Saturday, January 31, 2009

AWW yeah!

So I went to see a play today, and guess what was on my porch when I got home?



MY BOOKS! My publisher very sweetly sent me some copies! WHEE!



I have never, ever, EVER had a worse time opening a box. Perhaps because I was shaking due to a horrible dream I had last night that the wrong name was on the spine of the book? Perhaps.


THEY HAVE SPINES! AND THEY ARE CORRECT! Imagine my joy! Or, you know, just see it in my face here.


Jason is many, many things. A good photographer is not one of them.


But still. Life is pretty sweet right now.

How I wrote a book, got it published, and changed my world. Or something. Part eight!

So it was a done deal. I was ready to go.

But the contract? It was not ready.


So I waited.


And it? Was agonizing.



Looking back, I am utterly amazed that it was only fifteen days. It seemed more like fifteen years. I thought about it constantly. I said to my husband, about four hundred million times, "I HAVE A CONTRACT!" But I didn't physically have it. I know now that it's fairly common. Contracts are not written in a day or a week. It takes time to get everything right.

I didn't know it then.

And I began to have a lot of doubt.

Like maybe all of this isn't really real. Maybe I'm just another well-meaning person who has been suckered into thinking that someone really values them and their writing and then when I do get the contract it's going to say I have to pay $4 billion dollars to have them publish it. And give them my first-born son and maybe even my puppy.

Jason told me, again, that I needed a rest period and not to worry about it until I had it in my hands. Because that's really easy for him to say because it wasn't him.

So I waited.
My nails disappeared.
I didn't sleep.
And I waited.


On November 6th at 6:46pm an email popped into my inbox.

It was the contract.

Jason was working late and the children and I were alone in the house. My hands were trembling as I opened the attachment. I scanned it quickly, looking for red flags.

There were no red flags.

I knew I had four people I trusted, among them a contracts lawyer and a published author, who were going to look over the contract and make extra double plus sure that there were no red flags. But at first glance? No red flags.

Everything looked good.
Everything made sense.


This was real.


In a shaky voice I called out, "Boy Child? Girl Child? Come here please!"

They came together, as they always do, to my computer desk. I turned to them in my chair, grabbed both of them by their shoulders, and fell into their little chests. Sobbing. I couldn't speak.

"What's wrong! Oh my God mom! What happened? Are you okay?"


And, sobbing, I said,

"I sold my book!"




I sold my book.

Friday, January 30, 2009

How I wrote a book, got it published, and changed my world. Or something. Part seven!

Then?

I had to go home and tell my husband I had written a book.

Okay, to be totally fair, he must be extraordinarily unobservant or something because I was clearly writing a book. Evidence is as follows:

1) I was often hunched over the computer.
2) Cursing.
3) I often printed sheets of paper, read those sheets, marked on them with a red pen, and threw them down in disgust.
4) While cursing.
5) On more than one occasion I actually said, "Hey Jason, I'm writing a book". To which he would respond, "That's great babe. Where's the TiVo remote?"

So, he had some kind of awareness, somewhere in his injured brain, that I was writing a book.

But I never told him what it was about.


Which? Could possibly be a problem.


Because, well. The book is about the very narrow period of time between which I was divorced from the sperm donor and met Jason. And within that time period I wasn't exactly what you would call a choir girl. Not that I was a raging slut or anything. I wasn't.

But Jason, who loves and possibly adores me, does not like to hear about such things. Even when they are minor and told in a comedic manner.

He also tells himself I never poop. So. You know. He's pretty much delusional.


So when he came home he and I sat down together and we talked. I told him what it was about.

He got this look on his face and said something like, "Well, neither one of us were virgins when we met".

And I got THIS look on MY face and said something like, "Jason. For the love of God. It's not a sex book!"

Then he looked relieved.


We talked, as we tend to do, about how this could potentially change things for us. Because for the most part, what we have is pretty good. My husband is an extremely private person. Not private like Dolly Parton's husband or whatever because I don't think anyone, including Dolly, has seen him for like sixteen years and Jason is quite visible and, in fact, drags my happy butt around and forces me to talk to people.

But he's private.

And I love him.

And I loved him even more when he said to me, "I would never let my issues get in the way of your dreams".



That right there? Just might be true love.


So. I told him. It was all good.



That was October 22nd, 2008.



Which began the most agonizing fifteen days of my life.





To be continued...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How I wrote a book, got it published, and changed my world. Or something. Part six!

It was Michelle.

To be honest, I don't remember everything that was said. I was sitting in my office, trying not to let everyone around me know what was going on, which was difficult to do considering I was, at that time, sitting at what amounted to no more than a credenza in the back of a vault that housed six people. What I got out of the conversation was as follows:

1) They wanted my book. They wanted to give me a contract. A nice, regular, royalty paying contract.
2) They were talking about me going to Book Expo America and doing a reading. Of my book.
3) They wanted to know if I had a sequel planned. For my book.
4) They liked me.
5) They liked my book.

And the main thing that I vividly remember was Michelle saying, "You are just a really good writer".

I was trying to be all cool, but I'm really pretty sure she could tell I was freaking the freak out. I was all like, "Oh, that sounds lovely" and inside I was all like,

OH MY GOD!!!! THIS IS NOT HAPPENING! I AM GOING TO VOMIT!

I told them it would be okay to send me a contract.

I hung up, excused myself from my office, walked outside, called my husband and FREAKED THE HOLY FREAKING FREAK OUT.

I was SOBBING. Absolutely sobbing. He couldn't even understand what I was saying. He told me I needed to have a rest period. He told me to calm down. He told me, "You need to go outside!" and I shrieked, "I'M ALREADY OUTSIDE AND I'M SCARING BIRDS!"

I sat down on the ground, calmed down, and then went back inside.

My boss said, "Steph?"

And I lost it again. Just like that. I was shrieking things like, "BOOK! OPRAH! OH MY GOD! READING! GONNA HURL!"

Then I went in the bathroom and puked my guts out.



So I thought that was it. It was a done deal. Right?

That's what I thought.


To be continued...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Something else.

Since no one cares about the publishing anyway!

Scene: Stephanie, Boy Child, and Girl Child on their way to school.

Boy Child: Mom? We are not telling anyone at school about your book. And if anyone asks we'll be all like, "What? I have no idea what you are talking about!"

Me: Um, okay. But why?

Boy Child: Mom. There's someone in your book named Big Pimpin' Willie. You can't use that kind of language on school grounds!




Good to know.

How I wrote a book, got it published, and changed my world. Or something. Part five!

Hi Stephanie,

I am in the process of reviewing your manuscript. Your book is really funny! The publisher and I would like to know a little bit more about your publishing history and background. You had mentioned publishing through PublishAmerica and I was curious if it was this book that they published or a different book. I would love to call you and talk more about your book and your goals in publishing. Would there be a good time I could reach you?


There was slight error in that email. I've never published with PublishAmerica and had, in fact, heard many negative things about them. I won't get into any of that here, because this is certainly not the place and also because I don't have any personal experience with them. But I've never published with them. Maybe other people have had positive experiences. I don't know. But I'm not getting into that. The publisher for my other book (the one about my hometown) has a name that's sort of similar, so I think that's where the confusion came in.

I emailed back and gave her my phone number, clarified the thing about the publisher and told her it would be okay to call me.

Hi Stephanie,
Thanks for clarifying about your forthcoming book – I simply misread the publisher’s name. The publisher and I both love your book and are excited to talk with you about your plans for your writing and for this book in particular. Do you have any kind of sequel planned? I look forward to speaking with you soon.



