I’ve been whipping through various cities, all of them freezing cold, and some of them buried in snow. I love snow until it gets messy, and this is the time of year when we’re all a little tired of winter and gray weather, but spring still seems like it’s a long way off in most places. And this time of year is always a good time for me to work. And I’ve been busy at my desk, writing and editing.
I suddenly realized that Valentine’s Day is only days away, which I always face with a little trepidation, sweet memories, and a bit of hope. I have a sweet piece I wrote in the February issue of Harper’s Bazaar this month, about when my husband John, (father of eight of my nine children, whom I was married to for 17 years) proposed to me on Valentine’s Day. I’d have to say that that was my best Valentine’s Day, with the most successful results (despite the divorce 17 years later, we stayed very close in spite of it). And we shared some great Valentine’s Days in between. And my husband after that filled a hotel room with roses and rose petals on Valentine’s Day, and we were married 6 weeks later, and we remain very close and good friends too. So I really can’t complain. Two great Valentine’s Days in one lifetime is a pretty good score, even if the other Valentine’s Days were not quite as romantic or exciting, and sometimes downright dull. One of my daughters, who is currently not involved with anyone, said the other day with a look of disgust, “It’s a stupid day, designed to make us feel awful and like losers if we don’t have a boyfriend”. She has a point there too. It’s a day when those of us who are not in relationships stick out like rocks in a stream, as the waters flow around us. I told you several years ago in a blog about the year Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday and I went to church, where the priest asked everyone in couples to stand up so the rest of us could applaud them, and they handed each couple two roses, while the rest of us slunk out of church alone and empty handed, even more depressed than when we came in. No roses for the ‘losers’!!! I complained to the priest afterwards and said that we should have gotten the roses to make us feel better, the couples had each other. But on Valentine’s Day, the world celebrates lovers, and the rest of us eat chocolates we buy ourselves as consolation. It’s an easy day to feel sorry for ourselves if our love life isn’t as we wish it would be. And let’s face it, EVERY year can’t be romantic, and a lot of men think Valentine’s Day is silly, and don’t always pay adequate homage to it, in their wives’ and girlfriends’ opinions. So don’t feel totally alone if your man/or woman doesn’t make a big deal of it. Personally, I love Valentine’s Day, with the right person, in the right circumstances. If not, well, that’s how it is, this year, but not necessarily forever. There’s always next year, which may be a whole lot better, and just as you wish!!! Dreams DO come true!!
I hope your Valentine’s Day is lining up as a real winner, with wonderful surprises in store, maybe even a proposal, or at least a romantic evening!!! I am buried in work at the moment, so I have a feeling that mine will involve me and a box of chocolates at my desk, but you never know. Prince Charming may be lurking out there somewhere, if he isn’t at home watching sports on TV. I have a busy week ahead before that, with a business trip to visit some of the big distributors of my books. It’s something I’ve never done before, but a good thing to do, to meet the people who make a big difference in my work life, and work hard for me, even though we never see each other. So I thought it was a good time to get out there, meet them, and say thank you. So many people are part of the process before my books actually reach you. Editors, publishers, wholesalers, distributors, bookstore owners, supermarket chains, shippers, truckers, printers, book binders, the art departments who come up with the covers, PR people. The list of those involved is dizzying, and I rarely have an opportunity to meet any of them, or thank them. So I’m taking a couple of days to do it. It’s new for me, exciting, and a little scary to get out in the big world, and meet new people as part of the business process. It’s a lot easier staying cozily at home, in a couple of warm ratty old sweaters or my nightgown, at my desk, writing the books for you. That’s the fun part for me. But it seems appropriate to thank some of the people involved, that neither you nor I ever see, but are an important part of the process too.
I was reading some of your responses to my blogs the other day, and some of what you wrote moved me to tears. It means so much to me to know that the books are meaningful to you, that they helped you in some way, and resonated, or that you just had fun with them and enjoyed them. And although I can’t answer all the comments, please please know how much they mean to me and touch me. I am sooooooo very grateful for your support, your kindness, your loyalty, and your very generous words. Writing a book is a very solitary process, you pull the story out of your head, and the feelings out of your gut and heart, weave it all together, and spend a long time writing, re-writing and polishing it, and send it out in the atmosphere like a balloon floating through the skies, and hope that it lands in the right hands, of someone who will care about it, and love it, and that it will have meaning to. It touches me deeply and means the world to me to know that the books mean a lot to you too.
There are a lot of other options to reading books these days, far more than there used to be, most of them on the Internet. You can watch movies at home, send photos on Instagram, tweet, watch funny videos, play video games, or look for the love of your life on Internet dating. Or just hang out at home, watch TV, or play with your dog. People don’t read as much as they used to, so your reading the books is very important to me, given all the other distractions we all have. And the world is serious business these days, with drama happening every time we turn on the news. I still love relaxing, and even escaping, with a good book, and I’m glad and grateful that you do too!!! And I’m very, very grateful that you read mine.
So I hope that this Valentine’s Day will be the best one ever for you—–full of romance and roses and chocolates, and hopefully dinner with someone you’re crazy about. And if not, there is always next year!!! Life is so full of wonderful surprises, that’s the best part of it, you never know what’s going to happen, and even if you’re watching TV alone at home this year, you may be madly in love with someone fantastic next year. You really never know what life has in store, at any age or stage of life, and something wonderful may be just around the corner. And please know that whatever happens, wherever you are, year after year, you are my Best Valentine every year!!!!
with all my love, Danielle