Saturday, January 7, 2012
The Men of Jungle Red: Part 2
LUCY BURDETTE: As promised on Monday, today we bring you part 2 of the Men of Jungle Red. Ross Hugo-Vidal is Julia's main squeeze--he cooks, he tweets, he facebooks, he fathers--we can't even list all the ways he contributes to Julia's team (and ours too, here at JRW!) I'll let him tell it how it is to be married to a famous crime writer! Take it away Ross--and then pile on with your comments...
ROSS HUGO-VIDAL: Come and get it! Get your Tell-all Expose right here! OK, sure my lovely and talented wife (TM) is a hot-shot New York Times bestseller NOW, after a mere 10 years of hard labor, but let me tell you it hasn't always been Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous around our house. Actually its not now either, but hey, that's utterly beside the point. Lets call it Lifestyles of the Cyclically Impoverished Rural Mainers.....There, THAT'll bring #Geraldo running!
So, was my lovely and talented (TM) wife born with a silver pen in her mouth? Nope, turns out that 10 years AFTER we married she took a poll of her closest friends and UNANIMOUSLY they told her she should take up writing. She was the last one to know. Actually, I was the last one to know and let's just say it took me awhile to jump aboard the bandwagon. Actually, being a clueless husband, it took me awhile to FIND the bandwagon.
When my lovely and talented (TM) wife's unpublished debut, IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER won the Malice Domestic Contest and the legendary editor Ruth Cavin left a message for her (remember those antediluvian cassette answering machines?) to call back, I (somewhat less than thoughtfully) blurted out "are they a real publisher? For God's sake DON'T send them any money!" Yup, am STILL living that down -- and she has made sure all our children are well aware of it as well...Sorry, honey, that WAS a remarkably dumb thing to say...even for me...and I understand I will have to live with it FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! I began learning the publishing business shortly thereafter.
I WAS a reasonably well-adjusted man of middling years when the bandwagon left the station. Then my lovely and talented (TM) wife HAD TO go and name her character RUSS (Russ/Ross get it?) I just know she did this deliberately. She does almost nothing deliberately but THAT's beside the point..I was sailing through mid-life with nary a (major) crisis in sight. Then she creates a heroic, macho, well-loved character. Totally accurate depiction of course. Trust me. But do you realize the psychic burden of living up to this ideal? DO YOU? It took me awhile to figure out the payback. But I have. I've cleverly morphed into a child-rearing, home-cooking, kiddy-taxi-driving, birthday-partying house-hubby New Man of the 21st Century who loves TWILIGHT (Zone)! Take THAT, woman! Captain America's got nothing on me!
Raising kids with a crime writer? My lovely and talented (TM) wife INVENTED the reality show. WE LIVE IN ONE. She just neglected the part about cameras and income stream. So I walk in the door with our (fortunately well-grounded; mostly; well, maybe not so much...) children to see Julia wiping up a pool of red, viscous fluid from the middle of the wooden floor. Arms stained red. Me: Ummmm, honey, what exactly are you doing? Julia: Research...one beat, two beat, cue maniacal laugh. We fled in disarray to the grocery store. I began learning to cook shortly thereafter.
But I know I'm safe, because I have a duplicate copy of her VERY first book, a sci-fi novel that she has sworn shall never see the light of day. And if anything were to happen to me...Actually if something mysterious DOES happen to me, somebody please call my brother and tell him I left the you-know-what in a suitcase under the bed. With pictures of us literally gluing together Julia's first postcards to libraries and bookstores on the living room table in 2002 (that's when I discovered gluesticks. Lots of gluesticks). Gosh, I love social media! I don't even have to call a reporter to take out an insurance policy..
You know what my Lovely and Talented (TM) wife REALLY wants to write? Romance. And erotica. Not necessarily in that order. Maybe both if you could actually combine them. And if you think she's a terrific MYSTERY writer...Ummm, Hey Honey, was I supposed to run this piece by you BEFORE I hit the button? Ummm, OK, yep, I'm just finishing up. What, uh oh. Errr, Folks" about everything you just read? Umm, never mind...and remember, if you don't hear from me...call my...urkk.