“Well…it ain’t Ozzy and Harriet.”

“Say, that reminds me . . .” My husband and I were still in high school when we first saw Raising Arizona, a movie which has infiltrated the very fabric of our lives. (By the way, we weren’t married then. We were just dating. We may be backwoods redneck, but damn, we ain’t that backwoods.) Anyway, “Here, I’m startin’ over.” Between our first viewing in 1987 and now, we have watched the movie more times than I can count. I knew it was something special in 1987, and it has proved worthy of our devotion every year since. So woven into our vernacular it is, hardly a conversation passes at our house without one of us dropping a quote from the film.

For every occasion there is a quote. For example, when we were newly married, my husband got a job changing oil and whatnot at a quick-lube type establishment. He hated the work and the bratty boss’s nephew he was teamed with. When the brat forgot to put oil back in one big ol’ boy’s truck, the big ol’ boy threatened the boss, and my husband was the one who lost his job. Logically, a caring wife would say, “Honey, it will be okay. You’ll find another job.” But did I say that? Hell no. I said, “You’re young and you’ve got your health. What would you want with a job?”

You see, the last twenty-seven years has been an endless string of these quotes, from “…when there was no crawdad to be found, we ate sand” to “Son, you’ve got a panty on your head” to “Healthy white baby? Five years? What else you got?” to “Riley, you take that diaper off your head. You put it back on to your sister.” And we don’t just keep it in our house, because, you know, we can’t stay in the house forever—“So many social engagements, so little time.” It never fails that we pull our friends into the game when we’re with them. If a friend starts to tell us a story about some unknown Bill, my husband grins at me and says, “Bill Roberts?” To which I reply, “No, not that mother-scratcher.” Our friends already know we are nuts, so, apparently, they no longer view our behavior as weird. At this point, they just continue without missing a beat.

What they don’t realize is our little inside jokes are much more than just playful banter. Spouting off these random quotes from a movie we watched twenty-seven years ago is a reminder of our commitment to one another. It’s a reminder of how very well suited we are together. It’s a reminder of why we fell in love in the first place. So it’s more than just a movie; it’s more than just a source of witty quotes—it’s a symbol of our lasting love. Through everything, all that’s happened in our lives together—like small paychecks (“Gov’ment do take a bite, don’t she?”), ATV accidents, losing loved ones—all we have to do is quote Raising Arizona and we remember we are one in this trek through life “light as the ether—a floating spirit visiting things to come.”[whohit]Ozzy and Harriet[/whohit]

The Balancing Act of Authorship

When I began this great quest of becoming a self-published author, I foolishly ran headlong like a stubborn old goat. Being the queen of my own mind, it took little to convince myself that I could do it all. I had no idea how much time would be required to accomplish all the little things—you know, like designing covers, editing, proofreading, formatting, self-promoting, networking, blogging. It has become glaringly evident that these little things matter immensely and that building a fan base can take months, years, dare I say . . . decades. The problem with all of the other necessary sh—stuff is that the need to attend to it draws one away from the fun part—writing. I’ve come to one undeniable conclusion: one must make time to write every day. No matter how many people I need to follow back on twitter or which author’s work I promised to read as a favor, writing should never be neglected. For us indie authors, that goal is nigh impossible. Most of us balance regular Joe hard hats atop our obstinate heads along with our many writers’ caps. I’ve got a big head, but damn, it’s not that big. So the moral of my story . . . don’t let everything else distract from what’s most important to a writer—writing! (Yes, I’m well aware that this blog post cut into my novel writing time. What can I say? I love irony.)[whohit]Balancing Act of Authorship[/whohit]