Friday, September 13

Love Is Like A Learning Tree by Liz Flaherty #WordWranglers

I intended to start this post with a quote, as I often do. The quote was "Love is like a learning tree." But when I tried to look it up to attribute it, I couldn't find who said it. I truly don't think I made it up, but there it is.

It is so different, writing and living from the vantage point of being--gasp--69 years old. I talk about age a lot, I think because it's so remarkable to me that is so remarkable. What makes it so is how much you learn in the years it took you to get that way, even if it isn't your intent. Even if you don't realize its importance. Even if you forget much of it long before you're ready to.

All that knowledge is what gives the learning tree its branches, its leaves and needles, and the shelter of its shade.

That's what writing is like. It doesn't necessarily get better as we age--a source of much whining from me--but I think it gets deeper. Writing a book becomes the difference between the wedding and the marriage. While the wedding is all that is pretty and fancy and exhilarating, the marriage is profound, often not pretty at all, and not always exciting. But it's there the next day, and the next, and the next. The wedding gives a rush of wonderful memories. The marriage provides memories every single day.

And not all of them are good. There's more hurt inside a marriage than you'd think one institution can hold, and often it doesn't. Sometimes, like when you're in a story that isn't sustainable no matter how much you'd really like to write it, you just have to let it go. Those limbs are sometimes twisted, and when the leaves fall from them, they don't come back.

Learning gets selective as you age. I have an iPhone and I use a computer all the time, but I really don't know much about them. I'm pretty good with Word, but only because I have to be. If my phone won't do what I want it to, I turn it off and then back on, hoping the situation will fix itself. That's all I want to know. The electronic branches on my tree are pretty short.

I have some short writing branches, too. I'll never be good at conflict. I don't want to be an indie author--although I have a few twigs of it out there. I know that my learning has stopped far short of being able to keep up with the directions the romance genre has gone. I regret that, because I think if I could keep up, I might be happier with the way it is now.

But when all is said and done, I still love romance and still love learning. Like the marriage, I'm in it for the duration. The tree's still growing.
Going from heart to keyboard to publication was a long learning branch for The Healing Summer. I am so excited that it's really going to happen. Release date is October 30, but the Kindle version's available for pre-sale. 

When Steven Elliott accidentally rides his bike into Carol Whitney's car at the cemetery, the summer takes on new and exciting possibilities. Long friendship wends its way into something deeper when their hearts get involved. Feelings neither of them had expected to experience again enrich their days and nights. But what happens when the long summer ends? When Carol wants a family and commitment and a future, Steven isn't so sure. He's had his heart broken before—can he risk it again?


  1. Great post, Liz! I agree - we do become more selective as we age...I like to think it's because we've found the things we really want to know about. But that could just be a little leftover hubris. lol

  2. Love this post! Thank you for it! I think you've just described my life... ;-)

    1. Great post, Liz! I think you're right about getting deeper with life and experience. That's why some writers (say, Kristan Higgans or Emily Giffin) started out writing romance or rom-coms but, with experience their books have delved deeper.

      Or maybe sometimes, we just need to challenge ourselves as well. Hmmm.

    2. I think you're right, Margie. Robyn Carr is the same way, too. I wish "they" wouldn't separate romance and women's fiction the way they do; they're both women's journeys.

  3. Great post. Love the comparison between weddings and marriages.

  4. This is beautiful, Liz!! Really, beautiful. What great analogies you give. You may be a writer of romance, but you have the soul of a poet. Thank you for such an inspirational piece.