June 30, 2006

Cool Like Me

Oh dudes, my dudes. I have so freakin' much to tell you my head is going to pop off, but I have been holed up with my friend Tog-wiss, and he is COMPLETE!!!!. INDEEDY, he is WHOLE and has a beginning, a middle AND now an END, even. Three days ago I tippy tapped out the sentence have been waiting to write since I typed out the first one---I always know how my novels will begin and end, it's the GETTING from one to the other that present the PROBLEMS. VERY satisfying moment. BUT!

My editor has this GREAT idea (and by "great" I mean, "pass the Jack Daniel's") that I should send her Tog-wiss before I leave on tour so she can see where I am going with this new book, and so I have entered a state of permanent gibbering fear. I called her up a few days ago, before I was done, but I was CLOSE, you know, and when she said HELLO I shrieked, BUT YOU KNOW IT'S A ROUGH DRAFT RIGHT YOU GET THAT IT'S NOT COMPLETE BUT REALLY A DRAFT? A ROUGH ONE??? And she said patient soothing sane editor-type things about how she may have seen a rough draft or two in her day and promising faithfully not to look at Tog-wiss' more awkward chunks and say "Wow. I thought this girl could write, but I see now I need psychotropic drugs."

Then AFTER that conversation, I have thought of SEVERAL extended metaphors, about one a day, to explain that Tog-wiss is a rough draft, and then I have these almost uncontrollable desires to call her up and extend those metaphors for her, extend them ALL THE WAY, beyond the limits of sane extending, until they snap. Like, yesterday (or the day before, it's all running together) I had to call her and explain how a plot point had to be PURCHASED by the imagery and previous plot points in the first half, but that I had made discoveries in the second half, and would not have time to go back to the first half and REVISE THE MONEY IN to PURCHASE all of the later plot points, so it was like parts of the second half read as SHOPLIFTED AND UNCONNECTED but I DID KNOW WHAT THEY COST and I SWORE AND SWORE and I would I WOULD go back and PAY FOR THEM.

Her: So, what you mean is, this is a rough draft?
Me: Yes! Yes! It's a rough draft!

Today I am already fighting urges to call her up and say, "You have to understand that Tog-wiss has morning breath and tufts of unruly hair sticking up and is standing around a dirty kitchen in his underpants, scratching his hairy belly. AND TRUST me these are not, like, FANCY Armani boxer briefs. These are the threadbare tighty-whiteys he still has left over from college. NOT. PRETTY. SO I am trying to knit the Togster a tatty robe to throw over himself before I mail him off to you, and I WILL get the robe on, okay, before I mail it, but HE IS NOT GOING TO BE DRESSED NICE YOU GOT IT?"

She will say: So, what you mean is, this is a rough draft?
I will say: Yes! Yes! It's a rough draft!

Tomorrow's metaphor is going to involve possums and how they can't get across a road but if I had time to revise they would not be POSSUMS anymore but SPEEDY UNSMASHED BUNNIES.

Let's all take a moment to reflect back on what the word GREAT meant in the second paragraph, shall we? Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh, Jack. It isn't JUST for breakfast anymore.

Here is ONE thing I have to tell you, and then I have to get to KNITTING THAT ROBE.

YESTERDAY I went to a press lunch for
The Decatur Book Festival And I had a VERY good time except I was so PUKE-LEVEL nervous I am sure I came off like the world's hugest goober. I am usually good with the public speaking, enjoy it, the more chatty and intimate the better, but
Michael Connelly and Emily Saliers were there. Yeah. I was not funny. I was not smart. I was breathless and blushful and made Mr. Connelly sign and embarrassing number of hardbacks of his that I purchased on the way because I do not OWN any of his hardbacks because he is my VERY! FAVORITE! AUTHOR! to listen to in audio format so I save him up for car trips and in fact I have THE NARROWS on CD right now to take on tour as there are several driving legs and I cannot wait because OMG but I loved THE POET and NOW HARRY BOSCH will go after The Poet OH OH OH!!!! etc etc---maybe you think this was my internal monolog, and WOULD TO GOD that it had BEEN internal, but no. I FELT THE NEED TO EXPLAIN TO HIM. And then I explained exactly what actors do the best job on his audio books (Len Cariou FOREVER!!!!!) and how I had to read his earlier books with MY ACTUAL EYES, said it like this was a HARDSHIP, God help me, because they FOOLISHLY only did abridged and I HATE to listen to abridgments and then, mercifully, one of the organizers darted me and dragged me off to tag my ear before Connelly called the cops.