This? Was getting interesting.

In the meantime, I started googling the company and found out they did some subsidy publishing. Rather, they did a hybrid of this, with some services that authors pay for and some they pay for. They also did "traditional" publishing (where the authors get royalties and all that good stuff).

I wasn't sure I liked that.

Because, well, there is nothing at all wrong with self-publishing. But I didn't want to do it. First of all, I didn't have the money to do it. Second, well, I just didn't want to. I wanted someone to believe in my book and, in doing so, believe in me. I wasn't sure what kind of contract they would offer me. I wasn't sure if they wanted me to pay to be published. I didn't know how I felt about all of this.


I was mulling that over in my head when I got a phone call.


To be continued...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How I wrote a book, got it published, and changed my world. Or something. Part four!

My firm resolve? It lasted about two days.

Something about this book kept drawing me back to it. I couldn't stop reading it and I couldn't stop writing it. I kept tightening things up and going over them again and again to make sure they made sense. I would wake up in the middle of the night and think about it.

I had a love/hate relationship with it.

With a book.

I finally got up the nerve to ask another friend to look at it. I can't remember if this was at the same time I sent it to another two publishers or if it was just slightly before that happened (or slightly after). It was all around the same time though, I do remember that.

On October 13th I sent out two queries. Both were online.

The same day I got an email from Michelle Brown at Inkwater Press. It was an automated email that tells you more about their company. The email promised she would read my manuscript.

I had heard that before.

I also got an email from the agent I had queried which said she would be out of her office for the entire month of November. I then wished I was an agent so I could, a) get myself a sweet publishing deal and b) take all of November off.

Alas.

At that point? Something happened. My birthday, I think. Jason was out of town. I got busy (busier, I guess) and I didn't exactly forget about those emails, but I wasn't checking my email every five seconds either. I had stuff going on and just because that stuff was only eating copious amounts of mexican food and giving my dog refried beans which TOTALLY MADE HER HAVE RANK FARTS, well, so what? It was stuff, right?

Then, on October 21st I just happened to look at my email and was surprised to find I had a response.


To be continued...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Awesome review and another chance to win!

I'm starting to get the bighead with all these nice reviews.

No, just kidding. But it is really nice, yes?

Go see and you can win an autographed copy of my book! Exciting! Or something!

How I wrote a book, got it published, and changed my world. Or something. Part three!

My little spreadsheet? Started filling up.

I looked up the agent of my most favorite books. I sent her my manuscript.

No response.

I sent it to another publisher who was known for being kind to fat women (no, I'm not kidding). Rejected.

I sent it to two other companies who seemed like they would fit in with my writing. Quick rejections. They didn't read it. They didn't care. Nothing.

I sent it to a company who specializes in mom authors (again, not kidding) and got a really great, positive response. I'm going to decline to say the name of this company here but after I got the great positive response in which this individual asked for more information the following then happened:

1) She asked me to buy her book which was about her adventures as a publisher.
2) I did.
3) I read it, thought it was stupid and a waste of time, and was very annoyed at myself for buying it in the first place.
4) I looked at all her online stuff, as she asked.
5) I found it stupid and a waste of time and was annoyed at the length of time I spent on it.
6) I emailed her my "pitch" as she requested.
7) The email bounced back.
8) I resent the email.
9) It didn't bounce back but she never responded.
10) I waited two weeks, emailed and politely asked if she had received my email, and never heard from her.
11) Threw her book in the trash.


I was getting frustrated and sad and annoyed. I decided that maybe I needed someone else to look at my book and edit it for me. I asked one friend and she agreed, but I think she was so busy she never got around to it. Or maybe she read it and thought it sucked and she never told me. I don't know.

I queried again to a small publisher who, after only a few days, asked me for my full manuscript. I sent it immediately and felt pretty happy about it for a few days until I did more looking around on my author's board and found out that this publisher pretty much sucked and was shady and I definitely didn't want to publish with her.

She never emailed me back either. Thus, my book must have sucked. If a shady publisher didn't even bother to email me back, well then. What did that say about me and my book?

So. I started thinking that my book really sucked. That I was a horrible writer. I was a horrible human being. That something was really going wrong with ME and my WRITING and everything and everybody, maybe.

So I stopped thinking about it. I vowed I wouldn't read it for a while. I was going to start my other writing project and get that done and everything would be fine. Eventually I would revisit this book, but not for a long, long time.


To be continued...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How I wrote a book, got it published, and changed my world. Or something. Part two!

REJECTED.

The perfect company? The one I was positive was going to read my book and love it and want it and give me a bunch of money for it and love me forever and validate my entire existance? Said thanks, but no thanks. Not for them.

I was shocked. Seriously.

I know how that sounds. But I was so sure. I looked at their website and they looked like...me. They looked like they would have the same sense of humor as I do. They looked quirky and fun and funny. They looked like they would appreciate an artfully placed "asshat" or "weepcakes".

But they didn't.

I shared the information with a few of my closest friends who all told me clearly they were idiots and someone would surely love my manuscript. Now, none of them had read it. But they loved me so they were sure someone else would love me too.

So I made a spreadsheet. The publisher or agent name, when I submitted, what the reaction was.

And I officially notated my very first no.


To be continued...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How I wrote a book, got it published, and changed my world. Or something. Part one!

So one day, I was feeling like my life really sucked.

I was going through a really hard time at work and some people that I had to work with were acting pretty freaking crazy. Not that those actions themselves were unusual or anything. But the crazy was ramped up and I was feeling sad and desperate and like their crazy might rub off on me if I had to stay around them much longer.

So I started looking for another job.

I know, I know. But seriously. I'm going somewhere with this.

Okay, so I started looking for another job. And I went to a job interview and it was really great. The guy interviewing me was young...probably about my age. He was from my hometown and went to my rival high school. We talked and I felt comfortable and I started really feeling like this could work out great for me.

At one point he asked me about my writing skills and I told him, my voice full of false bravado, "I'm an excellent writer and, in fact, I just finished my first book".

He was surprised. He said he never had anyone answer that question in that way.

Ultimately, I didn't get the job and that book? Sucks. But the conversation stuck with me.

A few days later I was talking to one of my friends about a guy I went out with once who treated me in an extremely negative way. We were laughing and I thought to myself, "That would make a funny book. I would read that".

I was driving home that day and on my way out of work, I saw a bunch of buzzards circling a dead deer. Gross, right? So I looked away and I thought about birds. And then I thought about a date I had once that involved birds and I started laughing in my car, because that crap was funny.

And I thought, "That would be funny too. Maybe I should write this down".

I came home, turned on my computer, checked my email and opened Microsoft Word.

And I started writing the stories down. I remembered other stories and wrote those down. I rewrote and edited and giggled to myself a few times. And after about thirty days of that? It was done.

Shockingly? I loved it. I thought it was great. I knew I had a hit on my hands. And coming from someone who generally believes she fails at life? That's saying a lot.

So I started Googling. I found publishers and agents and spent hours online at writer's forums getting advice.

And I found it.

The perfect publisher for my book.

The publisher who I thought was perfect. A publisher I could just TELL would respect my vision, love my book, and want to give me lots and lots of money.

So I wrote my query letter. And rewrote it. And then, rewrote it again.

The website said they wanted to first three chapters. So I gave them that along with my query letter, all via email.

I hit send and felt very satisfied. I felt good about it. Great, even! I was doing things! I was making progress! I was going to get this little book OUT THERE!

