Whether it’s a spouse, BFF, or significant other, the luckiest of writers have someone who stands by them through the ups and downs of their career. Let’s face it, writers get plenty of both, made worse by the fact that we’re just a little bit crazy (If you’re a writer, don’t even try denying it!). One day might bring some good news and we’re singing sunshine. Or just the opposite and we are the human equivalent of an acid rain cloud. Whichever comes, some poor soul has to live with us.
In my case, it’s my husband, hereafter referred to as Captain Amazing. And on Valentine’s evening, this is my tribute, not only to him, but to all amazing “others” who are tasked with loving a neurotic, obsessive, artistic, and occasionally mentally unbalanced writer.
Therefore, here are the top 6 reasons why my husband is the most important person in my career, and why I could not do what I’m doing without him.
1. Good News: Captain Amazing is the first one I tell when there is good news. It never occurs to me to tell anyone else first, because there is nobody I’d rather celebrate with. He is as happy as if the celebration was for him, because whether the news is good or bad – and we’ve had both over the years – whatever happens is always our adventure together.
2. Bad News: Captain Amazing is also the first to hear my bad news. Sometimes he knows I want assurances that the problem is simply because someone else has the IQ of a walnut and not to worry. Sometimes he just sits quietly and lets me talk, whine, or cry it out. Well, whine, mostly. At those times, he tells me it’ll get better. And it does.
3. Neither good nor bad news, but he’s simply married to a sorta crazy lady: Sometimes I’m here, but my brain is still in the last scene of my manuscript. Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night to work out a scene. Sometimes I share the things I want most as an author, even when I’m not sure there is much hope. A lot of writers are that way, not sure about our hopes, dreams, or chances for success. But I always have him. It is a wonderful thing to know there is somebody out there who always believes in us, even when we’re less sure.
4. Tour Support: With the release of my next book, I’m going to be gone a lot. For those days, Captain Amazing will effectively become a single parent. I know there are lots of you who single parent all the time and how hard it can be. That’s why I admire him for taking on the role with a smile and an assurance that they’ll all be fine. Beyond that, he often makes those evenings I’m gone his special times with the kids, building memories with them. He lets me leave without guilt – and as most moms will tell you, that is a near impossibility.
5. The Taxes: Here’s the thing. I understand numbers the way Data (For you non-geeks, he’s a humanoid on Star Trek: The Next Generation) understood emotions. I know what numbers are and can even occasionally nod at the appropriate places in a number-related conversation, but really, I haven’t got a clue. Captain Amazing does, and he somehow makes honorariums, royalties, advances, and taxes all make sense. (Not to me, but to people who have a clue).
6. Everything Else: Sometimes I get a last-minute request for a video or photograph. Even if there’s like 18 minutes notice and his own deadlines are pressing, Captain Amazing still pulls it together. He also fixes my computer emergencies, corrects bugs on my website, tells me how what to do about my flat tire when I’m stranded roadside and late for a school visit (not a hypothetical situation), gets me un-lost when I’m out and about (also not hypothetical), keeps me in the current year of technology, grabs take out when there’s nothing in, and occasionally, leaps tall buildings in a single bound.
Whatever comes – or doesn’t come – in my future, the best of all things is that I know he’ll be there, supportive, enthusiastic, hopeful, helpful, loving, kind, and at all times, the largely unsung superhero for every day of my writing career.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Captain Amazing!