“Be My Valentine, With Love From Your Writing,” by Georgie Tennant

As my monthly post occurred shortly after Valentine’s Day, last year, I had fun writing a post that included a quiz about lines from love poems. It seems that you had almost as much fun answering the quiz, so I thought I would follow it up, four days post-Valentine’s Day this year, with another – this time with lines from novels and plays. How many of these can you identify?

Some clues that might help you 😊
1. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But it is!”

2. “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

3. “I’ve never had a moment’s doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life.”

4. “He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.”

5. “I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t do anything but think about him. At night I dream of him, all day I wait to see him, and when I do see him my heart turns over and I think I will faint with desire.”

6. “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”

7. “Love is a great beautifier.”

8. “Every heart sings a song, incomplete until another heart whispers back.”

How did you fare? Here are the answers…

1. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières

2. Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen

3. Atonement by Ian McEwan

4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

5. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

6. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

8. The Republic by Plato

Don’t feel bad if your score was low – truthfully, I would have only scored 3 or 4 without the help of Google. I chose them, not to be clever or lord it over those with less knowledge of romantic literature, but because they resonated in another way. As I read each one, it struck me that they could be about our relationship with writing, as much they could be about earthly, human relationships.

Take Number 1, for example. Doesn’t this pinpoint with alarming accuracy, our long-term relationship with our Works in Progress? We start with great passion, determination and excitement, but what keeps the relationship alive, is the small tweaks, the brief conversations, the gentle polishing, the 10-minutes-grabbed-between-dinner-and-the-swimming-run – the choice to love our work, believe in it and carry on making it work, long after the first flush of romance has faded.

What about Number 4? Like the woman in this quote, compared to the sun, our writing looms large in all the circumstances in which we find ourselves. We try not to look at it, but it looms on the edge of our vision, pushing us to turn this incident into a blog post, include it in a scene in a novel, learn from it and write it up as a devotional. Dazzled by it creeping in at the edges, we try to fix our eyes on other things, keep ourselves in the moment – and frequently fail!

Number 3 is something we can all aspire to and rarely achieve – believing in our writing without hesitation or a moment’s doubt. It might be one of our reasons for living, one of the activities through which we feel the hand of the Divine touching our lives – but oh how crippling the doubt, for most of us, most of the time.

If your writing has become an irksome companion, who demands cups of coffee when you’re trying to get on, wears baggy beige cardigans and badgers you for attention when you simply want a quiet life, how might you rekindle your romance with it today?

Do carry the discussion on, in the comments – can you see where other analogies about our relationship with our writing might be drawn from the rest of these romantic quotes?

A belated Happy Valentine’s Day to you all – may your relationship with your writing grow in strength and depth, blessed and strengthened by He who loves us most passionately of all.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…” Ephesians 3 v 17-18

Georgie Tennant is a secondary school English teacher in a Norfolk Comprehensive.  She is married, with two sons, aged 13 and 11 who keep her exceptionally busy. She writes for the ACW ‘Christian Writer’ magazine occasionally, and is a contributor to the ACW-Published ‘New Life: Reflections for Lent,’ and ‘Merry Christmas, Everyone.'  More recently, she has written 5 books in a phonics series, published by BookLife and has just written 3 more. She writes the ‘Thought for the Week’ for the local newspaper from time to time and also muses about life and loss on her blog: https://ift.tt/1HlFqOg

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