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Welcome to The Inkwell, the blog site of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) of Colorado.

Each week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can find a wide variety of topics and insight
from inspiration to instruction to humor and more!

For detailed information on ACFW, click here to visit their main website.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Romance is Everywhere!

Yes, yes. It's true. And I'm not just saying that because yesterday was Valentine's Day. Although, to be honest, it does feel like we get inundated with love and romance, hearts and flowers, chocolates and candy, and everything else that is supposed to remind us of love around this day.

As a romance author, you would think I'd relish the thought. But in all honesty, it somewhat annoys me. Now, before you gasp, let me explain.

Far too often, when I tell people I write romance, their mind automatically goes straight to the type of "romance" that requires a PG-13 or higher rating. They get a picture in their head of a scantily-clad woman draped across the muscled arms of a bare-chested brute with flowing locks clasped together in a rather telling embrace. And that's just the cover! Nevermind what you'll find within the pages of the book. Phew! I'm fanning myself just typing about this.

What's sad is that for a majority of people, that's what romance has become to them. If it's not full of lust, sex, or frequent and expensive/trivial gifts, it's not romance. And my heart breaks at that reality.

If you ask me, I think television, movies, books and media, have ripped away the joys of true romance and caused us to have a rather distorted view of it. Think about TV shows. How many can you name where once the main couple got together, the show died? Or how many movies end with the lead couple sharing their first kiss or consummating their relationship?

Romance is so much more than all of that!

And it can be quite an exhilarating adventure to discover all the many wonderful and delightful nuances associated with the concept. It's in the look, the smile, the touch, the selfless gesture, the thoughtful gift, the assistance with the mundane that gives the other person a much-needed break, the little note left on the front seat of the car or tucked into the lunch bag to be opened at work. It can be wrapped in a surprise getaway or found in a common everyday place around the house.

To me, romance is the little things that happen in a relationship to make it stronger, despite struggles, disagreements and difficult decisions. Life comes at you hard. Romance helps keep you going each day.

And the best part of all? Even if you don't have a spouse of significant other in your life, you can have the greatest romance of all time with your Heavenly Father. His words of love and commitment are tucked within the pages of the Bible, available for your reading pleasure and spiritual awakening/renewal whenever you need it. And He'll always be there, never leaving you, no matter what.

That's the biggest reason I love writing romance. Because the earthly evidence of it merely reflects the love God has for each one of His children. Where do you think romance originated in the first place? And to think...I have the honor and privilege of depicting that love and romance in each one of my books. Life just can't get any better. :)

So, what about you? What are some specific examples of romance in your life that step outside the "norm" or are special to you when they might not be viewed as romance by others? Please share with us. Perhaps they'll spark some new ideas for romance in some of our books. :)

* images used are used with permission from the following sources:,,, and

Tiffany Amber Stockton is an author, online marketing specialist and freelance web site designer who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart. They have 1 daughter and a border collie. She has sold eight books so far to Barbour Publishing, is a columnist for the ACFW e-zine and writes other articles as well. Read more about her at her web site:


Tammy Doherty said...

Oh, I so agree with you! In addition to the things you list, TV commercials (especially around now) drill it into us that if our significant other doesn't give us hugely expensive gifts then it's not love. What a load of "organic matter produced by cows"!!

My example of something hubby does that shows he really loves me is a little disgusting. But here goes: when I'm sick, he takes care of me - even to the point of keeping my hair out of the way while I puke my guts out. Now if that doesn't say "I love you"...!!!

Carla Gade said...

Romance is when my husband shovels the snow off the car for me, when he picks up the groceries, when he shows interest in what I'm doing, when he could complain and doesn't. I've come to realize the way he shows love isn't always in candles and chocolates (although he is romantic in that way too), but I need to understand the way he is trying to show he loves me is sometimes in the practical things of life. I find that very romantic when I recognize what he is doing and I appreciate him so much for it.

Kathy Kovach... said...

So true, Tiff! It's no wonder that our youth think nothing of hopping into bed with someone before they even know their last name. It's everywhere on TV and movies. (Join me in praying for the salvation of Hollywood and Broadway!)

My hubby asks me every night before he gets ready for bed if there's anything he can do for me. This used to bother me. Like dripping water on my forehead, night after night. "Is there anything you need me to do." When I asked (okay, confronted) him about it he said that's how he shows his love for me. He said there is so little he feels he can do, but what he can do is meet my daily mundane needs. Sigh.

He also kisses me goodbye every morning and tells me he loves me. Sometimes I'm awake, sometimes not, but he always, without fail does this. He told me it's because he never wants a day to go by that he doesn't say it, and if something should happen to him while he's out, (God forbid,) he knows he's assured me that he loves me. Huge sigh.

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Yeah, Stu asks me that all the time too. He said he's happy to help but he's not home all day (besides sleeping, less hours than when he's at work) so he doesn't know what needs to be done. All I have to do is ask. And he kisses me every morning before leaving too, as well as at night before we both go to sleep.

It's those little things like emptying the dishwasher or folding the laundry or wiping down the bathroom sink or cooking breakfast that speak true romance to me. Sometimes, it's just a hug when I need it.

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