Friday, June 6, 2008

I'll Cry If I Want To

by Jo Robertson

I haven’t cried while reading a book in a long time.

Movies, sure.

My grandchildren, absolutely.

My daughters and their babies, all the time.

Okay, this is probably more the funny stuff that leads to crying while I watch my girls try to fit their babies into the Swaddler. Ezra's got the hang of it, Annie not so much.

But that sheer, close to the edge, can’t stop bawling kind of crying? Not so much any more.

It isn’t that the writing in the books I read isn’t better – in fact, authors now are producing much stronger books than the ones I read in my twenties – or thirties. It’s just that I’ve been reading mystery/suspense or sexy romance lately. Not a lot of room for unabashed weeping there.

So has crying over a good book out of vogue? Or is it just me?

But guess what? Recently I finished up Jennifer Donnelly’s The Tea Rose. (Jennifer guest-blogged here a while back; go to the archives if you’d like to read the interview.)


I cried like a baby when a character in Jennifer's book died. I honestly --
gosh awful, snot running out of my nose, tears dampening my pillow -- sobbed. I covered my mouth in case my crying became louder than my husband’s snores.
It didn’t, by the way.

The passage where the character died was beautifully written, evocative and powerful and damned SAD! You know, the good kind of sad where you have hope and tenderness and resignation all rolled up into one good bout of weeping.

The character thought of those who’d passed before him that he loved and hoped to meet again and worried about those he would leave behind. He gave a little blessing before he sli
pped away. Sobbing, I tell you. I was sobbing!

So here’s my question to you. What kinds of things make you cry? What was the last book or movie or something in your ordinary life that made you break down and boo-hoo weep?


Jennifer Y. said...

OOOOOOH...Did the GR come back to GA?

flchen1 said...

Oh yes it did! :)

jo robertson said...

Oh, yeah, Jennifer. He's a Georgia peach now! Congrats!

Jennifer Y. said...

Tough question...

It takes a lot to make me cry...I don't cry too often reading books...occassionally a movie will do it...if it reminds me of something like a passed loved one or a sad moment in my life. I don't do the "happy cry" thing much.

Hmmm...Karen White's Learning to Breathe touched me emotionally...there might have been a tear or two (or more) toward the end.

jo robertson said...

I recently, big boob that I am, while watching JUNO. I'd resisted seeing the movie because, well, it just annoyed me that Diablo Cody (sp?) whipped that book out like nothing while I sweat over every word in my manuscripts.

But I have to say: it's a lovely, funny, sad, beautiful movie and worth all the praise people have heaped on it.

I admit it. I cried.

jo robertson said...

That's funny that you don't cry much, Jennifer. When I was younger I didn't either. I think I was too busy laughing. But as I get older, I guess I get more sentimental.

My FIL used to say his bladder was too close to his tear ducts!

Jennifer Y. said...

By the way, that last picture looks a little like the cabana boy crying when I told him the party was over...and because I ignored him in favor of the GR....hmmm...Can I have a golden (tan) cabana boy to go with my GR?

*looks around*

Jennifer Y. said...

I think I don't cry much because I don't like to cry...LOL. When I feel the tears coming I distract myself...LOL.

flchen1 said...

I don't really enjoy crying either, and prefer to avoid sad movies and books. I can't remember the last one that made me bawl... I think to some extent, it's a matter of timing, too--there are days when the least thing will have me sniffling and others where I can be terribly hard-hearted ;)

Jane said...

I can't think of any recent movies that have made me cry, but Beaches and Steel Magnolias never fails to bring out the tears in me. I just read Pamela Clare's "Extreme Exposure" and it made me cry at the end, but they were happy tears.

Natalie Hatch said...

Kate Jacobs Friday Night Knitting Club had me crying, I knew it was coming, but I still cried. I think since I've had kids I cry at the drop of a hat... bloody progesterone I reckon.
Oh and Nicholas Sparks A Walk to Remember... yeah he gets me a lot of the time.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine Wells said...

Jo, I'm terrible. I cry at the drop of a hat and have done ever since I had my first baby. It's dreadful! I suppose the last book I genuinely sobbed over would have been Anne Gracie's The Stolen Princess. Anne has that wonderful ability to make you laugh and cry all the way through a book.

Great to hear you enjoyed the Tea Rose. Jennifer was so inspiring when she visited the lair, wasn't she?

Speaking of Jennifers--congrats Jennifer Y on the GR:) I'd be careful about ordering cabana boys, though! The GR can get a little territorial.

Christine Wells said...

Oh, Natalie, snap! You said the same as me about being a watering pot post babies. I hope it's a phase we grow out of, don't you?

Natalie Hatch said...

