Love is weird. Right?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice, or it can be nice. In twenty-eight years of life I have had my fair share of flings, my fair share of dates, and surprisingly a few girlfriends along the way. Some of it actually quite pleasant. Some of it was goddamned awful. I’ve even managed to stay friends with some former flings and exes - some of whom have become incredible friends who I greatly adore. Of course there are some I’ve erased from my life entirely, or at least tried to. Because, let’s face it, love is an absurd thing, the likes of which I doubt anybody really understands. It’s an abstract idea, like death, and for some people it’s kind of like that. For some people it’s a wonderful trip, that just leads you further and further into happiness. And to be frank with you, I have no fucking idea how I feel about it.
I've seen many forms of love in my life. My parents, for example, were high school sweethearts. They were two years apart, and shortly after they graduated they quickly were on their way to spending the rest of their miserable, loving, pain-in-the-ass, beautiful lives together. Even though the Disney archetypes we grew up on might lead us to believe otherwise, there is no such thing as ‘happily ever after’. It just doesn’t happen. As I can see it you go out into the world, you find somebody (usually it takes awhile, sometimes it does) and then if you’re lucky, you get to spend the rest of your life with that person. But even that part is hard. Even through all of the ‘happily ever after’, there is a great deal of work and desire and, in some cases, a lot of heartbreak. I mean, it’s life and we’re people and people desire certain things. Which leads me to the grocery store.
My roommate Max and I often go to the grocery store together, it's one of the joys of living with another grown man. While we’re there we often find our way into the book section where we stop by the Harlequin Novel section. Now, if you’re not quite sure what I’m referring to, well, stop by the store, go to where they sell books, and find the section with at least six cowboy clad book covers per row (seriously, we did the math on this. The Harlequin section averages at least six cowboys per row. Which is hilarious and may speak to our location in the Midwest). Max and I have spent a considerable amount of time joking to ourselves that we should try to write a Harlequin novel, because, well, they seem like a lot of fun to write, and because it might be a rather hilarious, somewhat eye-opening writing experiment, right? And so we are.
Now, before you all pile upon our backs a great deal of doubt, know this: Max and I have a considerable amount of experience with writing. Max writes for a living, and between the both of us we’ve both written a great deal of short stories and movies scripts, some of which quite good. So, yes, writing a romance novel is not exactly something we’ve done before, but I think, humbly, we’re quite capable of handling it.
At this point in our writing careers, from all of our creative endeavors combined we’ve made exactly diddily-squat. Some might say because we’re cowards and have yet to really put ourselves out there, other because we suck (fuck those people). And so because of all these reasons we've decided we’re going to write about the process of writing a dime store romance novel. So that you can laugh at us or hopefully with us, as we attempt something that we’ve often debated jokingly doing. But this isn't all ironic hipster bullshit, there's a real passion behind this.
Maybe it’ll just be fun or maybe we’ll fail miserably but maybe we’ll actually accomplish it and find our calling - wouldn't that be thrilling! Or maybe we’ll just attempt something and have some fun and share some laughs and, maybe, possibly, end up learning a thing or two about love. Seriously,I mean, it’s not completely ridiculous a thought, right? Love is weird and who says trying to write about the silliest version of love might not teach us a valuable lesson or two, right? It’s possible.
Chad Foltz is a musician and filmmaker living in Ohio. You can read his stuff right here on TMS and over at The Projection List. He's a good egg.