Whenever someone accomplishes something they have worked so hard for, they find they have supporters and, unfortunately, those whose true feelings come out.
My husband has been my biggest supporter – and I’m not talking financially. Twenty years ago I was struggling to start writing. I’d been in a car accident, had to quit teaching, my children were heading out the door to begin their lives, etc. You know, life stuff. I went into my office one morning, and there, sitting on my desk, was a full-page advertisement from a magazine for a novel. Written across the top was: “Tina, someday this will be you. Love, Al.” Awww…. He knew, even then, I wouldn’t give up and someday I would be published. (I kept the page, but don’t know where I put it. I need to pull it out and post it on my board.) He’s been behind me with my first history book to my sixth; hauled books, shown up at book signings, heard me cuss and cry when I’ve lost material due to computer glitches, cooked meals when I was on a deadline and put up with my crazy work hours. When we owned our business and were working a gazillion hours during tax season, he understood I still needed my writing fix – even if I had to take my work to the office on the weekends.
In my lasts posts I talked about getting two requests for two separate manuscripts from two different publishers. When I called him about the first request, he asked: “Which book?” I was so excited, I said, “I don’t remember, but buy a bottle of champagne,” in between hiccups. He laughed. When I got the second request, I again told him to bring home a bottle of champagne. When he came in the door I said, “Can you believe this?” He looked straight in the eye and said, “Yes, I can.” What a man!!!!!!!!!! BTW – we’ve been married almost forty years. Guess who this book will be dedicated to.
When I received the e-mail that my book was to be published, he was, of course, the first one I called. Poor guy. I was sobbing so hard, he thought something had happened to me. Remember, I was camping by myself. He was all set to come to the campground that night with steaks and, you guessed it, a bottle of champagne. Unfortunately I was having some tests done the next day and couldn’t drink the champagne. He came Friday, instead. He also jokingly said he was ready to tender his resignation, but I told him to hold off on that one.
Then there are my friends and family. Most don’t really understand what it’s like to write, but they are all excited when I publish a book. My youngest brother, Bill, already has my book on the NYT best seller’s list and made into a movie. Wouldn’t it be great if he’s right? I love supporters like that.
My writer’s group, some of whom I’ve known now for nearly twenty years, have always been behind me. I am so blessed to have a group of women to meet with each month who show no jealousy when anyone succeeds, only love and support. We’ve been through so much together. The picture was taken at our retreat this past month. They made me feel like a queen.
Of course, there are those who can’t handle anyone’s success. I was at a meeting last week (not a writer’s group) and one of the members wanted me to announce the sale of my book. I would have to say 95% were excited for me and asked tons of questions (my favorite: Tell me about your book in three words. My answer: It’s getting published.). Of course there are a few who made comments like: “Well, if I had the time, I could write a book.” And my favorite: “Of course perfect Tina would get a book published.” That one threw me for a loop. I didn’t know how to respond. I wanted to say: “Where the heck did you ever get the idea I’m perfect?”
The love and support of the people around me keep me going. I need to learn to wash away those comments from people who try to bring me down. It’s hard, but I will succeed. So, to those of you who know me personally, thank you from the bottom of my heart.