Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Yas

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Maybe I was feeling the emotions for my past self too, not in the sense of a past life, but in the sense of regarding my younger self as if he were a separate and different person. Sometimes I imagine sending emotional support to my past younger self, because God knows he needed it. How much stronger could I have been and how much less could the burden have felt, had I known or believed that I would get my happily ever after ending.

I do the same exact thing. I regularly try to support myself in the past because it was such a difficult time.

It's interesting to read this. I also had a similar moment when reading the novels-particularly one which made me reflect a lot about my life and choices in the past. After looking back at some of the situations and circumstances that I went through (many of which were consequences of my own wrongdoing) and kind of seeing how so much could have been avoided, still knowing that I certainly learned quite bit from it all, I decided to send guidance and support to myself in the past too.

I was reckless and made choices that weren't good, and, looking back, I realized that I don't really know from where I got the guidance to move through some dark and ugly places toward a better place, before I found this network and being just a teenager. I thought then that maybe I had to send my past self some guidance and support because maybe it was me in the future who once sent me guidance and support as well... and maybe that was the inner voice that helped me back then.

Yes, it was a bit odd to think in those terms, but, who knows, maybe there is something to it.

---

On a side note, I also feel a lot more open emotionally after reading some of the novels. One thing that I notice is that by reading how the characters in the novels think, feel, and go through their experience, I get in the habit of also noticing my thoughts a bit more, as well as my own emotions... and after reading the stories and what others post here, I kind of have a framework from which to deal better with those thoughts and emotions. So, for example, I can relate to when a character felt in a particular way and knowing that in that case it was good to just share it with someone, or with her/his partner, or knowing about how some people here go through those thoughts and emotions, I now have those options to reflect on and maybe try in my own life to see what happens. It also gives more of a framework to notice where those thoughts and emotions might be coming from.

I'm still reading Courting Julia and I like it a lot so far, the characters seem very real and they way in which the author deals with their thinking is very good. The story is also very engaging and there's also humor in it.

Time to go back to reading! :lkj:
 

Konstantin

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I don't know if the short novellas in the Sons of Sin series are worth reading to complete the series though, not sure if anyone has any takes on that?
Yes, they are worth reading. They explain some dynamics between some characters in the series. It is like small bridges between characters in the whole series. With them, you will have a complete picture of the whole dynamic.
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Here is a video about riding sidesaddle:

Funny, I just asked my wife yesterday what the heck a sidesaddle is. I have spent some time on horseback in my life and just couldn't imagine how that should work :)

As for fashion, here is something for the gents - a cool rundown of the history of the suit from 1800 till today. The first 5 minutes or so are about the 19th century:

 

Mrs. Peel

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Wherever a single book mentioned, I only put single book in the sheet. I know some people read the entire series.
I took another look at the spreadsheet, I did find and listen to "The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie" on Hoopla audio and noticed that it was not on the sheet as available in audio. Maybe Hoopla offers different books in different geographical areas?
 

Gandalf

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I agree. That's why I think Mary Balogh's "The Huxtable Quintet" is even better than Anne Gracie's "Marriage of Convenience" series. As you say the sexual encounters are still heated, but put on the back burner, which leaves room for the imagination. The story is more focused on two people getting over themselves for the sake of others, not just for their partner, but for their families too.

I have just finished reading those 5 books and I really liked it and I also agree that it is even better than "Marriage of Convenience".
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I took another look at the spreadsheet, I did find and listen to "The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie" on Hoopla audio and noticed that it was not on the sheet as available in audio. Maybe Hoopla offers different books in different geographical areas?
True. Each library chooses which books to be make it available to their members. I put the legend to describe colors and backgrounds. It may not be available for my location ( gray background and red text), but it may be available for others. That's why I put the links for all the recommended books.

There are cases, the book not at all available in the hoopla/overdrive platform ( gray background with no text).

I also put another column called 'Kindle Unlimited' as they mentioned that first month for subscription is free. But, Not all authors books are available in 'Kindle Unlimited' - only scarlett scott, Elisa Braiden, Caroline Liden. Also, these author's tends to be cheaper ( $3 instead of $7) even if one wanted to buy. Another thing I observed is pricing model of kindle books varies for each book in the same series, first book and in between being cheaper, as if they want to encourage the people to start the series.
 

France

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
"One of the best means for arousing the wish to work on yourself is to realize that you may die at any moment. But first you must learn how to keep it in mind."
― George Gurdjieff
If a man could understand all the horror of the lives of ordinary people who are turning around in a circle of insignificant interests and insignificant aims, if he could understand what they are losing, he would understand that there can only be one thing that is serious for him - to escape from the general law, to be free. What can be serious for a man in prison who is condemned to death? Only one thing: How to save himself, how to escape: nothing else is serious. _ George Gurdjieff

The evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness, and 'consciousness' cannot evolve unconsciously. The evolution of man is the evolution of his will, and 'will' cannot evolve involuntarily.
― George Gurdjieff
Thank you Laura for reminding me of these important quotes.

When reading Anna Campbell's series, all actors have wounds and until they realize that these wounds constitute a feeling of inner "prison", those wounds cannot reveal themselves to the conscious for cleansing. It takes a shock, a wall, a love challenge or whatever to find the strength to dare to untie, to unveil the suffering in order to accept it and move on to other things.

