June has gotten me to thinking. A lot of things changed for me in the month of June. The majority of them led directly to me becoming an author, and continues to inspire my writing. So, I thought perhaps I should dwell on them in the form of a rambling blog that might show some insight into who I am and how it made me into the author I am today. Notice how I said author? Well author sounds a lot better than writer. More professional. Yeah, I’m all about more professional. Snicker.
June marks my fifteenth year of marriage to the inspiration of my life. Jenna Leigh is not only a fellow writer, but the person who got me into the writing biz. Honestly, before her I only thought I knew what love was all about. So, how could I write about romance without a frame of reference to start from? Romance is all about the heart. Before Jenn came into my life, I had been living with only half a heart. Romance, or love, is all about completion. Two people becoming one. Jenn did that for me. When you pick up one of my books, that completion in my life is the inspiration for my characters’ journey to discovering that one person who completes them so totally it changes their lives.
I’m not saying my happily ever after is every day violins and sweet nothings, but it is better than living without her. That’s the thing about happily ever afters in the real world. They take work, understanding and a healthy dose of compromising. That’s the story a Romance novel rarely tells you. And, to me personally, it’s the story I love hearing and living. My Southern Werewolf Chronicles is my attempt to show the real world aspect of romance. Sure, my characters have fur issues, but behind the fur are two people coming to grips with loving someone who at times are hard to live with. Why do they do it? The same reason we do. The good parts far outweigh the bad parts. And, they and we can’t honestly see our lives without that combination of good and bad rolled into one person being a part of us.
Father’s day! My dad is the greatest person I’ve ever known. He’s my best friend and a driving force behind my comedic bent. The best way for me to describe him to you is to tell you to go rent Grumpy Old Men. He’s all three old farts rolled into one, only with a Southern drawl. That said, my snark comes from him, only I tone it down so it’s halfway believable. Getting to share my life with him has been both an adventure and an education. Before I change topics, it took me awhile to appreciate my dad, because young boys worship their fathers, teenagers rebel against them on their way to becoming men, young men are so caught up in being men we don’t appreciate them, but when we finally grow up enough to see our fathers not as gods, silly old men, or guys we see on the occasional weekends, our dads truly are amazing men that should inspire us. Because, part of who we are is a result of work so hard they make it too easy to notice until we’re the ones with kids driving us crazy. For the record, after becoming a father myself, I apologized for most of the stuff I did growing up. The rest it’s best he never finds out about.
That brings me to the greatest treasure to ever come to me in the month of June. My daughter. Marrying Jenn, gave me two things. True love and a step daughter that has never been a step. The job of being a father should never be limited by blood. I loved her way before a piece of paper made her a fully documented part of my life. Becoming her father might not have been easy at times, but I think that’s true of however a man is thrust into the job of being someone’s parent. It is without a doubt the scariest job any guy will ever have. You’re someone’s protector, educator, sometime doctor, sometime therapist and all the time crazy man during her teenager years. But, in my defense, boys are evil and have only one thing on their minds. I should know. I was one.
Over the years we might not have agreed on each and everything. Busting heads is the term that springs into my head. Not once during the past fifteen years has my love for her diminished. If anything it’s grown. My pride in the person she has become is not in doubt. She is a strong, smart and funny woman who is embarking on her our journey to becoming a parent herself. I just hope that the ‘your kids will be worse than you’ curse teaches her to appreciate her mom and dad. Insert hysterical laugh here.
I won’t say helping to raise a daughter gave me an expert perception into the female mind and helped me to become a better writer, but it did give me a clearer idea on the subject. At times it scared me spitless, but I do understand a little better the dynamic between men and women because of her.
What did I learn? Men and women are basically the same with the same fears and hopes when it comes to romance. I don’t know if many people believe that, but it’s true. We’re scared of being alone. We’re scared of trusting our hearts to another person. Above all, we’re scared of being someone’s everything. Then why do we do it? Why do we drive ourselves insane for love? For the same reason I stated above. To be complete. To have that happily ever after, we romance authors keep promoting.
June is more than another month to me. It’s the month I found my completion. It’s the month I became a father. It’s the month I learned to appreciate what being a father meant. It is the month I learned what romantic love is all about. What unconditional love truly means. Basically, June is the month of love. Lastly, for you guys out there who take the time to read my books, it’s the month that finally gave me the tools to take the feelings swelling inside my heart and put them on paper, or computer since this is the digital age.
I guess you could say, June is to blame for over seven years of heartfelt insanity. Here’s to many more!
And, Jenn when you read this, thank you for fifteen years of happily ever after and then some.
Til next week, happy reading.