|This is the family. Left to right: Me, my daughter, my son, my son-in-law, and my husband.|
This post is supposed to be about how my family copes with my writing, but I don’t think they cope with it.
Sometimes, I get a distant look in my eyes, and I stare at nothing. For a while, my son thought I was upset with him, and he would ask me if I was all right. I’d say, “Sure. I’m just writing a scene in my head.” Now, he just nudges me and says, “You’re writing again, aren’t you?” I’ll nod and then go back to my inner thoughts. He’ll shrug and leave me alone. We have an understanding.
It’s embarrassing to work out dialogue in my head. Well, it’s supposed to be in my head, but sometimes, it comes out of my mouth. People think I’m talking to myself, but I’m not. I’m putting myself in my characters’ heads. My family knows I’m not talking to people that aren’t real. Not really, because my characters are real to me. My daughter just ignores my odd behavior. She knows what I’m doing. (Thank God, for Bluetooth in my car because I can talk out the dialogue and other drivers think I’m talking on my cellphone. Sweet, huh?)
My husband gets my obsession with my characters. He reads all my books before I publish them, so he gets acquainted with them. We talk about them like they are real. Some of my best ideas happen when we are discussing why one of my characters did that stupid thing that they did. When he says, “Tess would do that, wouldn’t she?” or, “That sounds like something Gray would do,” I know he loves them as much as I do.
When I told my husband I needed to go down to south Louisiana to do research for my book series set along the River Road and in New Orleans, he helped me plan the trip. Once we were there, he made some great suggestions about where to go and what to do. That trip added so much to my knowledge of the setting for the book series.
I think my family isn’t just coping; they are supporting and encouraging my writing. They are right there in it with me.