I don't think we do until they all become teens and then we pull our hair out instead Christine. I never used to cry, ever, I'm a high school science teacher with a voice that can skin a Year 9 student from fifty paces. I don't cry. But the minute I was pregnant with Mister3 I became a blubberer (I just made up a word!), the only thing I can put it down to is progesterone fluxes within the blood chemistry.
I cried at a McDonalds add when I was preggers with the twins... now that's bad.

Maureen said...

The book Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas had me crying but it is a great story.

Caren Crane said...

Jennifer Y., way to reclaim your long-lost fowl! *g* And no, greedy girl, the Golden Cabana Boy stays firmly in the Lair--I mean, there is NO SUCH THING!

*ahem* I have been known to bawl my eyes out at movies, but it has to be just the right movie at just the right time. When I was pregnant with my son, I went to see "The Color Purple" (yes, it WAS that long ago). I was the only person in the theater. I absolutely cried until I thought I would do myself an injury and had to go back to the lobby twice for napkins. *sigh* That was a great day.

Btw, I rewatched that one last year and didn't even get misty. *shrug*

Books. Hm. I know one made me cry in the past year, but can't recall what it was. Often it's the funnier ones, because the tender moments tend to be much more poignant than a moment amidst suspense or tragedy. If I think of it, I'll post it later on!

This is a great topic, Jo!

Donna MacMeans said...

When I was younger I never would cry at movies or books. I thought those that left the theater dabbing their eyes with kleenex were just plain silly.

Then I got married, then I had kids. Then it was hard not to cry.

I'd like to blame it all on hormones but I think it's because as we experience more, love more and lose more - we understand the pain and loss and maybe relive it through the character. I think the tears come more from having lived than from fluctuating hormones.

I can't remember the last movie/book that moved me to tears. Not that it's been so long ago -- I just can't remember it *g*

Must be all that experience causes memory loss :-)

PJ said...

I'm like a leaky garden hose - always have been. The tears flow over commercials, movies, books, music, beautiful sunrises (or sunsets), Air Force flyovers, thoughtful gestures (especially from children) and on and on and on. I've learned over the years that crying, at least for me, is a good emotional release so I just let the tears flow.

I've gotten "leaky" over several books lately but the one that had me out and out boo-hooing was INTO THE SHADOW by Christina Dodd. It's the third book in her paranormal series and comes out July 1. There's one particular scene that required four kleenex to mop up the tears.

PJ said...

Congrats on nabbing the GR, Jennifer Y. He sure seems to like it in GA. Hope you aren't as hot there as we are here in SC!

PJ said...

Donna, I finished TTWM last night. LOVED IT!!!!! You know how much I enjoyed The Education of Mrs. Brimley but TTWM is even better. It had me laughing and crying both. ;)

Are you planning to write Portia's story?

Helen said...

Congrats Jennifer

Great post Jo I don't cry a lot either but there have been a few books tht I have cried in I cried when Dumbledore and Hedwig died in the Harry Potter books as for romance books when I was about 15 I read Love Story Eric Segal and I sobbed for hours after reading that book it broke my heart when the movie was released my girlfriends and I went to see it and we all said we wouldn' cry because we had all read the book and cried heaps when we finished that so here we were at the movies and of course we sobbed again and we had one tissue between the 3 of us we ripped it up and used that but we cried all the way home in the train that movie still gets to me I watched it a couple of weeks ago and cried again. Another two movies that make me cry are Beaches and Steel Magnolias and An Affair To Remember. A good cry can sometimes make you feel better thank heavens for sad movies and great books.

Have Fun

Buffie said...

Congrat JenniferY -- it's great to see the GR in Georgia again!! **from one Georgia gal to another**

I cry at a lot of things . . . books, tv shows, movies, commercials, my boys who are growing up so darn fast, when I get frustrated, when I get made, just about everything. It may not happen every single day, but it will sure happen at least once a week.

PJ -- I can't believe you have read Christina's next book!!!! I'm so jealous. But thanks for the warning. I'll have to have the tissues at hand when I finally get that book. Oh, and yes it is darn hot here in Hotlanta. I think I actually melted a little bit last night at the ball park LOL!

Donna -- I picked up TTWM yesterday and can't wait to finish my current read so that I can start on it.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I am a cryer too. Books, movies, music, even commercials (pj, we must be soul sisters)..LOL
The most recent cry was because of my son. He was failing geometry and I was trying to explain that if he didn't buckle down and fast he wouldn't have much of a summer because he would have to go to school. He cried, my heart broke and that was the start of some major water works. I had been preaching all school year but sometimes he just doesn't understand.

Beth said...

Hey Jo - great post! I cried during Juno too. Loved the ending of that movie *g*

I cry very easily and have since I had my first child.

