A Love Letter To My Wife, One Book At A Time by Gerald M. Weinberg
Ordinarily, I write something every day, but today is special, so I wasn’t planning to write anything. Why special? Because 52 years ago today, I married the most wonderful woman in the world, and I wanted to spend the entire day with her. As it turned out, however, Dani had some plans for today (taking our three German Shepherd dogs for their herding lessons), so I had some time on my hands and decided this was the right day to write about some of the books Dani inspired me to write.
I call these books my “Women of Power” books—Novels and short stories I hope will inspire other women to better the world as I have watched Dani do for 52 delicious years. When we met, Dani was a musicologist, a piano teacher, and a Red Cross leader of volunteers. After we married, she returned to graduate school and earned her PhD in Anthropology. She became a university professor and author, later applying her anthropology to become a world-renowned organizational consultant. When she retired from university teaching (she’ll never retire from her masterful teaching), she became one of the country’s finest dog trainers and animal behaviorists, working with service dogs for people with disabilities.
In my career, I’ve published over a hundred books, mostly non-fiction plus a dozen or so fiction works. Dani is always my first reader and final editor (she’s published a half-dozen books of her own). She’s my cheerleader, fashion consultant, and source of my most innovative ideas. Each of these roles is essential, but I suppose I could hire people to perform them. When it comes to my fiction, however, nobody else could be my inspiration.
Like Dani, each of my women of power finds a way to improve their world. Their skills and approaches are as diverse as Dani’s have been in real life. Libra, in Mistress of Molecules, sets out to revolutionize an entire country—just as Dani did when helping reorganize Georgia and other countries during the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Dani’s brilliant work with Junior Red Cross volunteers and anthropology graduate students inspired the character of Libby in the Residue Class series (Freshman Murders and Where There’s a Will There’s a Murder).
In the Aremac series, Tess displays Dani’s style of cross-cultural interpersonal skills as she helps brilliant but naive inventors, just as she has helped me.
Those are just a few of the Women of Power books, and more are in the works. But now my beautiful bride has returned home. As fun as it is to read about fictional heroines, nothing can compare to holding a real woman of power in my arms.
Gerald M. Weinberg (Jerry) writes “nerd novels,” such as The Aremac Project, about how brilliant people produce quality work. Before taking up his science fiction career, he published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. He incorporates his knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, and software engineers). Early in his career, he was the architect for the Mercury Project’s space tracking network and designer of the world’s first multiprogrammed operating system. Winner of the Warnier Prize and the Stevens Award for his writing on software quality, he is also a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.
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