December 31, 2004

Happy New Meme

THANK YOU resolution meme senders! Sadly, you have all sent me the same meme---there is only ONE resolution meme going around right now and it isn't terribly interesting. We shall do our best to soldier through it!

Perhaps I shall sprinkle it with LIES and we can play SPOT THE LIE. In comments, guess HOW MANY LIES are in this meme, and I will send a DORKY PRIZE to the winner. To win a better prize (or in fact, the same dorky prize if you are a runner up) you can still REGISTER for the drawing.

I reserve the right to answer the really boring, heartfelty, touchy feeling, WHO LIT UP YOUR LIFE questions that might require some sort of THOUGHT or SINCERITY by simply saying, NEXT! Because this is a MEME! Not THERAPY! The word NEXT does not count as a lie. I also reserve the right to cut TRULY boring questions altogether, so if the numbers skip, thank Judicious Pruning. I will reveal the LIE NUMBER next time I blog, so that means you have 24 to 48 hours.

OKAY! Let’s play... SPOT THE RESOLUTION MEME LIES!

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
I built a website! And in this sentence, it is understood, the word "I" actually is a symbol that means "Lydia Netzer, Jill James, Shawn Box and the inimitable Mr. Husband."

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Sure I did.
Sure I will.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
To a baby? No. But my cousin over in Mississippi expelled a MONKEY.

5. What countries did you visit?
New York City and Alabama. Trust me. These are two entirely different countries.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
A PONY! A MILLION DOLLARS! WORLD PEACE! Next.

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
None. I never know what day it is. Days when terrible or amazing things happen are generally remembered as "That day, a while back, when that terrible/amazing thing happened." I never even remember the YEAR.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Maisy went tinkle in the potty . This was such a big moment I resorted to MUSIC and wrote THE POTTY SONG to commemorate the event.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I have always wanted to become Practically Perfect in Every Way, and this year I hoped to stop WANTING that because it makes me cranky. I failed.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just mild mental illness, mostly for my own entertainment.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A! LAPTOP! COMPUTER! Which, by the way? We did buy. YES WE DID. My agent told me to because he wants me to be able to work on planes. With my arm thus professionally twisted and my accountant's assurance that yes, it IS tax deductible, we bit the bullet and shelled out. My Amex is groaning like a cow in labor. BUT! It had to be done. BECAUSE! I am going to spend most of January on planes. BECAUSE! (THIS IS COOL!) Warner Books has decided to send me on something called a pre-tour. It means basically that I am going to fly all over America and eat lunch. I AM SO FOR IT. I LOVE lunch. I am ALL ABOUT lunch. Also I will get to meet book buyers and reps and bookstore owners and talk to them about gods in Alabama. Over LUNCH. SO you can count on a LOT of entries going into the Travel Sans Mercy category, and also, I dearly hope, the EAT THIS category, as I explore the myriad joys of bicoastal lunching.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
WARNER BOOKS. I think you should go right out and get WARNER BOOKS some FLOWERS. Gerber Daisies are nice.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The lawyers of Michael Jackson.

14. Where did most of your money go?
I. Wish. I. Knew.
Alternate Answer: Into a small bowl filled with sparkling blue water, and then we pressed a MAGICAL lever and the water swirled enchantingly and then the money was gone. By the way? A METAPHOR is NOT a lie.
Alternate Anwer 2: To the well-named vipers at COBRA for health insurance.

15. What do you get really, really, really excited about?
A PONY! A MILLION DOLLARS! WORLD PEACE! Next.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
I don't like songs, and I never know what year any specific song was released anyway.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Approve of things.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Sulk.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
I am heartily ashamed to tell you. It is a show I like to call, "the closest thing to porn on basic cable," AKA Nip/Tuck

24. Do you hate any people now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Yes, but they are mostly politicians so they do not count as "people."

25. What was the best book you read?
I can maybe do a top ten in early January - no way to narrow it to one.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I don't discover things musically. I am dead inside.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
At this point, I would have to say, "A SHORTER Resolution Meme..."

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
If the shoes and the lipstick are good, the rest doesn't matter, even the handbag, which should be large enough to hold a mini-umbrella because you probably just spent 20 minutes ironing your hair.

