He saw the writer in me long before I did, maybe because every conversation took a rapid turn from reality to imaginings of what could be or should be or, in an alternate universe, might be. Or maybe because I had to “what if” every situation to migraine-inducing proportions.
Life with a writer–it’s anything but glamorous.
It means listening to the same sentence again and again, each time with one word changed. Because that word, whatever one we choose, will make or break our story! And notice I said the one we choose. We’ll ask for your opinion, get frustrated when you don’t give it, or when you tell us that slightly tweaked sentence we’ve read umpteen times sounds the same.
But then, after tweaking the writing a few dozen more times (with our thesaurus and dictionary spread open before us), we’ll likely return to the original wording. Then move on to the next sentence, asking once again, “Honey, can I read something to you?”
Oh, the patience!
We have oodles of blogs, have lengthy conversations with people that don’t exist outside of our heads, create pen names and then slip back and forth between our two personas, only to remember, after the first draft of this exact blog post that we’re writing as Jen Pheobus and not Jennifer Slattery …
Then comes vacations. You want to believe we suggested La Jolla for the lovely beaches and food, for the time to chill with family. And maybe that was true, originally, but then we arrived and the setting swept us away in fanciful imaginings of surfer heroes and artistic heroines in need of forever love.
And suddenly the trip is filled with notebooks and note taking, photos and brainstorming.
Oh, the brainstorming. Is it possible to enjoy a meal, or a leisurely stroll, an hour spent in traffic … or any other situation, without discussing a potential story?
Looking back, he should’ve known–he had to have known what he was taking on when he said, “I do.” After all, he was with me when, in the middle of a date (is that rude???) I plopped down on a curb in the center of Pike Place Market to study all the people passing by. Talk about a smorgasbord of sensory details! Oh, how I wish I still had those notebooks–filled with moms pushing giggling (or screaming) little ones in strollers. Of teens immersed in the grunge culture that had begun to take over the 90s.
It’s interesting to see how God has taken our marriage, my life, and my career full circle–right back to the grunge of it all. Literally. 😉
This past fall, a few weeks before revisions on my latest release were due, I received an email from my editor telling me I needed to add more setting details to my novel. A novel set in Seattle, Washington. (Which is currently on sale for under $3, by the way! )
Laughing, I responded, “That’s perfect! My husband and I are going to Seattle in a couple weeks to celebrate our twentieth anniversary!”
And oh, what a trip we had–filled with setting scouting, research, interviewing random locals and policeman, accidentally landing in one of the biggest grunge festivals in America … an event that cost us $260! I’ll have to tell you
more about that experience in a subsequent blog post, but suffice it to say, that was the most expensive 30 minutes we’ve experienced to date! (Not including the time I booked airline flights for the wrong date, or
to the wrong airport … or when … )
Oh, the patience! Oh, the adventure, and my, oh, my, the love. When we writers find a man willing to put up with all our quirks, reality slips, and misadventures, we hold on tight! (And if we’re really blessed, we find our man is holding on just as tightly to us.)
Can you relate? Are you a daydreamer? A storyteller? Or maybe love someone who is. If so, do you have any stories you can share? How do you deal–outside of copious amounts of chocolate and coffee? Share your stories, examples, insights, and questions with us in the comments below, because insanity is most fun when shared. 😉
Now, about that novel set in Seattle. Want to read more?
Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters.
Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together. Until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?
Read the first three chapters free HERE.
Buy it HERE.