Connecting with the Why, not the what

Hello everyone out there!

5I hope your April is off to a great start. Mine has been rich, we’ll say. Rich with new experiences and thoughts. From hosting a bachelorette party for the first time (on April Fool’s Day no less, and I’m embarrassingly awkward and shy so you get the picture) to prepping for this weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books where such iconic heroes as Buzz Aldrin will also be appearing (my mind is beyond the moon that I’ll be there signing too, just craziness). It’s definitely shaping up to be a month to remember.

When a month like this hits, when you can just sense that the norm will not necessarily be the norm, I feel it’s always a good idea to assess yourself, see where you’re at in life and with your goals. And one thing that was posed to me last month that still has me thinking today, by the incredible author and teacher, Mary Buckham, was a very simple question. She talked to my writing group about what we are writing. Once we all kind of figured that out–you know, our specific genres and subgenres–she then got “real” with us. Mary explained that readers don’t buy what you write. They buy why you write what you write because that is where the special connection between a reader and author is formed. And then she challenged us to figure that out. Amazingly, the answer came to me as clear as day. (This is not usually the case. I think too much, do you do that too? Try to come up with one simple answer and end up with thousands of “could be” answers? You’re not alone!) But to this question, I knew right away.

My why is simple…

I don’t ever want you to feel ashamed or alone. I think one of the worst things that can happen to a good-hearted person is that they make a mistake, or something bad happens to them. An unforgiving person (or society) then shovels so much unwarranted guilt and shame on top of them that they can’t dig their way out. This can happen to a child or an adult. Their good heart is buried, and the rest of us never get a chance to see what it was that made them so special and unique. I write so that I can show you those souls. I want you to see and feel their worth. In turn, I want you to remember your own worth.

Whatever it is that you do, I’m inviting you to share your “why” here in the comments. Or if it’s something you’d like to keep to yourself, something you’re not ready to share yet, I’m always understanding of that too. I hope I’ve helped by posing the question. If you can answer your “why”, then I think you’ll be primed to take on the month of April like a champ. I’m in your corner. I know what you’re worth. A lot.


If you have a chance, come on out to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I’m happy to say that general festival admission and all outdoor programming is free to the public! I will be signing in Booth 916 on Sunday, April 10th, from 2 to 5 pm. I hope to see you there! Click HERE for the romance author signing schedule and HERE for the festival at large. Serioulsy. Buzz. Aldrin.

Always love (to the moon and back),

Carlene Love♥

A Writing Process Blog Tour!

Hi everyone and welcome to a blog tour where writers and authors answer questions about their writing process. My friend, Elyzabeth M. Valey, posted hers last week. You can check out that post at In a Dream Beyond, for some insight into the process that brought about her newest release, Blind Beauty. Big thanks to Elyzabeth for inviting me to share this week. 🙂

Blind Beauty

And now for a peek into my intimate little corner of the romance writing world… Continue reading

Happy Veteran’s Day “You’re a Hero in My Book” Kick Off

I couldn’t think of a better day than today to kick off my “You’re a Hero in My Book” series of posts.  I’ll do these from time to time, highlighting real life men who I feel are deserving of the title.  And to every single man and woman who has ever or is currently serving our country in the military, you’re all heroes in my book.

But tonight, to make a big splash with a ton of personality, I give you Mr. Steven Welsh.  Welsh, as I am apt to call him, served with my hubby more than fifteen years ago in the US Army.  Since then he’s gone his way, we’ve gone ours, but let me tell you, once you’ve met this young man, you’ll never forget him and you’ll never again call him stranger.  And I’d like to give him a huge THANK YOU for agreeing to help me out with this writing project.  The first installment was a test-run that my wonderful Waterworld Mermaids allowed me to conduct on our shared blog.  Basically, I pull a few situations you might find in a romance book, and then I find a guy who is brave enough and willing to tell me what a real guy would do in that particular situation.  The point being to see if we female writers are keeping it real enough in our own stories.  That first run was a success and so here we are with installment number two.  Without further ado, I invite you to listen in on our eye-opening conversation.  Take it away hero…

Welsh’s own disclaimer (Gotta love a hero who is conscientious of the faint of heart):  I’ll try to do them justice.  Just so you know, some things may seem rude or inconsiderate, but I was answering honestly from the inside of a man’s head and how many of us think. 