33. What kept you sane?
Nothing, although many things were tried.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
In the BRITISH sense? Taye Diggs, who is preternaturally beautiful.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The issue of people talking about politics to me at all. I did everything I could to stop them. Sometimes, when people began talking politics to me? I would LITERALLY put my fingers into my ears and tunelessly holler, "LA LA LA LA" until their mouths stopped moving or they went away. And, look, I VOTE, okay? I am religious about it. I read up and make informed-ish decisions, so I reserve the right to NEVER NEVER have to listen to people talk about it. The voting booth should be as private as a toilet, and I do not want to know what you did in either of those small, square stalls.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
That's hard because, what IS meet? I met my agent via phone in 1999 or 2000? But this year I met him in person. I love that man. Over LUNCH btw, and what am I all about? LUNCH. The lunch included a CRAB BISQUE that brought tears of JOY to my eyes, as well as this thin, crisp STEAMED cake-like structure that crumbled when touched with a fork, releasing an aromatic and buttery chocolate sauce... oh lord that CAKE was so good it should qualify as a person. I would HAPPILY grant that cake the right to vote and own property. Also I met my editor in person, and she is charming and fun but, more importantly, she is a GREAT editor who actually EDITS-a dying breed I am told. And she gets what I am trying to do and her edits HELP me do it. Invaluable. (Lunch with her, natch, ALSO hugely memorable, Ceviche and Citrus Salad...) but I met her via phone in 2003. So.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004.
I absolutely refuse. The words "VALUABLE LIFE LESSON" are forever to me synonymous with "Very Special Episode." Whenever I hear these words, I start staggering around the room saying to my husband, "Scott! Scott! I...I...I...CAN'T READ," and then I pretend to burst into noisy sobs.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
From U2's VERTIGO: "UNO! DOS! TRES! CATORCE!"
Which translates to: ONE! TWO! THREE! FOURTEEN! Which could be interpreted metaphorically as, HOLY NON SEQUITOR, BATMAN! Which sums up my year rather nicely. I did not spend 2004 running happily hand in hand with Segues.

And PS, I have to say, I don't like songs, you know, because I am dead inside, etc etc. BUT! U2? They are rocking. These guys have to be pushing fifty and yet...they are rocking,. They aren't even STILL rocking, as they have not rocked in YEARS. Instead they just began -- here in the dawn of their staid middle age -- to Re-Rock. Bono is SMOKIN' and The Edge is, um, a good guitar musician. With a name that ought to have rightfully begun embarrassing him at 22 at the LATEST. But, you have to give it to him... He can PLAY.

Happy lie guessing! Happy New Year! And may 2005 bring with it the WISE DECISION by ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE to NEVER remove any extra fat cells they might have hanging around and pump them into their LIPS.

Posted by joshilyn at 11:32 AM | Comments (7)

December 29, 2004

Pre-emptive Resolution Meme

1) The DRAWING TO WIN AN ARCis still going, and all you have to do is register. But hurry, registration ends early NEXT YEAR!

2) The Internet Attack Worm is still BOTHERING ME and my site. FOR TWO DAYS I could not upload any new entries and comments WOULD NOT work which SUCKS because, well, I live for them. I feel a big PULE coming on if this doesn't RESOLVE soon. And they could cut out again any second because the worm is still NOSING AT ME.

3) Yesterday THAT RATFINK MIR came over and perniciously dumped an entire glass of PINOT GRIGIO into my keyboard, ruining it permanently. Oh no, wait. That was me. But Mir BLOGGED MY BUTT so the ratfink stands, which is more than I can say for my personal dignity. I TRIED to link to the butt blogging, but the link kept turning into a loop that brought clickers back here, so THE WORM does not WISH you to read about it. Weird Worm. I will try once more.

4) I need a good New Years Resolution Meme – seen any? Oh wait, you can't tell me, because COMMENTS are bound to stop working ANY SECOND! OH! THE SWELTERING IRONY!

5) As I resolute meme-lessly, it's getting out of HAND. I had a list started, and then I realized that all my resolutions were things I had ZERO control over.