Normally when you query an agent you don't hear back from them very soon. Sometimes it can take months before they even respond.

Imagine my surprise when, the very next day, I had a response in my in-box from the agent.

My hands were trembling as I opened the email and I absolutely could not believe what I read.



To be continued...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wonderful tonight.

I've been so stressed out lately. I'm sure it's apparent why.

I was going to cook dinner and my husband said, "Let's just go out".

So we did.

Nothing special or fancy, just fast food. We sat down, though, and talked to the children about how their week went, how they hope next week goes, and what is going on in their lives.

I felt my mind wandering, at first. I wondered about my Amazon rank. I wondered if I would get the numbers from Barnes and Noble sales tonight. I wondered if the idea I had for the next book would go over.

And then? I wondered why I was wondering.

And I stopped.
And I started listening.


Because all of this? All this crazy stuff? Is nothing compared to the moments I have talking to my son, my daughter, and my husband. Over a chicken sandwich on a hard plastic table.

I'll write more books. I'll have more moments of panic and stress. I'll struggle with my feelings, my edits, my rewrites, and titles.

But I will never again have two children who are 10 years, 10 months, and 2 days old who want to talk to me about Star Wars. Never again, after tonight.

Jason tuned his satellite radio to the 70's station on our drive home. A song came on that I hadn't heard in a very long time:



I want to thank you for letting me be myself again
I want to thank you for letting me be myself again

Dance to the music
All night long
Everyday people
Sing their simple song
Mama's so happy
Mama starts to cry
Papa's still singing
You can make it if you try

I want to thank you for letting me be myself again
I want to thank you for letting me be myself again






My heart could burst from all of it. From every little moment.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Finishing! Kind of!

I know I'm fascinating or some crap, but since I've been answering questions for about the last eleven years or so, I'm going to almost finish them up tonight with the exception of one question I want to expand on a bit.

Enjoy. Or try not to puke. Whateves.

Jen says and asks the following:

I would just like it noted that I was totally your first stalker.

So noted, my dear.

And now for my question...

Last year, you made it your goal to have something published within the year. Can you post a little about the process you went though to make it happen? Were'd you start, etc.


I think this question deserves at least it's own post...possibly an ENTIRE SERIES OF POSTS! Or maybe just one. But I think I'll answer this one tomorrow. Or soon.

Also...how many blog hits do you get a day?

Oh hons, I don't care about that crap. It's in the hundreds most days...lately it's been in the thousands some days. I don't really keep track anymore.

I used to care. It used to be important to me. It's not now.



Anonymous asks:

How much do you weight and how much would you like to lose?

I don't "weight" anything. I do WEIGH a certain amount, but it's just a number and it's just a number I don't just fling about with wild abandon.

I'll just give you my standard answer:

I weigh twifty-five pounds.
I want to lose twifty.

There you go.


Kevin says:
Did you know I had a crush on you in high school. I did.

1) That's not so much a question as it is a statement.
2) Who are you?
3) Oh no you di-nt!
4) Thanks



Jamie asks:
Have you ever skipped to the end of a book and read the ending or last page before finishing the book?

I have. I regretted it. I don't do it now.


Sabrina asks:
What's the first thing you're going to buy with your first paycheck from the book?

I have no plans to really buy anything fun. My primary plan is to pay off that whore Sallie Mae and eventually move to be closer to my dad. I doubt I can do that with the first paycheck, but that would be pretty freaking sweet.


The Other Chick asks:
Why do you ignore the fact that your husband cheats on you?

Oh sweetface! How I've missed you and your lame insults! It's been a while! Kisses!

Oh, I mean:
1) Oh snap!
2) Lo! I am slain!
3) Whateves!
4) Oh no you di-n't!
5) EPIC FAIL
6) And so on!


I can put you down for how many copies of my book?

Let me know! Thanks!


Lorissa asks:
Other than your own blog, what's your favorite blog on the internet?

Dude, there are SO MANY good blogs. Lately, I'm loving 1000 Tiny Things I Hate.

I am also a huge fan of Failblog.


Living asks:
why would any one post a comment taht asked you that question about why you would ignore your husband cheating on you... what an idiot...

My guess is she's a bit touched in the head.

anyways... don't know about questions but I just wanted to tell you that I love love love your blog and am sooooo excited about your new book and I can't wait to read it!!!!

Many thanks.


Heather asks:
What is the one thing that you look forward to doing every single day, it is not a day without this one thing?

Blogging. Sigh.

And what is your favorite magazine to read?

Lately I'm in love with Shape. I've been a Rolling Stone subscriber for years too.

Randomly, whatever happened to Sassy Magazine? I loved that when I was fourteenish and emotionally I'm still there so I still want to read that magazine.


Snarky Lady asks:

If you gave Boy Child and Girl Child pseudo names for use on your blog -- what would your choices be? (And I mean name names, cause obviously you already call them by pseudo-names.) (And yes, I just confused myself as well!)

Cletus and Lurlene.

True story...when I was pregnant I referred to them as Cletus and Lurlene. I was in the hospital for the HINTY BILLIONTH time and the nurse was like, "What are you going to name them?" and I said, "Cletus and Lurlene" and she was like, "Oh! My husband's name is Cletus!"

Stephanie=FAIL.


Does it make you uncomfortable that people all over the internet know your first and last name?

I didn't reveal my name until May 2008. I tell myself it's okay now, but honestly it freaks me out. Probably for different reasons than you would imagine.


The first time someone you didn't know left a comment on your blog, what was your reaction?

I was really excited and kind of surprised.


What would cause you to stop blogging?

I want to say "nothing", but I don't think that's true. I think if my blogging would cause harm to Jason or the children, then I would stop. I can't imagine how this would occur, but if it did? I would stop.


Kim's Corner asks:

For your book tour, does any of it have to be paid out of pocket (airfare, hotels, meals, etc.) or is everything covered by the publisher?

I don't have a book tour planned, so I don't know the answer to that. If a book tour happens, I'll let you know.


Mrs. Scuba asks:

Have you been watching the Rock of Love Bus Tour? If so what are your thoughts :)

Oh Jesus Christ.

Of course I have. Sigh.

I don't know yet. I've only seen it once and part of another episode. All I remember was their were so many implants and I could practically smell the venereal disease through the television.


Tulips4me asks:

What happened to the young woman that worked in your office and said you looked like a woman whose blog she reads?

I answered this one already, but basically she never mentioned it again and didn't work with me much longer.


Reluctant Housewife asks:

Why do you keep describing yourself as unattractive? You're not, you know (I've seen the picture you've posted here - you have great hair and a lovely smile). So why so down on yourself?

Honey, my therapist thinks I'm complicated. And he's trained to deal with people far more mentally disturbed than I am.

I don't know. The self-esteem, it is low.

I'm working on it.

Thank you.


Rachel asks:

So, great taste or less filling?? Inquiring minds...

Purple.

Oh wait, what?


Just kidding...I'll guess, okay? Great taste.


velocibadgergirl asks:

Can we hang out in Ohio again someday? Or not in Ohio? Whatever. I just want to hang out, cuz that was the shiz.

You name the time and place and I am so, so there.




I seriously think that's all. For the love of God.

Awesome review.

Right here is an awesome review of my book.

Not only is it a nice review, but I'm thrilled that they GOT IT. You know? That they didn't just say, "Oh, here's a nice love story by this chick who writes on the internet". Because, sure. You can call it a love story. But I really wanted it to be way more than that.

And they seemed to get that it was.

