In addition to 800 Elephants to Tea: An Invitation to Imaginative Parenting, which has its own website, I have two other nonfiction manuscripts available now:
— 50 Ways to Please Your Lover is a book of romantic (not sexual–sorry folks) activities for couples
—50 Ways to Create Magic in Your Child’s Life is a book of activities and ideas for parents
Either book can be made available for print or electronic publication.
Here is the introduction to the romance book:
50 Ways to Please Your Lover
Five Myths about Romance
Myth #1: Romance is for the rich.
Imagine a big, elegant house. The people within it might have the money and the leisure to arrange wildly romantic gifts and getaways whenever they choose, but they are at least as likely to sit at opposite ends of a dining room table or spend all their leisure time with separate groups of friends. It’s not that the affluent are all unromantic, just that they are not necessarily so.
On the other hand, imagine a couple barefoot and picnicking in the public park. They may be broke, but you can feel their love as you walk by and see them laughing together. Is being poor romantic and fun? No, not necessarily. Does modesty of funds present an insurmountable barrier to romance? Absolutely not. Nobody can appreciate a foot rub, a home-cooked dinner, a single flower, or a candlelit cuddle more than someone who has worked hard all day.
True romance is not something to buy, but to live. It is an attitude a feeling, a creation. It is not the province of the wealthy, but the province of the thoughtful, respectful, imaginative, or fun. In keeping with this philosophy, nothing in this book costs over $30.00. Forty out of fifty of these activities cost no money at all.
Myth #2: Romance is for the young.
The best-known romantic heroes and heroines in books, onstage, in film, and on television are young : think of Romeo and Juliet, Robin Hood and Maid Marian, etc. The romantic heroes of real life are, on the contrary, not all young. In fact, the older you are, the more you may be able to appreciate romantic actions and to celebrate true love. There is no age limit on love, on joy, tenderness, or sensuality. This book is written for people in their eighties, as well as for those in their sixties, forties, thirties, twenties, and teens.
Myth #3: Romance is for the gorgeous.
Less than 1% of all people look like models or movie stars. Yet millions of people fall in love and enjoy romance. There are all kinds of beauty, both spiritual and physical. There are many ways to be sexy. I have seen conventionally attractive people who look morose, inaccessible, unhappy, or unkind. I have seen people who are short, heavy, hulking, bald, birthmarked, or otherwise not conventionally attractive who look happy, loving, romantic, confident, sweet, and sexy. One of the great things about romance is that it is not something you look, but something you do, feel, exude, create, and appreciate. Everyone in love can enjoy a magical beauty.
Myth #4: Romance fades with time.
Nonsense! Some romances fade (sometimes it only takes a week!) and some last longer than a lifetime. It’s true that no one can be brand new to you forever. Novelty can, of course, bring great pleasure and excitement. It can also make one nervous, and lead to disappointment or unpleasant surprises. In long-term love relationships, the partners find new forms of newness as they learn more about one another and change over time. It is absolutely unnecessary for people to take each other for granted or diminish their attraction to one another. Instead of overwhelming novelty, there can be overwhelming trust, comfort, knowledge of each other, and shared experience. Long-time couples can often be more romantic because they have done more and learned more about each other. There is therefore more to reminisce about, and it is easier to choose a gift or activity that will please. Romance can deepen with time, becoming even more alive.
Myth #5: Romance is exotic and unattainable.
James Bond drops in on a paramour from a hang-glider, exchanges witty banter with a fetching damsel while driving eighty miles an hour, and has sex in a submarine love nest. Resort ads promise long days relaxing on faraway island shores in total isolation. But the true romance of daily life is not so unusual, contrived, expensive, or otherwise unattainable. Trust me: people in exotic locations doing unusual things are not necessarily happy or in love.
I know a couple who eschewed an ordinary marriage ceremony with friends and family to fly to Hawaii, where they exchanged original wedding vows atop a verdant cliff overlooking the ocean and then stayed for a luxurious honeymoon. I have seen their wedding video, and this couple, now divorced, do not look deeply moved. In fact, I have heard from them that even during what would seem like an idyllic honeymoon in paradise, they felt more tired, disappointed, and frustrated than romantic. Other couples I know have been married in ordinary hometowns in ordinary ways, but they felt extraordinary on their wedding days and they love each other with passion and tenderness to this day.
Romance is a way of seeing, doing, and being. It is like an exquisite candle that lights any room. Love and romance are about the here and now and how it becomes more precious, more tender, passionate, and magical when enjoyed with imagination wherever you are.
How to Use this book
This book is written for all romantics, those just beginning or hoping to begin relationships and those who have been together for decades. It is a book of activity ideas. The romance itself comes from within the two of you. You will feel it as an impulse, experience it in moments. In the best relationships, it will exist like an unending river that fortifies the relationship, even at those times when its lovely surface has temporarily dipped out of view.
Six ways to use this book:
• Plan “dates” for the two of you to go out—or stay in.
• Spice up your life with new activities.
• Pick one activity a week to enjoy together.
• Use as a springboard to discover what you two find most romantic.
• Build a respectful, joyful, long-term relationship.
• Deepen that relationship by focusing on one another.
The ways you define romance, the activities you choose to do, and the groundwork of trust, respect, openness, caring, love, and fun you create together are unique to you. This book is a celebration of romance in its myriad forms and of true love, whose worth is beyond measure.