Natalie and Christine, that kid is now 16 and I still bawl at sappy commercials, all graduations and weddings, name it *g* Guess I'm not going to out grow it :-)

The last book I remember making me cry was Holly Jacob's The House on Briar Hill. Very emotional with an uplifting ending :-)

Gannon Carr said...

I cry very easily -- movies, books, commercials, weddings, children's performances at school...and the list goes on.

Actually, I enjoy a good cry. The emotional release is very cathartic and I always feel better afterward.

Caren Crane, I remember seeing The Color Purple and sobbing! I have it on DVD and I still cry!

My 8 year old daughter and I watched ET a few weeks ago and had a little sob fest together! As the only females in a house full of guys (dh and 2 sons, as well as 4 male animals), we enjoyed our little female ritual!

terrio said...

I didn't used to but I cry all the time now. Like others have stated, it's been worse since having my daughter. She's 8 and I don't see growing out of it anytime soon.

What gets me is heartbreak. When that black moment comes in a book (or movie) where the hero's or heroine's (or both) heart breaks, I lose it. I finished Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas last night and I didn't cry at the ending but I sure cried buckets through the rest of it.

Now after reading Maureen's comment, I'm going to have to get more tissues since I'm starting Blue Eyed Devil tonight. *sigh*

Is it weird that I want to write books that make people cry? Do any of you think about that when you're writing?

Joan said...

I cried last night when I saw Jennifer had snatched the chook from me by THIS much!

I cannot recall any books making me cry. Make "awwww" noises maybe but no tears.

But show me the Regis and Kelley Mother's Day special and I weep like a wrung out sponge.

Or Louisville's local children's benefit The Crusade for Children. It's coming up this weekend. Fire departments from around the city and state stand in 90 degree weather solicting contributions then come down to a local TV station to turn in $100,000 or so for the benefit of special needs kids. They usually start playing "When the Saints Come Marching In" as they dump coins and bills into glass containers.

And then they show stories of individual children who have made enourmous strides i.e. walking with cerebral palsy, learning to say Mama for the first time in 8 years, demonstrating how they learned to dance with crutches. All from programs/theapists funded by this telethon.

(sniff) Excuse me....

doglady said...

The GR must have a taste for hot weather as it is scorching here in the Deep South! Or maybe he has a taste for Hot Mamas, eh Jennifer. Golden tanned cabana boy, indeed.

I made the mistake of watching Oprah's show on puppy mills and the tragic waste of animal lives in animal shelters last week. Big mistake. They showed the process by which a shelter director decided who would be put down that day and then showed the actual euthanization. I ran an animal shelter for one year. I made those decisions and held each animal (over 1200) in my arms as they were put down. I quit after one particular episode with one last dog who did not deserve to die and I never looked back. I will NEVER do that again. So watching Oprah's show I balled like a baby, but fortunately my three house dogs crawled up in my lap to comfort me.

Happy crying was when they called about my Golden Heart final. My brother called me after I called Mom and my CP and he kept laughing saying "Why are you crying?"

Then last week when I got my request for a full I didn't shed a tear until my CP and I had gone over the latest version with a fine-toothed comb and I finally sent it off to Stephi. Then I broke down and cried!

I know there are some romance novels that have made me cry. I will need to ponder until I remember which ones.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Oh, Jo, SUCH a good question.

Now bear in mind, my youngest is but 18 months old. I'm still nursing her, so between pregnancy, childbirth & lactating, I've been nursing a pretty spectacular hormonal cocktail for over two years now.

Long story short, I'm kind of prone to random fits of weeping these days.

The most recent (and embarrassing) incident of unprovoked weeping was at my oldest daughter's Irish dance class.

We waiting for the the big girls to finish rehearsing for their big end of the year recital. And it struck me suddenly that these immensely talented & accomplished young women with such astonishing control, power & grace, had not so many years ago been exactly the same as my daughter. In a few ridiculously short years, my baby would somehow transform herself into one of these beautiful & impressive creatures & it took my breath away. The surge of pride, of love, of loss. She would surely be beautiful & strong & talented, but would she still be mine?

I cried. I sat there on the dusty floor thanking god that Irish dancing is so darn loud & nobody could hear me because I was actually sobbing.

Then my daughter did something annoying & I snapped out of it. There would be certain advantages to the kids growing up, I could see suddenly. :-)

terrio said...

Joan - I can't watch telethons like that. I know it's denial but I can't. It's too hard and I go back and forth between thanking my heaven's I'm so lucky and fearing that it can all be taken away in a second.

Pam - I was home that day and saw what Oprah's topic was going to be. I changed it immediately. I knew I wouldn't be able to handle that.

Congrats on that full! Can't wait to stand in your line at the book signing. 2009 perhaps? LOL! Fingers crossed!

PJ said...

Doglady, huge congrats on the request for a full! That's awesome!

