I had this post plotted in my head, came here, read all the wonderful definitions of romance, and retreated. In the spirit of Monty Python I decided to forge onward and announce - and now for something completely different...
My idea of romance has been screwed up since the get-go. I dunno, maybe because I was a Tom-boy, or perhaps it was because was a budding sociopath, the world may never know (sort of like the riddle of how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie-Pop!). However, my notion of romance has never been society's view of "normal."
For instance, a guy I knew in high school really liked this girl only she was ultra stuck up and wouldn't give him the time of day... so I hit her in the face with a softball during gym class. She ended up with a bloody nose, I got detention (as usual) and he, being assigned to the office for in-school detention, got to spend the rest of gym class sitting by her side with cold compresses. They ended up going out, dating and making an utter muck-up of things over the next ten years so I don't know if he'd curse me if he knew the truth (my husband being his best friend knows, but ain't tellin') or not. Personally, I couldn't stand her, so for me it was a win-win situation. I got to bean her in the face and made a friend happy. Gimme wings and call me Cupid *grins*
Yeah, you see the problem.
It only got worse as I got older. Once at the scene of a fatal car accident there were two roadkill raccoons, being bored I started wondering aloud if they had been a furry, woodland couple on a date, looking to score decent eats at the restaurant across the state highway when - blam, a soccer mom more concerned with finding out whose daughter was giggling about which boy took her eyes off the road... One little human-like hand ever reaching for the other, but never quite making it, like a bloody ying-yang symbol slumped on the asphalt. Never meeting again. The deputy coroner gave me two thumbs up for creativity, and one of the ambulance drivers was horrified enough to bury the bodies, the staties just shook their heads and told me I had been doing my job way too long.
Sadly, that wasn't the case.
I've always looked at sick and twisted with a side of gruesome and managed to see a glimmer of romance or at least eroticism in it. Most folks rub their necks and look at the floor or the ceiling and say its my way of finding "silver linings". Poop, it's just me being me. It was such a no brainer in high school English to understand the underlying seduction of Dracula the fictional creation. It's probably why I have such ease writing erotic horror scenes like the murderous impaling in Song of the Nighthawk, or the zombie lesbian tango in Frights & Delights, or even cutting out your own heart to save your love, like the heroine was willing to do in Flesh. Love isn't just about the pretty things, the happy things, the bright and shiny things, sometimes love is something dark and frightening, with fangs and claws.
Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, romance is in the heart of the one to be wooed and won. Since there are many fish in the sea, would you catch a trout or a shark or perhaps a mermaid or kraken?
That's the difference between my way and the normal ;)