Honestly? He was very nice. And he kept being DRY and FUNNY like a PERSON. Very disconcerting, for him to be a person. One does not expect it of one's idols. Of my three favorite MANLY GUNPLAY WRITERS, I have now met two, (Lee Child is t'other one I met) and BOTH have been people. All I need to do is a drive by meet and greet or even a drink (before the war) with Dennis Lehane and have him be nice to have a PERFECT manly gunplay trifecta.

It did NOT help that Emily Saliers was there. If you've ever dug into my essay section and read
How to get killed and/or lose your sense of identity in Atlanta then you know I have been an Indigo Girls fan since the WAY back back. I used to drive all over Georgia, Athens to Atlanta and back again, to see them play in various bars twenty years ago, before anyone knew who they were. SO. Yeah. It was like that. I have been her fan SO LONG I was mercifully UNABLE to babble directly at her. I could hardly speak at ALL. BUT I stood by her in the group picture and she put her arm around me and I am going to crop out everyone else and blow it up and put it on my wall and draw hearts and sparkles and diamonds all around the frame and stencil in letters that say JOSHILYN AND EMILY! BFF!!!

I'm just cool like that.

Posted by joshilyn at June 30, 2006 9:51 AM

So I was just wondering, is Tog-wiss a rough draft?

(running away now)

Posted by: DebR at June 30, 2006 9:58 AM

You need to hook up a button on that sprakly, dimaond-y frame that cues the cool 80's BFF theme every hour on the hour. Then it will be TCFW. Really, it will.

Posted by: dee at June 30, 2006 10:08 AM

Lordy! I feel breathless just *reading* that!

Posted by: Aimee at June 30, 2006 10:56 AM

So how does it feel to be THAT person to other people?

Posted by: Em at June 30, 2006 11:44 AM

Ha ha I have tickets to Indigo Girls for Monday night at a local vineyard, they played there last year too. Too fun.

I now know how you stay so thin...manic breathing

because I am out of breathe after that post.

Posted by: Cele at June 30, 2006 12:01 PM

Okay, hypeventilating with you over the thought of parting with a poorly-dressed rough draft! Does this mean I can have some Jack for lunch?

YOU MET MICHAEL CONNELLY? OMG--now I'm really gonna puke because in addition to hyperventilating, I am insanely jealous.

E-spouse was having dinner at Watershed last week (working hard, no?) and saw Emily Saliers eating there. I was like: Did you talk to her? What was she eating? What was she wearing? How did her hair look?

He just stared at me as if I was a crazy person. Hmmmmmmm.

Posted by: Edgy Mama at June 30, 2006 12:42 PM

It's so nice to see that authors who are doing quite well (such as yourself) get all freaked out inside, too. :) Gives us beginners hope to see that you, too, are a real person. Not that anyone who has read your blog long would have any doubt, but...

I've wanted to see the Indigo Girls for years, but never have. I just own a pitiful two albums that I get out and play over and over every now and then. My favorite musician (David Wilcox) used to open for them (or vice versa, I can't remember) and he is a real, down to earth kind of guy, too. You're likely to find him wandering around in the crowd or outside in front before any given concert. That's the perfect amount of fame and fortune, I think, when you can do that and still make a living.

Posted by: julie at June 30, 2006 12:55 PM

What Em said.

