Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Romance to the rescue
A couple of years ago, I wrote about how I got through the darker months of winter by listening to melancholy music. This year, I've discovered something else to get me through the long nights—romance!
I've never understood why anyone would voraciously read one Harlequin and then another. I was grounded in the real world, thank you, too busy to read such trifles. And yet now I find myself watching episodes of the BBC show, "The Paradise," again and again. I have watched the episodes as they have aired on Sunday nights and then again during the week while washing dishes or folding laundry; or I sneak in a few minutes at a time on my iPad before I go to bed using the PBS app. I go back and forth, watching Episode 7 and back to Episode 3. It has become an addiction—I think I've watched some of it at least every couple of days.
There is no logical explanation for this. I—who abhors shopping and soap-ish dramas, and who is deeply loved—have totally immersed myself in this 1875 department store world that is full of meaningful glances and sweeping violins. Perhaps I need the escapism since my life is tied up so much now to the computer. And the chillier air is keeping me in more, away from the yard and all the flowers I could be transplanting.
But I think the most compelling ingredient for me is how well the actress, Joanna Vanderham, who plays shopgirl Denise, can convey lovesickness. Just a bob of her head, a tilt of the chin, her eyes widening, and I am convinced that she is infatuated with Mr. Moray, the owner of the Paradise.
How would you write such gestures or describe the emotion she seems to convey in these scenes without making treacle? And how would you write a love scene that would move the reader in the same way?
What about the declaration of love, met and unmet, is so compelling to me? Perhaps to declare one's love is rebellion against loneliness, of being an individual. It is one of the bravest acts we can perform, the consequences life-changing, no matter what the response will be.