On Love and Novels #literature #prose #fiction

He was a great novelist. He avoided the big juvenile traps: on the one hand, repeatedly writing about one’s childhood and one’s limited experiences, and, on the other hand, confining his characters to slogans such as do good or better days are ahead.

He knew he went against the grain of what was considered acceptable in his country; a country in which the novel frequently used everything from camaraderie to horror, and from war to sex, in order to avoid the birth of a new Emma Bovary. Emma’s sensuality would have scandalized a society in which some, if not most, deified violence and crucified sensual love. Should I mention The Scarlet Letter?

He loved me. In his last note to me he wrote:

“Love and sensuality include divination: a thirst for deciphering the signs inscribed in the sacred area of our subconscious, a craving for knowing what the future holds, and the supplication that providence or god will fulfill our desires.

How much we want that which is not only given to us but that which we create too: Mircea Eliade’s homo religiosus, that alter-ego who lives inside us and conjures the meanings we create in sacred times and spaces.

Love and sensuality are the well of eternity.

Will I advise you to write about love? No.

Yet I know you will do it.”

Passions featured in San Francisco Book Review
Passions featured in Manhattan Book Review.

@Gabriela Marie Milton

155 thoughts on “On Love and Novels #literature #prose #fiction

  1. “How much we want that which is not only given to us but that which we create too: ”

    Dear G,
    One of your simplest works, but one of your most honest yet. I love how you weave wonderful topics with this fine silver thread of words.
    It makes sense, very much does, and with it, it also leaves you in great thought after reading.
    Lovely piece. Waiting for some poetry.

    1. Thank you so much my dearest friend. Your words mean the world to me. I am thrilled you enjoyed that phrase. How are you? Everything ok?

      1. Thank you so much for asking. I am doing better. Any new food later?

      2. I’m trying to use some wonderful winter fruits. I made an orange,fennel salad the other day. Might do something with figs sooner.

    1. It does, doesn’t it. Thank you for your comment Bo. Feeling better? Working on your second book?

      1. I am glad you are doing better. I am ok, what can I say? Not really submitting anymore. Working on a new book. Hopefully I will have the manuscript ready by the end of February. Good luck with everything Bo ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. Hi Cristian, thank you for your comment. In my view he will always be remembered. All serious books re: history of religions make reference to him. He was a towering figure in his profession.
      I hope you are well.

      1. I’m from his birth country and I love his books. In the communist time, 30 years ago, Mircea Eliade was forbidden in his country Romania. I’m ok Gabriela, thank you.

      2. I know you are from Romania. I did not know his writings were forbidden during the communist time.
        I am glad you are ok Cristian. Enjoy the rest of your day.

    1. Thank you so much Rene. I hope you are ok sweetheart. Sending you love and hugs.
      xoxo

  2. “Love and sensuality are the well of eternity.”….simple, deep & beautiful writing, dear Gabriela….have a wonderful & peaceful day ✨ 🌈

  3. Dearest Button, from where does that undefined space come? Bravo for making us think, especially us writers – how far can a writer go before we have hit that line drawn in the sand. It is a great piece showing how little we have changed the rules for women versus men’s rules. This space for me lives in my world of spirituality, in which I so strongly believe. It can’t be measured or explained rationally by anyone nor wholly comprehended (this is, of course, my faith, my belief, and part of who I am).

    We hold women to a different standard than men. We like to think, “We’ve come a long way, baby,” but have we? We indeed glamorize war, yet when a woman seeking to understand her sensual feelings is considered neurotic, selfish, or even a heartless failure, what is that? Women have and are still judged differently for their sensuality and their experiences.

    “Love and sensuality are the well of eternity.” I love this line, and this piece begs for one to give this subject thought and consideration. Especially to ponder that fine line where we dare not go for fear of being judged—beautifully written, my friend.

    I am sending you lots of love, prayers, and blessings always, honeybun.

    1. Hello my dearest honeybun.

      Thank you so much for your reply and thank you again for your praise.

      “This space for me lives in my world of spirituality, in which I so strongly believe. It can’t be measured or explained rationally by anyone nor wholly comprehended (this is, of course, my faith, my belief, and part of who I am).” This is so touching. Thank you for sharing.
      ” a woman seeking to understand her sensual feelings is considered neurotic, selfish, or even a heartless failure” Correct. Well, I will go gentler on the Nordic European countries 🙂 They lead the way on women rights. But we do not live there.

