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Random Neurons Firing (Part 17)

WHOOPS! I forgot to push all that shame down! It’s like our collective skirt is still flipped up and all our Freudian slips are showing. Let me just give that a tug!


LOOK AT….nothing! Yup. I have NOTHING to tell you except I have found a path into the new book and I have been sucked very far down it and am hardly breathing real air these days. YAY! It is weird to be working on a book with Backseat Saints JUST this second out in paperback and the book after Saints already complete and edited and somewhere in the bowels of publishing being magically typeset, so that my head is two books in front of the bookstores.

It makes Saints feel oddly removed and not really happening, which upsets me, because I theoretically LOVE Rose and her wretched dog, Gretel, so VERY much, but where are they? Somewhere in Berkeley? Is Rose wearing ugly shoes? SHE WOULDN’T!

Is the book happening? Do you see it around? Have you gotten one? I have not gotten out of sweat pants in three days, so everything feels fictional except my sweaty keyboard and tarragon chicken salad, which is all I have to eat in this house. Buckets of it. Starting to hate its guts. Please remit emergency tomato bisque.

My inner Sheldon-landscape. He is playing MMM-bop. I can tell.

At night, I emerge from the fictional Circle K where I am having Guns and Love burst and bloom respectively, and I am watching THE BIG BANG THEORY on DVD with Sam, who every now and again does not get some of the jokes because the Sheldon-logic makes SENSE to him.

Kid is a genius, and that comes with a scoop of weirdness and a spooky bit of Sheldon-empathy. *shrug* But anyway, at the end, Chuck Lorre has this huge wad of TEXT and I like to freeze it and read it.

Sometimes it is a rant, sometimes a joke, sometimes a philosophical musing. The last ep, it was Mr. Lorre’s take on the question that stumps Miss Manners…What do you say to an atheist when he sneezes.

The traditional “God bless you!” may or may not be effective in warding off bubonic plague, but either way, it isn’t proper to God bless an atheist.

Chuck Lorre had the best answer. Ever. When the atheist sneezes you say, “Oh dear! It sounds like you are coming down with something. I hope you don’t die and rot in a box.”

Force? What's a force? Is it anything like bacon?

I like it because it hits an almost impossible-to-hit magic trifecta; it respects a foreign-to-me belief system while wishing someone well while being blackly hilarious. *clapclapclap*

I like it so much I just said, “Oh dear! It sounds like you are coming down with something. I hope you don’t die and rot in a box!” to Ansley, who sneezed, and who may or may not be an atheist, but who definitely has a soul, whether she knows it or not.

Some dogs do, apparently. *shrugs again* I can see hers shining goodness beams out of her ears at moments. Not the moments when she is EATING MY CARPET, mind you, but other moments, I see it gleaming there. Bagel has one, too, but his is a one-celled organism, like his brain.

And there I am, back to Saints, which really MUST be happening and real out there, because I had a sudden wash of pure certainty that GRETEL has a soul, and then I remembered Gretel doesn’t actually, technically exist. But it reminded me my book DOES and I was back in the place where I was when I sat in the backseat of that car and followed Rose across the country. See how that works?

If you do, please explain it to me in a letter you send with the bisque and probably some brain medication. THANKS.

I wave goodbye as Obi Wan Dog says, “The Mental Illness is strong in this one today.”

15 comments to Random Neurons Firing (Part 17)

  • linda j

    I have been a fan of yours for 3 years now and I had a thought that I want to share. You are not mentally ill because you are a novelist, you are a novelist because you are mentally ill. How else would a person be able to bring forth into the universe such sassy, complex, smart, just downright southern characters and still manage her household? Enjoy your book world we will be here with chocolate when you join us again.

    As always love your work. P.S. I will tell the boyfriend that I want paperback BS for my bday…In August.

  • Jill W.

    Yay, burst of writing! I cna confirm that Backseat Saints is out there- I followed your suggestion and bought it (and the others in paperback as well) as teacher gifts (x2). Yay, books!

  • I with Jill W. I bought your paperbacks as teacher gifts for two teachers and audio cd’s for the others. My kids’ teachers will have LOTS of wonderful summer reading thanks to you!

    PS I love circular thoughts. Thoughts that wander and cycle around through totally unrelated topics only to wind back up where I started. I do that pretty regularly and if I try to explain it, nobody gets it. Doesn’t make sense to anyone but me. I shrug, and am sad. They are missing out.

  • I have already sent you my own glimpse of your paperback being advertised across our local t.v. station website, so it is, in fact, happening. But I must admit that I was a bit taken aback in an, “HEY!!! I KNOW her!!!!” way when I saw the ad.

    Thank you for pushing the shame down. I was feeling the draft.

  • Linda, that is a KIND way to look at it.

    YOU PEOPLE ARE SEXY with your sexy teacher gifts…and man yes what a DRAFT. I am going to have to blog again soon just to make it be EVEN DEEPER MORE DOWNER

    For the record…liking MMMbop does not mean I like songs. *stern look* According to Scott—-my Opera, RUSH and YOYO MA loving SOUNDS SNOB—- MMM-Bop doesn’t even count as MUSIC. *rimshot*

  • pam

    Or were it Yoda “In this one today is strong the Mental Illness.”

  • Erin

    I can assure you that Backseat Saints does indeed exist because I just bought myself a copy on Friday. I’m only on page three and already obsessed and planning to have it finished by the weekend.

  • kimberlyHdM

    Additional confirmation of existence of Backseat Saints in paperback–I bought one to give to my Aunt for her birthday and a copy of Gods in Alabama because I’m contextual like that. Also, I have the most awesome hard cover of Backseat Saints signed to me and everything (pirouetting off to admire my generally book-nerdiness)

  • Aimee

    Gretel does SO exist. You made her. She may not be a physical dog, with dog breath and shedding fur and a propensity for chasing cars and An A Bunnies, but she is a dog, nevertheless. If you went to a doggie park, and Gretel was somehow, magically, there, you would be able to pick her out of a whole pack of dogs without hesitation, wouldn’t you? That makes her real. You made a real, specific dog where there wasn’t one.

  • Nancy

    Confession: I’m an atheist. I usually say Gesundheit when people sneeze, since it literally means “good health,” and it’s logical to me to wish someone sickly good health. I’m fine with people telling me “bless you,” though. I think most people say it out of tradition rather than because they are Christians who actually think that sneezing creates a weakness that allows evil to enter your body. So say whatever you want to sneezing atheists.

  • Nancy

    P.S. I would LOVE it if someone told sneezing me “I hope you don’t die and rot in a box.” I think both sides would find it funny for different reasons.

  • *gasp* . . . did you people never watch Seinfeld? The appropriate response no matter what the sneezer’s belief system is, “You’re so good-lookin’!”

    I would send you bisque but I don’t have any. I do have about a billion Costco limes, though.

  • Saskia

    I just got my copy of Backseat Saints in the mail and can’t wait to read it. I have it slotted for Saturday after I finish my grad school application. In the meantime, it looks really pretty next to my other copies of your books!

  • Sharon

    Just finished Gods in Alabama, enjoyed it soo much.. I gave my mother Between Georgia on Mother’s day and she loved it. So I just downloaded it from Audible for myself- I cannot wait to catch up to Backseat Saints..