Despite an abundance of things to write about, I have hit a wall, mostly because I’ve been spending my days and nights and weekends churning out the grant proposals. You know, what I do for a living. I like to call it “Hogging all the hot water in the creative pockets of my brain.” Which have been pretty linty and empty lately as a result.
I could write about the flat tire I got last week, which was remarkable only because I haven’t gotten one ever, in my life, despite regularly driving over curbs and broken bottles and small children on bigwheels.
But who wants to hear about that?
Do you really want to hear about how my local grocer’s bag boy (We call him "Subway’s Jared 2.0") insists on always making a comment on my transaction? Last week, on my canvas bags: “Wow, you have bags from everywhere.” Two weeks ago, on a bag of Flat Earth veggie chips: “You know, I’ve tried the fruit ones. They weren’t that good.” Tonight: “You know, for an instant soup, this is pretty healthy.”
I could recommend a half dozen movies I’ve seen and enjoyed lately (The Namesake, Once, Sunshine, Into the Wild, The Darjeeling Limited), or tell you about music I’ve been listening to on my iPod (Radiohead’s OK Computer, Muse’s Black Holes and Revelations, the soundtrack for Once), or dishes I’ve cooked lately or reunions I’ve had with old friends or plans I’m making for the release of my book.
Holy Sh*t. I have a book coming out.
I go through my day doing the usual day-type activities (brushing my teeth, commuting to the office, working on my life-size macaroni and glue portrait of the Pope), and every once in awhile I will remember That I Have A Book Coming Out Soon and a feeling that can only be described as a cross between exhilaration and terror will curdle in my stomach. I just need to remember two bits of advice I recently gleaned via the always eloquent, always angry, always scary-intelligent and intense in a Hot-Guy-Way Henry Rollins.
Well, the advice didn't come from him, but from two guests on his show.
Very loosely paraphrased from the talented and brilliant Steve Buscemi, on pursuing your art (acting, writing, painting, etc.) in the face of criticism and public scrutiny: “When someone tells me they want to be an artist, I tell them, ‘Be sure you love it. Otherwise it’s just not worth it.”
Also loosely paraphrased from the kick-ass and amazing Joan Jett, on that same criticism and public scrutiny: “To believe the good reviews, you have to believe the bad.”
So. I steel myself and try to internalize this advice. Because they’re on the way, from Publishers Weekly and maybe Kirkus and Library Journal. From magazines and newspapers and bloggers and most importantly to me, anyone who walks into a bookstore and shells out money they’ve earned to be entertained by a story I told. This is a privilege, and a serious job, and I take it as such. I also happen to love it. So if the book contains a few too many plot twists or bad words or it doesn’t go all Samuel Taylor Coleridge on your ass and make you “suspend disbelief” for 350+ pages, I apologize. I’ll work harder next time. I promise.
But still, if you happen to pick it up in a bookstore in two months, I do hope you like it. And bless your darling heart if you do.
Also, my dog pulled some tripe out of her food bowl today and rolled in it and it was hilarious. I guess I could have written about that instead.