Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Mishmash: Brief Reflections on Marriage

As I've noted before on this blog, I feel incredibly blessed to have the hubby that I do. Over the nearly 12 years that we've been together, he's cooked me lots of yummy meals, randomly brought home flowers, listened to my troubles, shared my passion for cinema and travel, tirelessly supported my desire to be a writer, and, most importantly, tolerated my rather high-strung nature – especially whenever a crazy travel guide deadline looms. Even now, as I struggle to complete the manuscript and maps for my latest guide, Moon New Orleans, he's doing his best to support my perfectionistic work ethic while encouraging me to get proper sleep and venture out into the world on occasion.

Although, as with any marriage, we've experienced our momentary rough spots over the years, we're pretty well suited for each other – in spite of our differences. Even long road trips don't phase us too much. During our most recent drive between Los Angeles and New Orleans, for instance, we found ourselves at a truck stop near Benson, Arizona, shortly after witnessing a terrible, flame-enshrouded automotive accident. After using the bathroom facilities, we each gathered a few snacks for the road. Being somewhat indecisive, I was still trying to find the perfect treat to accompany my cup of hot tea when Dan was en route to the register.

“I'll be waiting in the car,” he said. “Do you need any money?”

“No, thanks. I'm good.”

After Dan left the store, a pleasant, female truck driver looked at me and chuckled. “You two must not be married,” she remarked. “Or else you'd know never to turn down his offer of money.”

I smiled. “Actually, we've been married for over ten years.”

“Oh, never mind. I guess you'll never learn.”

Now, it was my turn to laugh. “Nope. I guess I never will.”

After all, that's one of the many things that I cherish about me and Dan. We share everything – including money, a similar sense of humor, and a determined effort not to play relationship games. Maybe that's why we're still married – and the female truck driver, who found my lack of an opportunistic streak amusing, had been admittedly divorced for a good, long while.

Then again, who knows why some couples last, and some don't? Love, like many things, is not an exact science – a fact that I'm grateful to have learned firsthand.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend Mishmash: Notes from Underground

Although I'm a bit late in doing this, I'd like to take a moment to promote a wonderful new anthology of short stories, novel excerpts, poems, and other enticing writings. Published by the folks at The Literary Lab and dubbed the Notes from Underground Anthology, this intriguing collection presents a wide array of stories, one of which is written by my online pal (and helpful beta reader), J.B. Chicoine. Having purchased the book through Kindle for my new iPhone, I've already read several of the entries, including Bridget's heartbreaking story (an excerpt from an unpublished novel that I badly want to read), so I can say without a doubt that I highly recommend this collection – which captivated and entertained me immensely during the long drive between Los Angeles, where my husband and I recently ran our sixth annual Beverly Hills Shorts Festival, and our home in New Orleans.

Not only is the anthology worth reading, but I also relish the fact that, by purchasing it, I'm supporting my fellow writers – both those whose works are included within the anthology as well as those who will ultimately benefit from the Writer's Emergency Assistance Fund, the charity that will receive all proceeds from this anthology. Every little bit helps after all – especially in these challenging times.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday Travels: Happy Mardi Gras!

As I mentioned last week, Dan and I are currently in Los Angeles, preparing for our sixth annual Beverly Hills Shorts Festival. Despite our professional responsibilities, we've had a good time seeing some of our old pals, but given that today is Fat Tuesday, I can't help but think of the shenanigans that I'm missing back home in New Orleans. All night, revelers will continue to celebrate Mardi Gras in the streets of the French Quarter – and I'm a little sad that I won't be there to experience it this year.

Why else would I try to relive it on Come In Character? Isn't that what writers do – live vicariously through their characters?

So, if you have a minute, stop by CIC and celebrate with us! After all, everyone deserves a happy Mardi Gras – no matter where he or she is at the moment.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tuesday Travels: Long Road Trips

Ever since Dan and I purchased a 25-foot travel trailer in the summer of 2000, we've logged thousands of miles on the highways and byways of America. Although we no longer own the travel trailer – or, sadly, have the same kitty that we had back then – we still spend a lot of time on the road every year.

Most recently, we covered nearly 1,900 miles between New Orleans and Los Angeles, where we'll soon be overseeing our sixth annual Beverly Hills Shorts Festival. Such an exhausting, three-day drive – on some rather boring stretches of Interstate 10 – would have been nearly unbearable without such on-the-road diversions as audio books, wireless Internet, conversation, and random roadside attractions.

So, what helps you pass the time on lengthy car rides?