July 19, 2005

Commitment Has Two Meanings <---DEEP!!!!

I've broken out of a funk I didn't know I was in. I'm working! I'm happy! I'm totally insecure! These things are almost always true together.

Although officially? I am on vacation and officially NOT WORKING and I have barely any child-free hours because it is summer and I am leaving town for ten days on Thursday (3 days of book promo, week of vacation) and I have not packed for me and I have not packed for my little children and I must have the reasoning skills of a stage four a crack-addict because APPARENTLY sometime a week or so ago I thought it would be a good idea to invite ten people over to my house for dinner on Wednesday night and my house is a wreck so of course, OF COURSE, yesterday was the PERFECT time to hole up in my office and spend four hours writing the opening of a brand new whole nother novel.

And so I did. I started the novel I am not actually officially really for truly supposed to even THINK about until November because --- as I was WAH WAH WAHing on the phone to my agent only day before yesterday --- there hasn't been a time in the last six years where I haven't been frantically WORKING ON A BOOK to some insane deadline I came up with. Which is true, but it ignores the fact that I have spent the last six years being mostly, well, you know. Happy. And fulfilled. All that junk. I'm lazy, and if I am allowed to sit down for too long, I forget that I thrive on frantic-ness. I forget the boundless joy I eat from a too full plate.

My editor called in the middle of my working and I was so OVER THE TOP hyper and thrilled with myself that I think I used A Very Bad Word. And not just any old A Very Bad Word. This was the queen mother. What one might call A Very Bad Word Indeed. And I SUSPECT I used it about four times. Loudly and with joyful abandon I used it. Casually, even. For no reason other than my children were out of earshot and I was hip deep in story and drunk with it. AND I AM NOT EVEN SORRY. SO THERE.

I love my job I love my job I love my job. It's a shame I have zero faith in it. Or me. Let me clarify: The writing I trust. But the JOB of it and the ME of it. Not so much.

Yesterday, working, I was in the zone and completely pleased. Today...business. My domain name is expiring. I got a RENEW THIS OR DIE e-mail this morning and sat staring at it, paralyzed, until finally I called Scott to have him walk me through re-registering it. Not because I need help with the forms. I know how to spell Joshilyn. I even know how to pronounce it. I needed help with the faith.

Me: *timid stupid mouse voice* Do you think I should go ahead and re-register for two years instead of one? That seems to me to imply that I think I'll still be doing this in two years. Like, having a website. Needing one. You know.
Him: Is two years the max?
Me: No, five is but...
Him: Do you get a price break with five years?
Me: Yes, a significant one, but...
Him: Honey, you have another book coming out in a year, and in paperback a year after that, and yesterday you were so crazed with frantic book love for this new book that you followed me all over the house reading sentences aloud and cackling, and ps NOT PACKING, blah blah reason reason common sense reason.
Me: But what if I never write another book and gods and Between go out of print three years from now? What if THAT? And then we've paid for this WHOLE ANOTHER TWO YEARS and instead I go out of print and NEVER WRITE ANOTHER BOOK AND HAVE TO GO TO A MENTAL HOSPITAL???
Him: You always write another book, and you never go to a mental hospital. You are writing another book and not going to a mental hospital even as we speak.
Me: Yes, but, what if I don't write another book after THIS book, then THEN I go to a mental hospital?
Him: Then that's still three and half years from now plus paperback release a year after that which brings us to four and a half years which means if you go out of print and directly to a mental hospital we've still gotten four-point-five years out of the website, and with the discount, after four years we have broken even ANYWAY.
Him: Oh honey, death traditionally HELPS books sales. You'll be sure to be in print in five years if you die. Could you try to die in a somewhat spectacular manner?
Me: Like maybe I could get eaten by carniverous snakes?
Him: Now THAT is long-term thinking! Good girl! Go renew for five years.

So I did. DIGRESSION: Is it weird to have one's sanity seven miles away walking around on its own legs and separately processing its own oxygen? I think it is. Oh well. It works for me. PLUS my sanity is a good kisser. Which is pure bonus.


1) I am working.
2) I have very little faith.
3) I am extremely happy.
4) Mom, I am sorry I used that Very Bad Word. <--Pst, that is not strictly true. I am a LITTLE sorry I admitted using it here where my mom will read about it, though.
5) I better pack.

Posted by joshilyn at July 19, 2005 10:55 AM

No fair keeping the carnivorous snakes all to yourself. I'm sort of hoping for a spectacular death like that, myself, and not even to boost book sales.

Posted by: Mir at July 19, 2005 11:05 AM


Ten day vacation - sounds wonderful

Another Joshilyn Jackson book in the works - sounds heavenly

Good kissing sanity - wow, way sexy

Carniverous Snakes - my unreasonable fear

a big bad dirty word - 4x = $1.00 - college fund

Posted by: Cele at July 19, 2005 11:19 AM

I am so glad that I am not the only one that worries about ending up in a mental hospital! I guess that is why I keep peeping out the blinds, to KNOW the men in white coats are actually not in the yard......yet. I think it may be a Southern Woman thing though, and from what I remember of previous family members and friends being in one, it does give you some sort of fame. So what if you are in one, say like 3 years from now, when they release you, you will need your website. You will be even more famous!!!!