      “Especially to ponder that fine line where we dare not go for fear of being judged” That’s it. You know it. It’s very hard.

      Thank you for the love, prayers, and blessings honeybun. Right back to you.
      Love you
      G (button)

      This exchange happened in the European Parliament in 2017. Please watch this. It’s a minute or so. The guy is a lunatic 🙂

      1. I don’t see anything to watch Button. I always watch everything you send along with your work especially.
        It is very hard being a woman and being held to
        A different standard gets really old. I loved this piece and hope lots of people really think about what you said. You are right many of the European countries are more liberal. You are right we don’t live there. The south is beautiful but can be scary at times.
        Sending you lots of love, hugs and kisses. 🤗🤗❤️💕😘😘 love you Button and appreciation all the love you sent back. The house is full of love right now. Xoxoxo

      2. Good Evening Honeybun,
        Don’t worry about the clip. Thank you again for your wonderful words and for your kindness.
        Have a blessed evening wrapped in love.
        G (Button)
        xoxo

      3. You are so welcome. You are brave and so talented. I love you Button. Sending you mist of blue every morning for a month, you will see it when you awake and know I am thinking of you. Inside the mist will be the beautiful and strong spirits of many fellow female artists that are strong and loving.
        Yours,
        Honeybun

      4. Thank you sweetheart. The mist of blue is here and the sun is bright.
        “Inside the mist will be the beautiful and strong spirits of many fellow female artists that are strong and loving.” How wonderful. Thank you again.
        Have a gorgeous Friday honeybun.
        Love you
        xoxoxo

      5. Oh that makes me smile beautiful Button. So glad they have arrived. They will be happy to spend time with a woman of strong character and important ideals that are those often expressed by the most courageous and famous female artists.
        I hope you have an amazing and incredible weekend my friend.
        Sending you lots of warm hugs, prayers and love always.
        Love you to pieces
        Honeybun
        xoxoxo

      6. You are a gem honeybun. Sending you plenty of love and hugs ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

  4. So much changes but so much remains the same.
    “Love and sensuality are the well of eternity.

    Will I advise you to write about love? No.

    Yet I know you will do it.”

    Profound words couched in simplicity, Gabriela. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Aw.. thank you so much for your beautiful words Punam. You brighten my days. You are a sweetheart.
      xoxoxoxo…

  5. such a poetic gift and history here you have woven so beautifully Gabriella.
    Opening our hearts and soul to capture the time and rejoice in change and opening to truths exposed by his slogans.

    love this… “a craving for knowing what the future holds, and the supplication that providence or god will fulfill our desires”.

    Love and sensuality is the age ole way then and now. ❤️
    Bravo 👏👏👏

    1. Cindy, thank you so much for the praise. I am humbled by your words. I am also delighted you enjoyed the piece. You support and inspire us. Thank you so much for being you.
      xoxoxo..

      1. You are so welcome and thank you!
        It is my joy to read, support and learn through your writing. It is a gift and thank you for your kind words of support. Awww thanks so. xo xoxo

      2. Oh, Cindy, thank you again ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  6. Your cultural bedrock always astounds me, Gabriela, mine a much looser footing of shifting sands, yet the essence of your writing is to enable, a step followed by another, into a way of thinking, not always understood, yet always felt, and ultimately grounded in the currency of life, all have in different measures, that not so little thing called love.

    1. Eric, your words honor and humble me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I do not know what else to say.
      Wait, I do. A wonderful English gentleman once wrote to me: “don’t you ever doubt yourself.” Any idea who that person was?
      “mine a much looser footing of shifting sands” Eric, you are knowledgeable and your accomplishments are remarkable. Many more will come. You know where I am going with this, don’t you?
      Thank you once again. Please stay safe. It looks bad from where I stand. Actually, it’s bad here too.
      Sending three hugs 🙂

      1. Ah, that person he’s still out there admiring the writer, the poet he always knew you to be – the good friend you have become. Thank you, G, there may well be a thing or two I’ll get around sometime to do! Yes, the UK is seriously struggling with the new variant virus which arose in Kent at the onset of winter, as frontline health workers one of my daughters has had the vaccine and my other daughter will in a couple of weeks, it will likely be March for my wife and me, so mostly staying in till then, not that I can out much given the national lockdown. And yes, I’ve read how bad it is across the US too – and feel disturbingly unsettled by the abuse of democracy that seems to be coming to a head in the land of the free – I sincerely hope sense prevails and the US realises the world is watching, head shaking historic friends and hand wringing emboldened enemies. Take care as always.