I saw the promo for the puppy mill episode on Oprah and made sure the TV was not turned on when it aired. I volunteered at our county shelter for two years and it was horrible. I cried every time I drove away, knowing that most of the dogs I had just played with and taken care of would be dead before the next week's visit. I just couldn't take it anymore.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yeah Jennifer! The GR comes back to da' South! GO you. ;>

THis is a great topic Jo. I frequently cry at books and movies. I will do the whole grab the tissue box NOW sob thing. Like you, I'm usually doing it while the DH snores. It really upsets him when I cry. :> He's so cool to have around, I tell ya'! Grins.

Movies, yep. Anyone dies, esp. the mother? I'm searching for tissue. I get so involved and invested in the story, that if it's well written and all that, *boooo-hoooooo* I'll do it when a character gets shot. I was boo-hooing over Lt. Caine on CSI Miami and Jack on Without a Trace. So...there you go. Softie to the max here. (One of the many reasons I don't watch the news)

Now that cabana boy in the last picture, we're just going to have to find a way to cheer him up. Jennifer? Let's turn on the southern charm and see if we can't get him to smile...for us...does it matter? Ha!

jo robertson said...

ROTFLMAO, on the pix looking like the cabana boy, Jennifer. He is quite . . . er, dramatic, isn't he?

jo robertson said...

Fedora, I'm like that too. Often when others around me are really crying, like at a funeral, I man up and contain myself. And then I feel hard-hearted LOL.

I think I've read, however, that crying is a stress-reliever. Plus, doesn't it sort of, you know, wash your eyes out or something :-D.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Aaargh, Joanie! Telethons. They get me every time.

I'm not sure if it's the I'm a Mom thing or the progesterone cocktail as Natalie said (and go you, Natalie, with twins! Urk!), but I let fly pretty regularly. I'm misty eyed over this post. What can I say?

Susan, it's YOUR fault I'm sniffling. I could picture the recital so easily. I do that "wow, my boy's going to grow up to be one of those fine handsome polite young men," things and start sniffling. Fortunatley, as with you, he then does somethng boneheaded and snaps me out of it. :>

I got totally emotional on Memorial Day with Nancy's post about her folks, and honoring everyone. Then I read in the Wasington Post about a Marine who stood at attention, saluting, for FOUR HOURS while Rolling Thunder rolled past. FOUR hours. (*Grabs a tissue*) See? I'm an easy mark for emotional waterworks.

Gotta go do something else now...sniff, sniff...errands, anyone? (Now THAT will make you weep...I lost virtually everythign in the fridge and freezer due to the power outage over the last few days. Sigh. Condiments are EXPENSIVE)

jo robertson said...

OMG, Jane, yes! Steel Magnolias, every friggin' time! I just don't watch it anymore unless I'm armed with a boatload of kleenex.

Natalie, Nicholas Sparks definitely knows how to put the heart strings, doesn't he?

And the progesterone/estrogen or whatever is so true. But don't you hate it when husband says, ah, honey is it your hormones talking? I hate to be at the mercy of those danged chemicals!

jo robertson said...

Cindy, that's so hard when your mum passes away. We've talked about how my mother died in 1999 too, July. I still miss her.

PJ said...

Susan, you made me cry! You also reminded me of something that happened last year that made me cry. See, I told y'all I was leaky. lol

My granddaughters of the heart are competition dancers. Up until last summer, when they moved 2 1/2 hours away, they had danced for a studio here in town for 8 years. When the top awards are given out at the end of a dance competition, one person from the winning team (chosen by the team) goes to the front of the stage to receive the award and be interviewed. Our team of 40 always placed in the top 3 and the same 2 or 3 girls accepted the award time and time again. When the girls danced in their final competition last May, "C" (who was 12 at the time) was very emotional, knowing she would soon be leaving her studio and all her friends. When the small teams she danced with won, the same girls again accepted the award. Her mom and I were so disappointed for her. We had hoped they might let "C" accept one of them. They finally got down to the final award of the night, the over-all grand prize winner of the competition. We all held our breath. The announcer called the name of our production routine, our largest group (40 girls), and we all started jumping up and down, clapping and screaming, expecting the same girl who always accepted for that team to stand up and walk to the microphone to accept the trophy. Except, that's not what happened. "C" stood up and proudly walked to the microphone. Her mom and I looked at each other and promptly burst into tears. We sobbed through the entire acceptance and every time we tried to talk about it during the two hour drive home. And here I sit with tears streaming down my face, yet again. ;)

Joan said...

That last picture is of a cabana boy?

It looks suspiciously like Demetrius did when he discovered he discovered his pink G string missing after the party.


Joan said...

Steel Magnolias is my absolutely, all time favorite movie.

The scene in the cemetary not only makes me cry. The first time I saw it in the theatre I was with a friend who was getting ready to donate a kidney to her brother.

