It's my hero's birthday. My real hero.
That would be my husband. If it weren't for him, I'm not sure if I would be a writer.
Being a writer is a horribly difficult career. Only masochists should apply. Like any artform, it requires talent, hard work, lessons, practice, and practice. You do your best, display your talent to the world, and wait for.... rejection.
Yes, indeed, rejection is what writers get most of the time. I've been rejected by editors, by agents, by contest judges—and many were cruel. Once my books release, I'll be rejected by critics and readers—and many will be cruel. Let me assure you, even the most secure person gets their soul chipped away from all of that rejection.
That is why a writing career is a terrible choice for the writer's family. With all of the hard work, practice, and rejection it includes, things get neglected, like chores. Meals. Basic civilities. People.
Without the support and encouragement of my husband, I couldn't have done it. He has waited patiently for more than a dozen years for my writing career to take off. He ignored the messy house (most of the time), pushed me to attend conferences, drove me on research trips, shrugged at the receipts for my expenses, and took the kids away on daddy-daughter trips so that Mom could write. He listened to my insecurities and then did what he could to leave me feeling ever-more-secure. He created the environment in which I could be my best. If my books do well, it's his success too.
Thank you, sweetheart. And happy birthday!