So go show them some love! And maybe win a free copy of my book!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More crap. Yay.

Here are more answers to the questions asked here. Whee.

Krustylynn asks:
1. Did you realize when you started this blog that all these people would love you? Because we do...

No, I actually didn't think anyone would ever read this blog at all.

And what surprises me even more? Is how many people I love because of this blog. I've made so many friends and I feel so, so blessed.

2. If you had to have the body of one animal and the face of another, what would the two animals be?

Can it be two dogs? Because I love dogs.

3. Have you ever been called the wrong name and just let that person keep calling you the wrong name, mostly because it's too late (and possibly rude) to correct them? (I do that all the time.)

O! M! G! Yes! People call me Jennifer ALL THE TIME. Constantly! One person I've known for YEARS calls me Jennifer every single day.

It's kind of funny. I'm not correcting him.



CPA MOM asks:

How did Ginger come to join your family?

It was weird. I wanted to have a baby and I got a dog instead. Strange.

In March of 2006 we went to the local animal shelter with the intent of finding a little black puppy that I could love and care for and would, presumably, cure my broken and unable to get pregnant heart (and body. Or whatever, I'm confusing myself now).

So it was supposed to be a girl. Little. Black. I was going to name her Snowball because I'm all about the irony.

This, of course, is what we came home with:




Because really. How could you not?

Now, I don't ever remember a time when I didn't have Ginger.


She's the best. EVER.

What is your favorite movie ever?

The Wedding Singer. LOVE.

I know it's cheesy. But I love it. Could watch it every day.


When was your first kiss and with whom?

Is it bad to say I don't remember? I believe his name was Josh and a bottle which was spinning was involved. I don't remember anything else about it.


BellaDancerella (heh!) asks:

What do you think about Obama?

Well he just went into office yesterday, so time will tell. Generally, I approve. But I don't blog about politics. Nice try, though.

What is the biggest problem facing women today?

There are so many problems that women have to face. I don't know if I could choose just one. The one I work for and support is to find a cure for breast cancer. I'm the daughter of a survivor and I think it's hugely important.

How long is your hair?

Really freaking long. More than halfway down my back.

If you ever left Jason would you get married again?

I can't imagine a scenario in which a) I would leave Jason or b) I would get married again.

Marriage is hard y'all. And as you will see, in my book dating really wore my butt out. I just don't know if I could ever go through all that again.

What does Jason think about you writing a book?

I guess he's cool with it. He's been very supportive. I don't know if he was particularly thrilled to have a wife who writes about him and all his...quirks on the internet or in books, but he's become my biggest supporter and now drags me and my socially inept butt around introducing me to everyone and saying, "Do you know my wife? She wrote a book!"

What does Jason's family think about you writing a book?

Um. Did someone tell them? Because I didn't mention it.

Are you always the life of the party?

Oh hells no. I'm actually, as I just mentioned, quite socially inept. In big crowds I just sort of stand to the side and try to let others do their thing.

If you know me, I never shut up. But until you get to know me, I'm actually very introverted.


We're almost done with these, but you can ask if you feel like it. Maybe soon I'll have some actual decent content instead of this stuff and junk.

Here's an interesting question.

I was getting some hits from here so I went to investigate and found some press about my book.

So that's awesome and I so appreciate any mention of it, but I have to admit I kind of chuckled about the wording of the press release about being 'well-known'. My publisher's marketing department and I emailed back and forth about it and she had her reasons for wording it that way (based on blog hits, I think). I'm cool with it either way, but I wonder.

What would make you consider a blog well-known?

Dooce, I am not. And never hope to be because, dude. She totally lost her job over blogging.

But what do you think?

Just because I'm a little tired of answering questions.

Is anyone else believing this crap on The Biggest Loser?

What about Boyfriend Bob losing his crap on Joelle like that?

And did anyone else notice that when Carla started going off on Joelle she just sort of got this spaced out look on her face and you could tell that was totally ineffective?

I still love Boyfriend Bob, but man. What a thing to see.

What do you guys think?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Are you still reading this?

Bless all of your hearts.

To answer your questions:

Lil Mouse asks:
So who/what would you rather do? Spend a night with your ex husband, or lose a body part? Your choice on the body part. ;-) See I gave you an easy one !

I'd lose a toe. Or a, you know, arm. Whatever. I wouldn't spend the night with him.


Lynnbug asks:
Grits or Hashbrowns?

Hashbrowns! Maybe! Because believe it or not, despite the fact that I am a Southern girl, born and raised? I've never had grits in my life.

Don't shun.


zentmrs asks:
My question is (and I know this is going to sound the opposite of the way I mean it, but I'll go ahead anyway) - what gave you the idea that you could write a book? And by that I mean, I have dreams of writing books. Maybe lots of us do. How did you make that dream into a reality? How did you find the courage/discipline/? to actually do it? I'm totally impressed by that I have to tell you. You do rock.


I don't know?

I don't know what made me think I could do this. In case it's not obvious, I sort of suck at life most of the time. I fully admit to everyone who will listen that I totally wing it all the time. Self confidence is not my strong point.

But, eh. It will sound hokey probably, but honestly the support and feedback I got from writing in my blog made me think I should maybe give it a try. And what's the worst they could say, no? I mean, I've heard no so many freaking times in my life that the thought of someone rejecting me certainly wasn't going to hold me back.

Oh and for real. It took me less than 30 days to write. It just poured out of my brain. The novel took like two years and it still sucks. This is non-fiction. It's just part of my life and it wasn't hard for me to write.

It was hard for me to live, but the physical act of putting it on paper was no big.

(The rest of it...the emotional stuff...was and IS very hard though)


Maggie asks:
Could you blog a bit more about your working out habits? You motivate me! Seriously!! I wish the season was right for running outside again, boo.

Oh hons, bless you.

Basically I joined the gym that was on the way home from work so I wouldn't have to go out of my way. I hate going out of my way and it's really hard to make excuses when it's right there, you know?

I go to the gym most days after work. At least four during the week, most weeks. I don't beat myself up if I have something planned after work and I don't make myself stick to a schedule because if I try that I get all stressy.

When there I typically do 20-30 minutes on the elliptical, 20-40 minutes on the treadmill, and 20 minutes on the exercise bike. I've increased my speed on the treadmill lately, which is cool. Tonight, for example, I ran at 4.0 for part of the time. I'm not going to tell you how long, because I still suck, but I'm proud of myself for doing better.

I don't go to the gym on Saturday's usually and I don't beat myself up if I don't have a workout. If I really just feel like it I'll use my 30 day Shred or Zumba tape.

On Sunday afternoons I usually work out for about 1.5 to 2 hours. I increase my walking time (I'm trying to work my way up to walking about eight hours for my breast cancer walk in October). I also use the weight machines and lift weights on Sunday.

I don't know if I'm doing the right thing, to be honest. It seems to be working. I don't lose like they do on The Biggest Loser or anything, but eh. Slowly but surely, right?


Tarasview asks:
What is your NEXT book going to be about?

Jason!

Did you have a childhood best friend? What was he/she like? How long did you stay friends?

My best friend through most of my youth was a girl named April. She was kind and had a good heart. She was also way wilder than me.

We were friends for a lot of years and then had a falling out in high school. We rekindled our friendship when we were Seniors, but things weren't ever really the same. The last time I heard from her was in...about 2001 I think. I really miss her and would love to hear from her, but to be honest, I don't even know where she lives now.


Who taught you about God?

My parents took me to church when I was a child, but honestly I think I learned more about God from my great-grandmother who passed this summer.

