Now More Than Ever

Sami Lee   December 9, 2016   2 Comments on Now More Than Ever

I haven’t posted in a while. After my last diatribe, I felt somewhat spent and in no condition to put words into sentences. But I’ve been thinking a lot during the last month about what I want, how I feel about the world and myself and life in general. Many of my thoughts are still crystalizing, but a few things have floated to the surface as truth

I so love vodka and Grey Goose is totally worth the extra $$$ if you have them

Music has gotten me through all of the worst times of my life and I don’t know how I would have coped without it.

The lyrics to an old John Mellencamp song keep running through my head and they seem apropos

If you believe
Won’t you please raise your hands
Let’s hear your voices
Let us know where you stand
Don’t shout from the shadows
Cause it won’t mean a damn
Now more than ever

Now more than ever
The world needs love
Not just a slogan
But the world needs love
Now more than ever
I can’t stand alone
Now more than ever

check it out for a blast from the past

I love music but cannot create it

I can, however, create stories. Books, like music and art and film and dance and all forms of storytelling and artistic expression, serve a purpose too. A purpose that seems to me to be more vital now than ever.hope

Books get people through tough times too. They salve emotional wounds, provide momentary escape from turmoil. They expand imaginations and allow people to see past a less than ideal reality to something better. Books can alter perception, educate, entertain and provide comfort. Books are important–and I’m not merely talking about ‘important’ books.

I’m going to say something controversial now. Be warned.

Romance novels are important books.

Much like my favourite songs, romance novels have provided me with an outlet, a salve, an escape, more times than I can count. I’ve no doubt many of you have taken the same kind of comfort in your favourite stories. There is nothing wrong with reminding ourselves that there is love in this world, and that it is a powerful force, one worth fighting for. It is the light in the darkness. Now more than ever, we need to hold onto the light so we don’t stumble around in the dark.

When I first began writing, it was at a time when I felt I had no control over my life at all. Writing gave me one thing I could control. My words, my characters. They were mine. Writing gave me a sense of purpose and a fledgling (and always fragile) sense of pride. The past year I lost that sense of purpose. In fact it had been slipping away from me for a long time, I was just too busy to stop and think about what its absence would mean.

What it meant was that in 2016 I burnt out. I repeatedly questioned my decision to write romance. I felt like I should be writing something more ‘important’, something that would change minds and expand realities. I questioned why I bothered to write at all. Perhaps I should be doing something more meaningful, something that would effect change in the world. What possible purpose could writing yet one more romance novel serve? How does it change anything for the better?

I’ll tell you how. Romance novels remind us of the essential things, the things we need more than any others including money, power or prestige. Love, integrity, honour, decency, family, friends, human connection and empathy. The only vision of the future I can accept is one where all these things exist as societal norms, not exceptions. There can never be too much love or understanding, so can there ever really be too many books that celebrate those things? Nah.

So maybe there is space in the world for a few more of mine.

hope-2

Slowly but surely I have begun to write again. I can’t guarantee where these words will take me but I know for damn sure they’re not meaningless. Writing about love is important. Creating relatable characters that overcome adversity and loneliness is important. People need hope, and positive character representations.

My books, I’m proud to say, do not glorify or normalise damaging attitudes toward women. My heroines are human beings with flaws but they are also unabashedly independent, snarky, funny and warm. They are people in their own right who choose to be with the men they fall for instead of feeling that they need to be with a man in order to be whole. It is important to me that these types of heroines exist in romance and I think my contribution means something.

My heroes, while they do act idiotically at times (because plot), respect women. They do not hit, molest, rape, grab or intimidate women. They do not think their own world view is the only one that matters. They are decent human beings. I’ve never been able to write a hero any other way, and I’m not going to start now. I’m going to continue writing these kinds of heroes because creating men who respect women seems critical to me.

Now more than ever.

life

Thank you for coming along on my 2016 journey, rough though it might have been at times. Here’s to better things next year. To rising above and being the light in the dark.

heart

Sami

2 thoughts on “Now More Than Ever

  1. Tory

    Darling Sami, hugs and what a wonderful post. I’ve been going through a very similar thing this year… and am starting to find the desire to write (and read) only now, and then very tentatively. At least this gift to write never leaves us, and even when we cant we always know its there, waiting for us to come back to it.
    Lots of love and vodka
    T

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