This past weekend, I did what a lot of us are doing nowadaysfrittered some time away on Facebook. I’m doing one of those “post the cover of an album you love” every day for a week or whatever, and Sunday’s pick was Bruce Cockburn’s Stealing Fire, which featured the single “Lovers In A Dangerous Time.” Seems appropriate for these times, too, doesn’t it?

The reason I was still thinking about it today, though, wasn’t so much my long attachment to the music. It was more my feelings about my fabulous wife Sunny (pictured above with Goofy in the days before social distancing).

Sunny and I have been married since 2014, and we have a lot of laughs together, in addition to having a blessedly low-stress, loving relationship. She’s from Thailand originally, so she’s bilingual, English being her second language.

 

Tonal Vs. Atonal

Thai is what they call a tonal language, which to me means there are certain words that the typical Westerner finds borderline unpronounceable. By contrast, English is kind of atonal, and Sunny speaks it with a charmingly Thai accent that, at times, sounds like she learned a word from a British speaker.

Although Sunny’s language skills are excellent, there are certain words in English that contain sound combinations that don’t exist in Thai. Thus a simple word like van or cure may provide much bigger challenges than seemingly more complex words like absolutely (one of Sunny’s favorites, by the way).

 

Getting Your Laughs Where You Find Them

My experience with Thai people is that many of them are almost unbelievably good-natured, and that’s certainly the case with my wife. So if she struggles with a word, and I laugh, she doesn’t get angry—she laughs at herself.

Of course, I’m not laughing at her, exactly. It’s more like I’m laughing at something that’s both funny and cute. Here’s yesterday’s example, as she attempted to discuss the hope for a “cure” for COVID-19.

Her: Queer.

Me: [Dying] No, no. Queer is like [terribly stereotypical imitation of a flamboyant gay guy, which I can only get away with because both of us are friends to the LGBTQ community.] Cure.

Her: Crew.

Me: [Dying more] No. No. You can say cute, right? It’s like cuter without the T.

Her: Cuter.

Me: Yeah. Now, again: cure.

Her: Cue.

There was no doubt another one in there somewhere, but I was laughing so hard, I could have had an aneurysm.

Ultimately, we settled on treatment as the best synonym, since a drug or medication might not provide an actual remedy.

I know these are dark daysa dangerous time, indeedbut I’m incredibly grateful to have a wife with both a fantastic sense of humor and a ton of patience. I hope all of you out there have great people in your lives, too, whether romantic partners, family, friends, or all of the above. Stay safe, everyone!

election

Meet The New Year—Same As The Old Year?

Looking back at the blog over the past few months, I see a few obsessions emerging. Nothing surprising there—of course we’re all suffering from pandemic fatigue, and I’m not surprised to see my worries about the 2020 election as topics. In my October 26th post, If...
knucklehead

Knuckleheads Who Want to Argue on the Internet: Get a Life

Back around 1990, I heard one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard a husband say about talking to his wife. I was sitting in a 12-step meeting and the man explained that certain conversations with his spouse sounded like she was trying to bait him into an argument....
stars

Working on Novels

This week I’m back to blogging about the love of my life – no, not my lovely wife, Sunny, although I must admit she’s the true love of my life. I mean I’m blogging about my fiction again. People know me for a few different things: author, speaker, publisher. And since...

The Marketing Thing Vs. The Working Thing

Last week, I took a vacation with my lovely wife, and missed doing a blog post entirely. I see where WordPress has an option of writing and scheduling posts, but frankly, I was too busy doing that with my monthly newsletter. I figured I could ignore the blog for a...
repetition

Insanity: Writing the Same Thing Over and Over?

Sometimes I feel like I’m standing at the bottom of those steps. I’ve been really lucky: I’ve had the good fortune to publish and sell four of my novels, and I run a freelance writing and editing business as well. I have great clients who love what I do and send me...
manuscript

Top Five Things to Check Before You Turn Your Manuscript Over

This week's blog post is for my writer friends. Everyone has a checklist of things they know they need to consider before publishing. When it comes time to turn that manuscript into a book, it's all too easy to get caught up in marketing considerations or thoughts of...
guest blogging

Guest Blogging: To Post Or Not To Post

So it’s Monday, and as always my calendar says “New Blog Post Due.” My mind, on the other hand, says, Add a quick blog post. This is slightly different, because I have a couple afternoon appointments, and not enough time to write a post between them. Can you say...
Whizzers

New Year, New Projects

"A goal is a dream with a deadline." - Napoleon HillI had this quote in my head today without actually remembering who said it. So I was a little surprised when I looked it up and found it attributed to Napoleon Hill. After all, I'm more likely to remember Charles...

Blatant Self-Promotion Post

This week is The Big One: the 2nd edition of Miles of Files launches on Mar. 10th, almost 15 months to the day of its initial release! When I won a book cover design from 99designs, I immediately thought of Miles. I was never quite as enamored with the original cover...
balance

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #7: The Elusive Search for Balance

It's Labor Day today, and what are my wife and I doing? You guessed it: laboring! I've just finished a massive job, editing a manuscript for a 90-something client. Hey, God bless him, right? And God bless me for having the intestinal fortitude to get through the most...