By SUSAN REINHARDT
Being married to a writer, one such as myself, is like being wed to one who may or may not bring home the bacon.
While my new novel is in edits, “Chimes From a Cracked Southern Belle,” my husband waits patiently but will throw in hints.
“Why don’t you start another humor book while this novel takes years to publish?”
This is translates as, “I’m tired of paying all the bills by myself and lately you’ve written little more than Facebook drivel. Who ARE those people you chat with anyway? I think it’s an addiction.”
What it really is, is a diversion. I’m gearing myself up for the daunting task of a new book, hence finding another agent. I’ve run through two and trying to find one is harder than getting the book on the pages.
I’m scared to put my material out there right now. Just like a teenage boy too chicken to ask out the prom queen.
As for writing, it has to come to me when the mood and muse strikes.
Fortunately, I have a part-time job writing columns for a few newspapers. That money trickles in and pays a few bills, but I realize I’m not pulling my weight. And that weight is creeping up since I had a hysterectomy and bladder repair, what I call my “Old Lady Surgery.” Seems I was jogging one day and something nearly fell out for the squirrels to eat.
Since the surgery, I’ve been unmotivated to write that next humor book.
I know it’s not easy for my mate, even though he’s a lawyer. He winces every time he hands me a check, making me feel like a domestic hooker.
Writers can be moody, melodramatic, whimsical, and down-right crazy. It’s all part of the “artist’s” personality. Pair that with a lawyer’s calm and common sense and you can see how my marriage could really benefit from the sale of a new book.
He refuses to buy me a car, even though mine is 10 years old and falling apart. It took seven attempts for me to get a legal inspection. I finally found a country boy who likes big boobs, gave him a lipsticked smile, and boom! I was legal even though a few key parts of the car have gone missing.
The good news for Mr. Husband, is that due to our kids’ schools, we live in separate towns. He has a house about 45 minutes from mine. The bad news is we have to pay two mortgages because our kids refuse to budge on moving to one or the other’s town.
If you were to sit down with my lawyer husband and ask him what it’s like to be married to me, you’d get some mixed reviews. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the easiest chick to hole up with. I tend to dramatize events, such as when a few weeks ago, I got pulled by the Highway Patrol who terrorized me on Mother’s Day.
The trooper got a mighty fine taste of a writer’s ilk.
“Ma’am, I have reason to believe you’re drunk,” he said.
“Drunk? It’s 3 o’clock and a real lady never drinks before 5.”
“You are slurring your words, your tag’s expired and so is your inspection.”
His face turned all mottled and he reached for his Breathalyzer.
“I’m slurring because I’m from the South and this is how we talk.”
“Ma’am you’re either drunk or on something else.”
I remembered a Xanex prescription in my pocket book, something I need because writers tend to have anxiety troubles.
“Blow into this as hard as you can.”
I blew like the wolf from the “Three Little Pigs.”
Zero alcohol. He looked pissed.
He gave me two tickets for the expired stuff and drove off in a cloud of bad-ass dust.
Writers generally don’t fool with things like getting cars legal. We’re too busy pondering our next great bestseller.
I told my husband I thought it his duty to maintain my vehicle.
“Nope. You have to do it.”
At least he “fixed” my tickets and I don’t have to go to court.
So maybe the real story should be, “What it’s like living with a no nonsense lawyer?”
For more of my work go to www.susanreinhardt.com