A little over two years ago when my wife began writing seriously, I had no idea how her choice might change her life, and in turn, mine. Now the simple afternoon question “How Was Your Day?” is chock-full of potential potholes. Answers from her might include:
“Great. I found out I’m a finalist in a chapter contest!”
“Not so great. None of my characters played nice today.”
“Interesting. I researched cheeses, pistol crossbows and vintage Corvettes.”
“Not so interesting. I cruised electrical engineering sites to find out if a Mylar chip bag will work as a ground for an electric fence.”
“Crappy. My scores came back from a chapter contest. Not only did I not final, the judges reamed my WIP for too many em-dashes.”
“Not so crappy. My CPs dug me out of a mental hole and helped me brainstorm a plot for the 70,000 words I’ve already written.”
How is a loving, supportive husband supposed to respond to some of this stuff?
The first one is easy enough: “Fantastic! You deserved to final.” (It only took me half-dozen contests to understand the significance of a final.) The second: Perhaps not “What does it matter? They’re only imaginary people after all…” The third: “Did you kill anyone with the crossbow, and did you buy me a Corvette off e-Bay, by any chance?” The fourth: “Ah…no clue.” The fifth: “I’ve never heard of an em-dash, but I’m sure that judge was clueless.” The sixth: Probably not “What’s a CP? And for that matter, what’s a plot?”
But over the past couple years, I’ve learned to listen when she just needs to gripe, and come up with something-anything-when she’s in need of an idea or opinion. I (sort of) understand the difference between agents, editors and publishers. For the first time since college, I’m familiar with the terms draft, edit, and final draft. The most important things I’ve learned are how hard a pre-published writer works, and that writing has little to do with money and everything to do with passion.
Oh yeah…and that research for the love scenes rocks.
Kelsey’s husband is an A-one computer guy who routinely talks her off a ledge when her laptop is having a bad hair day. He’s also an amazing dad who played single parent for almost three months this year. Thanks for everything, babe.
- Cut and Run: Signs it’s Time to Retire from the Contest Circuit by Kelsey Browning
- Virtually Painless Networking
- Mills & Boon New Voices – What’s Next?
- Holy Crap, I Won! with Ann Charles
- When Your Critique Partner’s Career is on the Move and Yours is Standing Still