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Mar 13, 2009

Scenes from a Writer's Marriage

[I tried to put this in proper script format, but Blogger wouldn't let me. Blogger and I have some Issues We Need to Work Out. We'll be seeing a counselor soon.]

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The room shows a mess born of obsession -- papers, books, notebooks, pens and six computers; and neglect -- clean laundary still unfolded in baskets, toddler toys abandoned in parade formations on the floor. Every available wall is lined with books: writing books (Characters and Viewpoint), historical books, (A History of the Plantagenets) and fiction (The Simirillian). It's possible there's a baby crawling on the floor somewhere, but hard to tell because of the mess.

WRITER'S HUSBAND:  We can't pay the bills this month.

WRITER:  Um. [Beat] Do you have a plan?

WRITER'S HUSBAND: My plan was for you to sell a book.

WRITER: Oh. [Beat] You do realize that even if I sold a book this exact second, it wouldn't make money for like, another two years.

WRITER'S HUSBAND: Yeah. I know. My plan was for you to sell a book two years ago.


WRITER: I'm working on it.

WRITER'S HUSBAND: Yeah, but you're working on it in your way.

WRITER: What's "my" way?

WRTIER'S HUSBAND: You keep re-writing it.

WRITER: Only because it still sucks.

WRITER'S HUSBAND: You've been re-writing it for twenty years.

WRITER: Not twenty! Only... [Writer visibly struggles to count on fingers] like, ten.

WRITER'S HUSBAND: Even if you sold your book for a million dollars, divide that by ten years, and you're still making less than you could at a real job.

WRITER: What if I sold a book for 4.8 million? Audrey Niffenegger just spent six years writing a book she sold for 4.8 million dollars. Of course, before that, she wrote a bestseller, The Time Traveller's Wife.

WRITER'S HUSBAND: I'd be happy if you just sold a book for one million.

WRITER: I'd be happy if I just sold a book for one thousand! [laughs]

WRITER'S HUSBAND: I'd be happy if you just sold a book for one million.


Janet said...

So, where's the hidden camera? I know it's here somewhere.

Janet (off to search house for hidden camera - and demand an answer from The Husband as to why he's publicizing our homelife)

Ban said...

i hope you don't mind ... i followed you from the prairie chicks site and got so engrossed i read every entry ... yes EVERY entry. (and comment) it doesn't make sense for me to go back and add my own two cents so i will do so here.
1. if you download your itunes library onto an external hard-drive you can move your entire library to a new computor. (i've done it twice - don't forget to deauthorize the old one.)
2. i empathize with your fear people will think you're chasing trends. sometimes i TRY not to read because i cringe everytime i see a similar theme, scene, plot etc. i just have to keep telling myself 'there is nothing new under the sun.' and conttinue on.
3. i LOVE your comparison of sending an emotional valentine to sending your story to an agent - that really touched a nerve and i've never done either ...
4. i'm with scott - i prefer non explicit sex scenes. my reasons are two-fold ... everyone has their own opinion of what the perfect 'encounter' should be - why not let them fill in the blanks with their own imagination (what if they don't like the scene and it turns them off when your intent was to turn them on ?)and second, i myself, feel like a peeping tom and wonder 'shouldn't i give them some privacy?' this does NOT mean i skip over explicit scenes - sometimes they are necessary and/or appropriate for the story. i just PREFER non-explicit ones. (this question however is hard to answer because it's more a matter of opinion.)
5. happy vs. suicidal ... could it be she is soooo tied up in her joy she has no concern for her own well being ? the only example that comes directly to mind - drug addicts.
well i guess that's it for now ... thanks for having me :)

Traci said...

He he...that totally rocks! :-D

Sara Raasch said...

Haha. Makes me kinda glad I don't have the pressures of a marriage to force me to make money from writing! (I just have

Danyelle L. said...


I love how you caught the two perspectives: the writer and the not-writer. :)

lisa and laura said...

Our discussions seem to go more like this:

Hubs: It's Friday night, why are you still on the computer?

LL: I'm...[struggles to think of a way to make surfing blogs of other writers sound vitally important] doing research.

Hubs: For what? You haven't even started the next book yet.

LL: [Curses self for keeping hubs informed of writing status] Well, I just need to stay on top of what's going on in the market.

Hubs: Whatever, just admit you're screwing around on the internet.

LL: Dammit.

Kimbra Kasch said...

4.8 Mil

OMG: We can dream...

Tara Maya said...

Janet - You made me grin.

ban - OMG, wow! And thanks. I think you've read more entries on my blog than *I* have! *grin* Thanks for your comments. On the sexy scenes, I think for now I'll keep as I have it. One will be explicit, one will leave it to the imagination. Hopefully that will be something for everyone.... As for the addiction idea, I think that might be a good analogy.

Litgirl01 - thanks.

Sara - Ha, don't get me started on parents!

Windsong - "Any resemblance of this conversation to an actual conversation held last night is purely coincidental."

Lisa and Laura - Er, yeah, sometimes Writer's Husband does get suspicious, "Hey are you actually even writing or JUST BLOGGING?" Heh heh.

Kim - Yes, we can dream... sigh. :)

lotusgirl said...

Indeed we can dream. If only! 4.8 mil. I'd settle for a LOT less but not a thousand. Of course, it's still early yet.

Tara Maya said...

I've actually sold two books, both for more than a thousand, though not by much. I didn't need an agent for for that. But it seems unlikely I'll be holding out for a million either.

Anonymous said...

*snickers* Great depiction, Tara! I loved it. :)

Anonymous said...


I just found your blog and you're getting a big fat bookmark right away.

Thanks for the morning smile!

Tara Maya said...

Thanks, Sara B!