      2. Oh, so you remember… that makes me happy. Thank you again for the kind words.
        “there may well be a thing or two I’ll get around sometime to do!” I am sure there are great things you will do.
        Eric, I did not know that one of your daughters is a frontline health worker. At this point my heart goes to all frontline workers. I am glad she got the vaccine. Be safe.
        We are mostly staying in too. Who knows when we are going to get the vaccine.
        “and feel disturbingly unsettled by the abuse of democracy that seems to be coming to a head in the land of the free” I cannot even go there, Eric. I am speechless and scared at the same time. The authoritarian developments are jarring. I feel them in my bones.
        “I sincerely hope sense prevails.” Thank you. I hope so too.
        My best wishes to everyone and thank you for your friendship.
        Yours
        G.

    1. So happy to hear from you, Shantanu. Thank you for your kind words and wishes. Happy New Year to you too. What happened? I did not see you in my reader for a long time. I missed you. You Ok?

      1. Hi good to be back again. Life has been quite busy – I am focusing more on my YouTube Channel so was not here as much as I wanted to – I missed you too ❤️

      2. I just listen to your most recent recording. You are great. I knew you were focusing on YouTube and apps but still I don’t understand why you don’t show in my reader anymore. Anyway, great to reconnect. Have a spectacular year filled with happiness and success 😊🌸

  7. This doesn’t usually happen, but I had a lot of trouble with opening paragraph. I think I finally figured it and put it down to differences in culture and colloquial usage. Generally the one hand or the other is used as a pro/con contrast and my assumption in this case is the hands were used as as enumerators. So I just reinforced to myself the lesson about out how sometimes we need to make style sacrifices for the sake of clarity.

    1. Hi Phil.

      Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate it. I am not a native speaker of English. The more help I get, the better.

      If I am wrong I am more than willing to recognize that and to learn from you. At this point I am not sure I am wrong.

      I sent the paragraph to two of my colleagues who teach English in the Liberal Arts College. I did it because while I understood your point of view, the paragraph sounded perfectly fine to me.

      Here is my colleagues said.

      The expression on one hand … and on the other hand (and it’s variations) is used:

      1. to show two contrasting ideas, as you correctly pointed out.

      2. to show two different (not contrasting) aspects of the same situation.

      “The child makes a lot of noise. On the one hand he speaks very loud, and, on the other hand, he plays his guitar all the time.” This is how I used the expression. I wanted to show two different aspects of the same situation.
      That does not have anything do to with style sacrifices. It may be colloquial usage (I have to ask them again :)) but according to my colleagues it is correct.

      The most concerning thing to me is that you “had trouble” with the paragraph. I would be most grateful if you can expand and help me understand more. I do not want my readers to have trouble reading my work.

      Phil, thank you again for commenting and for helping me.

      Looking forward to your reply.
      Sincerely,

      Gabriela

      1. The phrase is used as a conjunctive adverb. Like a verbal semicolon, or even a comma tying two related clauses or thoughts together. The real issue, as any rhetorician from Aristotle to Lanham to Horace’s Ars Poetica will purport, is that if style or colloquial usage gets in the way of clarity, dump it. Where I’m from (in the south) the “other hand” in my experience involves choice (the use of or/other). You can “fish or cut bait.” Both have to do with fishing but involve choice. Another would be “one person’s meat is another’s poison.” On the one hand it’s a treasure, on the other it’s trash.

