Monday, September 13, 2010

Support for your writing, in the form of a bus

Last week was our yearly camping trip. This year's trip was a bit of a disaster as it rained and was freezing the first two days and nights. But it was heaven being among the tall coastal redwood trees and hiking the numerous trails into the mountains. (Although to be truthful, we didn't hike as much as I wanted because the whippersnapper is a bit anti-hiking, being that his legs are much shorter than ours.)

Because we camped after Labor Day, the campgrounds were not full. There were just enough people so one didn't feel lonely, but also few enough that you had your space. There were a lot of campers and RVs. During one of our walks through the campsite, we saw a Westfalia. Mr. Sierra has always been rather enamored of these things, which are tricked out Volkswagon buses. To him, they are camping shangri-la. He quietly drooled over the thing and we passed it by.

The rest of the trip had some drama -- I made us leave a day early on account of the weather, only to find that once we finished packing the camp site up, the sun came out and all the clouds went away and it became gorgeous. But it was too late. Back out of the mountains we went, but then car began blinking its warning lights and performing all sorts of alarming shenanigans. We used our smart phone to find a Honda dealership, which thankfully was extremely close, and brought the car in. Turns out the transmission was operating in safe mode! Gah! So we rented a car and left ours at the dealership, and headed down to the beach town of Santa Cruz for a day.

While we were tooling around Santa Cruz, Mr. Sierra said to me, "When your book hits the bestseller list, I want a Westfalia."

I stared at him, a little surprised. Mr. Sierra, while generally supportive of the inordinate amount of time I spend on the laptop writing and (ahem) blogging and tweeting and the like, has never indicated before that he thought I would have some success. So it was really cool to hear this. In fact, I went squeeeeeeeeee inside.

"Just because a book is a bestseller doesn't mean the author earns piles of money," I cautioned.

"Even so," he said. "I don't care, when your book hits the bestseller list, I'm having a Westfalia."

Well. I was pretty flattered that he had schemed ways to get himself a Westfalia based on my success. I mean, he wouldn't have put that statement out there unless he believed in me.

Having your loved ones, especially the ones closest to you, support you is super important. But having them believe in you is something else entirely. It warmed my little heart, I tell you. It made a lot of things worth it. I was reminded again though of how important the writing blogging community is, because when you family has stopped asking you what you're writing, and your friends have stopped talking to you about novels, and your cat has started avoiding you because you haven't washed in some time (because you're writing, obvs), you know that the friends and connections you've made through blogging and other social networking platforms is super important. Hey, we can't smell you. You're good.

More important than not smelling you, though, is the fact that the most amazing support and connections and referrals can be made through friends you meet in this relatively small writerly community. So many of you have gone out of your way to help me and I appreciate you so much, through advice, critiques, supportive email, tweets, and blog recognition. If I had a fleet of Westfalias, I'd give you each one. I hope all of you have similar connections online, and I hope you have that support at home. Tell me about it in the comments.

In the meantime, though, I'd better get back to writing. I have some serious work to do if Mr. Sierra is going to get that Westfalia.


Matthew Rush said...

That is really cool.

Tina Lynn said...

Yeah, I want one too. Mr. Sierra has good taste...and I'm not just talking about the Westfalia. *winks*

Lt. Cccyxx said...

That's too bad about your trip, though hopefully you still had fun despite the setbacks.

Yes, I have benefited greatly from my connections online with people like you, KLM, Travener...both in terms of providing general community and more specific assistance and critiquing. It'd be one lonely slog without you guys.

At home, my wife has been an absolute rockstar (or is that bedrock?) of support. Not just in letting me write undisturbed, but in being a trusted reader (she knows I'm not just looking for gold stars, so she is honest) and someone to bounce ideas off. I know she believes in me, and that is so important as things move so slowly, so many rejections roll in, and it seems so difficult to understand how to improve or do better sometimes. I'm really lucky in this regard, and I know it and appreciate it.

Linda G. said...

*pauses until the Redwood envy passes*

Aw, sounds lovely, even with the snags. :)

TG calls my writing his "retirement plan," the poor deluded man. While I appreciate his confidence in my eventual success, I HAVE warned him he better be prepared to retire someplace cheap.

Suzi McGowen said...

That's a great story! I'm fortunate that both my husband and my son believe in me and are able to tell me that in ways that I can hear. (Because sometimes people say supportive things, but say it in a way that makes you discount it.)

