stupid writer tricks

September 23, 2006

Taking a slight narrative detour, since I am temporarily obsessing about writing. My first book is released in about a week.

There are no backsies at this point, which is a good thing. Whatever I expected this to be like? It’s not like this. Not that this is bad. Just not what I imagined.

For instance, I’d always kind of imagined that my life would be a little more “Barabara Cartland”. I would get a tiara and a lapdog. Perhaps in a box along with the book contract. Packed in money.

Instead, I am holding down a full time job, and writing until eleven every evening. I have perpetual ‘book brain.’ This is the state you end up in, when your body is living in the 21st century, but your mind is in Regency England.

I went to work last week, and was almost in the building before I realized I was wearing unmatched shoes. Same style, same heel, different colors. I could have pulled it off, if I wasn’t totally dressed in black, with one black shoe…
and one sky blue.

People notice stuff like that.

And then there was the e-mail I demanded that #1 son send to his friend, who was confused as to why the whole family went out for dinner and a movie to celebrate, because “Mom finished a book.”

Terrific. There is a teenager somewhere who thinks I’m illiterate. Alert the media: I finally finished a book. No pictures or anything. When I learn to mate my shoes, I insist on a dozen roses and a trip to the jewelry store.

And in all the time I spent, writing novel after novel, it never occurred to me that anyone would read what I’d written. #1 son claims to be permanently emotionally stunted because he came into the office while I was printing and accidentally read some of it when the printer jammed on the sex scene.

Now, there will be hundreds of copies, available to the world. I brought them home to show my mother.

ME: See? It’s real and everything. There’s my author picture in the back.

No. That’s an ad.

For someone else’s book. I wrote the stuff in front of that.

MOM: Well, Your father and I will get together and read it. He can read it out loud.


MOM: Well, if everyone else is going to read it, and tell me what they think, then I should probably know what’s in it.

(I’m thinking the less we all know about anything, the better off we’ll all be. If we can’t discuss politics or religion, now is not the time to talk about sex or literature).

ME: Well, Mom… just so you know… if anyone has anything bad to say about this… you really don’t need to tell me.

MOM: That’s OK. (The serene look on her face says I’ll be getting a full report).

ME: Mom. Really. I won’t want to know. Good stuff? You can tell me that. But if someone doesn’t like it, I don’t want to hear.

MOM: No, that’s all right. I can take it.

ME: Terrific. You can take it. Glad one of us can.