Major sob fest!

jo robertson said...

Cool, Christine, next time I need a good cry, I'll get Annie Grace's book. And YES, I think you'll "grow out of it," probably when your sweet, innocent little boys hit their teens -- arrggghhhh!

Anonymous said...

I am the biggest crybaby EVER. I cry all the time, even for other people's emotions. I don't just cry at my own kid's recitals -- I cry watching OTHER PEOPLE's kids do cute things. I cry at the news, commercials..a good hymn in church does it to me every time. My tears seem to be wired directly to strong emotions. Happy, sad, funny, you name it, I cry.

I don't particularly enjoy this, BTW. I always find myself struggling to control it. Crying does not feel good. If I get past the teary stage, I get a whopper headache. So I rarely let myself go that far. It's also hard to explain -- why are you crying at the school play? Why the tears when you're watching Super Nanny?

Jo, I absolutely cried at Juno, and I know exactly what scene you're talking about in the Tea Rose and I could barely bring myself to READ it, because I felt the same way. Oh. Just so powerful.

terrio said...

Dang it, PJ. Now I'm crying. And I'm at work!

Anna Sugden said...

I'm a weeper too (and I can't even blame having kids!). I tear up for the good and bad, happy and sad ... even certain people's posts about animal shelters!

Funnily, enough, with books, it tends to be the happy ending that tears me up. When it is so satisfying that you can't help but well up. The last sad book I cried over was Danielle Steel's Fine Things (I think) - the scene where the teacher is writing notes to her pupils, as she is dying of cancer. (Tells you how long ago that was!)

I try not to watch sad movies. I loved Shadowlands, but couldn't watch the end. Thatd oesn't stop the tears for a happy ending - I still well up at the end of Bridget Jones.

Congrats Jennifer on snagging that rooster. Sorry - it's roosters or cabana boys - make your choice!

Elyssa Papa said...

Well, okay, it takes a lot for me to cry in a book. Sara Lindsey (who just got agented) made me cry in her novel Promise Me Always. Like buckets of crying. If I'm really into the story, I can cry but it does take a lot.

On the other end, those stupid Hallmark movies get me every single time. LOL

The movie I cried the hardest at was Babe. OMG, I can cry in that movie---I just love it and so many parts get to me every single time.

And I love when I can make people cry in my own books. I know that might be evil of me, but I do love it.

jo robertson said...

Natalie, I can just see you skinning those little 9'ers! And anybody who has twins deserves to bawl like a baby. Whew!

Maureen, I haven't read Blue-Eyed Devil. What's it about?

Thanks, Caren. You know the movie/book is a laster if it makes you cry time after time after time. BTW, I loved TCP movie. Oprah and Whoopie were fabulous.

jo robertson said...

OMG, PJ, how did you come to read Christina's book so early? Yes, crying can be a wonderful emotional release.

Donna, you're spot on with that comment, I think! Longevity gives us empathy because we have so many more experiences of our own.

PJ said...

Jo, I received an ARC of Christina's next book to review for RNTV. I loved the first two books in her Darkness Chosen series but INTO THE SHADOW (Adrik's story) is blow-your-mind awesome and my favorite of the series so far. Adrik is *not* your typical romance hero. I envision LOTS of lively discussion about this one!

jo robertson said...

Ah, Helen, we're revealing our ages to admit to seeing LOVE STORY when it came out. But I remember bawling over that one too. So sad.

Buffie, I don't envy you the heat in Atlanta. We've gotten a cool spell from the Delta breeze blowing up our way, so it's been cool for this time of the year. We'll hit the 100's soon enough.

Donna, everybody who's read TTWM says it's wonderful, better even than Mrs. Brimley, but I can hardly believe that!

jo robertson said...

Dianna, geometry alone is enough to make me weep. So sorry your son has to do summer school, bummer. It's hard when our kids make mistakes, isn't it?

Terrio, I don't think that's weird at all. I think writers want to make their readers feel all kinds of emotions. I'd be honored if someone read my books and cried!

jo robertson said...

Ah, Joanie, those moments of real life courage are precious. We had a good friend, Danny Hansen, who recently died of MD, Duchane's Syndrome, and lived to be 32. He was an amazing young man and accomplished college graduation, going to dances, writing his autobiography before he died. Amazing!

jo robertson said...

Pam, it's really hard on me too when I see/hear stories about dogs being abused or put down. They're so innocent. And, after the shock of finaling in the GH wore off, I cried too!

Susan, your story of the Irish dancing made me laugh and cry at the same time. I remember the exact moment when I "released" my daughters in adulthood. It was a poignant moment, both sad and relieving -- I call it "passing on the maternal tiara."

Buffie said...