She was a different religion than my parents (and me) but I learned so much about God, life, and being a good person from her.

I constantly, constantly feel like I fail her.

Favourite flavour of ice cream?
I'm not sure! I love ice cream. Probably something with caramel in it.

how's that?
Quite fine!


I'm tired, so more tomorrow! (Try to hold back your excitement)

Monday, January 19, 2009

All this time. On and on I've no regrets.

Here are some more answers to this post. Enjoy or whatever.

Sabrina (who has a blog open to invited readers only) asks:
When your child asks you how babies are born and you tell her "you go to the hospital and the doctor helps you deliver the baby" and then she says "no mommy, How does the baby get out of your tummy, does he cut it out?" how do you explain vagina's and pushing and all that fun stuff? bear in mind she's 4.

Here's what I did when the Boy Child asked me.

I raised up the side of my shirt and said, "See this little scar right here? That's where you came out!"

Because I had a c-section. And not a traditional C. They came out the hole on my side.

That probably doesn't apply to you so allow me to apologize. Here's what I would say:

"I'll tell you when you are a little older".

Repeat as necessary.


squishytushy (who actually has a microscopic hiney) asks:
Are we going to learn Boy Child & Girl Child's real names in your book?

No ma'am.

Boy and Girl Child are the most valuable things I have in this world. I will do whatever I can to keep them safe and respect their privacy.

Boy Child asked me if I would please dedicate a book to him using his real name when he turns eighteen. I promised him I would. God willing


Fine for now asks:
How did you get to be so awesome?

Bless your heart...I never realized you were questionable.

Also? XOXO!



La Petite Redhead asks:
How did you end up writing the book and getting it published?

It's interesting, actually. Well, interesting, might be a bit strong. It's interesting to me.

I started writing a novel back in November 2006. I plodded along with this, despite the fact that my computer took a huge crap and died at one point and I lost EVERY SINGLE WORD I HAD WRITTEN, until about April of 2008. Then I called it done and started sending out query letters.

The novel? Well, it sucks.

I mean no one has ever said it sucks. But I know. It sucks. Truly. It Lamey McLame with Lame dressing.

So I started editing and rewriting it and trying to take it from a huge, steaming pile of crap to something that I wasn't ashamed of for years to come, and I came to a realization.

I couldn't make it any better.
It just sucked.

So I got really sad and frustrated and irritated and said something like, "The hell with this" and I haven't opened the file in months.

What I did, instead, was write a book of funny little stories about when I was dating after my first husband left me. I wrote it and I read it and I didn't absolutely hate it and want it dead.

I took it as a good sign.

So I worked on it some more. And I read it, and it? Wasn't bad.

I gave it to my good friend Dawn and asked her to edit/read it. She did. And she loved it. Or she told me she did, anyway.

That was encouraging.

As for the actual publishing part? I'm going to answer that in more detail because of someone else's comment. So I'll hold off for now.



This is getting long, so I'll stop for now. You still have time to leave your comment on this post and get the chance to get my book with my fancy, schmancy autograph. So if that kind of thing turns you on, help yourself.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

One step at a time.

Here are some more answers from the questions from this post.

Roxanne asks:
How 'bout this? If you ever accidentally ran into Boy Child and Girl Child's bio-father, what do you think your reaction would be?

I don't know. Interesting.

I don't know if I would recognize him or if he would recognize me. It's been a very long time since I've seen him and I don't think I really look the same. I don't think he looks the same either as I have reason to believe he has gone bald on top in a very unattractive way.

There is no way he could recognize the Boy and the Girl because it's been so many years.

I think I would probably just walk away, to be quite honest. I have nothing to say to him and I can't imagine wanting to hear anything he'd have to say to me at this point.



marythemom asks:
How do your children feel about your blog? I post pictures and information about mine and it bothers them some. I need a place to vent so I do it anyway.

My children have very, very limited use of the internet. They are aware that I have a blog and they know the name of it (the Boy says, "Mom. You say that ALL THE TIME") but that is about all they know. They don't read it or really understand anything about blogs or blogging.

As they get older, I imagine I will have to deal with that.

Interesting.


imadramamama asks:
Which do you like better for decorating your house: photographs or paintings?



This is in my living room.



This is above our bed.



It's all about the photographs for me.



Kimberly asks:
With regards to future fan mail, will you
a) answer it yourself
b) not answer it at all
c) hire someone to do it for you or
d) post samples on your blog for us to laugh at?


If I ever get any fan mail that I can answer and is from people who are sane, I will answer it myself. If I get any fan mail from crazy people, I will post samples on my blog for everyone to laugh at.

That was so easy.


Supes asks:
Who's your favorite sibling? (trick question)

Supes is my brother y'all. For real, in real life. He's nutty, but I love him.


Heather asks:
Do the people that you work with, and your boss, know that you are going to have a published book? What about the girl that once said she thought you looked like a blogger that she followed? What ever happened to her?

And one more...

Do you have a fear of success?



Lots of questions!

The people I work with in my immediate office (five other ladies) all know about my book and are all very supportive. The president of my company knows and is very supportive. One of the ladies I work directly with is my immediate supervisor and OUR supervisor (hers and because he's hers, mine) knows and he's awesome. He and I used to sit together even before he became my boss so he's a friend and a co-worker. The former VP of my company helped me make a video and told everyone he knows.

Most other people do not know. The person who used to be my boss is no longer my boss and I wouldn't want him to know because I'm fairly certain he's crazy.


The girl who said I looked like a blogger she read never mentioned it again. She didn't work with me for very long.


I don't know if I have a fear of success. Maybe? I talked to my therapist about this recently actually and told him that I can't understand WHY I keep doing these things that force me to deal with all this. The book is about a time in my life that was, overall, pretty dark. I mean, I wrote about the hilarious parts, but it's still pretty dismal to have to recall all of it.

But I did.

And not only did I write it, I sent it to people to see if they wanted to publish it. And when I got the first rejection I didn't say, "Oh, well. I suck. Goodbye" and just, you know, STOP IT. I continued sending it to publishers until I found one who found it was delightful and wanted others to read it and was willing to spend their own money to make that happen.

And I didn't say no.

I have no idea why I do the things I do. I don't know if I have a fear of success or a fear of how other people who view my own success.

I just don't know.


Not a good answer, I'm sure. But it's all I got.



MDA asks:
Disneyland or Disneyworld?

I've never been to Disneyland, so I feel unqualified to answer this. I do love Disneyworld though.


Wilma asks:
Any hints on getting rid of insomnia you would like to pass on?

Considering I have not slept appropriately since 1998, I do not think I am qualified to answer this question.

That's all for today! If you have a question there is still time to ask it. Just go here and leave me a comment with your question. One question will be chosen at random to receive a signed copy of my new book. Which you know you would totally want. So ask already!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

If you like it then you should have put a ring on it.*

Since I've finally stopped blowing chunks, I decided I would answer more questions from this post.

Sabrina asks: What's the best and worst thing about writing a book?

The best thing is getting it out of my head. For real. My book is basically a bunch of different stories that all happened at around the same time and they've been clogging up my gray matter since 1999. Now I have more room for something else. Or whatever.

The worst thing is putting all of those stories on paper and then actually letting someone else (or, a lot of someone else's according to my publisher) read them. Because, frankly, I was kind of a loser then. I was twenty-two, divorced, had no education and I was poor. My life is a lot better now, but it's hard to revisit that time. It's also extraordinarily difficult for me as a writer, to let my work go. I like to write and rewrite and edit and rewrite and then rewrite some more. To call something finished is very, very hard.


