By Beth Terrell
I'm writing this post from Brewster Massachusetts, very near Cape Cod. I'm here for a writer's weekend workshop. I'll write about the workshop next week, since it doesn't actually start until tomorrow. I bring it up now because, if it weren't for this workshop, I wouldn't have spent the last two days driving from Nashville, Tennessee to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and I wouldn't have gotten a first-hand demonstration of true love in action.
Preparing for a trip like this involves a number of tasks. Do laundry; pack suitcase; make sure manuscript copies are in notebooks and loaded up; read the manuscripts of the other authors; pack a bag to take to the dog trainers' (where they'll be staying while Mike and I are gone); get Mom to take care of the house, cat, and birds; give the animals lots of attention before dropping the dogs off at "Aunt Peg's."
My husband, Mike, is also getting ready for a trip. He and a group of his friends are going to a gaming convention in Gettysburg, stopping at a number of battlefields and museums on the way. But in the midst of preparing for his trip, he took the time to print out maps detailing every step of my route. Not only did he print them, he took them to Kinko's and bound them. He made sure we had AAA memberships and that I had a brochure with all the services listed. He bought me an adapter for my lighter so I can plug in multiple devices at one time. And then he gave me an mp3 player loaded with songs he knew I'd like. When I thanked him, he said, "I'm just trying to make your trip more pleasant."
When I got into the car, one of the first things I did was plug in my GPS ("Daniel"). Mike gave Daniel to me several years ago for our anniversary, and programmed "him" with the British male voice because he thought I'd like that best. He makes sure Daniel's maps are up-to-date so that when I travel, I don't have to worry about getting lost and having to ask for directions.
You'd better believe that, when I got behind the wheel of my little black Honda Accord and plugged in my mp3 player and put the coordinates for the workshop location into Daniel's memory, I was feeling protected, taken care of, and very, very loved.
It's the same way I feel when he drops me off at the front door of a restaurant because it's raining and he doesn't want me to get wet. I don't generally mind getting wet, but it still touches my heart when he does it.
I know the care and feeding of a mystery writer can be challenging sometimes. We spend our "mad" money on writers' workshops and conferences, we need a boatload of reassurance that we do indeed have talent, and--as Ben pointed out after his trip to Croatia--we think of murder at the strangest times.
So I'd like to thank my husband, Mike, for all the many little things he does to show support and love for this mystery writer.
May you all be lucky enough to have someone who'll do the same for you.