SAMPLE: I resolved to get my beloved and yet obscenely overweight and neurotic cat to a) lose five pounds and b) stop plucking out his butt-fur. Um, yeah.

I took him in for his shots and my vet clucked sorrowfully at the cat's MASSIVE, PICKED, BALDING, SCABROUS buttocks and then turned to gaze at me with these cold, judgmental eyes. And all I could say was, "Well, he used to be so fat he couldn't reach around to pluck his tail-feathers out, so this is PROGRESS..."

The vet did not seem convinced. And I AM trying to help the cat, I AM I AM, and I had him on a STRICT diet, I pre-measured his daily food ration and then gave it to him a spoonful at a time ALL DAY LONG whenever he asked, and he lost some weight, but then inexplicably he began putting it back on. Later I discovered quite by accident that beautiful Maisy had been coming along behind me and dumping a GIANT SCOOP OF KIBBLE into his bowl whenever it struck her toddler fancy.

Now I have hidden the cat food from Maisy, so PERHAPS he will lose weight, but HOW can a person get a cat to stop plucking out his butt-fur? It is not MEDICAL. It's just...fun. He LIKES to. It SOOTHES him. What? I’m supposed to take the cat into THERAPY? Trust me, if we decide to shell out for therapy for someone in this house, it will NOT be THE CAT. And yet a healthy crop of feline back-end plumage was on the list of things I resolved to foster in 2005... I might as well set goals like, "Shift the Universe four inches left." I guess I will change this one to, "Get cat a butt-toupee before next vet visit."

I can't set any writing goals…I am not writing right now. I need to lie fallow for a few months and do the editorial revise on Between, Georgia. And I have no control over gods in Alabama at this point. It is it's own creature, more so even than the cat. All this pre-book release stuff is SWIRLING DRAMATICALLY...elsewhere.

SO what am I to resolve? Big NYC publishing is... BIG. My book and I are being toted along in the warm and cavernous maw of a giant machine. And YES YES, YES, it is FABULOUS, it is my dream come true to be thusly chewed. But. I am a CONTROL FREAK... and I have ZERO.

We interrupt this PULE to point out the obvious: PERHAPS GOD IS TRYING TO TEACH ME SOMETHING??? PERHAPS I SHOULD LEARN TO LET GO AND STOP WORRYING ABOUT THINGS I CANNOT CONTROL AND SIMPLY TRUST OTHER, WISER, MORE EXPERIENCED PEOPLE AND HAVE FAITH IN ALL THE HARD WORK UNMPTY HUNDREDS HAVE PUT INTO LAUNCHING THE BOOK AND TRUST MY OWN WORK AND ASSUME THAT IT WILL ALL BE FINE AND KNOW THAT I HAVE DONE ALL I COULD FROM THIS END AND NOW IS THE TIME TO SIMPLY... LET GO and ATTEMPT a MODICUM of, oh, I don't know, PERSONAL GROWTH AND FAITH???

... Nahhh. Can't be that.

Anyway BACK to puling... oh forget it.
Look ye upon the cat's butt, and despair.
backofcat.jpg

Posted by joshilyn at 1:15 PM | Comments (9)

December 27, 2004

CONTEST! WIN STUFF!

I got more ARCs! I got more ARCs!
(For those not in the know, an ARC is an Advanced Reader Copy. It looks like a trade paperback version of gods in Alabama and it has the really gorgeous cover, all MATTE and SASSY and EMBOSSED, but on the back, instead of the jacket copy, it has publicity info. My publisher is sending them to reviewers and booksellers and potential blurbers, and, well...me. YAY! I only got a couple but then they did another run of them and I got a few more!)

Here is your chance to get your paws on one. I'll sign it with my brand new fancy grown-up almost legible signature and mail it right to you.

How do you enter to win?
Easy. Just sign up for my mailing list.

This will be a great list -- I plan to use it to tell you ALL about how selling household cleaning products from home has CHANGED MY LIFE and get you in on the ground floor!

Okay, no.

Actually, it will be a standard author's mailing list, spam-free. Every now and again you'll get a newsletter that will tell you when the book is out, when the next book is out, where I will be doing signings and readings, and where you can read or see or hear interviews about the book, etc. I PROMISE no links to HOT! TEEN! ASIAN! NAKED! PAJAMA! PARTIES! Nor will I interrupt your day to tell you where to get super-cheap Viagra online.

