Synchronicity. I’m thankful for it for many reasons, but the big reason, the life-changing one, is that it brought Alistair Cross and me together. Writing has never been so fun… or so prolific.
Sure, I’m thankful for all the usual things – my health, my mate, my cats, my friends, indoor plumbing, electricity, onion soup, and underwear, but this year I’m especially thankful for my collaborator, Alistair Cross. We met only two or three years ago but it was that kind of meeting where the recognition is instant and you feel like you’ve always known one another. Suddenly, I had new appreciation for an old trial I’d gone through when I first published because it turned out to be the very thing that made our relationship click in so quickly.
We were each familiar with the other’s territory because we’d both lived in it. Without it, we would have found each other, but the dance would have taken much longer – years longer, most likely – before we came together. As it is, in the last year alone, we’ve completed two novels and enough serial novel to count as a third. Never have I been so prolific or so happy. Thank you, Synchronicity, Alistair was worth all that early hell.
Collaboration is difficult; I know it from experience and from other writers who have told me their stories. It’s not easy; collaborations usually bring arguing and other ego-built problems. Drama belongs on my page and peace and harmony in my life. Alistair’s philosophy is the same as mine and that, and the reasons below, is why I love my collaborator.
1. He wakes me up every morning with crude jokes and selfies. I’m particularly thankful that most of the selfies are of his face… Because morning is too early for other regions.
2. He’s a brilliant writer, a natural storyteller who can turn a phrase that makes me jealous. The highest compliment I can pay is to say, “I wish I’d written that.” He hears that a lot.
3. He makes me laugh. His wonderfully sick sense of humor is heaven-sent. Well, maybe not heaven sent…
4. Love those eyebrows. Jack Nicholson wishes he had those brows. They’re like a pair of happy snakes dancing a jig.
5. He loves his kitty and lets her give him some tongue. That’s hot.
6. No drama. Just mutual respect and support.
7. No fear. No fear of arguing. No fear of saying something wrong and offending a weak ego. No fear of saying something politically incorrect. No fear of ranting.
8. He’s loyal and protective, but not in that creepy stalky way. I never freely shared story ideas with anyone, but I do with him because I know they are safe. He also handles our stalker problems with aplomb.
9. He gives me discipline. Not the kinky kind we sometimes write about, but the kind that keeps me working all day, every day.
10. He’s an artist with words and with photography. I am thankful for his talents. And his willingness to do the bulk of our PR work.
11. He is willing to sacrifice favorite characters to make a better story because he’s a writer, not an egomaniac. That, babies, is a rare gift, believe me.
12. Together we are more than our parts. He brings out the best in me, whether it’s in writing or anything else.
13. He understands that to work hard, you must play hard. Every day.
14. He has no navel and he smells good. He lets me call him Treebeard because he’s tall and rooty.
15. He pretends to understand all my Star Trek references.
16. I love, love, love Alistair’s wife, Berlin. She rocks for so many reasons.
17. I am thankful for our chemistry. It’s so strong that we were invited to take it onto the airways and we have to do nothing but be ourselves on the radio.