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A Beautiful Partnership

Posted by Hallee on Dec 2, 2011 in Writing |

Gregg and I met through a writers’ group online.  We knew each other for several years before we met in person.  Though we had no romantic interest in each other nor any intent prior to our first in-person meeting, within a week we knew we would be married, within three months we were engaged, and we were married six months after our first meeting.

It was, if you ask us, a match made in heaven.

We love working together – whether it’s on a house project, a garden, reading a book and doing a study, working on this blog, or writing.  If it came down to it, writing is what we both love — and what we both love to do together.

I am a lazy writer.  I have stories all swirling around in my head – characters begging to get out.  So, I sit down at my computer and just typity- type-type-type and let the stories take form.  My sentences have a tendency to be passive.  I have a bad habit of starting sentences with conjunctions.  I’m a comma queen.  And, I head-hop.  All of these things are lazy, bad habits that I should be able to correct if I gave it more focus.  I’ll write, then I’ll go back to it and read, and I miss most of what I’ve done wrong because my mind corrects it for me and I read it how it should be.

our work area -- we took over the dining room table

Then my darling Gregg comes in.  He is brilliant.  BRILLIANT.  Anyone who has worked with him as a writer would agree.  He sees every passive verb, corrects every conjunction, puts thoughts in the correct heads.  And he doesn’t care that he loves and adores me as his wife — the other part of his “ONE” — if it sounds bad, he’ll tell me.  If it’s poorly written, he’ll tell me.  If the plot took a wrong turn, he’s not afraid to say so.

It’s not always easy to take, because writers don’t like critiques — especially from the one person from whom they most want praise.  But the end result is a well put together story that reads well.

All this week, I’ve been working on submitting a manuscript to the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Contest.  This contest is a big deal.  Finalling in it would be wonderful – winning would be a dream come true.  I took the boys to a babysitter on Monday and on Tuesday – getting twelve solid hours of work in on the book and the synopsis.  Tuesday evening, Gregg started working on it – doing the final edits while I worked on the synopsis and some fine tuning of the story.

The thing is, Gregg has been sick all week.  He has been working from home, handling correspondence and conference calls while battling a massive sinus and upper respiratory infection.  He worked on the book after dinner Tuesday, and again Wednesday.

I hovered Wednesday, because this thing was due in Texas on Friday and I had to overnight it on Thursday.  And poor Gregg was sick as a dog.  There’s a nurturing side of me that wanted to send him to bed with a hot toddy and a cool compress for his forehead.  But I didn’t.  Instead I watched him plow his way through my manuscript with a fine toothed comb, catching mistakes I probably should have been able to catch, rewording things to make them just that much better.

While he’s spent the last two nights working on it, I’ve been exhausted because I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night with horrible sinus headaches and sore throats, ignoring how lousy I felt because I just had to get this thing done.  When I went to bed Wednesday night, Gregg was still up working on the book.  I have no idea what time he went to bed.

But, at noon on Thursday, I paid an outrageous sum to overnight six partial copies and one full copy of the manuscript to Texas.  While I type this on Thursday night, I have a hot toddy steaming next to my laptop and I’m finally admitting, and giving in to, the fact that I caught whatever Gregg has/had.

So, we’re going to sit and veg-out for the rest of the evening, passing each other the box of tissues and the bottle of Tylenol, while the manuscript we worked on so hard jets its way to Texas.  If I final, I’ll know it will be because of the sacrifice of time that Gregg put into it while he was so sick.

While he’ll disregard that and say it’s my story, I know better.  This lazy writer doesn’t write in an award-winning, publishable style — but her partner does.

We have a beautiful partnership.

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