This is from FASTER THAN KUDZU almost exactly ten years ago—-I wrote it in early March, 2004, and the picture is from that time, too.Yesterday my friend Sara Gruen had to kill some people. Just a couple. But she liked ’em.
At the same time, I was watching my people have sex in a bathroom.
Honestly? I might rather have been Sara. My novels always seem to get fraught with sex and violence, but it’s often more fun and usually easier to write about the violence. You can chart violence meticulously, and the aftermath is always interesting. Meanwhile, if you chart sex, it reads like a biology lesson, and the aftermath is always finding your pants.
Truism: You never realize how much sex you have put into novel until the day you know your mother is reading the MS.
Meanwhile, my Printer has its eye on a new career — it wants to become a COMPLETE PIECE OF CRAP. It is very close to achieving its goal. It is inserting extra blank pages at random and making the edges of the paper CURL like the ends of 50’s girl hair.I need a new one. *cuss cuss* Ask me how interested I am in spending a bunch of money to replace my POS printer….go on, ask.
*waits while you ask*
I had to go get an “author photo” taken for the book jacket and like every human being on the planet, I ALWAYS hate pictures of me. There are pictures of me on this very website that make me want to crawl under the sofa and live with the dust camels. So I went to see Liz, a photographer friend of mine from the way back back. Elizabeth Osborne is a total and complete raving genius extraordinaire, which won’t all fit on my one butt cheek or BELIEVE ME, I would tattoo it there. She managed to make me look like a grown-up with a real hair cut.
Also I get to put a big fat CHECK by one thing on my to do list. So now all I have to do *checks list* is…1)Do all Line Edits
2)Write Second Novel
3)Successfully Raise 2 Children to be Kind, Happy Adults
5)Drink the rest of this Shiraz before it goes bad.
Eep. Better get right on that. I pick 5.
Fast forward to February, 2014
I recently went to an event where the coordinator had used that VERY first black and white picture from 2004 on all the promo materials.
Me: WOW! Where did you dig up that author photo?
Event Coordinator: Google. Why don’t you use it on your site? I hope you don’t mind me saying, but it’s a much better shot of you. The author photo that comes with your media kit is not nearly as flattering.
Me: *laughing* I am sure I DO look a little fresher in that one— I am 35. The ones on my site show me now, at 45.
Her: *gets the panic eye, smiles brightly and SO UNCONVINCINGLY* Oh. Um. You haven’t changed a bit! NO, REALLY! I didn’t mean THAT. Ha ha heh ha, I meant I, um, I always like black and white photos more than color.I laughed it off, letting her off the hook, mostly because I have HORRID foot in mouth disease and say TERRIBLE THINGS I wish I could take back, instantly. But I tell you, between 35 and 45, I HAVE learned. A little. For example, I HOPE YOU DO NOT MIND ME SAYING, as sentence start---it always bodes ill.
A woman recently said to a pregnant friend of mine, “I hope you do not mind me saying, but you seem very, very large to only be as far along as you are.”
My friend, who is chuffy and cool-headed looked right at her and said, in a tone both firm and polite, “You know what? I do mind you saying.”
Here is some wise advice for living, culled from the ten years spanned by these photos: If you hear yourself beginning a sentence with, “I HOPE YOU DO NOT MIND ME SAYING” --just stop talking.
Immediately end the sentence with, “BUT I HAVE TO PEE.” Then evac to the restroom and lock yourself in a stall and reconsider, because whatever your mouth is about to unleash is probably NOT kind or all that helpful.
SO, what’s the worst I HOPE YOU DO NOT MIND ME SAYING thing you ever accidentally said out loud to someone? OR what’s the worst “helpful” thing a person ever said to you?
BOOKS I READ in 2014 (I am marking ARCS so you know they are not pubbed yet. If you want a thing for NOW, GO READ THE GODS OF GOTHAM. FANTASTIC!)
In Progress: The Home Place by Carrie Le Seur (ARC )
The Gods of Gotham by Lindsay Faye
The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trolloppe
The Patron Saint of Ugly by Marie Manilla
Help for the Haunted by John Searles
Southern Sin Edited by Lee Gutkind and Beth Ann Fennelly
Heap House by Edward Carey
Queen Lucia E. F. Benson
How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer (ARC)
Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen
Invisible Sisters by Jessica Handler
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Audio)