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Mar 5 2014

Since Becoming A Single Mom By Choice, My Idea of True Love Has Evolved

By at 4:27 pm

huppah

Imagine the scene yesterday: I needed to find one piece of paper, a particular form that will accelerate the process of renewing my daughter’s passport before we travel to the United States this July, for my younger brother’s wedding.

List-maker and Type A that I am, I thought I had the perfect system in place, and that finding this form would be easy-peasy. One hour later, I had opened every file cabinet and folder and drawer in the house, with a forest worth of paperwork covering every available space in the living room. My entire bureaucratic history in Israel exposed, the last 17 years of job applications, funny newspaper articles, and editorial cartoons from the New York Times, and all the fantasies I had constructed: the new car I cannot afford, the Canyon Ranch spa that represents the vacation I so desperately need, the novel I started one night after a particularly inspiring dream.

After another hour of digging through the chaos, I found the passport file, right next to THE WEDDING BOOK. Several envelopes containing a full set of plans for my Israel wedding, from the caterer to the diamond ring to the chocolatier, to the list of potential and acceptable music which would accompany me down the aisle (Either orchestral “Field of Dreams” soundtrack or “One Heart” from “West Side Story”). All the contact information was there, ready to be activated should I get engaged, if I were getting married ten years ago; I am fairly certain that most of these people in the “field of happy occasions” have changed their numbers by now. Apparently we–my potential husband and I–were planning on traveling to the Far East for our honeymoon. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 14 2014

Turns Out Shabbat and Valentine’s Day Have a Lot in Common

By at 11:43 am

shabbat

Tonight I’m planning dinner by candlelight. It will engage all five senses, with attention lavished on the tiniest details, including our wedding china instead of Corelle, and soup that requires a trip to the butcher instead of just a can opener. They say oysters are an aphrodisiac, but I’m banking on the kneidelach my husband likes: the firmer, the better. Ah, February 14th.

Isn’t this how Shabbat should always go?

My kids’ preschool director sent an email out reminding parents that “we celebrate love and caring all year long, but we do not celebrate Valentine’s Day at school.” Last V-Day, when my son found a cupcake in his cubby with the Post-It note reading “Baked with love in our kosher home,” he thought it was a happy coincidence.

No valentines, no candy hearts–would Friday be any fun? Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 10 2014

A Hawaiian Vacation is So Romantic… Unless You Bring Your Baby

By at 9:47 am

hawaii

When you think of Hawaii, you think beautiful beaches, hula dancers, volcanoes, and– perhaps most importantly–ROMANCE!

There’s a reason the tropical islands are among the top honeymoon destinations year after year, right? Lying on the sand, snuggling up with the love of your life, watching a beautiful sunset while drinking your fourth Mai Tai–it is paradise.

But that’s not how it panned out when I went to Hawaii with my husband, my 13-month-old daughter, and my parents recently. Actually, “romantic” was the last adjective that came to mind. Somehow the getaway felt more like a business trip. Just as a business trip can include a gorgeous location, phenomenal people, and delicious food where you leave learning a bit more about yourself, a trip like this was–for me–more than a bit of work. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 14 2013

Parenthood? I Think You Mean Marriagehood: Recap for Episodes 6 & 7

By at 3:37 pm

courduroy

It’s possible that we’re wired to notice those aspects of art that apply to our own lives–one person staring at a Degas painting might see light, truth, and love, while another might simply see smashed up crumbly cheerios because they are the bane of her existence.

What? My point: the story lines on Parenthood that I am most interested in talking about are the ones that I can relate to, or the ones that somehow reflect my life. As such…

I have been less interested in the Amber/Ryan kerfuffle, or the Drew-goes-to-college-and-tries-to-figure-out-girls saga (though I do love Drew, such a sweet boy) and way more interested in the Julia-and-Joel-chaos and, to some degree, the Bonnie Bedelia-Coach-autumn-of-our-years plot.

First, though, let me take a moment to pay homage to Crosby, my favorite Braverman who, in episode six, rages against the minivan. Now, this was indeed a hackneyed storyline. Surely we all know someone in life (or on Facebook) who has struggled with a similar reality. (I don’t think anyone does it as cutely as Crosby does, though.) To get the details out of the way: Jasmine wants to get a minivan and get rid of Crosby’s “cool” vintage car. This comes to pass, and they make out in the backseat and all is well. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 10 2012

Reading Your Mother’s Sex Scenes

By at 10:27 am

I write romance novels. I am unapologetically proud of that fact. Since 1995, I’ve published 13 works of “genre” fiction, including three soap opera tie-ins, five figure skating murder mysteries, and four romance novels, two set in the Regency period, and three contemporaries.

This past year, I got the rights to a majority of them back from their respective publishers, and decided to re-release them on my own, as enhanced multimedia editions. (That’s a fancy way of saying e-books with audio, video, and other extras.)

Alas, re-releasing the books meant re-reading them, since I had to make certain they were good to go from a technical perspective. Now, I happen to be one of those writers who, once my book is on the shelf at Barnes & Noble and Amazon, almost never refer to it again. A) Because I am always convinced that every book is out to kill me during the actual writing process, so we rarely part on good terms. And B) Because when I say that I am proud of my work, I mean in an it-never-sounds-as-good-on-paper-as-it-did-in-my-head-so-honestly-this-book-sucks-but-that-shouldn’t-stop-you-from-buying-it-nonetheless sort of way. Some people can’t stand to hear themselves on an answering machine or to watch themselves on TV. I do not enjoy looking back over past work. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 14 2012

Romantic Heroes, Post-Marriage

By at 9:06 am
When a man loves a woman by alina adams

... he cleans up kid vomit.

Prior to marrying my husband, I published four romance novels. Since marrying my husband–thirteen years ago–I have published figure skating murder mysteries, non-fiction, and women’s fiction. But, no more romances.

My husband’s theory is that, since meeting him, no fantasy hero conjured from my imagination could live up to the comparison. (My husband has a very high–though, self-aware–opinion of himself. While we were touring potential kindergartens for our daughter, he said of one principal we met, “I like her! She’s even more arrogant than me!”)

He’s right. But, not in the way he thinks. Read the rest of this entry →

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