Doglady -- way to go on getting a request for a full!!! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you :)

jo robertson said...

Pam, congrats on the full request; here's hoping for a contract -- SOON!!

Jeanne, you ARE an old softie. Sorry, but Horatio does not float my boat. But I was sad about Jack on WAT. I love his character, flawed as it is. And Anthony P. is such a great actor.

jo robertson said...

Jeanne, anything military plucks at my heartstrings. I think of all our soldiers -- babies most of them -- and the sacrifices they make and I just lose it.

Ugh on the power. Hope you didn't have any meat in the freezer that got ruined. Replacing all the "stash" of condiments and stuff would be a big job!

limecello said...

LOL you kids in the front ;). I read the Tea Rose a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Books make me cry like nothing else. (Well, a few tears.) Some commercials if I'm feeling sappy... and news. Oprah if/when I ever watch it is almost a given - the whole "so you were mauled by a dog, and then hit by a car, and then you got scarlet fever, and then a brain tumor, and your mom and sister died in a car accident and your dad became a drug addict, and you raised money to build a shelter for abused children and got into Harvard even though you never had a single day of schooling past the eighth grade" stories get me. That, and sometimes the news - or Dateline - those type of things with the stories that kill you inside.

jo robertson said...

PJ, I'm smiling at your "C's" acceptance. Those moments are worth their weight in gold. We sat through two kindergarten end-of-the-year programs last night. Not much talent in a five/six year old, but when OUR grands came on, ooh -- la-la. One little girl came up to us and said, "Mrs. S, I LOVE Max sooooo much."


jo robertson said...

Demetrius in a pink g-string? I think I have to go watch ROME again!

Kristen said, My tears seem to be wired directly to strong emotions.

That's what makes you such a great writer, Kristen, but I know it can be embarrassing. When people cried over strangers' deaths or tragedies, I used to think, don't they have a life of their own to weep over?

Now I know.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Jo, we have good news, he passed his final and brought it up to a low D so summer school is not necessary. I was so, relieved. He struggles so hard with anything math related.

jo robertson said...

Elyssa, I think it's the combo of the visual with the words and music that makes me cry in movies. That's why I was so surprised to be crying in THE TEA ROSE with just Jennifer's words.

Thanks for the tip on Christina D's new book PJ. I'm adding INTO THE SHADOW to my TBR list.

jo robertson said...

Limecello, I'm spewing soda all over my monitor. Isn't that EXACTLY how Oprah's shows go -- every possible problem in the world. You wonder how some people manage to survive at all in this world. And then I feel very lucky to have so few troubles.

Dianna, congrats to your son. Celebration time. Some kids just don't have a math brain; they're more verbal-linguist. I had lots of really bright students who just couldn't get even algebra and geometry is supposed to be harder. Hope he's done with the math requirements for graduation. Trig and calculus are MONSTROUS for me.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

He has special ed classes but it is still just about beyond his grasp on anything mathmatical. I am hoping it is over with the math too but I am sure there has to be something his senior year.

Pat Cochran said...

I've found that I don't cry so often
at books or movies. Lately, the
reports showing funerals of our local
military heroes have greatly affected
me. God bless them all!

Pat Cochran

p226 said...

Last time I shed any tears was visiting a stone. It's been about a year.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Okay, I find that at times I need to have a "cry day". My mind is sad over some subject and I realize I just need to have a good blubbery cry with no one in the house to watch. So I have a sure fire movie that will just let me get it out of my system.

"Pride Of The Yankees". My family thinks it's odd that I have my own copy of this 1940's black & white movie. But here's the thing. It is funny and sweet, Gary Cooper at his best. AND the minute you start watching it, you already know how his life is going to end, but the character doesn't, nor does his wife, the love of his life...........yeah a two box of kleenex movie...and I always feel better afterwards.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh another crying movie, and I can't not watch it without crying....


Need I say more?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oops, forgot to say for the younger people in the crowd......"Pride of the Yankees" is the story of Lou Gehrig.

Suzanne Welsh said...

And as for books, I have two recently that had me in tears. One had me crying in two spots, but it's not going to be on the bookstore shelves until next year, so can't tell ya about it now.

The other was The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell by Samantha James. Loved it!

MsHellion said...

Things that make me cry:

1.) Hallmark commercials
2.) Country songs (Alyssa Lies; The Little Girl; Sara Beth/Skin): I'm a sobbing wreck
3.) Harry Potter books
4.) When my mom died. Clearly.
5.) The Notebook (movie, not book)
6.) Okay, epic movies in general: GWTW (when Melanie dies); Titanic; Braveheart; Rob Roy
7.) The occasional sweet big-hair band ballad love song, esp if it brings up some angsty emotional moment from high school.
8.) The end of The Holiday when Cameron Diaz returns and finds Jude Law weeping--and he had told her earlier he was a weeper. *LOL*

jo robertson said...

