When Calvin and I married in 2003, I was playing with writing. You know, a few paragraphs written when it fit into my schedule. I was still afraid to jump into it fulltime. So, when I married a writer, it was a bit of a shock. I mean, the man wrote EVERY day!!!
I used to say he agonized all morning over whether to put in a comma and then agonized all afternoon if he should take it back out. If we went away for the day, as soon as we got back home he'd hurry into the den, close the door and write like a fiend to make up for ignoring his writing, his passion all day. I was alone for the rest of the night and I just couldn't get it.
Then there were evenings when, in the middle of a movie or a TV show, he'd get antsy, shifting in his chair. He'd kiss my hand and say he had to go work on his story. He'd leave me alone again, and I just couldn't get the pull of the story. Why...how did it pull at him? I'll even confess to being a little jealous of the book. Did it mean more than I?
I won't even mention the times he'd jostle me out of a sound sleep to tell me he had to get up to change a paragraph. Did I understand? Not for a nano-second.
But I was a writer. Wasn't I? Shouldn't I have understood?
Then one day, Calvin said, "Time to stop with the excuses. Time to write. You're retired. Write." I listed my excuses: housework, laundry, cooking...et al. He turned me toward the tiny bedroom that held my computer. "Go. Write. Your muse awaits."
Calvin did that for me. He made me face my muse. Now finally, as the release date approaches for my own book, I get his devotion to his craft.
I understand all the hours he devoted to the phantom lady. All those hours he mentally retreated to Paris, the setting for his book. I'd watch him pour over street maps of the City of Light to make sure he had the streets correct. He spent hours online making sure the cafes he remembered from his time there in '68-69 still had the same names, especially the cafes where he wrote every day.
Thanks to Calvin, heart of my heart, I get it.