Show Love Without Saying “I Love You.”

image by Crazygoat

Valentine’s Day approaches, and I have a novella in a Valentine’s Day collection. See more about Cooking Up Kisses at the end of my post.

Today, I use associated behaviors from The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes (Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi) to show Liam and Erin love each other. See if you can recognize the behaviors of love.


Liam sat on their favorite park bench. Expecting Erin fifteen minutes ago, he scrolled through the pages of an online newspaper. As approaching heels clicked the sidewalk in a hurried rhythm, he looked up. Erin’s red hair bobbed with each step. Liam rose, slid his phone into his pants pocket, and offered her a slow smile.

“I’m sorry I’m late.” Erin raised her face, and he pecked her soft lips.

image by HeungSoon

They sat. He reached for her hand and held her fingers in a loose grip. A little crease appeared between her lovely arched eyebrows. He searched her green eyes. “Everything all right?”

“It’s been one of those days.”

“I’m all ears.”

She touched the dimple in his chin and smiled. “You always are. I don’t know how you can be so handsome with so many ears.”

He chuckled. “So what’s your day been like, Erin?” He cocked his head, focused his eyes on hers, and listened as she related how her boss took credit for her work.

He released her hand when she needed it to express herself, then corralled it again when she calmed and sighed.

“Have you thought about taking the Mercury Street job? It sounded good.”

She searched his face. “Do you really think so?”

“I do. I think they’d appreciate your many talents there.”

“How do you know?”

“I researched their website and read all the comments. The comments alone showed they respect their employees.” He arched an eyebrow. “You may have to work longer hours, but they compensate by sharing profits with their employees.”

Erin cupped his face. “What would I do without you? You always make me feel better.”

A wide smile stretched his cheeks.


Erin answered her cell. “Hello, handsome.”

“Just checking in before I step up to the first tee.”

Erin smacked her forehead. “I forgot this is your golf day.”

“Did you need something?”

“No no.” No need to mention she’d made his favorite casserole for lunch.

image by Skitterphoto

“I probably won’t play more than the front nine. I left my putter in the garage after I rewrapped the grip. Putting with my sand wedge won’t help my game.”

“I can bring the putter to you. I go by the course on my way to the grocery story.” Which she didn’t need to go to, since they would eat reheated casserole for dinner. But the guy couldn’t enjoy his outing without his putter.

“That’d be great. I tee off in ten minutes.

“Who’re you playing with?”

Jim’s sick, so I’m playing alone.”

Erin’s gaze drifted to the romance she planed to read this afternoon. “How would you like some company? I can drive the cart while you make birdies.”

“I’d like the company, but are you sure? I bet you have plans for your day off.”

“I can think of nothing I’d rather do than spend the afternoon with you.” And oddly enough, she was telling the truth. Why read about romance when she could live it.

Show the love. Literally. Click to tweet.

What behaviors have you used to show love?


Five scrumptious e-book romance novellas, all for $0.99 or free on KindleUnlimited. Ranked #4 in Christian Fiction Collections. Here’s the link.  Here’s the blurbs:





Candace Parks lives a passionless life in Richmond. The computer programmer returns to the empty family home in the Blue Ridge Mountains solely to evaluate her job, faith, and boyfriend. Her high school crush, Trigg Alderman, who barely remembers her, visits his Gram next door. Sorting her life out? How about nothing of the sort!



Alana Mulvaney’s life is in a holding pattern. Consumed by day-to-day operations of the family business, Alana has no time for fun or romance. But a little fun and a whole lot of romance is just what Alana’s sisters have in mind when they learn childhood friend Donovan O’Reilly has returned to town.
Donovan O’Reilly has loved Alana Mulvaney since he moved in next door to her at the age of five. But he broke her heart when he was forced to leave town, and now that he’s returned home to Winding Ridge he has a second chance to prove himself. But is it too late to earn her trust…and her love…again?


Toni Littlebird believes that when she meets the man God created for her, she’ll know—and she’ll love him in that very moment.
But then Dax Hendrick roars into Hummingbird Hollow on a noisy, crippled Harley, stinking up the air and chasing away her beloved hummingbirds. One look into the intruder’s eyes and her heart sinks. He’s “The One.” She’d been right about knowing, but wrong about something far more important: She will never love this man!


Cara Peyton is content with her life, her trendy Baltimore bookshop is perfect for her. But when her ex turns up to remodel the store, asking for a second chance, she’s torn and unsure about risking her heart again. Can he convince her to trust him, and God, before the job is finished?



Another Valentine’s Day and Quinn Randolph prefers to spend it with her sweet rescue lab. Who needs men and their broken promises? Especially Pierce Karson’s! Years ago, his desertion shattered her. Now he’s trying to steal the property she targeted to expand her florist shop! Pierce only wants to belong…and for Quinn to choose him. His Valentine Promise…

3 Steps to Find a Romantic Idea for Your Creative Activity

“Opposites attract. If two people just alike get married, one of you is unnecessary.” —Larry Burkett

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at

You’re preparing a talk to a women’s group. Or writing a romantic scene. Or composing a song. Where will you find a romantic idea to entice your female audiences?

