I am so not ready for Prime Time. First of all, I need to read books 4 through 6 to be ready for the final Harry Potter. I don’t want to rush it, I want to take my time and be ready to read them as all novels should be read, with the unhurried glory of playing hooky from work, preferably still in PJs in mid-afternoon in a rainstorm or slipping into the Ladies and hiding in one of the stalls instead going back to one’s cubicle to reflect on the Kafka-esque nature of clerical work. You know the drill. Forbidden fruit always tastes better, doesn’t it?
I stole some time away from my summer of procrastination to fly to Manhattan with my husband and spend three days wandering through the city, revisiting places I used to live or work or window-shop. We stayed at The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Tribeca, which has the sweetest and best little cafe next door, aka The Cosmopolitan Café. It was the perfect place to finish WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, which truly deserves to be on the NYTimes Bestseller list. This is a book Joshilyn Jackson put on her ten favorites of 2005 (ahem, see the other books on the list?) and it's set in the Depression but is so uplifting (but not in a sentimental way, either.)
A dear friend from Arizona happened to be in town so we met at the Whitney to see the Summer of Love retrospective and talk until our ears hurt. My buddy is an amazing prosecutor and is one of the only men I know who lives for books the way I do. We immediately hopped into intimate territory and he mentioned a wonderful book he was reading, a social history of happiness. “Oh, Darrin McMahon's book?” I asked. “He’s a good friend of ours.” Yes, I had to fly to New York to see an old friend from Phoenix to drop the name of the historian whose baby shower we’re attending today, all in an effort to get Mike and his wife Charlotte and their kids to pick up stakes and move to Tallahassee, which is perfect except it doesn’t house all my friends. I want a village I can fill with all my favorite people from all the places I lived, and then I want us to have cocktail flags we can put up when we’re happy to have someone drop by, so I can continue to embrace my glorious solitary life except when I want to dish (or drink). As Mike and I agreed, we’re both extroverts, but only in spurts. Life of the party except for the majority of the time when we’d like to be left alone to work and think a straight line. How I ended up like this when I came from a family of twelve, I’m not sure, though the answer might lie in that exact fact, since Mike too came from a huge Irish Catholic family just like mine.
All of this may explain why I’m not ready for Prime Time, because I need solitude to stay on task and remember what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. However, I don’t have the house to myself. First my youngest broke her arm at cheerleading camp, which eighty-sixed all of her summer camp plans as well as my resolution to get my second novel ready to submit by Labor Day. I’m still aiming for then but I cannot concentrate on much when I have the delightful company of a pre-teen to distract me, her allure only enhanced by the videos we’ve procured to while away the invalid’s hours. (Grey’s Anatomy, THE OC and HOUSE.) So far we’ve not even made it through HOUSE (fabulous antiheroic character that Hugh Laurie is perfect for) and I’ve come away with all sorts of new illnesses to obsess about, including this really scary staph infection that the NEW YORK TIMES wrote about yesterday.
So, though I try to work all the time, I’m still not making much progress, Indeed,as my friend Carlos Eire said about his summer project, he feels like he’s living in a Jorge Luis Borges short story. The more he writes, the farther he gets from the ending. (That reminds me of what I think may be the best short story by Borges The Garden of the Forking Paths.)
All this to say that I can’t seem to stay on a linear path towards progress. I’m more like a very, very slow whirling dervish of activity, much of which, like the hundreds of loads of laundry I’ve washed and folded (or not washed and folded in the case of my children’s practice of dropping the things they tried on and discarded into the basket instead of putting it back in the drawers). All that laundry was for naught, for I now have no clean underwear, and mess everywhere. Construction men are banging away at the downstairs in the latest of my husband’s improvements to our house that involve a necessary period of chaotic disruption including lights that don’t work, black plastic covering most of the windows, furniture cloistered in the middle of the room and black holes in checking accounts at the very moment when we’d ideally be putting something aside for our son’s impending enrollment at a university whose name we cannot reveal.
I will confess that the orientation included instructions on how to do a particular hand movement while yelling “Go )#U&^@!” Were they serious? We were polite enough not to have worn insignia from the rival university my husband teaches in, or the one my father and countless relatives worshipped Vince Dooley’s team in, so I ask you. Why do they think that it’s okay to ram their school spirit down our parental throats? At the moment they taught us the Gator Chop, I leaned over and whispered the words to the TALKING HEADS song “This is not my beautiful life. How did I get here?” Which leads back to why I’m not ready for Prime Time. I am stuck in some kind of labrynth wherein all sorts of sirens are tempting me to stop and hang out at the very moment I’m supposed to be progressing from point A to point B.
Which is why I have gotten behind in hosting my fellow cyber-girlfriends who must have much better time management skills than I. Julie Kenner is one of them, for not only has she come out with several books but she's adopted a baby and raised money for charity, all while keeping up with her blog.
Her book, DEMONS ARE FOREVER, is the second in a very successful series put out by my very own publisher. Here's what those who know these things had to say about Julie's latest:
“Ninety-nine percent of the wives and moms in the country will identify with this heroine.”
-Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author of FALLING AWAKE
“What would happen if Buffy the Vampire Slayer got married, moved to the suburbs and became a stay-at-home mom? She’d be a lot like Kate Conner.”
Here's the cover:
And here is our interview:
1. If I had to offer two bumper sticker explanations for my novel, they’d be “Appearances are deceiving” and “Mean people suck.” Tell me what your slogans would be, and why. 1. Your two favorite movies over the past twelve months and why? 1. What was the one thing you learned in getting your book published that you were really surprised to find out? 1. If you had to pick one and only one condition (beyond computer or pen and paper) that would allow you to write would it be: a. solitude b. caffiene c. sleep d. food e. sex or f. ______. Caffeine. Definitely caffeine. Preferably of the Starbucks Venti Nonfat Latte variety :) For those of you who read this very same blog introducing Megan Crane, who I thought I hadn't blogged yet but had, I think it just proves my point. I'm a bit distracted, even a tiny bit mad, as they say in the U.K. So Megan got a second exposure and I got embarrassed. Oh well, too late, too bad!
CARPE DEMON, because it was the name of the first book in the series it completely summed up the point of the whole series — Seize the Demon :) And also because, hey, it IS the name of the series, and brand marketing was conceived by smarter minds than mine!
Weeeeeelllll, in the last 12 months, I’ve had 5 books released and adopted a little girl from China. So my answer would have to be Music & Lyrics, because I’m pretty sure it’s the only movie released in the last year that I’ve seen. Also, it was my “girls night out” (much needed!) with my buddy, author Julia London. And because who can resist the opening musical sequence!
Family members assume you have hundreds of them stacked in the garage to give to their friends! I was like, um, Daddy? I only got 25 free copies!!
1. If I had to offer two bumper sticker explanations for my novel, they’d be “Appearances are deceiving” and “Mean people suck.” Tell me what your slogans would be, and why.
1. Your two favorite movies over the past twelve months and why?
1. What was the one thing you learned in getting your book published that you were really surprised to find out?
1. If you had to pick one and only one condition (beyond computer or pen and paper) that would allow you to write would it be: a. solitude b. caffiene c. sleep d. food e. sex or f. ______. Caffeine. Definitely caffeine. Preferably of the Starbucks Venti Nonfat Latte variety :)
For those of you who read this very same blog introducing Megan Crane, who I thought I hadn't blogged yet but had, I think it just proves my point. I'm a bit distracted, even a tiny bit mad, as they say in the U.K. So Megan got a second exposure and I got embarrassed. Oh well, too late, too bad!