At least once every couple of days, and usually while he’s reading a book, the huz will suddenly ask “So, how’s the story going?”
My standard response is “Blah.”
What follows is usually silence, during which he resumes reading (although personally, I don’t think he actually stops reading to ask the question in the first place.)
Then, he’ll say something quite stupid.
“The re-write going badly?”
I grit my teeth, highly insulted that he’d think all my dedication, research and hard work is not doing anything to enhance ‘The Story’ – I mean, talk about underestimating your wife and then saying it out loud. It’s like he wants to piss me off for his evening entertainment.
“Don’t be ridiculous. The re-write is never a problem.” I tell him with a derisive sniff. “That always flows well. In fact, I wrote out some future scenes, just drafts, nothing major, but it shifts focus from a couple of important events so I’m not sure I’ll put that in. I’m also hacking through some old chapters and they’re turning out great, but what I really want to do is concentrate on moving it all forward and highlighting the romantic love angle where I can, it’s important. But so are narratives. I think I can swing both. I’m writing a draft and blending the two, so I’ll see how that goes. Honestly, I think it’ll either be brilliant or it’ll sink the story, I’m not sure….”
He seems more engrossed in his book than ever.
I remind myself that laptops are expensive items which should not be flung at people’s faces.
Also, it’s rude to do that to a laptop.
Disgusted by his apparent lack of interest in my story which I’m sure is definitely much more interesting that the stupid one he’s reading, I ignore him and resume making notes.
And, ‘distractedly’ kick his chair a few times.
A couple of days later, it happens again.
“So, how’s the story going?”
I wait for the inevitable stupid question.
I glance up.
He’s still reading.
I stare at my laptop screen.
Still more silence.
I should have married his best friend.
“Did you finish the narrative you were working on?”
I’m not an swoony “Awww he’s soooo sweet, he remembered.” kind of woman, so I didn’t throw myself into his arms and moan out my gratitude.
“Of course I finished it.” I sniffed, and quite loudly. “Why would I not? Three thousand words. It actually turned out pretty good. Brutal, but good. It sort of starts out all calm and even a little clinical, then it starts to build. Although, I did cave and write in some dialogue too, but the romance angle is so hard to work in because…”
He’s way too engrossed in his book again.
I gave up being single for this kind of undivided attention.
To be honest, from everyone I know who is aware of how much I love to write, my husband heads the list of people who I feel are the toughest to please when it comes to the written word. He’s not at all harsh in his critiques when he gives them (although at times he can be a little dismissive and then he has to sleep on the couch), but there’s not much he’ll miss in a story, whether he’s reading it himself or just listening to what it’s about. He’s an avid reader and one of those annoying people who reads several books at a time, finishes them in a week and can relate the story complete with quotes to you years later.
So, when I babble details of my stories to him, he remembers them, and those sometimes lead to interesting discussions.
he completely ignored my writing problems those two conversations, we were having a chat (which means I was rambling, and he was watching cricket on the television behind my head at the cafe. Pay attention single girls, the tele is an inevitable part of marriage.)
And, then out of nowhere he said “Who are your three favourite romantic couples in literature?”
My mind went completely blank.
“Uh… like who? What do you mean?”
“Your three favourite couples. Who are they?”
“Um…” I stared at my coffee.
Guys, if I hadn’t been so shocked at how stumped I was at that moment, I would have been laughing my ass off at how stumped I was at that moment.
“Rhett and Scarlett?” He asked in a near patronizing voice.
“Meh. One sided.” I rolled my eyes and sipped my coffee. “Although, I like how it didn’t work out for them but in such an awesome way.”
“Jay and Daisy? Romeo and Juliet?”
“Doomed but good. Yes. Not my favourites though. Meggie and Ralph were nice although angsty.”
“Others less famous?” He asked.
“McNaught’s, Matt and Meredith?”
Five or six more pairings were tossed out between us.
I decided for sure I’d carry on writing Desconocido as a romantic thriller and not be tempted to spiral into a world of grief, angst and severe heartache which I sometimes end up doing for many of the romantic couples I write. Sometimes, not always. (stop laughing old readers.)
So, anyway… We discussed those relationships in detail and I got some great ideas out of the whole thing. There were romantic angles I hadn’t considered putting into ‘The Story’ and the more I considered them, the more I realized I should write them. I was so pleased to have been able to really think it through… And, all by myself, without any help whatsoever. I even told him how I awesome I was.
I really love my husband and appreciate him, I promise.
We also came to the conclusion that our relationship was so much better than all of the fictional ones we discussed. (Also another wonderful part of marriage by the way, many couples think they have the coolest, most awesome relationship ever, and definitely better than all their friends have. Ha!)
There are really no points to these posts are there? Maybe I should write another ‘Romance’ post but at one in the morning instead of at 8am. I’m sure it’ll make more sense.
You guys should stop reading this nonsense.
©Anne J. Dias – 2013