Angie asks: What are you wearing to the symphony tomorrow night? :)

I wore my little black dress, of course. Angie has a picture of Jason and I talking to Frank Murphy on her blog. You can mostly see Jason and my big old smile, but you can maybe sort of see my dress just a tiny bit. I love my little black dress. I always thought it was cliche when I heard every woman should have one, but really. You should.


Bethanie asks: Are you ever going to come visit me?

Um, maybe? I don't know who you are or where you live so those are the limiting factors at this time.


Jadekitty asks: Why the color purple for your blog?

Purple is my favorite color so the nice lady who designed my blog made it purple for me. Although I love my blog design, I'm thinking about changing it up. What do you guys think?


Sharon (who has a blog opened only to invited readers) asks: When Girl and Boy Child get older, if they wanted to meet their biological father and/or grandparents, what would you say?

I'd say yes.

In fact I ask them about every six to eight months if that is something they would be interested in. They always say no, but I'm aware that they are only 10 years old and that may, at some point, change. So I keep on asking even though Boy Child has very politely asked me to stop asking on more than one occasion.

Their biological grandfather is dead. They never knew him. Their biological father has not contacted any of us (including my parents who have lived in the same house and had the same phone number since 1997) since...probably the year 2000 or maybe even 1999. I think, frankly, he just doesn't care.

Anyway. His loss!


Jamie asks: The Downy ball- The one you put the fabric softener in and just throw it in the washer with your clothes? How does it know?

Black magic.


SJ asks: Is your book tour going to bring you to the wonderful state of Colorado? Are you going to attend BlogHer 2009?

I'm having a book tour? Sweet! No one told me!

No, just kidding. My publisher is a small one and I'm a first time author so I seriously doubt I'll be having anything like a book tour. I am having a blog tour, which is cool. And SJ is going to review my book on her blog because she's awesome like that. If I do come to Colorado, we'll have a blast. That much I know.

And about BlogHer 2009? Maybe.


Chelle asks: On that book tour thread, do you foresee any Cdn stops on the tour?? I vote for Halifax, NS! :D Also, can you pls. send me your snail mail addy? I'm not a stalker... Thx!

1) Heh!
2) Yes, but please email at thatchickoverthere@gmail.com and remind me you asked. Because my brain? She does not function so well these days.


elle asks: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Shockingly, a mother. Shockingly because, um, what business do I have being a mother even now? I'm just winging it here. But yes. I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to have little children and bake Toll House cookies and wear polyester pants suits.

What? It was the 1970's.

Even more shockingly, I also wanted to write books. Weird how all that turns out.


Dan asks: What is your deepest fear that you work to overcome?

That I will wake up and all of this won't be real. That I won't have a husband who loves me, that I don't have two great kids, that I don't have a book deal and a house and a dog and a job. That I will be the person I used to be, instead of the person I'm becoming now.


That's all for now!






*This has nothing to do with anything, except thanks to this video, I have this stuck in my head.
video

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bloggers are those who...blog.

Last night was Blogger Night at the KSO and it was pretty freaking sweet.

Reasons I thought it was sweet:

1) I got to meet Frank Murphy

Okay, that's not totally factual. Here's what went down.

I went downstairs. Frank was there. He said, "Hi Stephanie" because he totally recognized me (probably because of my banging hair) and shook my hand. Then I introduced him to Jason. Then I told him we had come downstairs to go to the bathroom and he told me that it was probably unnecessary for me to tell him that and I told him I like to keep it real.

Then, we were going up the stairs and Jason said, "Had you met him before?" and I said, "No. But I'm kind of a big deal".

It was hilarious.

Well, to me it was hilarious.

2) I also got to see Angie and Mark. They were actually seated behind us so we got to chat. They? Are good people.

3) The lady next to Jason fell asleep a bunch of times.

4) I don't know how that lady fell asleep because the show was absolutely amazing. Here is a link to the show details. I wish you all could have been there because there is just no way for me to describe how awesome it was. Angie has a much better description of the music on her blog. I played the piano for years but never got much beyond "When the Saints go Marching in" and "Row, row, row your boat", thus I am not much of an expert on such things.

5)The Tennessee Theatre is glorious. Jason and I could not get over how beautiful it was.

6)The blogger reception was nice. Angie (again!) has a good picture of Jason and I talking with Frank on her blog. Unfortunately we had to leave kind of early (it was late for us, especially on a Thursday night) and by the time we got downstairs I was really feeling rather...unfortunate. Jason said I was something like "socially inept", but the real truth was I woke up ill at 2:15 this morning and I think that was why I wasn't so much myself. Or maybe I'm just socially inept. Either way. (And sorry for that visual)

7) Frank reminded me that I need a link to buy my book on my sidebar. So I have it now. Thanks Frank! (If you want to buy the book, I would be okay with that)

8)I was reminded how much very I enjoy such things. And I was so impressed with the KSO. I've seen the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic and the performance I saw last night was truly on the same level.


Thanks KSO for a great show!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Am I way behind?

Have you guys heard about Cash4books before? Because I hadn't.

I'm selling them all my old textbooks that I am to lazy to list on eBay. Hurray!

Just so you know.

I probably won't get through all of these in one day. I'm mentally preparing myself for the KSO Bloggers Night tonight. This is the first time I've really actually made an effort to do anything with a group of local bloggers. Except for the Buddy Walk with Angie and Mark and there are just two of them so they totally aren't a group.

On with the show.

Betsey Booms asks:
What hair products do you use on your gorgeous mane of hair, lady?

Not that it matters, you could probably use dish soap and it would look beautiful.


Love her.

I love Ouidad and everything they are and ever will be, but it's kind of spendy and I've been kind of poor for about a year so basically I just use whatever I can find on sale at Kroger that's for dry/damaged/curly hair. I use a lot of Pantene for Women of Color.

And yes, I know I'm the whitest woman alive. But it's what works on my hair.

I have really dry hair so I don't shampoo every day. Don't tell anyone.

I use whatever shampoo is cheap. Suave usually because I can get it for about a dollar. Or whatever I have a coupon for.


Birth Sister Doula Services asks:
Why do some school busses have a strobe light on top of them?

I think it's so that those of us who are sleepy and bleary-eyed in the morning will be startled.


Mikey asks:
If Hollywood made a movie of your life, who would you like to see play the lead role of you?

Drew Barrymore. I love her. I just think that if I knew her she and I would be bff's. I don't know what leads me to believe this. Probably because she was Brian the dog's girlfriend on the Family Guy so she just seems like she'd be fun to hang with.

We have totally different lives and look nothing alike, but we're close in age and she's just kicky and fun.

I would also like to know, what is your personal motto?

"I like big butts. I cannot lie."



No, not really.

I don't know if I really have a personal motto. Here are some things I say quite frequently:
"Oh snap!"
"Being bitchy is only one of the many services I offer"
"La DASH UH" (You would just have to be there, trust me)
"Jason. For the love of God"
"For the love of Christ and all that is Holy would you please stop burping in my face!" (I only say that to Ginger)

Please choose one to be my motto.


Denise (who has a private blog) asks:
Would you ever take girl and boy child to a gay wedding? Why or why not? Also how would you explain it to them?

I've never been invited to a gay wedding but well, why not? It's not like they don't know what it means to be gay.

I would explain it to them the same way I explain all weddings: It's a fancy party that you have to symbolize a very simple act of love.


