The Best Person at RWA Nationals

Getting ready for this event was beyond stressful. When I say there was crying and screaming and gnashing of the teeth, there was. It was absolutely brutal in so many, unbelievable ways. The first night there, I wanted to leave and not even bother being there.

Part of the problem was that I was incredibly nervous about meeting all the folks that supported me over the last couple years, through Iraq and back again. Honestly, meeting every single person there was a phenomenal experience that I will blog about later.

No, the best person in the entire conference was someone who didn’t want to be here, who spent most of it pissed off and irritated and stressed out because there were two tired, over stimulated kids who probably never should have come.

The best person here was my husband. Not only did he smile when I told him that the meeting with my agent went spectacularly, not only did he kiss me when I was walking out the door to go to a party while he was trying to put the cranky kids to bed, he also washed laundry. He fed and bathed and entertained our kids while I walked around dazed and pretending to have it all together and that everything was just fine when inside, I felt like I was one false word from having a fabulous shoe down my throat.

My husband has just spent a week with the kids each afternoon so that I could meet other writers, spent time getting to know my agent, and meet people after hours in the bar. My husband made me laugh when I wanted to cry and smiled when I squeeled about meeting Nora Roberts.

He hates stuff like this. He hates being in a hotel room, trapped with the kids and running around like banshees. But tonight, the kids were crying, I was stressed out because I couldn’t get my bra to look right with my dress and my husband is unhooking it with me half ready to cry because I’m going to be late. And he gets me fixed, kisses me and says good luck.

And before you say I’m setting back feminism a hundred years by thanking my husband for doing something that I do every single day, let me expound just a titch. Since we’ve been back from Iraq, it’s been the mommy show. Every night, my kids want me to put them to bed. They want me there, even if I’m just giving them a kiss and a pat on the head before I tuck their blankets around them. So when I’m not there, my husband has to deal with two babies who are not only tired but stressed because they’re not quite understanding that mommy really is just downstairs. For my hubby to step up to the plate so that I could step out, literally, to mingle with publishing people, was pretty awesome in my book.

This man is man of the year in my book. I love him even more because he went through all of this to help me have an amazing first conference. I am so incredibly lucky to have him, unhooking my bra as I run out the door and smiling when I tell him that yes, I am going to sell a book this year.

Thank you, honey, for supporting me when all you wanted to do was scream. I love you.

9 comments for “The Best Person at RWA Nationals

  1. August 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Jessica — Perhaps, like me and virtually all the other women in the room that night, you mentally drafted the acceptance speech you'd like to give when (!) you win a GH or a RITA. In mine, I'd thank my husband because, frankly, if he won an award, I'd deserve his thanks. It's not a matter of who does which domestic chores — it's that support and reassurance that we need to give each other.

    Incidentally, I'd also thank my ex-husband, Henry. He is a great friend, a wonderful resource for legal theory & British history, and the family of my heart. Then I'd tell all the women there that if any of them are single and have an interest in astronomy, bookbinding and/or steam trains, Henry is a tall, dark, rich & handsome Brit. Just because our marriage ended amicably doesn't mean I wouldn't endorse him wholeheartedly as an HEA hero for someone else.


    That should get some laughs!

  2. Kathy Crouch
    August 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Jessica your husband sounds so sweet and that he did all of that for you doesn't sound bad at all. I know you treasure his doing this for you. To me it sounds like he's a great guy.

  3. Chris C
    August 2, 2010 at 9:34 am

    It was wonderful to read your praise for your husband. He sounds like a champ. Even though I'm the Momma, I'm not sure I could act so selflessly. One of your posters mentioned such behavior was true romance. It is good to remember this. I love the heroes in romance books. They are so perfect. Sometimes it's easy to compare aspects of my husband's with these fictional characters. I have been blessed with an extremely generous partner. Your post helped me to remember that. The best heroes are the real ones. Help me remember that tonight when he's snoring.

  4. Janet W
    August 2, 2010 at 6:00 am

    I am SO glad you posted that — about your husband. I have a one in a million husband too and I so take that for granted. And I shouldn't. Husbands who step up so that their wives can soar (and wives who step up so that their husbands can soar) are both deserving of praise. Would that more people thought of thanking the most important people in their personal lives … you mentioned Nora Roberts: if she doesn't send Valentines to Bruce in her public speaking and writing well slap me silly, because she does.

  5. Kate W
    August 2, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Now THAT'S romance! : )

  6. August 1, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    This was the sweetest post about Nationals that I've read. It made me tear up. :-)

  7. August 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Yes! Aren't husbands wonderful? Mine went with me to the San Francisco RWA simply because I had registered too late to get into the hotel — and he didn't want me walking through the streets in my best clothes, all alone. So he took time off work, came to San Francisco, and stayed all alone in the hotel Nikko most of the time, just to walk me to and from the Marriott twice a day.

  8. August 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Awwww Jessica, that was the sweetest blog. You made me tear up reading about your children. Give your husband a hug from all the future readers. I'm sure your dream will come true!

    Best of luck. Hope to see your at RWA11 with a pink ribbon!

  9. August 1, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Lovely post and something I can completely relate to. My husband has been incredibly supportive of everything I've ever done and I truly believe when I finally sell a book, half the credit will have to go to him. I didn't get to RWA this year, but I will be in NYC next year. Hopefully, you will not only be meeting with your agent, but your editor as well.
    Good luck.

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