Here's how you enter/sign up:

1) Compose a new e-mail and address it to joshilyn@gmail.com
2) Title the e-mail "Sign me up!"
3) Include your name and your e-mail address in the body of the email.
4) Hit send.

One entry per person, please. I will put all the names in a hat ---relatives, friends, acquaintances, and strangers all go in the same hat. My son Sam will pull the winners. SORRY COUSIN LIZZIE if you do not win, but please put the blame on the fickle finger of fate. In order for this to be fair it has to be completely random. Two people will win a signed copy of the ARC (BE THE FIRST ON YOUR BLOCK!!!) and five more will win a very dorky and teeny secret thing. SO!

ADDENDUM: We here at Faster Than Kudzu (aka Scott) are working hard to get MT to STOP replacing every ' and " with ?. I AM SORRY. I KNOW IT IS IRRITATING. The WORM is still attacking my site, and my provider is sending patches and fixes and HOPEFULLY we will get it resolved soon. *weep*

Posted by joshilyn at 9:40 AM | Comments (10)

December 25, 2004

On Christmas Day in the Morning

Last night we went to the candlelight services and our congregation performed an act of faith SO GREAT AND AMAZING it makes snake handlers look like TOTAL WUSSIES: They handed my son a LIT CANDLE. The fact that the building is still standing this morning proves the existence of a Benevolent Lord.

When we got home, we set out a tray of Peanut Butter Trumpets and Fudge and Cocoa (and some insulin) and sure enough, this morning…IT WAS ALL GONE! Even Sam’s NOTE to Santa was gone (Deer Santa, We beleve in you 100 pecent, with a lot of crismast spirit, Love, Sam and Maisy.)

The fat man with the red suit dropped in whilst we were sleeping and gobbled the goodies down. In return he left enough loot to momentarily sate even the most rapacious inner chamber of the heart of Capitalism! Unfortunately, he could not figure out how to WRAP The Gift of the Holy Spirit, so Sam was out of luck on that one. Other requests were fulfilled (thanks to a generous donation of A GAMEBOY ADVANCE by the BJ and Papa Grandparent Foundation for Xtreme Child Spoilage) and there also appeared a SCOOTER and the requested MASK OF LIGHT TOY.

xmasscooter.JPG

Thanks to the same foundation, those of us who are two and very beautiful and Maisy got to become “a really, really fairy princess ballerina,” as she told me, nine thousand times, in an excited voice that got higher with each repetition until by the end only dogs could hear her.

xmasballerina.JPG

DIGRESSION: fellow shoe-hounds---Peep my moderately hot ankle boots!

AND AS YOU MAY HAVE GUESSED, the foundation did not stop with the GRANDKIDS, but spoiled us too---WITH A DIGICAM. WOO HOO! So this blog is about to get a bit more ILLUSTRATED! THANKS SANTA!

And of course, of course, OF COURSE, Santa left everyone in this house ALL MANNER OF BOOKS.
I can only hope he did the same for you.

xmasreadto.JPG

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Posted by joshilyn at 10:07 AM | Comments (9)

December 23, 2004

In Which I am Slightly Unreasonable

For days now I have NEEDED A LIST. I have fifteen THOUSAND projects going at once, not the least of which is CHRISTMAS, and I need a list, okay? I JUST DO. If everything is in LIST FORM then I can go through it scritching things off until I see NO WORDS, just pages and pages of scribbled out former things-to-do and it’s satisfying to see that, all that STUFF finished and the living personification of a well-earned nap exhorting me to lie on my face and drool for two hours.

So I have been saying to Scott, WE NEED A LIST. WE NEED A LIST! WE MUST SIT DOWN AND MAKE A LIST! But every time I have managed to corral him to make said list, something happens before I can even explain the list's nature and purpose and so we end up not making it and the day shoots by and escapes me and I get some things done but WHO KNOWS in what order or which of the fifteen thousand projects it belongs to or if I am close to completing ANY OF THEM. So yesterday, feeling panicky and list-less, I birthed live kittens.

