Sweet romance, which all my short stories are, sometimes have suggestions of sex or conflict but generally stay light, profanity free, and focused on the simple pleasures of finding love. Often in unexpected times or ways.
The most recent two stories I’ve offered (and yes, a new novel is coming sooooon), actually follow that lightness, though both have kind of dark undertones – racism and activism, with threatened suicide. Yes, everything turns out okay in the end. And everything actually stays pretty light, even with those dark topics hovering in the background. Which raises an interesting point of conversation: should you even raise dark topics if you’re not going to explore the darkness in them?
Hm. Seems to me that darkness is always with us. Even if you avoid the news, if you have an open heart, it’s hard not to see it in your neighborhood, maybe in your neighbors, in your own family. But so much of our experience of the world has to do with now only what we’re aware of, but what we choose to focus on, and what context we put things into.
As an eternal optimist and romantic, I accept the world is filled with pain, but there is also good and happiness and love everywhere you look. And sometimes it’s important to look at the darker places to find the goodness and love there, specifically. Keep smiling. Keep loving. Celebrate all that is beautiful and sweet because you make more of it simply in that celebration.