I have a box full of jewelry. It's all pretty enough, and there's plenty to match different outfits, and shopping for shinies is always fun. Honestly? I could lose, break, or give away any of 'em, and never think about 'em again. My jewelry serves a purpose, like so many other items of comfort, beauty, and convenience, but they have no real meaning to me. Not a single piece I own symbolizes anything of import.
For my birthday, I was given a necklace. The man who bought it for me found it at place we had once whiled away an afternoon. The blue topaz that gleams from the gorgeous silver chain was chosen because he researched the term "writer's stone." And then ... oh, then he said he added something else to that gem: his passion.
I write about these kind of moments, the ones we sigh over, the ones that make our hearts flutter, and our desires stir. In my novels, I explore the emotional and physical intimacy between the hero and the heroine. I make them expose their vulnerabilities, sacrifice their personal dreams, and risk it all, every single time, so that they can claim each other, and love, and happily-ever-after.
In fiction, romance unfolds as that terrifying need, that wondrous connection, that inexorable moment of "I would do anything for you." In real life, it takes on a comfortable rhythm, like a heartbeat, like breathing, and yet, it still has the ability to make you ache and smile and think, "Yes. You're the one. Always."
To fall in love, you must be defenseless. You must leave the heart unguarded, to either be embraced or wounded, because there is no other way to offer yourself to another.
I always wear the necklace. Throughout the day, I touch that stone, and think of the moment I opened the box and saw that blue topaz, glittering like a promise, like a heart unguarded. His. And mine.