Dawn-a-Bon (who either has a personal blog or is talking smack about me behind my back) asks: Why don't you ever come flash me your cute undies anymore?

1) You went to work somewhere else.
2) I bought smaller pants.
3) I love you.


Tami asks:
Who was your favorite teacher and why? Did you have a teacher that encouraged you to write?

The teacher who sticks out in my mind the most Mrs. Crabtree who was my English teacher in high school. I believe when I was a Junior. She was kind and thought I was funny.

I've also loved just about every librarian ever. The middle school librarian wrote in my yearbook,

"Write, write, and write again. Someday I'll say I knew her when".

I think her name was Mrs. Blair. I can see her face clearly and remember I loved her.


BS asks:
How is the training coming along for the Breast Cancer walk AND when are you going to fix the link on Hooray for Boobies ?

The training is going great. I can (and do!) actually run now. It's pretty amazing. I can also walk for about 2 hours at a time without collapsing to my death, so that's pretty cool.

And I believe I've finally got the corrected link up. Let me know if it doesn't work.



More later! Keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's that time of year!

I'm fried. Seriously. I'm exhausted. My brain is not functioning.

So. It's time for "ASK ME ANYTHING!"

Or I should say, ask me almost anything. Certain things I don't answer.

How about this...one random question will get a signed copy of my new book!

So. Ask away!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In which my son teaches me life lessons. Again.

You know, I'm trying really hard to raise my children not to be douchebags.

I know. I oversimplify.

But seriously? Have you noticed how many people are douchebags? A lot.

Anyway. One thing I've taught my son to do since he was very, very small was to hold the door open for ladies when they are coming in or going out. Because I think he needs to be a gentleman, by God, and while he's around me at least, he's going to act like one.

Today as we were leaving the gym a young lady in her 20's was coming in.

My son, dutifully, stood and held the door open for her.

She barrelled past him and said nothing. Not "thank you". Not "oh what a delightful young man!". She didn't even smile at him.

Since I'm grouchy and haven't slept since 1998 and it also pisses me off when people are rude to my kids, I stuck my head through the door and hollered, "You're welcome!"

Because I'm classy like that.

As we walked through the cold dark parking lot, I griped about that lady and how she was rude. She should have said thank you! I'm so glad that we were put on this Earth to be her personal servants! Other random complaints! God!

Boy Child listened quietly and then said,

"Well mom, maybe she was just tired".

Well, okay. Maybe she was. I'm certainly tired.

And then he said,

"And you told me that we be nice to people not because they deserve it, but because it's the right thing to do".

I said that, didn't I? Darn me and this parenting thing! Gah!

And THEN he said,

"And you were kind of rude back to her, mom".

Ouch.


But you know, he's right.

So lady at the gym that I yelled, "You're welcome!" at? I apologize. That was foul of me. Maybe you are tired. Maybe you had your mind on other things. Maybe any other day or any other time you would have been polite. I shouldn't have shown out the way I did, and I'm sorry.



But next time? Say thank you to that sweet little boy holding the door open for you. And prove you aren't a douchebag like his mom.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Granny panties in Aisle four!

To celebrate the fun of the past few weeks, Jason and I did something very exciting.

We went to Target. To buy Jason new underwear.


I know. Try to hold yourself back.


So we're standing in Target in the underwear section. And I say to Jason, from across the aisle,

"Hey babe? What kind of underwear was it you liked?"

He didn't answer me.

So I thought, logically, he didn't hear me. So I said, even louder,

"Jason? What brand did you like?"

He still didn't respond, so I said, quite loudly, "JASON! WHAT KIND OF UNDERWEAR DID YOU WANT?"

Jason walked around the aisle and gave me a distinct, "OH MY GOD WOULD YOU SHUT UP?" kind of look.

I don't see that from him frequently. But I know it when I see it.

"What?" I asked.

"WHAT KIND OF UNDERWEAR DID YOU WANT STEPHANIE?" he asked, loudly.

And it became clear to me that my husband, standing in the middle of the UNDERWEAR AISLE AT TARGET was completely mortified that I was asking him WHAT KIND OF UNDERWEAR HE WANTED.

At Target. In the underwear aisle. As though everyone there was not ALSO BUYING UNDERWEAR or THINKING ABOUT BUYING UNDERWEAR.

So I said, quite loudly,

"YOU KNOW I DON'T WEAR ANY UNDERWEAR JASON! GOD!"



He doesn't think I'm funny at all.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Forever man.

Jason has viewed the events of the past few days with what I will call "mild amusement".

Also, he's asked me to stop being so shrieky a few times. I think he was starting to get a headache.

Last night as we watched my Amazon sales rank (and let me just recommend NEVER EVER EVER EVER, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD EVER watching your Amazon sales rank should you ever be in the position to do so) he said, "When you're famous are you going to leave us little people behind?"

And I was like, "Little? Dude! You are a really big guy! Have you seen your hands? They make my hands look really, really tiny which is probably one of the reasons I married you!"



No, just lying.



I told him no.


And I sort of snickered about the fact that I guess he still doesn't quite get that all this stuff I do? Is for him. And the Boy Child. And the Girl Child. And even the dog. I love that stupid dog.


So, because I'm generous, I'll share with you all the fact that the book is dedicated to the Boy and the Girl.

And part of the acknowledgment reads:



And finally, to Jason, who stepped into a whirlwind without even meaning to, looked around and decided to stay, I love you and I love us.




And that's all the sap I'm giving for today.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm just being annoying now.

I have to save all of this. Because I know this won't last forever.


So this is my way to make it last.



My Amazon sales rank was #87123 at 1pm.

I just snapped this picture at 8:47pm:







Thank you.


Really. Thank you. I can't even tell you how much.

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!


ARE YOU GUYS SEEING THIS?!?!?


Tears! Real actual tears!




This is my book! Right here! On Amazon!



And this is also my book! Right here! On Barnes and Noble!

And yes! I took a picture of my COMPUTER SCREEN!


O! M! G!

This is sort of awesome.

I prefer to call you guys friends.

Maybe I'm kidding myself. But I would have coffee with most of you.

And I don't even like coffee.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Not really.

I heard from a friend of a friend that Frank Murphy talked about my blog on the radio yesterday.

Although I listen every single day, I didn't hear it. Either it was after I went into work or it didn't happen.

I believe it was after I went into work. I'm optimistic like that.

Anyway, that happened yesterday and I also got the electronic ARC's (advanced review copies) for my book, as well as the full cover and all that good junk. And, I worked out a time to do a scripted interview so that my publisher can send it to people like Oprah (who will probably never even look at it, but isn't that exciting anyway?).

So I say to Jason, "Jason. Isn't this exciting? All these things are happening. Do you know what this means?"

And my spouse says, "It means that even though you have cramps, you are in a really good mood and not being shrieky!"





We all take our victories where we can.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

For all you non-Facebook peeps:

Here she is:



If you're already on Facebook and/or have already seen this? My apologizes. I'll have some real content again soon.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sometimes, it's just you.

I was de-friended on Facebook recently. Twice.

One person that decided I was no longer her friend? Well, frankly it made me laugh. Because, um, well, I'm not going to say because remember my New Year's goal of being a better person? I think I would probably not only be a bad person if I said but also probably lose my testimony and who wants that? Not me and not Jesus. That much I can tell you.

The other person who unfriended me used to be my friend about 200 years ago. She later became friends with a girl I hated. I noticed that this girl was on her list of friends, but um, so what? I mean, hello, the last time I saw her or any of these other people was when we were all in high school and wasn't that quite some time ago? Aren't we adults now?

