February is a strange month. It’s the shortest of the year, though there’s still time enough for love. It’s the last month of the extreme seasons in each hemisphere, and usually when the weather tries to give itself a worthy send-off. The major global events of the month are Chinese New Year, That’s What She Said Day (Feb 15th), and St Valentine’s Day.
Despite being a cynical chap, I’ve had an interesting relationship with Valentine’s Day. I know it’s commercialised up the backdoor, and I don’t really buy into the pink and hearts and chocolate of it all, I’m also a romantic at heart. Just ahead of one Valentine’s Day, when I was single, I saw a plush heart, and had to buy it.
Now, I didn’t have anyone to give it to. I didn’t even have a secret crush, or admiration for someone. I bought it anyway, because it would be a retroactive Valentine’s Day present for someone. It was too special not to get and share. Yeah, pretty sappy. It was the same Valentine’s Day that I became aware of my wife’s existence, obviously before she was ever my wife. Prior to that, I’d optimistically wandered around the city after work, taking photos just for the hell of it. I hadn’t realised it was Valentine’s Day until then-single-me encountered a plethora of couples out having romantic dinners.
There was one couple that stood out to me the most – At Hickson Road Reserve in Circular Quay (Sydney), an elderly couple sat on the grass with a picnic spread out before them, cuddling together. It was so simple, and it was easy to imagine that it was a tradition they’d engaged in for decades. No fancy restaurants, nor tacky displays of rose petals and chocolate. A pleasant evening by the harbour, with the person that mattered most to them.
It’s now two days before Valentine’s, which should be plenty of time to sort out *something* heartfelt. Last year, on top of the gifts, I wrote my wife a poem about our relationship. Even if you don’t want to engage in the commercial aspect, or don’t have the opportunity to share the day with someone, try to find something positive in the day.
Light the fireplace, slip into something more comfortable, or warm up the lube – it’s time to play with the palette of love. Write something romantic, sexy, or smutty. If you don’t usually go very far into the acts of love with your writing, it’s time you go further. Don’t let your characters stop at the hand-holding when they can steal a kiss, don’t end the night on a kiss when they can cop a feel, and hey, even let them cut loose with self-abasing fornication. Find the line you usually stop at, where things become too explicit for you, and run over it. Let some of your characters get their freak on, or if that’s what they ALWAYS do, make them woo and seduce and gush.
The guidelines for each challenge are:
- Aim for at least 1000 words.
- Write something new/original
- Invest yourself in the words.
- Tag with FicWC, or trackback post here.
If you’re curious, there’s also a complete list of monthly challenges for the year.