I grabbed Scott and stapled him to a chair in my office and THRUST a pen at him and a pad of paper and screeched like a harpy, MAKE A LIST MAKE ONE MAKE ONE WE WILL DIE WITHOUT A LIST WE WILL BEGIN NOW A LIST WILL HAPPEN OR I WILL KILL YOU AND THEN I WILL KILL ALL THE WORLD YEA DOWN UNTO THE SEVENTH GENERATION!

Oooooooooooooooooookay, mental patient, said Scott. You have been going on about this list for days but you have yet to tell me what kind of list? Is this a grocery list?

And before I could explain that we needed a GIANT MASTER LIST that covered everything from groceries to errands to household chores to updating my work calendar and rolodex to inventorying my wardrobe to see what things are needed for my upcoming trip to final Christmassy needs to Salvation Army Pick-up objects and their garage sale value ETC ETC ON AND ON LIST WITHOUT END AMEN… the phone rang.

I said A Very Bad Word and wiped flecks of foamy spittle from my lips. I checked the caller ID. It was my friend Julie, who at that moment had physical possession of my boy-child (he was having a playdate with HER boy-child). In other words…I had to take the call.

MAKE THE LIST, I hissed at Scott, and picked up the phone. He was mouthing something at me, something about WHAT KIND OF LIST? And Julie was talking on the other end of the phone, telling me vital information about WHERE MY CHILD WOULD BE for the next three hours, so I rolled my eyes back into my head til only the whites showed and flattened my ears and shot a long, purple-black, forked tongue out of my mouth to poke him in the forehead and then I mouthed silently, MAKE A LIST MAKE A LIST while my head spun around backwards. When I finished channeling Linda Blair and looked up, I could see Scott had put pen to paper and was industriously list-making, so I sat down and worked out the logistics of getting Sam later etc etc.

When I hung up, Scott ripped the piece of paper off the tablet and presented it to me with a flourish. I hereby transcribe for you his master list:

3 Ducks
Robert Dinero
Candy Land
The Ability to Fly
Purple

There was a moment there where I seriously considered bashing his skull in with a rock, but before I could even FIND a rock, I dissolved into helpless giggles. I REALLY like him.
I said to him, How on earth do you put up with me.
And he said, Baby, I am never bored.

And now that I have had time to reflect, I've decided it’s a pretty good list. I have already checked off Robert Dinero, and am going now to assiduously apply myself to finishing up purple.

Posted by joshilyn at 9:33 AM | Comments (13)

December 22, 2004

Bewormed!

I am UNDER ATTACK! Under ATTACK, I say! Some stupid virus searches google for vulnerable code and then attacks PHP sites, and now my site keeps going down and reverting and when it came back up yesterday the attack-worm had changed EVERY ' and " to a ? so the whole site looks like it was designed by CRACKSMOKING PUNCUATION ANARCHISTS.

You can't get the virus by VISITING the site though, and my personal computer is not infected -- it's a virus that attacks the saved uploaded files on the web. Weird.
And it isn’t the blameless lambs at dot easy…I hereby apologize to my web hosts for having moderately satisfying fantasies about eating them...They are trying to fix it from their end and I am supposed to upload some HTML but getting it patched is beyond both my ken and Scott’s. SO it WILL be fixed soon….we hope. We just are not sure HOW. Meanwhile I am archiving all blog entries on my hard drive so I can stick them back up if they get eaten, and I am NOT going to spend five hours fixing catagories until I can actually SAVE RELIABLY.

I want to tell you about Sam’s letter to Santa but I already blogged it ONCE and then the WORM ate it and so trying to tell it NOW I keep trying to remember how I told it before instead of just TELLING it, BAH! But anyway, here it is:

Sam brought me his letter to Santa the other day, and the words “Gameboy Advance” appeared at least three times and then he mentioned some MASK OF LIGHT Leggo set he wants and at the end he wrote, “And I want the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

So he hands it to me and I read it and when I get to the end I look down at him and he says in THE most BUTT-kissing little PIOUS voice, I mean DRIPPING SMARM AND UNCTIOUS SAINTLINESS, “And Mom, if Santa can only bring me ONE THING…I hope it’s the Holy Spirit.”

