Dita Parker

Friday, February 14, 2014

Anytime you need a friend

For erotic romance authors love and lust, sweet emotion and hot sex, are inseparable. Can't have one without the other. Relationships are not sealed with a mere kiss, unless it's one that touches everywhere, and desire is no good without devotion. That is our cocktail of choice, one we serve in flavors ranging from vanilla to spicy hot.

Of course love is more protean, more multifaceted than that. We know that, but our craft is crafting tales of hanky panky with a happy ending so love's other facets and faces tend to get less coverage, often none. Well, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Or in this case, when in Scandinavia, do as the Norsemen do.

These bastions of brotherhood, these champions of equality, dedicate the 14th of February as much to friendship as courtship, maybe more. Maybe they're just not that into romantic antics, you say? They're just not into imported festivities, especially those that come with costly commodities attached, I say.

I find friendship one of the dearest faces and loveliest flavors of love. To do as the Norse do, I now use Valentine's Day to celebrate the gift of good friends. My oldest friendships span over three decades. Yeah, that's how young/old I am. It's a case of till death do us part with these two women, women I've grown up with and women I plan to grow old with. I have friends. And then I have them.

They know who they are. You know who you are because I will never tire of telling you how much I love you and admire you for who you are and respect what you do for others. What you've done for me. Without you, where would I be now. That's a dedication I stamp wherever I can. That's a dedication waiting to see the light of your e-reader's screen. I have...I had...have...gah...two Romantica WIPs where friends play an important part. Friendship is a theme right up there with courtship.

They say authors should never use a friend as a plot device or a mouthpiece. They can stop right there. I mean, what did you just say? Use. A. Friend. Use a friend. What kind of girl, what kind of author, do you take me for? I would never use a friend. My characters would never use a friend, unless they're monsters who would use and abuse a friend in which case they are headed for a world of hurt. My characters can speak for themselves, thank you very much, and the plot advance just fine without puppets. That's not what friends are for, how can you say that, how can you even think that?!

I am shocked. Taking a moment to breathe in and out of a paper bag, that's how shocked I am. Use a friend. Tut-tut. Share with a friend. Trust. Be loyal. Be honest. Dependable. Offer an ear and a shoulder, a place to stay, sustenance. Have fun. Get serious. Get mad without fearing disapproval. Get sad without fearing rejection. Travel. Talk. Keep a secret. Keep in touch regardless of geography, or life situation, or lifestyle. Be there. Be here now.

That's what friends are for. That's what a friend is. Someone whose heart and door are always open.

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