I laughed last night when I realized that writing a book has been like a reflection of my love life. Does that sound crazy? Well, let’s see. I’ll just replace “man” with “story”, and daydream about what some of the later phases might be like. It sounds like a fun little challenge over lunch.
Phase: Pining (Initial motivation)
I wish I could find a good story. Something nice, and funny. Something that makes me feel special. A romantic fantasy.
Phase: Dating (Brainstorming)
So I went out with Aether the other night. He was pretty cool. He told me all of these crazy stories about his friends and where he’s from. I don’t think I believe everything he said, but we had a really good time. I think I’m going to see him again.
But I really like StoryX, too. We’ve known each other a long time, and there’s all of this history between us. And there’s StoryY, and StoryZ… but I don’t know. Aether really seems to get me right now. We’ll see how it all pans out when I see him again.
Phase: Exclusive (Plotting)
Ugh. So I just had some really uncomfortable conversations with Story X, Y, and Z. They weren’t thrilled about my decision, but I hope we will all stay friends.
I’m trying to get Aether involved in archery. It’s not really his thing, but he said he’d be willing to give it a… shot. He’s so funny. I think I’m in love.
Phase: Marriage (Drafting)
Things are still okay. I’m happy, I think. Aether didn’t really try the archery thing. I mean he did, but it’s obvious that his heart wasn’t in it. Sometimes he just … does his own thing, and then I find out about it later. I mean, that’s fine. I don’t want to be some overbearing spouse. I just wish we could agree on things before they happened.
Phase: Discord (Writer’s block)
All I wanted was for him to go pick up some milk. Do you know what he did? Bought a playstation. Like… really! Are we even partners anymore? UGH. I cannot handle him right now.
Phase: Reconciliation (Editing)
You know, when I look back on all of that drama it really wasn’t that bad. So what if he wanted a playstation. We made it work, together. I actually like playing with it, too. We agreed on some boundaries, and cut a few things out of the budget so that we could both afford what we want at the end of the day. We agreed to talk to someone about the bigger things so that we can save our marriage. Teamwork, baby!
Phase: Counseling (Betareading)
I’m a nervous wreck. What if there’s something wrong with me? Who am I kidding. He’s the weird one. Just kidding. I feel so off balance with all of this. It’s like… I know we’re okay underneath the surface. We just need to clear a few things up and then we’ll be back on track.
Phase: Being a couple (Last edits)
I’m so glad we saw the counselor. I was right! Things have been so much better lately. We just needed to see where we weren’t in sync. I feel exhausted from all of the effort, but I wouldn’t trade what we have together for anything in the world.
Phase: Our friends (Queries / Self-pub)
My girlfriends just don’t accept Aether for who he is. They keep telling me I should drop him and find someone who is less work. Well, relationships are work! We don’t just wake up into a fairy tale where everything is bright and perfect. We work for it! So we’re still making little changes every day to be the best versions of ourselves, for ourselves and each other. Someday they’ll come around, or I’ll find girlfriends who will accept us. Not just me.
Phase: Anniversary (Post pub)
I can hardly believe that we’ve been together so long. It feels like it’s been fifty years, and also five minutes. All of those things that used to drive me crazy are still there, but I’m not trying to change them anymore. They’re a part of him, and I love them for better or worse… just like he does with me and mine.
We’re getting our friends together for a party this weekend. I’m pretty sure his writer friend has been cozying up with my editor. I’ll have to ask her about it later – it’s so exciting that they’ve hit it off.
So here’s to the future, and all of the possibility it contains. Aether and I were talking about kids the other night. What they would be like? How many? I can’t wait to see where life takes us next.