Does this mean that if I see you at a booksigning and impulsively throw my arms around you (because I'm delusional after reading your blog that I know you) and gush about how much I love your books that you will manage to smile understandingly instead of run away screaming? Then again, I will likely be too awestruck to do or say anything if I happen to meet you.

Posted by: Elizabeth at June 30, 2006 1:15 PM

Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalm down.
Calmed down? Good. Get knitting that robe to go over his tightie-whities. And just comfort yourself that he will NOT get arrested for public disorder.

I can do metaphors too! Hehehehe.

Posted by: IrishGal at June 30, 2006 1:36 PM

I think you are very brave to let Tog-wiss go out. And bravery is a very cool thing to be. Go, you!

But you know what I'm sitting here laughing out loud (really) about? That you felt the same way about talking to Michael Connelly as I felt about talking to you on the phone. Exactly. And Michael Connelly, Lee Child and Dennis Lehane are 3 of my must reads, too. I can't wait until you meet Dennis Lehane and I can live vicariously through your blog some more.

Leslie, in Hiawatha

Posted by: Leslie Noon at June 30, 2006 2:09 PM

What Elizabeth said. Because I'm afraid I'll go all fangirly if I'm ever lucky enough to meet you, and that would be embarrassing for everyone.

Congrats on your complete TOG-WISS.

Posted by: TrudyJ at June 30, 2006 2:23 PM

WOWEEEE!!! I just found out that you are going to be in Nashville!!! I'll be there!!! Can't wait to meet you!! I would celebrate the event with dark chocolate M&M's if I could find them! :)

Posted by: Cheryl at June 30, 2006 3:30 PM

Oh CONGRATULATIONS on TOG-WISS! Now I'm all excited because I know that by next year I'll be holding the new Joshilyn Jackson novel in my own two hands that Jennifer will have dropped off for me and I will be smiling like a madwoman.

I too have met Michael Connelly and he is incredibly kind and charming. He's not as flashy cool as Lee Child or Robert Crais, but he's got this neat inner strength. Hmm, but then, I've met lots of authors, that's part of my job that I love, except one certain SOUTHERN author who stays off to herself down thataway. Well, and I haven't met Dennis Lehane either. And I love his Patrick and Angie series lots, but honestly, I'll be more twitterpated when I get to meet YOU, Peach!

And I am all agog awed that you got to meet Emily, and you got touched by Amy, and I've seen them in concert of course I have, what kind of self-respecting lesbian would I be if I hadn't? But YOU! You are SO cool! Wow! And I'd be horribly stricken with jealousy except that it was YOU who got to do those things!

Posted by: Fran at June 30, 2006 10:57 PM

So, not pinching now? *runs like mad*

Posted by: David at July 1, 2006 11:13 AM

Wait... are you going to put that picture OVER the one of you in me in Vermont where I drew a heart and wrote BFF? Hmph.

If you make her your new BFF, I am totally going to have sex next weekend and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT.

(Did I say that out loud?)

Posted by: Mir at July 1, 2006 6:41 PM

I met Michael Connolly at my first ever writers con, just about ten years ago. He was so nice. He's very shy, which he has really overcome, so, I think he's more tolerant of us babblers than many another might be. And, damn, can that man write!

Oh, and I'm posting about this post and linking to it. Hope that's okay.

Posted by: ZaZa at July 2, 2006 4:53 PM

Hey! I just finished reading "Gods in Alabama" about 5 minutes ago. You GO girl! What an ending!

Posted by: mom on a wire at July 2, 2006 8:16 PM

I LOVE this blog. I clicked over to read the essay on LFP and haven't laughed that hard in years. For what it's worth, the place with the skull is The Vortex and they have excellent salad. Ate there last week. :-)

Posted by: Shannan at July 3, 2006 11:57 AM

Vicky Vane
Adele Stephens
Adriana Sage
Aimee Sweet
Alana Evans
Alaura Eden
Alexandra Nice
Alexa Rae
Alexis Amore

Posted by: as40208 at July 6, 2006 7:12 PM