P226, it took me a moment to grasp your meaning. But, yeah, I don't visit stones any more.

jo robertson said...

Suz, I remember the first time I saw the Lou Gehrig movie. It's all the more poignant because you know how it HAS to end.

jo robertson said...

Mshellion, someone else mentioned those Hallmark cards and I have to agree that they have some very touching ones. And the Kodak moment commercials -- does anyone remember those?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Jennifer, clearly he wants to check out your bookshelves a little bit more. That's twice this week, isn't it?

Jo, great post! I must say I cry in books more now than I did when I was younger. I don't think it's that you're sentimental - I think you just know more about life!

I cry quite a lot in books. I cried in Bandita Tawny's latest, DOES SHE DARE?. It's such a sexy, funny story but there's so much heart underneath the fun. I cried like a loon in both both of Jane Porter's single titles I've read, FLIRTING WITH FORTY and THE FROG PRINCE. She does that mixture of humor and pathos incredibly well too. Probably most recently, I cried reading my critique partner Annie West's latest manuscript (ha, sometimes it's a privilege being me, getting to see this stuff before the rest of the world! Sorry, slight gloating moment there). There's a really harrowing scene right at the end where this strong man finally breaks down and admits his vulnerability to the woman he loves but doesn't want to love. I tell you, it's a cracker!

p226 said...

Hey... here's a question for you folks...

Something totally unexpected happened to me the other night. I was writing a scene about a little girl in a terrible situation. And, I nearly teared up while WRITING it. I mean, I was writing about a fictional character, in a fictional circumstance, completely and totally made up within my head. And... my eyes started getting a little misty, out of empathy for this completely FICTIONAL situation I'd created, which has absolutely zero parallel to ANYTHING I've ever seen or witnessed.

I stopped writing for a second and said "what the f***" out loud. My wife turned and looked at me quizzically. "Oh, uh, nothing."

Does that happen to any of you guys? I found it to be REALLY unnerving.

Anna Campbell said...

Cindy, aren't anniversaries the pits? I get a similar reaction. I always have a really rotten couple of weeks around the dates Mum and Dad passed away.

Caren, The Color Purple, huh? I cried like that over a Henry James adaptation of all things. It was called THE WINGS OF THE DOVE and it was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. Beautifully done - but I think it needs to be if I'm going to cry. I won't cry if I feel manipulated.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, VA, I sobbed like a loon in Shadowlands. It was so beautifully done. And SOOOO sad! And I cried like a loon in Bridges of Madison County. Perhaps I AM a loon!

Elyssa, cool about Sara. Where does she live now? The Vagabonds? The Vixens? The Yo Hos? I want to pop over and congratulate her!

Jennifer Y. said...

*stomps foot* But I want a Golden Cabana Boy!!! *sigh* Okay...I'll go cheer up the crying one...he's still sobbing...he must have heard that you wouldn't let me have him...poor fellow.

And yes, it is scorching here in Hotlanta...I am melting...poor GR might fry himself if he goes outside (of course, since we don't have A/C in my house, he might fry anyway).

Joan said: That last picture is of a cabana boy?

It looks suspiciously like Demetrius did when he discovered he discovered his pink G string missing after the party.

I thought that at first, but then decided that he probably wouldn't allow himself to be caught crying so it must be one of the cabana boys. And he has a pink one too? First scarlet, now pink...hmm...careful or he won't share his secrets with you anymore.

Anna S. said: Sorry - it's roosters or cabana boys - make your choice!

How cruel!

And I just thought of the first movie I ever remember bawling at...My Girl...I cried my little heart out watching that movie.

Oh, and I went to the store today to look for the latest Bandita books and it looked like a tornado had hit their book, I am going to have to go bookhunting elsewhere. GR is still mad at me.

Anna Campbell said...

P226, welcome to the wild and wonderful world of writing. I think the situation you describe happens to ALL of us. These people are real to you. I've had chats with my CP about how there's this whole other world on a different dimension and I just tap into it to write about it. It's weird and I suspect one day they'll lock me up but they haven't yet. But you LOVE your characters. You have to to write about them. And awful things happening to people you love is the worst thing that can happen. It's much worse than awful things happening to you. Or that's been my experience. Honestly, I get to the end of writing one of my books and I'm so emotionally exhausted, I'm flat out crossing the room. You live through these experiences with these people you love - it's VERY hard on the gut!

catslady said...

Anything written by Jodi Picoult. The movie Forever Young (an old Mel Gibson movie). And the children's book - The Littlest Angel. My favorites are the ones that make me laugh and cry.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226, I visit the stones too, at least once a year. Still makes me cry.