And the Oscar goes to…me, for nodding calmly and saying, “I better go mail this,” before turning tail and running for my office where, once the doors were safely shut, I fell howling to the floor and rolled and WEPT with silent laughter.

But that is what seven-years-old is like. Seven is Political. Two is different Two works like this:

My dad loves this weird fruit salad with coconut and sour cream in it, and I made the mistake of giving some to Maisy for breakfast.

She put a bite in and then spewed it back all over the table while her mouth contorted into a rictus of AGONIZED DISBELIEF. She had the same expression you might make if a diseased RAT had just licked your tongue. As soon as she had cleared the last offending molecule from her mouth she lowered her eyebrows thunderously and said, “That’s GWOSS!”

So I gave her waffles, and she sucked them down in a sugar-syrup ecstacy and I said, “Are the waffles gwoss?” and she said, “Oh no! The Wapples are HAPPY!”

See, no guile…yet.

IN OTHER NEWS -- Just after Christmas there will be a DRAWING! TRA LA! ARCs will be involved. Stay tuned!

Posted by joshilyn at 6:20 AM | Comments (6)

December 21, 2004

&@^)^#$$%)$*@_

Okay, so AGAIN with the site down, AGAIN with the revert, AGAIN with the LOST BLOG ENTRY.

I am scared to post lest it all go POOF a third time and drive me to apoplexy. I am building a back up file and then probably moving. I will try to FIND and REPOST the santa letter blog entry, but it may VERY WELL be gone. I can try to REWRITE IT but you KNOW it will be flat. BAH! Anyone happen to cut and paste it and save it in a file marked, "Writers to obsessively archive in preparation for stalking and eating later?"

AND SPEAKING OF CANNIBALISM, when they find me GNAWING THE THIGH BONE of one of the hapless employees of my hosting service and they say, "WHY did you eat the entire company?" I will say "Because it is bitter, and because it is my web host."

Posted by joshilyn at 12:44 PM | Comments (5)

December 18, 2004

How to Write a Novel

I am back in Birmingham, so I can not access e-mail for a few days...

Right before I left, I got an e-mail asking, "How does one write a novel."
Short answer = I have no idea.
Long answer = I have no idea, but here is how I do it:

1) Draft a horrifying chapter 1 that is bad on every level.
2) Draft a horrifying chapter 2 that is bad on every level.
3) Drafting 2 has given me a break from 1, so I have some distance, and I see it's really MUCH worse than I thought it was at first. In other words, yes, we started at horrifying and have gone down from there. So go back and revise one. While doing that I will learn things that cause me to revise 2.
4) Draft a horrifying chapter 3 that is bad on every level. While drafting, I will learn things that mean I must go back and revise 1 and 2, which will make me learn things that I must use to revise chapter 3.

And so on, with the next step being, draft a horrifying chapter 4 etc etc. The nice thing about working this way is I would estimate I spend 90 - 95% of my work time revising, and the revisions are an ongoing process that shape the part I am drafting. It also means I do not ever have to hold a whole draft of new, raw maetrial in my head. I learn the novel by heart slowly, as I go through rereading, revising, rewriting.

I know people who draft a book and then go back to the beginning and revise it (and they work well this way) but I couldn't WRITE A WHOLE DRAFT in a NaNoWriMo way and have to deal with that much AWFUL, WRETCHED prose. This is because I generally have NO IDEA WHAT I AM STINKING WRITING ABOUT. I have a character and a starting image that flips my cookie in some internal way I don't understand and do not wish to examine, and I write from there, following the person, and themes seem to build themselves out of the story which grows as I revise, and eventually (hopefully long after I have a completed draft because this is a PARALYZING realization) I will come to understand that I am actually approaching something personal, something important to me, via story and imagery --- but if I had KNOWN I writing something personal I wouldn't have done it.

