Let's Give a Great Big Shout Out to my Guest Blogger, Lena Coburn!

“You Don’t Know Me”
By Lena Writes a Romance

I deeply appreciate the happy, spicy wonderfulness I feel whenever I read anything written by Jenny Gilliam. I don’t think there is anything better than happy, spicy wonderfulness. Do you? I didn’t think so. Therefore, I am honored to introduce myself to the many fans who celebrate those very qualities in Jenny’s blog land. Thank you for this opportunity, Jenny. You rock.
You don’t know me so let me introduce myself. My name is Lena and I'm pretending to write a romance novel. I mean, I'm not really pretending, but it really feels like I am pretending. Sometimes I even feel like I'm pretending to pretend to write a romance novel. Good grief, it may be that I’m not actually doing anything. Is it all pretend?

As you might suspect, this pretending thing concerns me. It concerns me because I quit my day job last December with the adamant intention of finishing a full length novel by early spring 2009. So far I've written about half of a novel that - I swear to you - quite suddenly stopped making sense. And, to my horror, it seemed to take a rather dark and gloomy turn. Considering that I am known, almost universally, as the most horribly cheerful and fun-loving person you could ever meet I began to worry. This was when I started to realize that - gasp - I don't know me either! Or, at least, I don’t know all of me. Who am I and what am I doing?

This question is alarming, depressing, agitating, exciting and significantly uncomfortable. It is also my loyal companion on this labyrinth-like journey of writing a book. It’s not as scary as it initially seemed however because, as it turns out, it is also the fodder of my trade. Not knowing me – or what I’m doing - sparks my imagination. If I can’t achieve the answers through the use of reason and logic (and trust me, I can’t), than I simply must shift out of my head and into my heart. And then it comes. The story, the plot points, the characters….they simply come right out of my heart. And through these things I catch a glimpse of who I am and what I’m doing.

Maybe someday I won’t have to torture myself with this dark and gloomy process of fear-doubt-surrender before I arrive at the answers. But, then again, maybe I won’t. And maybe I don’t want to. Maybe I don’t want to end my daily journey of casting off the smallness of my mind in order to delve into the deep well of universal experience that is the birthplace of all Story? The place where I know me and you know me and we recognize one another because we understand things in this place. In that place we are all embracing love and joy and celebrating - without shame – the beauty of our bodies, our feelings, our very natures. There we are free. Whoa. I am getting all this from the process of writing a romance novel. Awesome.

So, I suppose, whether or not I ever find my book on the shelf at a bookstore or the NYT Best Sellers List I can feel confident that I am not pretending to write a romance and that I am, in fact, learning who I am and what I’m doing at every cross in the road. And I can rest assured that you do recognize me even though you’ve never seen my face or read my book. You understand me because you’ve been to that very same cross in the road yourself. It’s even possible that you are there with me right now.

See you around,
Lena Writes a Romance