February is sort of an annoying month sometimes.
Not that I mind the time of year. But all the romance stuff always annoys me, especially since a lot of people use the word ‘love’ as a synonym for romance.
Which brings me to the main post of this post. Several years ago, I decided to make a blog and name it ‘Enthralled By Love.’ The mark of how socially inept I can be is that I did not even notice that people would probably associate that with romance or think it was a romantic name. Now, maybe I am being socially inept right now, because to be honest, no one has told me that it sounds like a romantic sort of blog name, so I don’t actually know that anyone has taken it that way.
Either way, sometimes I wonder if I should have named it something a lot more fantastical. Something like ‘The Winged Lizard’s Book Hoard’ or ‘Shadows of Another World on the Pages.’
But there is a reason I named it ‘Enthralled By Love,’ and I’m not saying it was the right choice, but I’m going to explain why I named it that.
Love is not synonymous with romance. I really like love stories; I find the romantic elements in them very occasionally amusing, and more often boring, or even downright irritating. I really like, “I would die for you,” tropes, “I will fight the Empire for you,” “To hell with society’s expectations, I will throw away my family and my wealth and my standing and everything, for you,” the kind of love that is absolutely so dedicated it can make the heads of people who don’t know anything about it spin. Stop at nothing, quail at no risk, go through anything, and oftentimes behave in ways that appear to everyone else to be completely irresponsible. Now, to me that doesn’t mean I like a story in which someone falls head-over-heels for someone else, and abandons children or previous intimate friends or lovers (it doesn’t really matter whether it’s platonic or romantic for this point) to chase that person across the world. That defies the whole meaning of the kind of love I’m talking about, which goes through thick and thin and the boring drudgery of mundane life or anything else, just as much as the epic moments of crisis that get people’s attention, without failing. I’m not saying without complaining ever, but without failing.
So that’s what I named this blog ‘Enthralled By Love.’ I don’t care for romance or a lot of the tropes that go with romance, but love really gets my attention. And I don’t believe that love has to be romantic. In this rather love-starved world, where people are cut off from each other for so many different reasons and in so many different ways, it does appear that romance can sometimes provide the spark to leap over that world and allow this kind of love to grow, where otherwise people might drift apart without ever meeting. That is, I see stories (in real life ones, too) that imply this happens with some regularity, and that people very rarely meet this kind of lasting love in non-romantic platonic friendships.
But I believe it’s possible, I think it should be believed in, I actually think it’s damaging to people in a lot of different ways when they think that kind of dedicated love only occurs in romantic relationships, or alongside sex, and it’s one of the things I love in books.
It is also something you will find in my novels, where love is present in many kinds of relationships, not just or even romantic ones (some of my series even have no romance in them at all!), and where the challenge of what it means in day after day life and mundane challenges is presented, as well as the epic, attention-grabbing moments.