June 5, 2005

With a Quivering Pink Nose

Scott starts his new job tomorrow. I'm SO proud of him and happy and thrilled and, because I am me, I am also just a leetle freaked out.

On the one hand I am pleased because he is SO excited and this job looks very challenging and fulfilling to him. So, that's good. And I am the most security minded person on the planet, so Scott having a job with stuff like health insurance and paid vacation and a vision plan and a 401K makes me feel as warm and pleased as a little pork-frank plumping happily in a puff pastry blanket. On the other hand, I keep counting the jobs that we have now in this house, and when we add in Scott's NEW one, I see FOUR. Four FULL TIME jobs.
1) Going to his office and being busy and important and having incomprehensible paperwork and a desk (his)
2) Raising kids and running a household (ours)
3) Writing novels (mine)
4) Promoting novels (also mine)

Ever since we had Sam, we have ALWAYS had THREE full time jobs. Scott made the money, I wrote the novels, and together we raised babies and ran a household. We just ADDED promoting novels to the list when gods in Alabama got close to it's publication date, and SIMULTANEOUSLY Scott's old company closed its Atlanta office, so we SUBTRACTED his job, holding us steadily at three. But this is FOUR NOW. Whole new ballgame. And 2.5 of them are MINE. Everything I need to do THIS WEEK, THIS MONTH, THIS YEAR is rising up in front of me like a tidal wave, and I am scared I will begin to drop vital balls and become a miserable failure who writes half-realized novels and half-assedly promotes them while halfway-raising crack-addled shoplifters who both hate me and demand I pay for therapy. I'm scared. I want to QUIT all 2.5 of my jobs, stop writing, cancel all of my interviews and bookstore visits, and sell the children to friendly gypsies who will raise them up to be tanned, barefoot, well-adjusted, pony-thieving acrobats. Then Scott could have his new job and I could start a totally different new career. As an advertising executive.

I THINK I WOULD BE VERY GREAT. After all, as a veteran insomniac, I watch a lot of TV! I KNOW commercials.
I can see which ones are UNBEARABLY stupid (The pepto-bismol dancers)

I can see which ones are actively going to harm the product (Fetal Rat Demons who look like they are so SOAKED in disease that they are practically DRIPPING bubonic plague, standing NEAR your sandwiches and singing WE LOVE THE SUBS!!! LET'S LICK DISEASE ALL OVER THE SUBS! WITH OUR PINK, FETAL DISEASE-SODDEN TONGUES! WE LOVE THE SUBS!)

I can see which ones are very very good (VONAGE! Hoo hoo! Woo Hoo hoo! Hoo hoo! Woo Hoo Hoo!)

And I can see which ones ought to be ILLEGAL to the point that MAKING ONE is a capital offense (all prescription drug commercials, but especially ones about herpes or erections, all feminine hygiene product commercials, but ESPECIALLY ones that involves someone pouring blue liquid onto a sanitary pad, sneaking up behind a woman in a white T-shirt, and WIPING her with it, and while we have the chair warmed up ANYWAY, let's execute whoever dreamed up the animated foot fungus guys leaping under toenails. Because, ew.)

Oh but maybe not. That's scary too. I have been out of corporate America for quite a LONG time long. So so so long, in fact that one might say I was never IN IT. That is a TRUE STORY! I have never had a real, grown-up CAREER type job. I dropped out of college to be a professional artsy-fartsy playwriting tequila-hoover who made money acting and cooking and mixing tequila for others, then went back to college, stayed in the warm wombly haven of academia for grad school, did a little sporadic teaching as an adjunct, and then became a professional mother and wrote novels... Hmmm. It may take me a little to become aclimatized.

I suspect my MOM-ism might have RUINED me. I mean, I have more PETS than I have power suits. And maybe my commercials would be all TAINTED by crazed domesticity. Like, this morning I was sitting downstairs moisterizing my heels and staring at The Little Pets as they toodled about in their aquarium. I LOVE the lotion I was using (Formula 308's Le Couvent des Mihimes Verbena and Lemon) and I was thinking up slogans for it, a product I GENUINELY feel is superior, and here is what I came up with:

Formula 308: Be as Moist as a Newt!

Yeah. Kinda makes the fetal rat demons look appealing, huh? I ran it past my son, and he improved it:

Formula 308: You'll be as moist as a newt, but you'll smell better."

See, I think a TRULY successful ad executive would have a natural propensity to associate things with BOOBS, not NEWTS. I would probably be a great big failure. *sigh* SO I better keep the kids. I've grown fond of my ratfinks over the years, and anyway, Sam and Maisy wouldn't have fetched much; they are skinny little things, and I hear gypsies pay by the pound. Also, I can't stop writing. I seem to be compulsive about it. SO I'd still have that job ANYWAY. And I am learning that I enjoy the heck out of touring and meeting bookly folks and yacketing about writing and reading, so why give up something that is essentially pleasurable...

In all seriousness---these 2.5 jobs I have are the best jobs in the world. The very best. And I just want to do them well, you know? All of them. And not screw up. It's so SCARY. I HATE failing. I hate being a failure. I hate it to the point that sometimes it hampers me --- I get too seized up imagining the ugly possibilities to even TRY to do what I want so badly to do. I go THARN, staring into the headlights of my life like Fiver in Watership Down, miserable and shaking and immobilized.

