Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Surreal Life...

It’s no secret I love being a writer; it really is my dream job. Sometimes, though, this job – and everything that comes with it – crosses the line into surreal.

I’m not talking about the obvious surreal things: seeing my book for sale on a shelf, getting an email from someone halfway around the world telling me how much they loved the book or getting asked questions about my characters I don’t know the answers to. (I have no idea why Ella’s last relationship ended or how. It just did and I know it ended badly. I didn’t think it was that important until someone asked me about it…)

But there are things that happen in my life that make me wonder how strange my life must look like to outsiders. Heck, it looks strange to insiders sometimes. Just a few surreal things from my life as an author…

  • I think I have the only eight-year-old in America with the words “mistress” and “sexy” in her working vocabulary (my first three books all have mistress in the title and are released in Australia as “Sexy Sensations.” It was bound to come up.) In case you are wondering, a “mistress” is kinda like a girlfriend, and “sexy” means you’re pretty in a way that makes people want to kiss you. Thankfully, the definition of “sexy” drew an “eww” from AC.
  • Not too long ago, I sent an email to another writer friend – in all sincerity – which included the sentence, “I’m so jealous of your cock.” Our husbands found that discussion to be rather amusing…
  • Also in the “Emails I Can’t Believe I’ve Sent” category, we have the series of emails sent while I was on a committee that all shared the subject line “What Bestiality Means To Me.” It sounds like the most inappropriate essay assignment ever. My mom is so proud.
  • The fact my child wanted to help plot my next book, so she brainstormed ideas while in the bathtub last night. Her dad was so excited to overhear that.
  • Explaining to my priest that while I appreciated the support, I didn’t really feel comfortable having my book stocked in the church bookstore. Being handed a copy of my book to sign on the way out of the church was also a bit awkward.
  • Having the clerk at the bookstore congratulate me on my pregnancy as she rung up my purchases. Um, I was buying baby name books to help with character naming.
  • Explaining to the school librarian that yes, I am a published author, but no, I don’t think I should be doing readings from my book to second graders. This was only moments after explaining to AC’s teacher that my arson attempts AC kept talking about were fictional. I love parent-teacher nights…
  • Seeing one of my bookmarks being used to save AC’s place in a Ramona book. The cover of The Millionaire’s Misbehaving Mistress peeking out above the title Ramona and Her Mother… well, that’s a juxtaposition that will cause a double take. Oh, and finding out my daughter wore her “My Mommy Writes Books” t-shirt on the plane home from DC and handed out bookmarks to the flight attendants and pilots…

Hmmm, AC seems to be playing a dominant role in my surreal experiences. I don’t know whether to be pleased AC is so proud of me or afraid Child and Family Services is going to come take her away from me…

And to think I thought the best part of this job was the lack of a dress code. :-)

Any surreal/funny/strange moments from your life or career you’d like to share? It would make me feel better…

PC

**Alas, the fun on the Beyond Her Book blog had to be cancelled. Darn it, I was looking forward to that.

***But my blog post is up at I Heart Presents!

11 comments:

Playground Monitor said...

LOL at the email subjects. Reminds me of the time my son wanted to go home after school with a friend and called me at work to get permission. Just as I asked him, "Is it okay with the Faggs if you go to their house?" a co-worker walked by, did a fast and obvious u-turn and had a look of utter shock on her face.

My son's friend's last name was Fagg. I guess it did sound a little like a "call the child and family services" moment if you didn't know the facts.

And then there was the time we tried to explain a mammogram to a man...

Jean said...

If you dug ditches, I have no doubt that AC would find it fascinating and find a way to be involved. This is just so much better. She is just one of those people who savors everything.

Stephanie said...

As an elementary school teacher I share many parts of my life with my students. On the day that agent/editor appointments could be made for National Conference I needed my students to work quietly at their desks. Which is NOT how my class is usually taught, so I explained a little about how I was trying to sell a book. My students got excited for me and ask lots of questions - most of which I was able to answer by choose my words carefully. But I did have to explain that "No, you can't read our book. It's a grown up book." Most of them took it pretty well but one little girl said, "Can my momma read it to me, she is a grown up?" I had to laugh but still declined the offer.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

After I got back from DC, the kids stopped by. My four yr old granddaughter walked in, gave me a calculating look, and said, "You write books and people READ them?" Apparently she's just found out what I do for a living. The look she gave me was priceless, and she seemed much more stunned that they're read than she was that I write. :-)

That and plotting a murder while in the drive through at Dairy Queen. "How can I kill her off?" My husband was expecting flashing lights behind us at any moment . . .

Angel said...

My kids thought it was really funny when I got the call I'd finalled in the Golden Heart. But it only took a bit of explanation before they were jumping around with me.

Angel

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Well, when I was visiting my grandmother in the nursing home this past weekend, her roommate in all seriousness asked me how she could get another resident, an 89 yr old doctor, interested in her. As a romance writer, I'm an expert apparently. I told her to ask him a medical question, LOL.

LA said...

As a kindergarten teacher for many years, my son wanted to know if I had learned enough to get to go to first grade yet. He was six then!

Sherry Werth said...

LOL, AC is a cute little editor and PR person all rolled into one! It's great that she wants to be involved in your writing life. :)

Kathy said...

I always get tickled by what AC says. ;) Kids have a fascinating perspective that we, as adults, have somehow lost the more jaded we've become.

LJ, I can just picture the look on your granddaughter's face... :D

Anonymous said...

When I used to take my son to school, one early morning I was cutting through a strip mall parking lot (this is allowed) and a policeman stopped me. Wanted to see my license, of course. I give to him, he checks my record, comes back to tell me that all my brake lights are out. Gives me a warning to get them fixed or else. I had no idea, and my son was 10 at the time and was telling everyone that I got stopped by the police! Trust me, I not one who normally gets stopped as I usually abide by the law. I had to do some fast explaining on that one to the family.
robertsonreads
word verification - wataliz

Liza said...

I think AC is very proud of her mom. Love that she wants to help plot your next book.