The Grand Gesture

July 18, 2007 at 9:52 am | Posted in Bria, hero, life, procrastination, romance, writing | 4 Comments

It could be the fact that I’ve been editing and writing until ungodly hours for the last week and a half, it could be knowing I’ll be unemployed in 9 days, it could be the darn PMS. But I really think it was the story.

So I’ve been procrastinating.

Last night I wrote/edited nothing (per Meg Heartlette who told me I obviously needed a 24 hour reprieve). Instead I chatted with (distracted) a fellow Romance Diva for a good hour keeping her from her writing (but she’s just so fun to chat with!)

This morning, ignoring the fact that I needed to write about heroes, I started browsing blogs, looking to see what people back from RWA Nationals had to say.

Elizabeth Boyle is so under-rated. I’ve seen some reviews of her work that I feel are just off. If she writes a book, I read it. Enough said. So, when I was stalling and saw a link to her blog – of course I had to head over. And there it was. Right there on the left-hand side bar of her website: “My Favorite Hero.”

Wasn’t I supposed to be writing about heroes this week? ‘Click’

<>Often, romance readers get swept up and don’t believe love and romance happen in the real world. I don’t expect the grand gesture in my life – they don’t happen, men don’t understand the concept. Right? Wrong – and Miss Boyle’s husband had me swooning. That started me thinking about what real-life grand gestures look like and the first one I saw. I grew up in small town America where the cows outnumbered the people, one main road ran through the center and stoplights and street lights didn’t exist. The big event of the week was the parent’s softball game where the kids were given free run of the town green.

This particular summer I was ten-years-old, when ten was still considered young, 15 pounds underweight and all freckles and elbows. It was my turn to watch the pastor’s two-year-old daughter and she cuddled in my lap as I watched the other kids run around in circles as if they were getting somewhere.

As they all disappeared to the other side of the bandstand, ‘The Boy’ came over to sit with me and told me how boring it was being my week to baby-sit. Even then his blue eyes were to die for. Across Rt. 58, where the woods drifted down a hill to the bogs, were the most beautiful crab-apple blossoms peeping through the rushing cars.

“You can smell them when the wind turns.” It was an off handed comment to fill the silence.

The next thing I knew, The Boy was dodging cut-thru traffic to the far side of the road. On his way back, the blaring horns made the baby reach up to cover her ears as he waved a fist full of blossoms at the cars as they screeched to a halt.

Climbing back up the green’s hill with a loopy smile on his face, he threw himself down beside us. Handing the girl almost all the flowers, he announced he’d rescued them from the tree for the little princess.

And then, taking the last blossom and pushing it behind my ear, he whispered there, “But I saved the prettiest one for her babysitter.”

Years later that Boy must be deadly.

I’d loved to hear about your grand gesture – and I’d love for you to read Miss Boyles, it made my heart skip:

And after you’ve done that, Go Write!




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  1. I was surfing around looking for something and found your blog! Really, my husband is a great guy, but please don’t let him see your blog, he gets all self-important on me and he’s unbearable for like a week every time someone talks about his hero standing! 🙂 But thanks again for the praise on the books and best wishes with your writing!

  2. Elizabeth,
    Thanks so much for stopping by! I attended your ‘Finish that Book!’ workshop at my first-ever RWA conference (National in NYC in 2003) and learned so much! You really helped me, well, finish that book. So, thanks for that, too! We’d love to have you as a guest here at the Purple Hearts, and hope you’ll stop in again, soon.

  3. […] The Grand Gesture I love this post. The childhood story really happened, I love to think about what makes a good hero […]

  4. […] Boyle, Honorary Heartlette, books, writing | A couple months ago I (bria) did a blog post on Grand Gestures, and wrote a little bit about an author I love, Elizabeth Boyle. She wrote this wonderful story on […]

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