I also go hunting ancestors in stoneyards, but that doesn't make me cry. It's the person, I guess.

I just turned in my second book (Hallefrickinlujah!) and there's a funeral scene in it. I sobbed all the way through it. Editing it, I cried again.

So, as Anna C says, yep, it's a wild wonderful emotional world. Urg.

Anna, pass the tissue.

Jennifer, you wild Hotlanta woman, watch out for that cabana boy, he's a mischievious one. I think he's the one who painted the GR's...oh, suppose I shouldn't talk about that online.


Jeannie Ruesch said...

I'd like to say that it's rare for me to cry, but I've been known to cry at Battlestar Gallactica. I've been known to cry at hallmark commercials. Okay, I cry at a lot of commercials, not just the hallmark ones.

The last book that made me cry (and I actually mean SOB) was Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. That book reminded me in so many ways of my best friend and me, I couldn't help but feel so attached.

And actually, the last movie that made me cry (at least tears in the eyes even if they didn't quite fall down the cheeks) was...believe it or not...Sex and the City! I loved that show, I've watched the seasons numerous times. So this movie really got to me - specifically Carrie in her scenes. (And I won't say more so as not to spoil.)

Anytime something hap

jo robertson said...

Jeannie, I think that's the power of certain books we read -- they connect with us on a personal level, something that's happened to us or someone we care about, and we go into total empathetic mode.

jo robertson said...

Congrats on turning in the second book, Jeanne -- BIG WHOOP!!

I know what you mean about the stones. I like to wander about and look at names, DOB and DOD and imagine what kind of life they had, military veteran, baby (that's the saddest kind), how long the wife outlives her husband. There seem to be entire stories in the words on their stones.

jo robertson said...

Uh, Anna, I think you ARE a loon! JK, of course, but I agree with your comments to p226 -- that's when you know you're really in the writing zone -- when you FEEL the emotions and experiences of your characters.

I'd done the same thing, P226, started getting all emotional, weepy, mad, whatever -- and stopped myself, shaken myself like a wet dog, and said (mentally), hey it's just a made-up story. Not only that but YOUR made-up story.

Tawny said...

Oh geeze, I'm a total crybaby wimp. Classic Hallmark weeper. I admit it, I teared up in Ironman when the other captive scientist talked about seeing his family. I cried this morning reading Karin Tabke's post about her kids all growing up. I teared up reading Beth Andrew's wip when the hero 'gets it' and faces his demons.

wimp. seriously.

Suzanne Welsh said...

OMG don't start me on the Hallmark card commercials or the movies they show! Might as well just hand me the box of tissues.

Joan said...


If you ever doubted yourself as a writer before this episode gives you solid proof of how much you are one.

I bow in your general direction and say "Welcome" to the world of fiction writing.

PS I cannot wait to read your story!

Elyssa Papa said...

Anna, Sara lives here:

She's a lone blogger, much like Tessa and CM. *g*

jo robertson said...

Tawny, LOL, I would've figured you for a "teary" one. I can see the Hallmark cards and Beth's WIP, but IRONMAN? I gotta see that movie!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Elyssa! I've dropped Sara a line to congratulate her. This is huge!

kimmyl said...

I'll cry when I'm sad. When I'm missing some one who died or moved away. Other than that I hate crying too.
The movie that really gets me going is Steal Magnolias, every single time.

jo robertson said...

Thanks, everyone, for joining us today in the Lair. Have a great weekend. Take in a good show -- Juno, if you wanna cry, Sex and the City if you wanna laugh, or maybe cry too.

Natalie Hatch said...

Jo I get headaches after a good cry. They say it rids your body of toxins, but I'm telling you it gets rid of a lot of snot! I cannot watch Steel Magnolias ever since mum passed away suddenly in October... it's just tooo much for me.

jo robertson said...

Natalie, ROTFLOL, about getting rid of the snot -- it sure does!! I don't know about the toxins, but crying sure helps my dry eyes.

Esri Rose said...

I tear up more when something is really beautiful, rather than sad. I mean, something sad, when well-written, will do it, but it's rare that I read sad stuff. :) But something that represents the hope and beauty of life, with a recognition of the transience of a perfect moment -- that gets me every time.

I tear up fairly frequently when I hear really outstanding classical music. The knowledge of the struggle people go through to get good, become recognized...the link to past composers who went through the same things, and here it is, pouring out for my enjoyment. Whew. Live concerts, mostly.

Donna, I think you're right about experiencing more and recognizing when things are tearworthy.

P226: Congratulations on crying over your own writing! Been there, usually at the end of a book. I think, in addition to whatever emotions your characters are feeling or evoking, there's also a moment of truth when you realize you have tapped into something universal and put it on the page. You're making yourself known to the world in a deep way, and I believe that's what writers want, more than anything. To connect with others and be known.