Conflict resolution: a romance novel’s nightmare

I said last time that I am a romance novel junkie. So here is a lesson we can take away from all my “research.”

I know that in order to make a story that someone wants to read, there needs to be some sort of conflict that the lead characters need to overcome. 

I understand that most of us don’t want to read a book where everything is fine and everyone gets along. But I prefer that the obstacle be something imposed from the outside and not just a product of gross miscommunication. 

In a lot of these novels there is a pivotal moment where a character has to make a decision to talk to the the other person and chooses not to. Or they choose to and the other person won’t listen. Or won’t listen well and only listens with pride/ego/hurt and so can’t hear. 

This makes the rest of the book possible, of course. But it can make me nutty. Because if they would just calm down for a moment and really talk. Or be willing to say the hard things, the things that make you feel scared and vulnerable.  Or to hear them. 

Then so much heartache could be avoided. 

So in a novel we may need to manufacture drama to make the story interesting. But in real life there is enough drama without making it harder on yourself.  

Talk to your partner. 

Listen to your partner. 

Say the hard, scary, important things even though you’re scared. Say them in a loving way so they don’t feel like an attack. 

Listen to your partner with your heart more than your head. Keep in mind that they probably suck at communicating as much as you do or maybe more. 

Try to lean toward each other and build each other up so that you together can weather the inevitable drama that life will throw at you without making it worse. 

Love as an exponential multiplier

Lately I’ve been reading a lot.

Really. A lot. 

Almost entirely romance novels. It’s clearly an escaping technique. I find that in the sheer quantity that I’ve read, I manage to pick up some patterns here and there.  I’ll share one that has really started to rub me the wrong way. 

There are lots of different reasons our protagonists are going to be challenged in their efforts to get together. One that I’m somewhat drawn to (the nature of the beast) is that one of them is a widow or widower. 

I’ve noticed that in nearly all of these stories there comes a point where the other person freaks out and acts out because they feel less than or that somehow they cannot compare to the person that’s been lost and the love they shared. 

I can imagine that there are all sorts of emotional landmines and booby traps to fall into as you navigate this new path together. 

I just feel like this is a sad view of love from a scarcity mentality. It’s my experience that you don’t have a finite amount of love that is divided among all the loves in your life but a s each person is added it is multiplied and expanded exponentially. I don’t think that if you have more than one child they each get less love. In fact I think it increases. 

Love is not a divider, it is an exponential multiplier. 

For me, anyone who wants to be with me in the future needs to understand that I will always love my husband. And that does not take anything away from him. 

If he can’t, then I won’t want to be with him. 

Light and Shade

I suppose I am standing in the shadow cast by the mountainous pile of THINGS THAT MUST BE DONE that I am not getting done. I don’t ever need to hear what I’m not doing or not doing right. Although I often sacrifice “done right” for “done at all.” Because I have the classic need to “procrastinate until it can be done perfectly” syndrome to circumvent. Which can only be gotten around by the doing anyway. 

I read in a book years ago that, for some of us, the saying “anything worth doing, is worth doing right” should be changed to “anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.” Because at least it will have been done. 

Much of my angst and turmoil stems from that mountain of things I need to do. And my uncertainness of my ability to accomplish them. 

Yesterday I had a doctor appointment to get started with getting on track with my meds again (stimulants for ADD and anti anxiety for anxiety and to chill my reaction with the stimulants). 

Today I have already had a good cry and feel lighter. 

Only because of one small thing. The tiny bit of positive reinforcement that I got for her about the things she sees that I am doing right. 

I am a widow. And a mother of a 12 year old boy (they are known for singing the praises of their mothers, yes?). 

I am sadly lacking in appreciation right now. Even before, my husband was not an overly demonstrative man in that way. And then he became ill and he wasn’t demonstrative in any way, busy as he was with the whole pain and not dying business. 

It’s one of the reasons we medicate ourselves. With drugs or food or sex or books. When you are in the shadows, you’ll do whatever is necessary to give yourself a lightening. Even if it turns out it was lightning and you end up singed. 

