Mom (upon learning that I’ve co-written a story that an actual publisher wants to actually publish): Can I read it?
Me: Er, I don’t think you’d like it.
Mom: It’s a romance. I like romances.
Me (silently: Oh, you sweet summer child) and aloud: Actually, it’s more of a… scene. With three people. Who chat a bit in the parlor and then head upstairs to, uh, not chat. For twelve thousand words. Of nakedly not chatting.
Mom: Oh. Maybe the next one, then.
Hubs: Okay, so I’ve finished reading [the manuscript that eventually became Perfect Gravity – my second full-length novel].
Me: Uh oh, the ending fizzled, dinnit? It needs more guns blazing and cat hissing.
Hubs: No, that’s not what I was going to say at all.
Me: Wait, you and your fancy film degree and years making computer games weren’t going to give me constructive criticism that will definitely make me a better writer after I get over the initial navel-gazingly depressing realization that I’m not quite there yet?
Hubs: No. This one is good. Consider me a fan.
Me, having just received the biggest compliment of my life, sobs and kisses the shit out of that man.
My eldest child grabs a copy of my first-ever published-in-paper book.
Her: This is so cool, Mom. Can I read it?
Me (after slight hesitation for she is yet a Jedi youngling): Er, sure. Just, if you get to something confusing or weird, let’s talk about it, okay?
She cracks open the book and digs in. A couple of minutes later, she closes the book and sets it back in the box.
Her: I’m not allowed to read this book.
Me: Nonsense, I just told you—
Her (interrupting): Three. You have three swears on the first page, and two are the F-bomb. Mom, I’m not allowing myself to read it. And you need to watch your language.
So, to date three of the most important people in my universe have attempted to read my books. One actually made it all the way through. Hey, one of three ain’t… okay it’s a crappy percentage.
But someday I’ll write something without swears or sex.
(Stop laughing, you. I totally will.)