        My real point is when faced with, as you described, two ways of perceiving a usage you stand a 50% chance of your meaning being lost or misconstrued. Which are not good odds if you’re shooting for clarity. Here’s a good line from an overused source “Sometimes words have two meanings.” If that’s the case, as a writer making a point, pick another word. Or phrase. I also learned about clarity from an editor and Ph.D in rhetoric who stretched that point to include obscure slang as well as social and professional subcultural vernacular. As Mark Twain said “Never use a five dollar word when a fifty cent one will do.” You could apply that to tricky phrases. Richard Lanham would have taken your paragraph in hand and possibly given back – He avoided the big juvenile traps: Repeatedly writing about one’s childhood and one’s limited experiences, and confining his characters to trite slogans.

        Me, being of the iceberg school, would have said – He avoided the big juvenile traps of repeatedly writing about one’s limited childhood experiences and sloganeering dialogue.
        Both of those would be personal style choices. In your case, when confronted with a style choice that by definition gives you a fifty-fifty chance of success or failure, find a personally suitable alternative without the colloquial baggage.
        I have a gazillion of those things edited out and personal experience uh-oh moments, trust me.

      2. Good evening Phil.
        Apologies for my late reply. I was snowed with work. Don’t kill me 🙂 This is what one of my Canadian friends says when he is busy.
        “The real issue, as any rhetorician from Aristotle to Lanham to Horace’s Ars Poetica will purport, is that if style or colloquial usage gets in the way of clarity, dump it.” I agree with that. The problem is that I can’t see that as clearly as you do. I am trying.

        “My real point is when faced with, as you described, two ways of perceiving a usage you stand a 50% chance of your meaning being lost or misconstrued. Which are not good odds if you’re shooting for clarity.” You are right again.

        “He avoided the big juvenile traps of repeatedly writing about one’s limited childhood experiences and sloganeering dialogue.” I like that. Yet I am always told to avoid -ing(s) “sloganeering.” I am also told to say away of -ly “repeatedly.” Your take on this?

        Have a wonderful evening and thank you very much for your help.
        Gabriela

      3. Like all “rules” using -ing is a matter of choice. In this instance Sloganeering is a noun and not an -ing verb form. The only personal -ing rule I cling to is opening a sentence with one. “Falling through the doorway, John cursed.” I hate that. I don;t know why but I do. However it is not grammatically illegal. I just don’t like it. There’s also a rule about don’t use passive voice. Which in descriptive fiction is almost impossible. Without passive voice certain descriptions would come across sharp and stilted. Useful for a police report or academic paper but not a read for enjoyment document. Example – Mother cooked, grandmother shelled peas. The dog watched. To set a more inclusive, relaxed voice for the scene passive voice is mandatory. – I’d been shopping and when I arrived home Mother was in the kitchen cooking, gramma sat at the table and shelled peas while my dog Ben waited patiently between them waiting for either to drop something edible. In there we have -ed verbs, an unholy adverb AND a several ing forms as well as passive voice. But it seems to work.
        Then only “rules” are the ones that work for you, that best help you tell your stories and the ones pertinent to clarity. The latter fall into the self-editing category. Go back through what you’ve written, straighten everything up and make sure there is no doubt in yours or anyone else’s mind exactly what you mean.

      4. Good morning Phil. Thank you for your reply. Highly appreciated.

        ” I’d been shopping and when I arrived home Mother was in the kitchen cooking, gramma sat at the table and shelled peas while my dog Ben waited patiently between them waiting for either to drop something edible”

        I was discouraged to write like this.

        Too many ing(s). Too many ideas/actions/ per sentence. As a general rule: one idea/action per sentence unless one is Hemmingway: “I came down and I ordered a drink and […] and […].. ”

        Being a native of a romance language, what you wrote works for me. I can run a sentence forever. But this is not what I am told to do.

        Before I forget: I was also told to stay away of “would” and “could” as much as possible. I agree with that. I can see how that makes the writing sloppy.

        On rules:

        “Then only “rules” are the ones that work for you, that best help you tell your stories and the ones pertinent to clarity.” Agreed.

        Back where we started. Even if the expression that I used in my opening paragraph is colloquial, you are the only one who says that the paragraph lacks clarity. You had trouble understanding it. That intrigues me because nobody seems to think that.

        Now, let’s go waltzing Matilda (performing André Rieu) 🙂

        Have a great weekend Phil.

      5. I replied to your question. Twice! But from the notification in my site. So if it’s not in you akismet spam, let me know, I wasn’t blowing you off.