These books have allowed me to grasp more deeply the ways of thinking that have been shaped by shocks to build my own inner prisons.

Gurdjieff's quotes have a deeper resonance now.

I started the Anne Gracie series.
 
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Anthony

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Just finished reading the first book of Survivors' Club series by Mary Balogh, The Proposal. It's excellent, and much more than that, it is quite mind-blowing in fact. Never would I expect to find so many useful and insightful things in a romance novel, I guess a lot of it would fall under the "simple and karmic understandings" category. Here are a few excerpts, which don't contain plot spoilers:

All people had their own demons to be fought - or not fought. Perhaps that was what life was all about. Perhaps life was a test to see how well we deal with our own particular demons, and how much sympathy we show others as they tread their own particular path through life.

--

"It's not easy to hate," he said, "when one has lived long enough to know that everyone has a difficult path to walk through life and does not always make wise or admirable choices.

--

When we lash out at ourselves for having lost control, we are reminded that we never can be in total control, that all life asks of us is to do our best to cope with what is handed to us. It is easier said that done, of course.

--

We all do things in our lives that are against our better judgment and that we regret bitterly forever after. We all suffer.

---

I regret much in my life, but there is no point, is there? At this moment we are both in exactly the spot to which we have brought ourselves through our birth and our life experiences, through the myriad choices we have made along the way. The only thing over which we have any control whatsoever is the very next decision we make.

--

Life was made up of choices, all of which, even the smallest, made all the difference to the rest of one's life.

--

No one could tell you about love or romance or what would happen if you married and the romance dwindled away. You could only find out for yourself. Or not find out. You could face the challenge or you could turn away from it. You could be a hero or a coward. Was there any answer to anything in life? Life was a bit like walking a thin, swaying, fraying tightrope over a deep chasm with jagged rock and a few wild animals waiting at the bottom. It was that dangerous - and that exciting.

There is so much more and I cannot do it justice. It simply has to be read. The characters even touch on the topic of reincarnation, I definitely wasn't expecting that to happen!

“I do not believe there is right or wrong,” he said. “There is only doing
what one must do under given circumstances and living with the
consequences and weaving every experience, good and bad, into the fabric
of one’s life so that ultimately one can see the pattern of it all and accept
the lessons life has taught. We were never expected to achieve perfection
in one lifetime
, Gwendoline. Religious people would say that is what
heaven is for. I think that would be a shame. It’s too easy and too lazy. I
would prefer to think that perhaps we are given a second chance—and a
third and a thirty-third—to get everything right
.”
 

Neil

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Those were some pretty interesting quotes, Anthony. Based on reviews, I'm beginning to think Balogh is the maestro of this subgenre and I'm interested to explore what kind of mind she has. She seems like quite an admirable writer and I haven't even read any of her books yet. Possibly even my heart could be touched by such substantive writing.
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Availability changes and does not remain static. So if it's available and you're interested, snap it up before it disappears from your library.
Yes and also depends on the platform. These are my observations for my library card system and the approach I am taking.

HooplaDigital - If the title exist, you can borrow it - copy availability doesn't apply. But, they have strict limit of 5 titles per month ( for my card). They have daily borrow limit ( I guess it is at the local Library level). so, I tend to borrow in the mornings.

Overdrive - "Copy availability" applies . Copy may be available today and can becomes unavailable at any time and they have hold option. They use traditional borrowing approach - So many copies reserved and only one person can borrow one copy approach. But, they only have 5 concurrent borrowing limit instead of Monthly limit. So one can borrow as many books one wants, if available.

To circumvent HooplaDigital limit, I borrowed one of my friends library card so that I can borrow if i needed more on the same month.

Amazon: Some times Kindle prices also change. If the title is not available in my library system, I tend to buy it and look for the price. If the price is in low range ( .99 to 2.99), I buy it even though I am NOT planning to read immediately.
 

Approaching Infinity

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Those were some pretty interesting quotes, Anthony. Based on reviews, I'm beginning to think Balogh is the maestro of this subgenre and I'm interested to explore what kind of mind she has. She seems like quite an admirable writer and I haven't even read any of her books yet. Possibly even my heart could be touched by such substantive writing.
I read Heartless and Silent Melody (currently on the 1797 Club series by Jess Michaels). Gotta say, even though I really liked Scarlett Scott's Sins and Scoundrels series, Balogh's writing is on a whole other level. Heartless was great, and Silent Melody was just devastating - in a good way. The second half wasn't as intense as the first, but man oh man, that first half was absolutely gut wrenching.
 

Laura

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FOTCM Member
I read Heartless and Silent Melody (currently on the 1797 Club series by Jess Michaels). Gotta say, even though I really liked Scarlett Scott's Sins and Scoundrels series, Balogh's writing is on a whole other level. Heartless was great, and Silent Melody was just devastating - in a good way. The second half wasn't as intense as the first, but man oh man, that first half was absolutely gut wrenching.

Ark is reading a Balogh book at the moment: "The Temporary Wife". He remarked at lunch that he was frequently brought almost to the point of tears by the psychological events portrayed. This book has also made him laugh out loud.

The Survivor's Club series is just amazing, too.
 
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