P.S. I actually keep peeking out the windows this morning because: A: It is to hot to go outside, B: I keep seeing what the dog is barking at and C: The father of the woman that moved in next door, keeps making weird noises. He is doing some sort of yard work and keeps hauling stuff around. Which means: D: I am jealous, because if I was single, my Dad would just loan me his lawn mower and make me clean my own yard!

Posted by: Robbie at July 19, 2005 12:05 PM

You know, I would love to have a conversation with you when you are in one of those freaked out manic modes. I imagine you would be quite entertaining. Not that I would be seeking enjoyment from your crazy. Oh, who are we kidding? I totally would be! Just like I was reading this.

Posted by: Jenn at July 19, 2005 12:13 PM

What is Scott's hourly rate for Sanity Consults? See, my DH says only this when confronted with insane questions: "Um, dear, I'm sure you'll work it out." DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW INFURIATING, HOW MADDENING, HOW HOW-WOULD-YOU-LIKE-A-PUNCH-IN-THE-NOSE THAT IS? Better yet, could Scott just write down some of his humorous and reassuring phrases on index cards? I'll pay the big bucks.

Posted by: Jilly at July 19, 2005 12:25 PM

Splittin' a side here. Did Scott really say that "Oh, honey" line? You guys are just too much. So, *looks furtively right and left* what's the new book about, hmmm?

Posted by: David at July 19, 2005 1:18 PM

Well, whew on the 5 year renewal. This blog alone is well worth it ;)

And no it's not weird, my sanity is sitting on the couch behind me.

Posted by: Angel at July 19, 2005 3:15 PM

Joss - Could maybe your Sanity look around and see if he sees my Sanity anywhere? Cuz....I ain't seen it in, like, 20 years.

Mental Hospital - Move to Alabama, shug. You KNOW the entire state is like one big Psych ward. Besides, we want to be able to brag that you live here, instead of in the state next door.

New book - New reason to get excited. YAY!!!!

Posted by: Angela at July 19, 2005 4:14 PM

Thank you for renewing your website for 5 more years (and telling us we have yet another mind-blowing novel to look forward to)! If something happens to confuse the publishing schedule before 2010, I'll organize a bake sale or some other sort of fundraiser so you can keep your priceless blogs going.

Posted by: Elizabeth at July 19, 2005 4:14 PM

LOL. In my head, I use bad BRITISH words. They must have a special hell for that.

You will be here in 5 years. I will be reading you if no one else is. ;)

Posted by: Heather at July 19, 2005 7:04 PM

ONLY 5 years???? It's a no brainer from this end but I'd like to borrow your sanity sometime!
Maybe my hyterics are also a "southern woman" thing although I can't REALLY lay claim to being a southerner (though I try)!
I'm originally from Florida which--- though south of all the rest of y'all--- is really just a land of transplanted Yankees.

Posted by: Lory at July 19, 2005 11:17 PM

New Book!!!!!!!!
Yeah...something else to read!!!!!!
See how little it takes to make me happy???

By the way...If you are still looking for dark M&M's...check out the dollar stores....I know one of the local ones here HAD many in stock...but er...i don't know what happened to them ( as she hides the chocolate stained napkin...)

Posted by: kim at July 20, 2005 12:28 AM

Joshilyn, we are far more alike than you know...

Posted by: Jane F. at July 20, 2005 7:42 AM

Alright--new book!! Go for it, girl! In the zone is the best and happiest time ever--it's the editing zone that's hell, at least for me--particularly when I realize half the sentences that I thought were great when I wrote them are actually huge clunkers and I've left random question marks throughout my manuscript and then forgotten why.

Posted by: Edgy Mama at July 20, 2005 8:31 AM

P.S. Great article about all of us crazies who are writing books: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050716/LEAH16/TPEntertainment/?query=literary

Posted by: Edgy Mama at July 20, 2005 8:33 AM

You prolly feel guilty about saying "novelist Joshilyn Jackson" when you should NOT because you very much ARE.

And even if you only ever write on paper napkins we will still stalk you and dig through your garbage for them.

Posted by: Heather McCutcheon at July 20, 2005 12:15 PM

Oh Joshilyn something wonderful in Alabama awaits you if you'll just read (and answer) the email I sent you today! And I'm still trying to figure out those little quirky back slashes and things to make your "gods in Alabama" book magically appear in my blog so you'll worship me and adore me and perhaps introduce me to your publisher. If you don't, I'll be forced to tell Burr everything.

Posted by: Diana at July 20, 2005 2:29 PM

And oh yeah, I almost forgot, I found a pack of those dark side M&M's under a kudzu vine day before yesterday. I would have saved them for you if I'd know how much you liked them.

Posted by: Diana at July 21, 2005 12:38 AM