Apparently, some of us are not adults. Probably myself included because here I am blogging about it, but whatever.

I found out, from a "friend" of a "friend" (as much as "friends" are on Facebook, for the love of God), that this gal who defriended me? Did so at the request of the girl I hated. You know. In high school. Fifteen years ago.


And why did I hate her? I can't remember. I'm sure she did something or said something and there was a lot of drama involved. I don't know what that something was, but I know I hated her. As, apparently, she hated me. And still does I guess.

I don't hate her anymore, though.

I just don't care about her at all.

And frankly? I'm totally amazed she would give two craps about me.

I never got that, I suppose. When I had been out of high school about five years I got a random email from a girl that I was in choir with. I asked her if she remembered someone we both knew and she said, "What kind of car did he drive?"

I wasn't even sure what kind of car *I* drove, probably. Much less anyone else's car. Moreover? I didn't care. I didn't care then and I care even less now.


I am a bit dumbfounded, frankly, as to why anyone from high school would care about me. Or if I was "friends" with someone else on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I can't believe certain things either.

The gym is interesting.

Tonight? For example? A lady who was about sixty or so came and got on the elliptical next to mine.

I try not to ever make judgements on people at the gym because, presumably, we are all there for the same reason. This woman had on more make-up than I would generally wear in a year and I have serious doubts her elliptical was even actually moving, but whatever.

I don't like to chit-chat with people at the gym really, but I'm always pleasant enough. I smiled at her as she climbed upon the machine and I suppose that gave her the invitation to let her freak flag fly. I don't know.

The television was turned to the news and the story was, not surprisingly, about Barack Obama.

We watched in silence for a while and she turned to me and said,

"I never thought I'd see the day that an N-word was in office".


No. Seriously. She said that. But she didn't say "N-word" so much as she ACTUALLY SAID THE WORD.

Now, this woman was about my mother's age and also had no business being such a bitch. Why she felt the need to share her blatant racism with me is still unknown but I figured I could hit her where she would really hurt. So I did.

So I said, "Well, since you are SO OLD I guess that's why you feel that way. Did women even have the right to vote when you were born?"

She made a huffy noise and left the room.
I hummed a little tune and enjoyed the rest of my work-out.


I love the gym sometimes.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Disconnected.

I'm not feeling so close with my husband lately.

Not that there's anything wrong, necessarily. It's just that we've had all this stuff going on lately...both of us. So it seems like we've not been connecting very much.

He's supportive of me and my book. He's working his butt off at his new office. He's even cool with the idea of us uprooting our entire lives and moving to North Carolina in a year or two, just so I can have more time with my dad.

So it's not bad. It's not like we're fighting or anything.

Just feeling kind of...apart.





Any ideas?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

It's all in the planning.

I paid off my car this weekend. That was pretty rad.

And I started thinking about how I can take that money and pay off other things. And I can get out of debt which would be even more rad.

And then?

I think I want to move.

I think I want to move back to North Carolina.


I know, I know. A cold day in Hell and all that. But the sad truth is, my dad is not getting any younger. And my kids aren't getting any younger. And the combination of my dad and my kids? Makes me really freaking happy.

So. I don't know, but it feels right.

It won't happen soon. I've got debts to pay and the market sucks, so selling our Tennessee house right now is not logical.

But I think I need to go.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

In which I share my experiences.

I didn't know it would be this hard.

Really. It seemed easy. You have an idea or you remember a time or place that would make a good story. You put it on paper. You send it to someone. They love it. They sell it.

Life is good.

And you know? Life is good in that respect. I hesitate to even say it's hard, because even though it's hard it's the best hard ever. You know?

(And yes, I realize that could really sound dirty if you tried. So don't try okay?)

I didn't think I would sell my book so quickly. Hell, I didn't know if I'd sell it ever. Things happened fast and they continue to happen on hyper-speed, and I'm actually really grateful for that. For all of it.

Someone told me once that all writers are attention whores. I used to think that maybe that was true, but then when I had to start compiling lists of people to send press releases to and my throat closed up and I started to shake? I realized that maybe not all of us are. That maybe there are people who would go on reality shows and show their boobs to all of America and maybe they would think this was a walk in the park but a lot of people, and I am one of them, sort of freak out about all the other stuff that comes along with this. And God bless those people who aren't afraid. I admire the hell out of them even if I don't care about their boobs.

Because, and I know how bizarre and backward this will sound, the easiest part of all of this? Was writing the book.

I laugh at myself as I type that because, um, hello? I've been writing The Great American Novel since 2006 and basically, failing miserably at it. I go back and forth between loving the protagonist and hating her and wanting her dead. I read it and think, "Why did I write this? It sucks! Thus, I suck!"

Because, y'all? I think it just might suck. For real.

The book coming out? Well, it's based on my life. It spewed forth and it spewed forth quickly. It's about real people and real events and while, no I didn't remember word for word the conversations (it was ten years ago and I don't remember what I had for dinner last night much less what I did ten years ago) that I had with people, I remembered enough of the really bad/funny stuff to write it all down. The writing was easy. It took less than a month. I can actually look at this stuff now and laugh and not be afraid people will sue me and whatnot. And that's a good feeling.

I thought about my ex-husband and his potential reaction to the book (and, shockingly, he does actually read but I can't imagine he would voluntarily pick-up my book or any book of that type) and I even lamented to my sister about it and she said, "So what? It's not like anything you said wasn't true".

And she's right.
And that's sort of what's hard about it.

Because as time goes on it gets harder and harder to reveal your truth. I can tell you funny stories about shrieking at a lady at a pizza buffet or how much I love my dog and even sweet things about my husband and our marriage and all of that is true.

But the other stuff? It's hard. The whole who-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up thing is hard. The whole I-used-to-really-suck-at-life thing is even harder. Admitting my faults and my failings is really, really hard. Admitting I married someone who was a douchebag isn't fun. Admitting I had children just so someone would love me is even less fun. Admitting that it's really hard to tell people about my book because I just don't know if they will be supportive? Extremely un-fun.

But it's life. Or something like it.

So I work it out. I make phone calls and ask for things that I'm still not sure I have any business asking for. I introduce myself to people when I don't feel like talking. I ask friends and family, "Do you know anyone who can XYZ?" I open the circle a little wider everyday.

I'm letting people in.

And it's scary.



But it's life.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Oh the things you say.

Conversation with my nephew, age 8:

N: I have a problem.
Me: Oh?
N: Yes. I have three girlfriends.
Me: Oh my. That does sound like a problem.
N: They try to beat each other up all the time.
Me: That sounds like a very bad problem.
N: I also had my first kiss on the last day of school, but I broke up with her already.
Me: Did you? Why?
N, rolling his eyes: Because she cheated on me!


Of course.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Things that I do which are ridiculous.

1) I talk to myself. A lot.

And not only do I talk to myself? I have elaborate conversations in which I answer the questions that Oprah will someday ask me about my book.

No really. I do.

2) I yell at myself. A lot.

Most especially when I am in the gym. If I get tired or feel like I can't make it another ten minutes or thirty minutes or whatever? I call myself a fat-ass and berate myself internally.

3) I worry continually about things I can't change.

Sometimes the weather, sometimes the past, always useless.

4) I talk to my dog like she's a real person.

But she thinks she is, so it's okay.

If she answers me? I'm going to crap my pants.

5) I put myself in impossible situations which force me to change.

I'm fat and out of shape.
I signed myself up for a 39 mile walk.


I know, right?