So today there is a little beam of light pushing aside the shadow of Shoulds just a little. And I feel lighter for it. 

Risk Averse

I was just looking at a post on Facebook by Humans of New York. It was a picture of a nice looking guy who was dressed well and the caption said, “I wish I’d made more mistakes.”

It struck me that while I’ve made mistakes. Plenty of them. I don’t think I’ve really risked anything that really mattered. I’ve not put everything on the line for the big payoff.

I tend to play small when it comes to things that it might really matter. Because they matter. And I think that having them a little might hurt less than not having them at all.

This is flawed logic. But I think it’s the logic my heart/brain has been using.

I’m working very hard to change that.


I have been feeling like I need to be writing again. More and more. Hopefully that will land here. I need to get over the excuse that I don’t have WordPress downloaded on my phone which matters because I don’t have internet at home right now other than on my cellphone. But really its just another thing that I’ve put off arranging. Now that words are starting to bubble up again I think. I hope. I do. I need to make it more easy for me to put them somewhere.

Mother. May. I…


I’m not feeling particularly able to put thoughts cohesively together on paper right now very much. But I pretty much feel the same as back when I wrote this in 2012. Today is the in between day, and filled with angsty energy.

Originally posted on to be dancing... a novelty yarn:

She was born in 1956. She would be 56 this year. Just a quick 20 years older than I.

Being as her birthday is the 13th of May, it is always engaged in a dance with the Mother’s Day.

Occasionally they meet up.

Like today.

Last year was the first Mother’s Day since she’d been gone and her birthday was on the Friday before it. I don’t know yet if it’s harder this way or not. I’ll hazard a guess that every year will be hard in its own unique way.

This year, I would have loved for her to see me hanging my BFA Senior Art Show which opened on Thursday. and graduating next month. and, of course, how big and strong and cool her favorite (and only) grandson is growing up to be. These things hurt my heart.

But we will not dwell on them too long, for…

View original 183 more words

These in Between Times

When I was young, I had no money. I made little money and didn’t get to go do things that cost money very often. But I also had no debt.  I didn’t have a lot of income, but it was okay because I had very little out-go. The same cannot be said now. My husband made a very good living for us by virtue of having served his country in the Marine Corps and having been disabled while in service. He received money from the VA and also from Social Security. As his dependent spouse and son, we now receive a benefit from Social Security which is about a third of what our income was prior to his death. As his dependent spouse and son, we now receive from the VA, absolutely nothing.

Our income has dropped by about 2/3 and our bills and debt have stayed the same. Additionally, the VA decided that they overpaid us one month at his rate while he was alive and they took it back on the first of March. I am selling everything that I can to make ends meet. In a couple or few months, I should be getting a little money from my mom’s probate having finally processed. We will eventually be okay. If we can pay off our debts and reduce our cost of living to essentials.

But in the meantime we are overdrawn and haven’t paid much more than the mortgage payment in two months.  We’ve sold a lot of things, but that has kept us in food, gas, and daily living expenses rather than being enough to pay  the bills and start to fill in this hole that keeps getting deeper and deeper.  My friend wanted to help me by giving me some money. She asked if I had a support account so that people could donate to help with this harsh transition. I said that I did not and didn’t even know how to do that. She encouraged me to talk to the bank as they should be able to help with that.

I did and after some struggle (they didn’t want to do it because I was overdrawn) I was able to open a donation account to allow anyone to walk into any Wells Fargo and deposit money in the Alan (Hewitt) Memorial Fund account. (account #9006351614)

I went to put a notice in the local newsletter/paper thingy, but could not because a service organization didn’t sponsor me. I am not a member of any service organizations, churches, clubs or anything like that. So, I did it myself and I feel extremely awkward asking an organization to sponsor me after the fact. Like many people, I am not very good at asking for help or asserting myself, so all of this is is extremely difficult to make myself do.

But, I am smart enough to know when I need to step out from behind my pride and fear to ask for help. I can’t do this on my own. Any little bit will help. And if you can’t help monetarily, please share this so maybe someone else can.

Thank you

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