James Not-the-Movie-Director Cameron

I’m married to James Not-the-Movie-Director Cameron. While being married to a movie director would certainly have its advantages for a writer who naturally sees the cinematic potential for her novel, being married to James Not-the-Movie-Director Cameron has its own rewards—a website, for example.

First, I should say that my husband’s middle name is really Stuart. His is a thoroughly Scottish name. His surname is the Gaelic tail to our daughters’ hyphenated, polysyllabic, mostly Latin-derived names: Natalie Francisca Miscolta-Cameron and Ana Elena Miscolta-Cameron. It’s our legacy to them—names that will be forever truncated in computer readouts.

When James and I married in 1980, I wasn’t a writer and neither of us anticipated that I would become one and need a website. Neither did we imagine that he would become a web designer. I came to writing via degrees in zoology, education, public administration, and a career in a local government agency. Theoretical mathematics, statistics, computer science and thirteen years as a software engineer was his path to web design. A fortuitous intersection of callings, though I am the beneficiary in this meeting of mid-life makeovers.

Now that I have a website, which has yet to be discovered by 99.9 percent of those connected to the blogosphere, I can post photos such as the one here of my reading at Elliott Bay Book Company with poet Oliver de la Paz. The photos happen to be courtesy of my husband who documented the August 11, 2011 event.

My husband brings his other talents to bear in his support of my writing career. He’s an analyst, a problem-solver, a spreadsheet-maker! And that’s lucky for a non-analytical, problem-creating person like me.

One Saturday morning I was about to take a few copies of my novel to Couth Buzzard, a used bookstore in my neighborhood which recently began carrying new books as well. Couth had sold the first two copies I had left on consignment and had asked for three more. (Aside: This is a really cool bookstore, so if you’re ever in the neighborhood, drop in, order a coffee and muffin, buy a book or two—maybe even mine.)

My husband, who was working in the backyard filling the area behind the retaining wall with top soil, casually inquired about the consignment terms and the potential earnings to me. I answered glibly, confident of the numbers I had run in my head. He stopped shoveling top soil and stared at me. After some prickly back-and-forth during which my explanation became increasingly muddled even as I was ever more insistent of my position, my husband put down his shovel and asked me to follow him inside to his computer. With a few clacks, he keyed in some numbers and formulas, and showed me the many errors of my ways.

So, who needs a movie director when you can have a web designer, photographer and spreadsheet ace all in one? Plus, he’s funny and can make me laugh. So, thank you, James Stuart Cameron.