I'm VERY good at NOT seeing the connections between my characters and my themes and my life. I am SO good at it that sometimes I don't learn what the heck I was trying to say until the book has SOLD and my editor TELLS ME. Okay that's a slight exaggeration. Usually my writing group will tell me before that... *RIMSHOT!*

Another advantage of revise-as-ya-go: At any given time (once I am past the beginning) I will have pieces of the novel that are gorgeous and polished and working perfectly that make me prance around the room hugging myself in an orgy of repugnant self-love, and some parts that are in varying stages of PROGRESS, so I can SEE they are moving toward goodness, and only a SMALL percentage very very very very very bad things that make me want to staple an apology to the flesh of my ankle and drink a giant bleach martini. I NEVER want to look at a MOUNTAINOUS PILE of 70K words of MESS that smells like a donkey and try to form it into a good, cohesive whole.


Posted by joshilyn at 8:51 AM | Comments (8)

December 16, 2004

Sk8er Grrl UK!

I am better. I am less grumpy, anyway. Flu makes me MEAN and WHINY, even on paper. I apologize! I am back up and feeling perky and filled to the BRIM with the milky fluids of human kindness, which sounds pretty gross, but NOT as gross as mucus. HUZZAH! And I am all about Skating, even though I am, um, in my thirties and everyone else on the trail skating seems to be…14 and male and dressed in jean shreds and using SLANG I do not know. Fakey Ollie? Whatever. I am STILL all about Skating, even though I BOTTOMED OUT yesterday when an errant clump of pine straw wrapped itself around my wheels. I went hurtling off the bike path into the woods, tumbling down into the bracken and then skidding cheerfully on my face for about three feet.

I got up and said several words I oughtn’t even KNOW, much less say with my volume knob turned to eleven and the woods full of Impressionable Young Men on Wheels. It was VERY cold out and so there was no way to tell if the brown crumbly frozen substance streaked liberally down one leg of my pants was MUD or POO. A mile later, when the warmth of my skin through the lycra had permeated the smear-of-unknown-origin, the question was answered via fragrance, and I SKATED SO FAST that last mile, shrieking like the last little piggy if he got brained with a hammer and ended up with that disorder that makes you say everything backwards. “EW! EW! EW!” quoth I, all the way home.

I pretty much bathed in boiling water and bleach and STILL my leg tingles as if anthrax and hepatitis and all manner of worm larva were prancing up and down like the John Travoltas of contagion, strutting their stuff at the disease-disco.

IN OTHER NEWS! I got a letter from my UK editor. I have several responses to this. The main one is as follows:

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I HAVE A UK EDITOR!!! Which means I now can say stuff like “Oh my US editor says…” and “When I talked to my UK editor…”

It’s the little things.

It was a good letter. Editors are FASCINATING creatures. My US editor (!!!) (PS she and I have agreed between us that she does NOT read this blog and if she does I do not wish to know of it) has this lovely controlled sweet-pitched voice that pours into my ears and coats my fevered brain like BALM. I talk to her and I begin to get this SENSE that she has everything under control and IT WILL ALL BE FINE. Which is WHOLLY foreign to me. I live my life predicated on the idea that it will NOT all be fine EVER. In the world according to me, it is ALWAYS poo, NEVER mud, and that way, the ONE TIME it DOES turn out to be mud, I can be all relieved and pleased for a moment. ANYWAY---My UK editor (!!!) has the SAME tone. She radiated the same unflustered, easy, on-top-of-it-ness … IN AN EMAIL.

It begs the question: Nature or nurture? Do you have to be able to DO that to become an editor, OR do you LEARN it because you get 150 authors on your desk and 149 of them are, to one degree or ‘nother, MENTALLY ILL.

(Digression) If you are a writer? And you are reading this and feeling offended and thinking, HEY! WE ARE NOT ALL MENTALLY ILL!!! Then EITHER you are the 150th OR ---far more likely--- you need to take a good hard look in the mirror. I submit to you that you are probably AS YOU READ THIS squatting naked on the carpet with your dead Aunt Gladys’s tattered wedding dress wrapped around your head like a turban and buttering the neighbor’s dog.
IN OTHER WORDS: It’s not that you aren’t mentally ill. It’s just that you are TOO FAR GONE TO BE AWARE OF IT. Please get help. (/digression)

ANYWAY the upshot is I found out I WILL have a different cover for the UK edition, and even though I am SO enamored of the US cover (Click the thumbnail! -- I already have it framed and hanging in my breakfast nook and although I will admit nothing concretely, the glass covering it is a little smeary and damp as if some un-named person had been unable to stop herself from kissing it) I have to admit I am excited that I will get a different one for the UK edition. Because, COME ON. That’s just cool. That’s like the VISUAL equivelent of being able to say “So my UK editor…” (!!!)

