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the language of roses

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People have been asking about the meanings of the various rose colors and flowers mentioned in The Language of Roses. I thought about doing a multi-part social media campaign, like I did with the lead-up to the book release, but then figured it made more sense to put it all in one place.

Happy book birthday to my thorny little fairy tale! I'm really enjoying seeing posts from readers as they devour their copies -- some have even gotten their hands on hard copies already, which is ahead of me! (I'm waiting to do my ceremonial post-release re-read until I have the physical copy and can enjoy the interior illustrations.) Most likely, if you're reading this blog, you're already a fan of some subset of my writing. So I'm going to do a big ask, even though I always feel very self-conscious about this sort of thing.

Back in the Spring of 2017, I was invited to join a "girls go to Disneyland" trip by some local friends. At the end of the visit, a bunch of us took in the newly released live-action Disney "Beauty and the Beast." That got me thinking about how the B&B "script" is replayed time and again in media, even when people claim to be subverting the story, I got to pondering. And the pondering turned into some characters. And the characters turned into a story.

I’ve gotten in the habit of doing a year-end summary of my creative output, if only to convince myself that I really have accomplished something after all. It’s funny: people have a tendency to react as if I’m boasting, or making the lists to try to make other people feel bad. But for me it’s an emotional survival tool. What have I done? What do I have to show for all the time, energy (and money) I’ve poured into the projects of my heart? Am I putting those resources into things that bring return? The intangible returns are the connections and friendships I make.

It’s funny how some stories just demand to be written while others are content to noodle around in the back of your brain for a while. I actually have a handful of in-process short fiction at the moment that is waiting for me to decide that a specific story really needs to get finished. But “The Language of Roses” wasn’t quite as patient. It’s also a different length than I’ve ever written before, though goodness knows, when I’m not paying attention to length, any of my short stories has the potential to turn into a novella!

Readers and writers both have strong opinions about point of view, even when that strong opinion is, “Any point of view can work if you’re skilled enough.” I’ve heard authors proclaim that they’ll only use one specific type of point of view because that’s the only one that works for them. Fair enough. One can’t argue with what works.

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