Friday, February 10, 2012

Love Is... A Great Beta Reader

Before you read the hilarious poem below, you should know that I'm not the author. Kristen Lamb is and you can find her blog here.  I've haunted her blog for a while now because I'm about halfway through her book. Fair warning to my six faithful readers: once I'm finished with Kristen's book, I'm quite sure I'll be revamping my blog. In the meantime, however, enjoy her poem. I'll add my own Valentine's Day thoughts at the end of this post. As with everything else in my life right now, they orbit around my novel.

Twas the Night Before Valentines…by Kristen Lamb
Twas the night before Valentines, and all through the land
The poor single people were wringing their hands
Handcuffs were hung by the nighties with care
Near the lotions and chocolates and mint underwear.
A day made by Hallmark to sell lots of stuff
Pushing candies and kittens and kisses and fluff
A day that makes “Single” a social disease
Like bubonic or typhoid or chiggers or fleas
And that fat baby Cupid must be on the take
Paid in buckets of cash and red velvet cake.
Love songs are played on every damn station
As “mush” takes over our entire nation.
Now not that we’re jaded, us single-type folk
We’ve tried Facebook and Match, and Equally-Yoked
We’ve tried parks and clubs and churches and bars
And a handful resorted to wishing on stars.
Like most other people, we want company
Without drama or fighting or disharmony.
No Jerry Springer or Kardashian drama
We have no time for all of that trauma.
Maybe we’re picky, world-weary, or fussy
Because we won’t date any Joe Schmo or hussy.
We want someone good-looking, gentle and sweet.
Hey, just cuz we’re single doesn’t make us minced meat.
We don’t begrudge the romance of others
The passion of courtship, the heat between lovers.
Before you judge my singular state
Think back to the days when YOU had to date.
Tomorrow we’ll stand in the grocery store line
Behind the husband with a bottle of wine
And a “Get-Well” bouquet cuz he waited too late
To find the red roses to give to his mate.
Hallmark has trained you to scurry and dash
Into its stores with fistfuls of cash.
For stuffed little critters with a lap full of love
And boxes of chocolate morsels from Dove.
Singles won’t stand hours waiting to dine
On elf food with garnish and overpriced wine.
No chocolates with abnormal tropical middles
Or angst about thighs that may wiggle and jiggle.
No staying in bars desperately late
Trying to connect with a last-minute date.
So embrace your status and shout it out loud.
Yes, I am single! Single and Proud!

This poem cracked me up. I related to it, even though I barely remember being single. (You see, V-Day is a notorious disappointment, regardless of your relationship status.) The great thing about my small cadre of blog-readers is that most of you know the "real Jenn." You know I've been with the same guy since I was 18 years old (and I'm no spring chicken). You know I have a busy life, two kids, and if you know me VERY well, you know that by the time my husband I finally have five consecutive minutes together at the end of the day, we are so brain-dead that we can't remember what we wanted to tell each other earlier in the day. In other words, we are a very normal 40-ish married couple.

David, like most other American men, is not overly emotive (think Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy). He's surprisingly good at crafting touching handwritten additions to Hallmark cards, he remembers Valentine's Day and he sometimes even brings me flowers. It is only in the last month, however, that my husband has stolen my heart in a whole new way.

David is my beta reader. As any author knows, that is an incredible gift. I'm only on the first edit of my NaNoWriMo novel, so there are plenty of holes and rabbit trails that require attention. Once I realized I needed some serious plot advice, I asked for his help. (He seemed surprised and honored by my request.) The truly amazing thing is that he really likes the book. He's into the story, attached to the characters (I heard him gasp when one died), and completely believes in my ability to go far as an author.

Don't get me wrong...I love flowers and romance as much as the next girl, but the best gift I've ever received is summed up in the acknowledgment of my fledgling novel: "To David: who believed in me for decades before I finally believed in myself."

1 comment:

Megan Willome said...

Oh, I love how this ended! A beta reader beats flowers any day of the week in my book. Plus, you can kiss him goodnight.