The Valentine’s Day Backlash

Glancing at my Facebook feed, I’m not seeing a lot of love for Valentine’s Day these days. A few married couples have tossed out Happy Valentine’s Day wishes to their spouses.  A few moms have wished their children a happy birthday who happen to be born on St. Valentine’s Day. A few singles have posted pictures of a broken heart followed by Happy Single’s Awareness Day (SAD). My circle of friends appear to be over the holiday.

On twitter, the hashtag #CandyHeartRejects continues, and Commander Hatfield @Cmdr_Hadfield is retweeting the best of #ValentineFromSpace.

If you are a romance writer, how your characters deal with this holiday could be very informative.  For example, the stereotype of a man who rails against Valentine’s Day as a made-up holiday comes to mind. However, what if the female character is the one who hates the day and all of the fake love associated with it? One of my long-time male friends from college posted a story on Facebook this morning that his spouse of many years hates Valentine’s Day, and always has.

What if Valentine’s Day was also your wedding anniversary, but then there’s an ugly divorce? Would the day forever be tainted, even if you are close to finding new love?

What if a character is not very materialistic and a new beau gives an expensive bracelet for Valentine’s Day hoping to impress, but it has the opposite effect?

What if a first-date on Valentine’s Day goes awry because the fancy restaurant loses the reservation?

Why can’t I get these people out of my head?

Happy Valentine’s Day. 

What are your feelings about Valentine’s Day? Which stereotype do you match, or do you have a unique story?  I remember when I was single it was a very depressing holiday for me. Now that I’m married with kids, we typically avoid going out because of all the crowds.

Scrivener — Writer’s Little Helper or Busy Work?

I recently discovered Scrivener, a software package that, from their website, is “a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.”

Scrivener; for Microsoft Windows

Here is a link to their website:

The cost is $40 for the Windows version, and I decided to give it a try.  I’m a few days into the 30-day trial period (which is 30 days of use, not 30 contiguous days).  So far, I love it.  I think it will be great for a project started from scratch. I plan to buy it soon.

At this point, I’ve imported my current manuscript, about 67k, and I’m working on a fairly substantial revision. I’ve found it helps me move between different chapters and scenes easily to edit where I need to edit. This is definitely easier for me than paginating through a 170-odd page Word document to find where I need to be.

However, having all of the scenes broken up is a double-edged sword for me, because I have lost all sense of the length, or the idea of a page. While I can certainly use word count to estimate length, and I can compile and print, I’m struggling with day to day editing knowing the size of a chapter or its composite scenes.

I wold love to hear from other Scrivener users out there who have found a solution to this issue.

So far, my review would be thumbs up with a definite plan to buy. I’m excited about learning more about the nuances of program. I took the tutorial, but I’m an experiential learner, so I can’t wait to get down and dirty with it.  I think in a new project the character templates would be helpful, but in this instance, I don’t have the time to do all of that.

Have you looked at it? What do you think?