Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Protesting Hallmark

I'd really hoped to get this love-fest kicked off yesterday, but I couldn't physically get to my computer. I'd like to say I was here

or here,

but honestly, my day was filled with all manner of need-to-do instead of want-to-do. To make up for it, the luuuve posts will extend daily through the weekend. What could be more exciting to a romance novelist than a holiday to celebrate love?

I hear you naysayers. The glass-half-empty people in the back. Yeah, you. Is Valentine's day a commercialized juggernaut meant only to perpetuate feelings of guilt and obligation? Yes. Do we all become a bit misty at the thought of a day to remind us of what truly matters in this lifetime? Absolutely.

So with that in mind, you'll find six days of posts dedicated to love in a decidedly non-juggernaut way. That uniquely romantic strand in a romance novelist's DNA? If you don't have it already, you'll own it after these posts. If you've been around here for any length of time, you know how much I love the raw honesty of a love letter. What better way to begin a Vortex love fest than by reading love letters crafted by some of the greatest writers in history? See if you can guess the authors:

July, 1943


You want to know what I want of you. Many things of course, but chiefly these. I want you to keep this thing we have inviolate and waiting-the person who is neither I nor you but us.


May 12, 1869

Out of the depths of my happy heart wells a great tide of love and prayer for this priceless treasure that is confided to my life-long keeping.

You cannot see its intangible waves as they flow toward you, darling, but in these lines you will hear, as if it were, the distant beating of its surf.

Forever yours,


Thursday, September 24, 1903

Nay, nay, dear Love, not in my eyes is this love of ours a small and impotent thing. It is the greatest and most powerful thing in the world. The relativity of things makes it so. That I should be glad to live for you or to die for you is proof in itself that it means more to me than life or death, is greater, far greater, than life or death.

That you should be the one woman to me of all women; that my hunger for you should be greater than any hunger for food I have ever felt; that my desire for you should bite harder than any other desire I have ever felt for fame and fortune and such things;-all, all goes to show how bug is this, our love.

As I tell you repeatedly, you cannot possibly know what you mean to me. The days I do not see you are merely so many obstacles to be got over somehow before I see you. Each night as I go to bed I sigh with relief because I am one day nearer to you. So it has been this week, and it is only Monday that I was with you. Today I am jubilant, my work goes well. And I am saying to myself all the time, "Tonight I shall see her! Tonight I shall see her!"

My thoughts are upon you always, lingering over you always, caressing you always in a myriad of ways. I wonder if you feel those caresses sometimes!

Ah Love, it looms large. It wills my whole horizon. Wherever I look I feel you, see you, touch you, and know my need for you...I love you, you only and wholly...I clutch for you like a miser for gold, because you are everything and the only thing.

I know I am 27, at the high-tide of my life and vigor. I write these words to show you how large to me, in the scheme of life, bulks this love of ours.
Is there anything more romantic than reading a man's complete devotion to a woman? Okay, maybe a photo of a guy rescuing kittens from a flood, but I digress. I hope the words of these famous writers have started your ideas flowing. If you partake in any Vortex suggestion this luuuuve week, let it be this one: write your own card/note. Some greasy bohunk or hausfrau who made fifty bucks to write that greeting card can't come within a galaxy of expressing your true feelings. Belting out a Journey riff when you open it up won't cut it either. Take your cue from the gifted writers above and dig deep.
Leave your author guesses here...answers Wednesday
Tomorrow: But I live in Gnaw Bone, Indiana! How Romance is Possible Anywhere. Even Cabela's.


Charles Gramlich said...

It's awfully hard to find totally new ways to express one's love for someone. Lana and I have discovered some pretty good ways, though.

the walking man said...

John Doeye

Sam Sap

Jack Trapped

If I were to even consider sending or writing something like this to the old lady I would be a widower because she would die laughing.

Personally I'd like to keep her around for a bit yet because she is the only one who knows how to run the washing machine.

Katie Reus said...

I don't have a clue who the authors are but that last one made me tear up a little. Thanks for sharing these letters.

Pamela Cayne said...

*sigh* What a way to start Valentine's week. Shouldn't romance writers get this week off as a paid holiday or something?

L.A. Mitchell said...

@Charles-sometimes it doesn't have to be *new* and different. The best expressions of love are sometimes found in tradition :)

@walkingman-if I didn't know your poetry and your adoration for the women in your life, I'd say you need a serious romance make-over. What a delightfully grizzled sense of humor you have ;)

@Katie-Jack's was sweet. I'll post the answers later today.

@Pam-I'm thinking that's a great idea. Paid vacation :)

L.A. Mitchell said...


1. John Steinbeck to his wife, Gwendolyn

2. Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) to Olivia Langdon, his future wife

3. Jack London to the love-of-his life, Charmain Kittredge