Here are 3 Steps to come up with a romantic idea for your creative work.

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at

Step 1. Write What You Know

Who do you know better than your spouse? You don’t have to go back to those budding-romance days. Look at why you love your spouse now.

Step 2. Use Opposites Attract

People love stories about how men differ from women. It’s romantic. So, list ways you’re different from your spouse. When you get about fifty…just kidding…ten, stop. Here’s mine:

1. He enjoys people. I’ve considered building a monument to the person who invented email.

2. He is a man of few words. That’s because I hog all the rest.

3. He finally comments on what I said five minutes ago. I’ve already forgotten what I said and moved on to my next idea.

4. He’s always right. I supply him with numerous opportunities, but I’ve reserved a billboard for the glorious day he’s WRONG.

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at
Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at

5. He analyzes how to put gutters on our house. I analyze everything else.

6. He takes hot showers so long I can’t find my way out of the bathroom. To save on electrical costs, I freshen up in his steam wondering why my hair doesn’t hold a curl.

7. He leaves a mushy card on my favorite chair on Valentine’s Day. When I find it, I race upstairs, cut out two harts, glue them together, and slap a doily on it, tea stain down, and finish it off with, “I love you.”

8. He laughs at my humor. I force weak smiles while he over-explains the way things work.

9. He does the grocery shopping, if I make the list. I question why he didn’t know “romaine in a bag” meant the easy pre-cut version and not a humongous stalk of romaine that barely fits in the vegetable drawer and happens to be sold in a bag.

10. He never tells embarrassing stories on me. I use this godly man as fodder for my social media posts.

Step 3. Recall a story.

Image courtesy of xedos4 at
Image courtesy of xedos4 at

For each difference, recall a story that proves you’re different in that area.

Here’s mine for number 5:

At our last house, John stood in the backyard, staring up at the roof for a lo-o-o-ng time. I couldn’t fathom what the man was doing. I asked. The expert who configures the gutters for houses was coming the next day. Our roof had funky levels. John wanted to figure it out before the EXPERT came. Do you know what? When the EXPERT showed John his configuration, John suggested his own and the expert agreed it was better!

Now you see why I listed number 4. But I have to admit I my heart tingled that my man bested the gutter expert.

From this story, I can use a similar situation for my fictional hero. Because I know my feelings from my scoffing in the beginning to my tingles at the end, I can give my heroine those feelings.

What’s a story you could use for a creative activity?

5 Tips from Creative Geniuses on How to Love


On this Valentines Day, enjoy the tips on how to love, gleaned from the thoughts of creative geniuses.

“The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others.” —Vincent Van Gogh—Dutch painter (1853-1890)

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at
Image courtesy of Simon Howden at

Tip 1: Love others, and experience artistic beauty. I thought creative geniuses submerged themselves deep in their work and never thought about brotherly love. Van Gogh cutting off a piece of his ear and giving it to a prostitute was morbid. Yet Van Gogh also spoke this tender quote. For me, it’s love God and others.


“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”  —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe —German poet/writer/scientist/ natural philosopher (1749-1832)

MP900443864Tip 2: Love well, and refine character. Considering his long list of occupations, Goethe may have referred to the impact of these endeavors on his life. Or he may have offered it as a lesson learned from his love life. He seems to have loved several women over his life, which also may have shaped him. Some inspired his works. Others rejected him. An engagement was ended. He married his mistress of little education after eighteen years and the birth of several children.


“In our life there is a single colour, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the colour of love.”  —Marc Chagall—Russian artist, (1887-1985)

MP900432886Tip 3: Love vibrantly, and live a meaningful life. Color dominated Chagall’s works. It’s probably natural he would view what he believed about love through color. Chagall married his fiancée after a twelve-year engagement.


The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.”  —Charles Dickens—English novelist (1812-1870)

DickensTip 4: Love first, and then create. At age twelve for three years, Dickens lived in the world of the working poor in appalling conditions. He never forgot his plight and in loving sympathy for children of the poor, created characters like Oliver Twist and David Copperfield. He was known as a spokesman for the poor and oppressed. His quote reminds me of the verses in the Bible that tell us God, our creator, knew and loved us before we existed.


“To love is not to look at one another, but to look together in the same direction.”  —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry —French novelist/poet/aviator (1900-1944)

Image courtesy of Bill Longshaw at
Image courtesy of Bill Longshaw at

Tip 5: Love unity, and together, look to the future. I wonder if Saint-Exupéry learned the lesson he espouses from his failed relationships. His fiancée’s family objected to his flying, and he took a desk job, only returning to aviation after the engagement dissolved. His marriage to a widow, his muse and his source of torment, was a volatile marriage.


Happy Valentines Day. What thoughts on love can you add?

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