Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words..or is it??

As seen on the Lady Scribes blog today

Ah, photographs.  Isn’t it amazing how easy it is to capture a moment in time? For years and years we can look back at our happy, smiling faces and remember what an amazing time we were having.
After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Although…no one ever said those words weren’t bald faced lies.  Allow me to demonstrate.

The week after Christmas, my hubby and I went to Colorado with my mom and dad to enjoy our first taste of the Rockies.  Along the way, we snapped tons of photos. Let us see what the photo *seemed* to be saying, and what was actually happening.

Exhibit One: Dogsledding

See the big smiles? The goofy grins? The adorable dogs? 

Yeah…look closer and you might just see the icicles hanging from my nose, lol. It was freezing! And I don’t mean ‘throw another log on the fire’ freezing. Oh no – I mean ‘start looking for a dead tauntaun and a light-saber’ cold. Not only am I periodically doing checks of my nose and cheeks to make sure they are indeed still there, but I’m avoiding all liquids despite the altitude due to the fact I’m wearing 17 layers of clothes and the only ‘conveniences’ is a frozen solid block of port-o-pots where I am afraid of recreating the famous scene from A Christmas Story, only substituting my hiney instead of Flick’s tongue and a toilet seat in place of the flagpole.

Exhibit Two: Snowmobiling

What could be more delightful than snowmobiling across the continental divide? When the concierge set this up, she assured me, my hubby, and my soon to be 65 year old dad that we would have a looovely tour.  And just look at these pictures! Majestic mountains, gorgeous blue skies, powdery snow—what more can you ask for?

Oh dear lord—thank heavens for these pictures, because those precious few moments were the only time in the entire 2 hour tour that I wasn’t hanging on for dear life as the guide held the pace at 50 miles per hour (literally), tearing through the mountainous terrain like a bat out of you know where, all the while hollering warnings over his shoulder to ‘turn with your bodies!’ so not to flip the death, I mean snow mobile over on the hairpin turns. The only thing I saw on this trip (besides my life flashing before my eyes) was my hubby’s back and the green and white blur of the forest zooming by in the periphery. Scenes from “What About Bob” can’t help but come to mind as I scream across the tundra, holding on for dear life and yelling “I’m on vacation!” into the howling wind. 

By the time we were done, I felt like I had been tossed in a bouncy castle with 40 five year olds hopped up on Kool-Aid and birthday cake. Toss in the fun factor of certain death if we miss-steered and the lovely, ever-present exhaust fumes and you have a day that was MADE of win.  

Yes, that was sarcasm.  Oddly enough, my hubby had the time of his life on this excursion, laughing as my dad and I clung to each other and wept with relief when it was over.  Oh, and side-note—I’m totally using that picture in our next Christmas card to brag about the fab vacation we had ;)

Exhibit Three: Skiing

Ah, the idyllic pastime of the wealthy. So chic, so fabulous, so ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.’ Notice the gorgeous weather and picturesque, snow-covered slopes behind us. Surely hot chocolate and cavier are waiting for us beside the cheery fire in the lodge, no?


NO. God no.  I think ski boots were originally invented by the military as a torture device designed to mimic the yoga chair pose for hours on end, leaving one to wonder if, in fact, muscles actually can turn to jelly. Or molton lava. 

Then someone said ‘Hey! Let’s strap a pair of waxed sticks to these babies and throw ourselves down the side of a mountain!’ Then someone else said, “Why don’t we have a thousand other people on the slopes with us, so we can add in evasive maneuvers and on-the-fly physics calculations to spice up the day?” And then someone else said, “But wait! Lets put mortally wounded people on stretchers and have them be continually taken down the mountain, so everyone can see exactly how death-defying their recreation of choice is!”

Yay! Thanks guys – you know how to make for an awesome day of near-death experiences. And here’s the real trick: Someone figured out how to get you to drop hundreds of dollars on rental equipment and lift tickets, and still manage to get you to pay $15 on two hotdogs.

So there you have it—pictures may very well be worth a thousand words, but in my experience, those words are all LIES. But you know what? I find I'm okay with that, lol. Because when I'm old and grey, I want to be able to look back on these serene pictures and reminisce about what a lovely trip we had to Colorado that one year, shaking my head as I wonder why it was I never went back.

Now tell me, do you have lying pictures from your vacations too? Or have you ever done something you were stoked about, only to have it turn out to be waaaay different than you imagine?

(I feel I should point out that I really did have a wonderful time, especially since I was able to spend such quality time with my parents. But me and Colorado? We’ve met, shaken hands, and parted ways. That goes for extreme sports, too! ;) )

PS: If you’d like to see the one picture that is one hundred percent accurate representation of how I felt at that exact moment, here you go:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Power of Love

I have been asked many a time throughout the past few years why I write romance. Why the fluff and bodice ripping (yes, people actually say that)—why not write something more true to life? Why not write a literary masterpiece that is thought-provoking and haunting? Or a mainstream fiction a la Vince Flynn and Dan Brown?
Truly, the answer is simple: I love love.  When I read, I do so to escape to a better place, not one rife with the bad or depressing things of this world. I’m not pretending it’s not there (well, maybe a little), and I’m certainly not saying there is anything wrong with writing books that cover those parts of life, but for me, I want people to feel better when the finish the book than they did when they started.
Is that silly? Some people may say yes. But I think bringing a little light into a pretty dark world is a good thing. If I can make one person sigh with happiness, or believe in love, or read ‘the end’ with a big smile on their face, then I have succeeded.
Truly, I don’t care how other people measure success—for me, that’s it. A happy review, a heartfelt email, a Facebook post filled with smiley faces—those are the measuring sticks I pay attention to.  And to all of you who have reached out to me in  these ways or any other, let me just say now, thank you from the bottom of my heart :)
So, before anyone poo-poos romance and its roll in society, I hope they’ll pick one up someday.  Remember what its like to feel the first blush of love, to meet someone’s eyes for the first time, to yearn for that first kiss, and to hope for a happily ever after.
Because, my dear reader, we all deserve an HEA, one way or another :)