. So it’s kinda just another day for me
Tracy—ditto here regarding the having to work. :) Thanks for visiting Inspy!
Sabrina Templin says
I had a nice Valentine’s Day. I got a few cards beforehand from friends in the mail and I received 3 beautiful roses and a handmade cookie from a friend.