That kind of support behind you

“Then she said, ‘You should quit your job.’”

Those words came out of my mouth a few hours ago as I was sitting as a table in Viewpoint Books, signing some of my work, and talking with David Bosley and Janice Benham, two other local writers who were also signing their work. Janice had asked about my move to writing full time, and I was explaining that while it was always this vague “dream” to me, it was Lisa who in so many ways has really made it happen.

“Wow,” she said. “It’s amazing to have that kind of support behind you, isn’t it?”

I looked at the table before me. The first three books of my fantasy series that’s doing so well right now were sitting out front. A short stack of my SF collection was there beside them. And there were the Indy 500 books I wrote with John Bodin, and a pair of Writers of the Future volumes, and the two baseball fantasies. There I was, literally surrounded by my books, gathered there with other people who couldn’t help but put words on a page (and in the case of David, who would eventually read a couple of his poems). And there I was in a place where people came up and bought my books and asked me to scribble a few cool things in them. And there I was surrounded by a room full of books by people like Karen Joy Fowler and Neil Gaiman and just tons of others.

And in that moment I thought about people like Lisa Silverthorn, and Amy Casil, and Brian Plante, and Jim Van Pelt, and Linda Dunn, and Chuck Eckert, and John Bodin, and about a hundred IMPs, and Vera Nazarian, and the Not-A-Web-Ring. And I thought about pros like Mike Resnick, and A.J. Budrys, and Dave Farland, and Kris Rusch and Dean Smith, and Dennis McKiernan, and the folks out in Oregon and … well, the list goes on. I know I’m missing lots of people, but life is short, you know? So many people have helped me along the way to my level of beautiful obscurity, you know. But in the end of that split-second flash of reflection and gratitude, I came back around to Lisa, and to Brigid, two people who have given so much to make me who I am.

And I smiled.

“Yes,” I finally said as I was surrounded by these small, but wonderful trappings of this life I’m living today. “Yes, it is amazing to have that kind of support behind you.”

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