Friday, March 5, 2010

Traveling Adventures, Writing Adventures

I’m out of town on business, and I’ve been gone since Sunday. Oh, how was my flight, you ask? My flight was delayed due to a mechanical issue, which is always especially lovely on a cross-country flight, and I arrived in San Diego around 1 a.m. Silly safety, and pilots refusing the plane!

So it was about 1:30am when I got to the rental car counter, and of course the lady behind the desk said, “We’re out of compact cars. We can give you a minivan. Complimentary upgrade.”

It’s amazing how many times I have this exact same conversation at different car rental companies all over the country. It is the middle of the night and I really want to take whatever conveyance I can find to a bed, but this is not going to happen.  I am 26 years and childless for a reason, people; I’m just not ready for the minivan.

“That’s not an upgrade,” I say with a smile, every time. “Do I look like I should be driving a minivan?”

This time, I walked away with the keys to a shiny black Mustang convertible. I was too exhausted to bother putting the top down, though. However, it did take me quite speedily to my bed, so it’s a good conveyance. (Who are we kidding? It’ll be a blast this weekend)

The writing story I wanted to relate is from before I left, though. MJ and I are clingy, like socks fresh out of the dryer or, well, newlyweds who in 2+ years of marriage have spent more time apart than together. We spent all the time we could together before I had to fly out, including a Last Nice Dinner (For Three Weeks) at 1905 in D.C.  Because he loves me, and therefore humors me endlessly, we spent a good part of dinner discussing a) cats and b) writing. MJ spent about two minutes a year thinking about those subjects before we met, but it’s okay… he likes it now.

My incredibly pragmatic husband said something very sweet about my writing, even if it was offered with a certain brick-like delivery.

“I realize the odds are against me as a writer,” I said. “There are a lot of talented writers out there, and statistically speaking, it’s not the most promising career field.”

“I’m pretty confident you’re going to make it,” MJ said. “I think anyone who analytically considered your chances would come to the same conclusion.”

(I think the couple at the oh-so-swankily-close-table besides us, between our long discussion of our cats’ eccentricities and this conversation, were beginning to roll their eyes over their bread basket and jalapeno-honey butter, but we are what we are.)

“Yeah?” I'm always interested in a more detailed discussion of my qualities.

“You’re not just talented, but tenacious and dedicated and thoughtful about your work,” he said. “If I didn’t think you were going to be successful, I wouldn’t encourage you. I wouldn’t discourage you, but I wouldn’t encourage you.”

“You’d want to see me put my efforts into one of my other schemes.” (I have many, many things I’d like to do with my life, enough to keep me busy into my three hundreds or so; writing remains my most fervent passion, though).  “Like my real estate projects.”

“Exactly,” he said.

It gave me a truly warm and fuzzy feeling, although it might not sound that sweet to a passer-by  (or someone squeezed into the Ambiance besides us, trying to decide between the rack of lamb or the pork loin with a sweet potato brulee).  My practical husband analyzed me, my talents and my writing, and he decided my writing stood a chance in  a ridiculously competitive world.  He even takes his stand by letting me lounge on the couch with my laptop, typing away, and calling it “work”, right down to supporting my Starbucks habit and often bringing me blankets, post-it notes and soft drinks as required.

I love that man. And I love that he believes in me, and through me, believes in SHARDS OF GLASS and THE GODDESS OF VENGEANCE WORE PINK GALOSHES.

Tell me about your support network, if you'd like.  Who keeps your confidence up? Who believes in you and your work?


Valerie Geary said...

I too would have been a bit peeved at a minivan "upgrade". Ick!! Glad they gave you a mustang! :D

Lynn Colt said...

That minivan line is great; I will be stealing it should that ever happen to me :)

My twin sister and my boyfriend are my biggest supporters - they're the first ones I call when I get a request or rejection, and they're both always ready to celebrate or dispense a pep talk. I'm incredibly grateful to have them in my life.

Piedmont Writer said...

I think I love your husband too. But I'm probably old enought to be his mother so you can keep him.

Mustang upgrade, you go girl!!!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I have a "cheer princess" at work who knows all of my writing goals and dreams. She is a fantastic supporter. My husband is also truly supportive and helpful. I'd be lost without him. :-)

Shelley Sly said...

Aww your husband sounds so sweet!

My hubby is definitely my biggest supporter. We went out to dinner Wednesday night, and we were talking about awkward situations, and he goes, "Just like in your book, the time when..." and started talking about my characters. He wrapped it up with something like, "I love how you write such real, awkward situations." Which made me beam, of course. He talked about my book, unprompted! :D

Yay for supportive family/friends! And yay for that mustang -- sweeeet!

sarahjayne smythe said...

Your husband sounds fantastic. Actually he sounds a lot like my husband when we talk about my writing. :)

Julie Dao said...

AWWW!!! I got misty reading this story. How lucky you are to have such a kind and supportive husband!

Stephanie Thornton said...


I'm with you- I refuse to drive a mini-van too. Yay for the Mustang!

Guinevere said...

Thanks Valerie! The last thing I want to drive in a city is a minivan... what a nightmare that would be!

You're welcome to the line, Lynn. Is having a twin sister as cool as it sounds like? Most of my childhood writing revolved around the adventures of an imaginary twin sister and myself. :p Your boyfriend sounds like a keeper, for sure!

Piedmont, you are too funny. Going from your photo though, you just don't look old enough!

Guinevere said...

Shannon, I like the title "Cheer princess"! That's too cute.

Shelley, that is the sweetest story. I love it!

Sarahjayne, I have a feeling we're both quite lucky!

Guinevere said...

I am pretty lucky, Julie! It makes a big difference in my life. MJ is the first person I ever felt really believed in me, and it's amazing.

Stephanie, glad I'm not the only one with an anti-minivan bias. Of course, I'd love four or five kids someday, so mine might be shortlived... but that's SOMEDAY, not now. :p