I'm not THERE right now. I'm okay, my mental illness number is UP but hasn't broken free of earth's atmosphere and reached ORBIT yet, but...my good right hand has a brand new job of his own, and I'm spooked. Scott says it will be fine though. And he is usually right about these things. So. It will be fine. Right? Right.


Virtue Report: Mostly Virtuous and somewhat less drunk.

Posted by joshilyn at June 5, 2005 2:18 PM

1) Right!!!

2) Perhaps being just a teensyTINY bit drunk would help you believe number 1?

3) Most commercials are scary. I mute 90% of them so they can't worm their way into my brain.

3 1/2) Things still pretty virtuous in Kentucky. Still blogging about it now and then too. And Dara and I have brainwas...er...encouraged some of the members of the Artful Quilters Web Ring to join in.

3 3/4) Maybe you should write a "20 Days of Virtue" book and go on all the talk shows to promote it. You could be like Dr. Phil, only younger, thinner, less annoying, and with way prettier shoes and hair.

Posted by: DebR at June 5, 2005 4:04 PM

I should moisturize my heels more often.

(This is what happens to be after 8 days with no sugar and limited carbs. That was all I was able to take away from that post. My brain is DYING.)

Posted by: Mir at June 5, 2005 5:17 PM

After reading this post, I am suggesting somewhat more drunk might be for the best.

AMEN to all of your commercial critiques, ESPECIALLY "We love the subs!" Oh. My. GOD that was a bad ad.

Everything will be fine. The adjustment period may be a TEENSY bit scary (apply alcohol of choice here) but you and Scott are excellent human beings and you will figure it out. And then it will be brilliant. And I think you're pretty. So it's all good!

Must go moisturize my heels. ;)

Posted by: Amy at June 5, 2005 6:52 PM

Okay, so I am convinced that commercials are why the gods created TiVo! Who needs soft heels when one can smell as wonderful as a newt!

Posted by: Jenny Michael at June 5, 2005 8:01 PM

Enter Sam, the child prodigy ad exec.
See, and then, there'll be another full time job to add to the list and another person among whom to divide them. Good, yes?

Posted by: David at June 6, 2005 8:04 AM

It will be alright. But if it isn't and you DO become an advertising exec., please PLEASE BURN that Burger King statue that literally appears out of thin air to deliver burgers and make me shudder. That statue with his menacing smirk. He gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Posted by: Em at June 6, 2005 11:42 AM

It is now official the only virtue that Cele possess is patience, and three tubs of BJ's ice cream. Oh yeah, those aren't virtues, they are comfort food, because I gave up advil.

1) Newts, remind me of lizards, who are related to snakes so I'll stick to Neutragena.

2) gods and it's delightfully, soft heeled, talented authoress will emerge on the otherside of the booke fairs, national conferences, signings, and deluxe cruises unscathed and widely read, and ready to write the next three tomes that are vying to get out and on to paper. If gods and your addictive blog are any indication they are going to be killer reads.

3) Take good care of Sam, the kids has a finger on the pulse of advertizing. Which by the way, I've got a few accounts that could use a male perspective, so can I pick his brain? How does he feel about Chainsaw Carving Divisional Championships? I've got a Friday deadline.

3a) What addle pated, overpaid, stuff shirt thought up smashed, diseased, badly hatted, singing mice as a good inducement for buying something you would eat? really!

Even Arlo wouldn't eat one of those things. I think mice scare him.

3b) good point on the Burger King - that is too scary. But note only a guy would accept, then eat food handed to him through his bedroom window by some badly dressed, grinning stalker.

Posted by: Cele at June 6, 2005 12:25 PM

Re: the new job - "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." Julian of Norwich. (Except Quiznos and Burger King commercials. Eek!)

Posted by: Dara at June 6, 2005 1:36 PM

Gol DANGIT JOSHILYN! I JUST got that Vonage Woo-Hoo, woo-hoo-hoo song OUT of my HEAD by repeatedly playing SHOW TUNES on my CD player so at least what I was hearing had some WORDS I could SING and here you go and woo-hoo it right back into my frontal lobes!!! Okay, here's my revenge: "I BIN TO THE DESERT ON A HORSE WITH NO NAME, IT'S SO GOOD TO GET OUT OF THE RAY-HAIN, IN THE DESERT, YOU CAN'T REMEMBER YOUR NAME CUZ THERE AIN'T NO ONE FOR TO GIVE YOU NO PAIN"

Moisturize THAT!

Posted by: Jilly at June 6, 2005 2:13 PM


The only way to get the Vonage Woo-hoo song out of your head is to listen to any other song by the 5, 6, 7, 8's. They are all pretty darn addictive.

Mr. Husband

Posted by: Mr. Husband at June 6, 2005 3:39 PM

Love your blog! Your novel promotion is going well... I found your site, read the first line, bought the book, and have now told all of my friends to go buy it. I won't lend mine to them, they have to go get their own. The Books a Million in Charleston, SC has a lovely display of bestsellers at the front door and your book practically leaps out of the bookshelves. Finished it in a night at the beach and loved it. So glad I found this site!

Posted by: Rbelle at June 7, 2005 12:40 AM

Commercials are why I don't have TV (I'm the insomniac mystery reader). You can juggle the 2.5 jobs--no one said having your dreams come true is easy!

Posted by: Edgy Mama at June 7, 2005 4:10 PM