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Oh, love that he's so supportive of you. :) I have a good guy too. When I announced that and agent was offering me representation, the hubs was happy but didn't seem all that shocked. So after punching him in the shoulder and demanding he jump up and down with me, I asked him why he wasn't beside himself. And he said--I'm happy, I just knew it would happen for you, so I'm not that surprised.

My parents were the same way. Now I figure this is mostly blind faith and lack of industry knowledge, lol, but still it felt good that they didn't have any doubts ('cause I sure did.)

And sorry you're vacation was a wash. We actually cancelled our trip to San Diego this week because of a hellacious week last week--food poisoning for me, an awful cold for the whole household, scary high fever in the kidlet, and THEN surgery for said kidlet. So, I think last week was just cursed. Here's to a better week!

Sierra Godfrey said...

Matthew, thanks -- I'm going to guess you mean both the Westfalia AND the belief in me :)

Tina, you're too sweet. Love you.

Lt., Glad your wife is a rock for you, that's so important. (And glad you know it)

Linda, yeah the redwoods were so beautiful and the smell of them and the silence was refreshing and wonderful. Everyone should go to the redwoods as much as possible. You could always retire to them...might be real cheap in a Westfalia.

Suzi -- you are right that people can say supportive things but we don't believe them because of the way it's delivered, good point. That's why Mr. Sierra's comment coming out of the blue but obviously with some schemy thought behind it was pretty great. It's those little comments of them applying your success for their gain that make you keep going!

Travener said...

This is why I'm your secret lover. I, too, want a VW bus -- must be classic '67 with the two front windows and the six porthole windows -- which I will use my bestseller money (ha ha) to soup up. And I went to UC Santa Cruz. So there's this cosmic thing out there in which in some parallel universe I exist as the alt-Mr. Sierra (perhaps, more accurately, the Bizarro Mr. Sierra.) Hello.

Lindsey Renee Rose said...

My husband loves to tell me that he's quitting his job when I'm rich and famous. At first, I tried to politely tell him that was probably not going to happen, but now we spend a few moments dreaming the impossible. It helps me get to work!!

Sierra Godfrey said...

Roni - I love that they weren't surprised! To be honest, no one was, hon.

Trav - LOL! We were in Big Basin, if you went to UCSC then you would know it. You may very well be Bizarro Mr. Sierra because I was born and partially raised in Santa Cruz.

Lindsey, I love the time spent dreaming, it helps, right? :)

Mia said...

OMG. I commented early but blogger ate my writing :( I can't even remember what it said. Something about taking pictures of Westfalias and how I love you.

Erm, I'm not married except if you count this one time in a playground where I had a wedding by the picnic tables but I'm pretty sure those things aren't legal. Especially if a toy hamster performed the ceremony. Right? Right? I should probably check to make sure one day soon. If they are my Husband is SO unsupportive it's INSANE.


Mia said...

We haven't even spoken in ten years. RIDICULOUS.

Mia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mia said...

To be fair on him, I think I forced him into it. I was all OMG OMG LET'S GET MARRIED YAY and he was probably like ERM, DOES THIS MEAN YOU'LL LET ME PLAY FOOTBALL AND STOP DRAGGING ME AROUND THE SCHOOL? to which I undoubtedly said yes.

I'm sorry, I have no idea why I'm rambling about a guy I may (or may not) be married to.

KLM said...

Fortunately for me, the only request my husband has made when I hit the big time is to have his vintage road bike repainted at the factory in one of the vintage colors they have available. I think that costs around $700. So I need only achieve a modest bit of success to grant that wish.
But I know what you mean. That little endorsement from friends and family, even when it's pie in the sky thinking, means the world.

Westfalias for all!

demery bader-saye said...

Your trip does sound delightful, despite the glitches. The Westfalia is super cool. I've never seen one before.

I find my hubby to be very supportive and encouraging - but maybe a little guarded, hoping I don't get hurt in this process. I'd like to see him start dreaming about Westfalias! For him I think it would be a new guitar...

The blogging community has been wonderfully supportive. I'm so thankful for all of you!

deltabear said...

Mr. Sierra is not the ONLY person who believes in you! And when you get that Westfalia, I'll book a room at the nearest Holiday Inn and bring you coffee.

DL Hammons said...

I couldn't smell you even if you did 'have a stank', and I was standing right next to you! :)

Smart man...your hubby. I guess thats why you married him, huh?

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