Maybe it was all the silly movies we watched as kids, maybe they’re to blame. Perhaps it was all the books what, with all the “And they lived happily ever after” endings. Maybe both of them are to blame for our silly romantic notions.

Lives that play out like a fairy tale don’t exist… except in stories. But there is beauty in the struggle of life. Even happy endings can be born in the dark.

When I was younger I yearned for the romantic notion of writing a book. I’d planned on it all my life, ever since I read the wise and somewhat romantic notion of a quote; “A full life should include planting a tree, writing a book, and having a child”.

Movies depict writing as an extraordinary joy… I guess it is if you look at it from a gratification perspective… and hindsight.

a romantic notion

image courtesy of photo bucket.com

Books and movies portray the inspired writer hunched over their typewriter, or keypad these days, and a less than an hour and a half later – Voila – Presto – the next New York Times bestseller. The forlorn authors lean back, smile, lock their hands behind their heads and exhale. The birds sing and the heavens open up and the brilliant light descends as the angels sing.

It was a few months back, but it was no movie. It was a book. One with a somewhat happy ending, but I wasn’t reading it, I was writing another one.

The process is anything but romantic. It’s a downright struggle. It’s a struggle for time, a fight between spending time with family, running businesses, and plinking out some words that might grab a hopeless romantic by the heart.

There were days in the process I stumbled through them like a zombie – delirious from the lack Z’s. But the closer I got to the climax and denouement I could feel the second wind behind me and I pushed for the finish line like a marathon runner with my arch nemesis breathing down my neck.

It was at our breakfast table I typed the sometimes sweetest words in the English language; “THE END”, which doesn’t take into account the additional two hundred hours of re-writes.

I pushed back, glanced around, took a deep breath, and there was dead silence and dimness. My dog Larry was fast asleep in his bed. The skies outside the three windows didn’t split with brilliant light and the normally bright Arizona afternoon had gone dark behind menacing clouds. Then the rain started and put any romantic notion type of fire out before it could get started.

I smiled at the irony of it.

Endings only happen in stories. Real life nods its head in recognition then resumes its fight. A story is like a vacation, then it’s back to reality.

The lack of the romantic notion in finishing just another story reminded me that the only truly happy ending comes when we cross over to the other side… into the arms of The Father.