Me: No, thank you!  Okay, so hi Welsh!  (Steven-sorry old habits die hard)

First, thanks for agreeing to be a member of my “real guy”
panel.  What I’m trying to do is see what a real guy would say in a given
situation to help writers be more realistic.  There are common types of
scenes in romance novels (which are mostly written by women) where you have guys
talking and I want to know what you would really say, not what I think you
would say.    What I’m going to do is provide you with a scene
below.   You can tell me what you would say if you were one of the
guys.  You could either be the one who is drinking because he was just
dumped or the friend. (or if you’re feeling generous, you could do both-which
would be cool.)

The Situation: Two city guys are at a bar, slightly intoxicated.  One
has just been dumped unexpectedly by his pregnant girlfriend.  His buddy
is trying to be there for him, drinking as well, but trying to stay slightly
more sober for when they need to leave.  What would the buddy possibly say
to his friend who just got dumped?  Let’s say he knows the girlfriend and
she’s generally not a witch.

Welsh: Well, to be honest and if
drinking is involved…the friend trying to comfort his friend will probably not
be very sweet about the girl dumping his friend.  He would have some
“choice” words about her for hurting his friend.  He would tell his friend
that he can do better than her.  Pretty much the whole night would be
building his friend back up and bashing her name in the ground.  You want
to help him get over her and through his heartbreak.  Now, for the guy who
got dumped.  I’m sure he’d be drinking heavily and crying.  Saying
things like: he loved her, she broke his heart, he’ll never love again, she
better not run off with his baby.  He would also get more angry as the
more drunk he got and he would start cursing her and bashing her name.
There would be some hugs between friends and pats on the back, but you gotta
watch how emotional you get in a public bar with your male friend, because you
still gotta put out a macho vibe.

Me:  Very insightful.  Thank you for being honest.  And then in general, I am curious to know the following:

What would a real guy say:

-At a guy’s night out when he sees his ex walk in with
someone new–

Welsh: He would typically get jealous
once he sees the new guy and start making comments about him to his friends,
like: he’s gay, he’s ugly, he’s fat, why is she with him.  Just hateful
comments.  Depending on how drunk he is and what type of temper he has, he
might actually go up to him and his ex and start making some stupid or
inappropriate comments and might get a fight started with either the new guy or
his ex.

Me: Yep, I can see many an Alpha Male reacting that way.

What about while sitting on a boat fishing with his buddy–

Welsh: This is easy…WOMEN!!!

Me: Good, keeping it simple!  I like it.

And when he knows a good buddy of his is being a jerk to his

Welsh: Usually a guy stays out of his
friends personal affairs unless he knows he’s being abusive to his
girlfriend.  Other than that, if his friend is a jerk to his girl, that’s
their problem.  He’ll probably tell him something like, Dude, you’re being
a d**k!  But he really doesn’t care.  Guys usually carry all kinds of
skeletons to their graves over their friends because of the saying: Bros before
Hoes.  I know it’s stupid, but that’s being honest.


Me: I can respect that.  Loyalty is something we all look for in a hero.

Last one… guys really cuss that much in their everyday
conversations?  Are there times when it’s guaranteed that you’re going to
use profanity?

Welsh: Yes.  When it’s just a
group of guys around each other, there is going to be plenty of cursing!
Especially if drinking is involved!  The only time it would be a curse
free conversation is if they’re at a church, funeral, play, restaurant or some
type of business environment where professionalism is a must.

Me:  Thank you, Welsh!  You are definitely a Hero in My Book!