Monday, June 6, 2011

How Lucky She is to Have Me

By Man Martin

I often think of the brightness we writers shed upon the world. On our readers, of course, and on literature in general, but in particular, what a ray of sunshine we must be to our families, what a constant source of joy and delight! We little notice the light we bring into the world, of course, the sun can hardly be aware of its own glory, but day by day we share some small part of our luster with our nearest and dearest. How my wife must wake up every day grateful that I am hers!

Not that she doesn’t contribute in her own small way to our life together: true, she earns a living, monitors our investments, mentors our daughters, makes sure the dog’s heartworm medicine is up to date, the oil is changed in the cars, that we’ve paid our ad valorum taxes, the pantry is stocked, the bills are paid, the house is clean, the plants are watered, and dinner is ready.

But these light duties, plus maybe a dozen or so others that slip my mind, must float by as in a pleasant dream in the knowledge that Genius is at work in the very next room – or at least browsing the internet and getting ready to work at any second – and that when I sit down to eat the tasty meal she has prepared, the man dribbling gravy onto his new shirt and getting rice grains all stuck down in the couch cushions and the carpet, is no ordinary man, but a WRITER, and that he will be with her all the rest of her life. You wonder how she can contain her glee at the prospect of all those decades of shared meals before her.

The books and papers I leave scattered around the house – every room, even the bathroom, has its little pile – are constant reminders that while she has been negotiating to get the drywall repaired and balancing the checkbook, I’ve been hard at work making stuff up. Anyone can see that I am full of inspiration; just the other day Nancy remarked how full of it I was. She knows how I suffer for my art. Writing is Pain, she told me the other day, or at least I think it’s what she meant to say. It came out more like, “Writers are a pain.” I shared with her the gist of this blog, and asked her if being married to a writer wasn’t like sharing the house with a magnificent, beautifully plumaged bird. “Yes,” she agreed. “Exactly. Like living with a five-foot ten inch bird. A flightless one.” Odd, how unlovely my wife’s figures of speech sometimes are; I had in mind a gorgeous peacock, but she spoke as if describing some large, incontinent ostrich. I do not blame her, of course, she is not a Writer, as I am. I was on the brink of asking if she ever felt especially privileged to share a life with me, but I thought better of it. At the time she was busy scrubbing some gravy and rice I seemed to have trod into the carpet.

And the most wonderful and glorious thing of all, is we Writers never think to ask for thanks for all we do. All unknowing, we are beautiful wonderful things. We ask for one thing only: the opportunity to Work.

Which is exactly what I’m going to do after three more games of solitaire.

My new novel, Paradise Dogs, (Booklist calls it “simply brilliant” and Kirkus says it is “hilarious”) is available in bookstores and! Visit to enter the STOOPID Contest and win a free copy!


Louisa said...

Thanks for the great post -- think I will show it to my husband, a non-writer!

Susan Cushman said...

Hilarious, Man! I'm still contemplating my turn at this round of posts... my husband is also a writer, but a physician and researcher, so he works from the other side of his brain. And I was the one doing all those things your wife does while he was growing his career and our kids were young. NOW it's my turn.... thanks for the fun post!

Andy said...

This is so true it hurts. I am shocked, shocked, I tell you, when my wife sometimes forgets the intrinsic value of being married to an eccentric, preoccupied chair potato suffering for his art while she does most of the real work:)
There must be a special place in heaven reserved for the wives of writers. Thanks for the laugh.

self-publish book said...

This a great post,
Love it,
I can say that she is too much lucky.

Malinda said...

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