Tag Archives: Gone with the Wind

Love is Timeless

It is Valentine’s Day and our thoughts and hearts are focused on love. I’ll admit it right now – I am addicted to love stories and have been since I can remember.   I’ve always favored the older, sweeter stories to the more modern ones.  There is something about the innocence and the fade to black moments that make me sigh and just feel good.  Not that I have any objection to more modern love stories, far from it.  I am drawn to them because of their gift of weaving a love story.  Whether there are fade to black moments or not, it doesn’t matter.  These novels make me care about the hero and the heroine and make me want to see them with a happily ever after and sigh when I turned the last page. 

Below are a few favorite love quotes that have withstood the test of time and have gone on to appear on screen, stages, still published, or are read at weddings.

ROMEO AND JULIET
Act 2, scene 2
William Shakespear

Juliet:
Sweet, so would I,
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow. [Exit above]

SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY
by: George Gordon (Lord) Byron (1788-1824)

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

BIBLE
1 Corinthians 13

…Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
    So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

GONE WITH THE WIND
By Margaret Mitchell

Rhett Butler: [holds her tighter] Scarlett! Look at me! I’ve loved you more than I’ve ever loved any woman and I’ve waited for you longer than I’ve ever waited for any woman. [kisses her forhead]
Scarlett: [turns her face away] Let me alone!
Rhett Butler: [forces her to look him in the eyes] Here’s a soldier of the South who loves you, Scarlett. Wants to feel your arms around him, wants to carry the memory of your kisses into battle with him. Never mind about loving me, you’re a woman sending a soldier to his death with a beautiful memory. Scarlett! Kiss me! Kiss me… once…
[he kisses her]

And even though Rhett exited with these famous last words:
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” I think we all secretly know, or at least hope, that he did. 

So, what will I be doing today? If you could pick only one romance / love story what would it be?  What is your favorite love quote?

Amy De Trempe, author of Loving Lydia and Pure is the Heart

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Cultivate Subtlety: Throw Out Your First Chapter

What is the first thing you should do when you finish your novel? Celebrate, of course. Though there are millions of us worldwide who have written a novel, there are billions who haven’t. When we try to break into print, however, we enter a different dimension where everyone has written a novel, and we begin to feel as if we’re facing impossible odds in the publishing lottery. And it is a lottery, no matter what the insiders want us to believe. The right book on the right desk at the right time is the name of the game unless you are an extremely talented writer. But if you are that talented, you would be reading your contract, not this blog.

So, for us normal folk, what is the second thing to do when when the novel is finished? Start the editing process. And the first thing to do is throw out the initial chapter. Beginning writers tend to tell too much too early, thinking that’s the only way a  reader is going to know what’s going on, but by not telling, we add a little mystique and perhaps some subtlety to our writing. Being subtle is the sign of a great writer. Not everything needs to be described; not everything needs to be explained. If you let your readers create part of the story, they become part of the story, and they will remember it. (And you, too, the next time they are looking for a book to buy.)

I can feel you cringing, thinking that you need that first chapter, that it contains information necessary to the story. Don’t worry. If that vital bit of information is not mentioned elsewhere, simply add it to a later chapter. But if you are like me, you probably already have a second mention of that information in the body of your work, in which case it won’t be missed when you get rid of that first chapter. Don’t get delete happy though; be sure to save the chapter. You will need it for future reference as you revise the book.

One other reason to throw out the beginning: when you wrote it you were a neophyte. By the time you finished the entire first draft, you were a writer. You learned how to put words together to create an image, you learned how to make characters come alive. That experience needs to be exhibited at the start.

If you don’t like the idea of throwing out your first chapter, do what Margatet Mitchell did. She wrote Gone With the Wind from back to front.

Pat Bertram is the author of More Deaths Than One, now available as an ebook download from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

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Timing Is Everything

Performing artists like actors and comedians know that timing is everything. Without the right pause, the right word, the right gesture, the piece falls apart.

Life too is all about timing. Turn a corner and bump into a stranger who will become your mate. Run back into the house to answer the phone before you leave for work and later discover you missed being in an accident by those few minutes. Invest in a friend’s start-up business as a favor and end up being a millionaire.

Getting published is all about timing, too. You’ve written and rewritten your masterpiece, but you can find no takers. At best, you’re inundated with form rejection letters; at worst, you’re ignored. It’s entirely possible you are correct and your masterpiece is the bestseller-waiting-to-happen that you know it is. So how come you can’t get published?

Timing. As in the performing arts and the art of life, timing is everything, but unlike the performing arts, you cannot stand before a mirror and practice until you master your timing. All you can do is keep sending out your manuscript in the hopes that one day it will be on the right desk at the right time. Because one thing is certain, your desk is not the right one.

So how do you cope with all that rejection? Don’t think of it as rejection. Think of it as practicing your timing. Practice may not make perfect, but it does give you a chance.

After all, Gone with the Wind was published after being rejected thirty-two times.

Pat Bertram is the author of More Deaths Than One,  and A Spark of Heavenly Fire now available from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

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Names Define Your Characters

Scarlett O’Hara was originally called Pansy. If Margaret Mitchell had kept that name, would her epic novel ever have become so popular? I doubt it. A Pansy would be sweet and biddable with rare moments of stubbornness, but she could never be as strong-willed as Scarlett, and she would never have caught and kept the attention of such a worldly man as Rhett.

Unlike women characters, men tend not to have exotic names. They usually have common, clipped names, which work well enough in most cases, but what if Rhett had been called Jack or Clint or even Brad? Millions of women would probably still have fallen in love with him, but they certainly would not have found him so intriguing.

Clothes may make the man and woman, but their names (in fiction, anyway) define them.

Though Scarlett fits the name of the character in Gone With the Wind, it could not be the name of a medieval heroine. In those days, almost all girls were named Mary, with Elizabeth coming in a distant second.

I suppose if Gone With the Wind were written in the 1980s, Scarlett’s name would have been Heather. Odd to think that in another forty years, youth will scorn that name as being old-fashioned, fit only for elderly women, much like Effie is today. (I shudder to think how many babies being born right now are being named Britney, Lindsay, or Paris.)

But I digress. The point I’m trying to make is that names matter and should be chosen wisely. A book may not be rejected because of a character’s name, but why take the chance?

Pat Bertram is the author of More Deaths Than One,  and A Spark of Heavenly Fire now available from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

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