      6. Hi Phil, I am here now. I read your reply. Thank you so much. I will respond now. Apologizes for the delay.

  8. Hello there, your post is very well written. Thank you very much for subscribing to my blog. It’s an honor ! The best for you and your family for the new year 2021 Marie-Anne

    1. Hi Marie-Anne,
      Thank you for your kind words. It’s my pleasure to read your blog.
      Best to you and your family too.
      xoxo
      Gabriela

      1. Thank you 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Happy New Year to you. May 2021 bring you happiness and success 🌸

    1. Thank you for asking. I don’t yet. It’s an excerpt from my next book. The manuscript will go to the publisher at the end of February.
      You published so much recently. Congratulations! You rock!

      1. I’m so excited, congratulations!! 🎉🍾 let me know when you have preorders/orders available and I’ll gladly snag a copy. That’s very kind, thank you so much 🙏🏻 working from home this past year has given me some time to finalize projects which is nice. I think we’ve all learned a thing or two about time management lately

      2. Thank you. I will let everyone know via my blog and other social media venues.
        “working from home this past year has given me some time to finalize projects which is nice.” It did the same for me 🙂
        Good luck with everything and I will be in touch.

      3. Woohoo!! That’s great to hear that it’s helped you in the same way. Thanks so much, I appreciate it! Good luck with the new collection 📚✍️

  9. A lovely post.Weldon.Love is boundless.nobody can stop it to rise like Sun and Moon.dear G!! If you don’t mind -i want to ask that the friendship of opposite sex is love.i could be unable to forget my boy friend.plz reply.

    1. Thank you for the praise Aruna. I am not sure I understand your question. Are you asking if a man and a woman are friends are they in love too? If that is the question my answer is not necessarily.

    1. Aw… Mara… you inked yours in my soul. I am so humbled by your comment. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
      Have a wonderful Friday.
      xoxo

  10. So much wisdom in these epic lines , Gabby. Love the beauty of this philosophical piece of writing. You are the best, G. ❤️🤗💖

    1. Thank you from my heart Yassy. You are the best. I come second. Sending you loads of love. Be happy.
      xoxoxo

    1. My most sincere thanks. I am really humbled by your words. I have everything is well with you. Happy 2021 😊

    1. Thank you sweetheart. I highly appreciate your comment. Sending you plenty of love ❤️❤️❤️

      1. Thank you. Much luck with your book. Looking forward to reading it.
        xoxo

  11. pretty sure I commented on this one Gabriella but it was not marked starred on my computer.
    I think maybe when you like something on the phone, it doesn’t always show up.
    Anyways, another masterpiece here. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much Cindy. You are a darling. I hope your weekend is going well ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  12. I really enjoyed this post and the thoughts on sensuality. Society hasn’t really changed much, has it? The ending lines were perfect.

    Happy new year, dearest Gabriella!

    1. Hello my detests B. So good to hear from you. Thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad you like the piece. No, probably we did not change too much. Sending you love. I hope writing is going well ❤️🌹🥰

    2. And Happy New Year. 🎆🎊🎈 May 2021 bring you all the happiness in the world 🌹❤️

      1. Thank you hon. I am still trying to figure our how to like your posts. I was on your site reading. Congratulations on all your wonderful accomplishments. I am going to try something new right now.

      2. Thank you B. I can like your posts now! It’s working. I cannot comment because you closed the comments but I think we are good now. Can you see my likes?

      3. I am happy I can go now to your site and like your posts. Yay ❤️

      1. I’m a bit disorganized Gabriella, but I am first getting there. We have presidential elections in a couple of days, I’ve been at close friends’ weddings these last 2weekends,
        So much to tell you but never the right forum.
        Hope you are well too 🧡🤗

      2. Take good care of yourself and write me when you get some time.
        xoxo

    1. Hello, my beautiful Katy. Thank you so much. You are a gem. I hope everything is well with you. Sending huge hugs.
      xoxoxo

      1. My pleasure, beautiful Gabriela!!! All is well here, Thank You! I hope all is well there also and am sending HUGE hugs right back to You!!! ❤️❤️❤️!

      2. 🌹🌹🌹❤️❤️❤️🤗🤗🤗🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

    1. You are showering me with compliments today. Thank you. You are a gem. I hope you are doing well ❤️🌹🥰

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