I am VIOLENTLY JEALOUS of my friend Fred Willard because one of his novels sold in JAPAN and he has a copies of it, this SMALL book, like a deck of cards almost, that opens BACKWARDS---righteous.

Okay dewds, must run and begin saying “Fakie Ollie” and hurtling into some poo before it is 2 L8 2 sk8!

Posted by joshilyn at 8:55 AM | Comments (9)

December 14, 2004

Missing Something?

No, you are not on hallucinogens. Yes, there was an entry called PRODUCTIVE MALAISE posted here yesterday, and it was up for a good twelve+ hours and had generated some comments, and YES! Yesterday EVERY SINGLE BLOG ENTRY on Faster Than Kudzu -- well over 150 -- HAD been sorted into eight very fine catagories, and YES! I HAD posted a menu about what each catagory WAS and OH YES, Scott DID redo the entire links page adding a buncha new groovy, hepcat, all-the-rage links for cheerful one click access to places like The Zero Boss and Buzz, Balls & Hype and yes, SINCE YOU ASK, it did take about five hours of my life that I. will. never. get. back.

And yes. It's gone now. My site went down for some sort of maintenance early this am. I VAGUELY remember getting an email about it last week, saying something like, "Taking down your site blah blah put in subliminal Coke ads blah blah routine maintenance, blah blah mind control, blah blah communism," but I did not pay much attention. I assumed I would figure out it was the time when my site went down one morning.

I paid ENOUGH attention to clock the fact that the e-mail EMPHATICALLY did NOT say, "PS When we take your site down to put in the communism, the five hours of work you bravely put in from your OFFICE CHAIR OF PAIN even though you were PRACTICALLY DYING OF FLU will be as smoke, will become a dream within a dream, a shadow, a vapor, a puff of ectoplasmic glow-light that swiftly fades to sad, sad black. Love, Your Service Provider."

Because THAT I would have noticed.

PS Mir says she believes my Mental Illness Number hit a record high! And that was BEFORE I saw my FIVE HOURS OF WORK had poofed and my head exploded. Thanks to FLU, I have not been able to work out for four days so I got a little squirrelly -- a LITTLE, mind you. My temp has dropped under 100, but I still feel too achey for the jouncing up and down of step or a jog. So. I went for a three mile skate. See, because it's SMOOTH. Skates = No Jouncing, and yet, it is aerobic! Maybe it was a bit much -- I will admit there was some post-skate lying on the floor, some snivelling, a single lung may have been hacked up onto the carpet...But HEY, why do you think God gave me two?

She says this qualifies for a score of 70,000, but I am thinking more like 60? 65 tops?

Posted by joshilyn at 11:38 AM | Comments (8)

December 12, 2004

An Open Letter

DEAR FLU SHOT SHORTAGE,

I LOVE you! SO MUCH! Let’s make out!!! Believe me, FLU SHOT SHORTAGE, if I could find the living of personification of you, I WOULD kiss you. Oh yes indeedy, I would! RIGHT ON THE MOUTH. With tongue. A good old fashioned saliva-swap that would cause a veritable horde of individual Viruses (Virii? Virupoda?) to march from my tastebuds onto yours, and in two days, oh my FINE FEATHERED SHORTAGE, you would be SO FLIPPING SORRY for popping into personified existence in time for me to lay one on you. VERY SORRY INDEED, as you turned into a fevered, trembling, hot-then-cold snot-factory with a HUGE mucus quota to fill.

As I sit here snuffling and hacking and sipping at piping hot Panda Garden Wonton Soup, stoned as a goat on Nyquil, random sentences from student essays I saw ten years ago in grad school keep popping into my head. Funnily enough, I do not think ANY of the sentences were penned by MY students. They were sentences SO INEXPLICABLE that they became the stuff of legend among the T.A.’s
SAMPLES:

I was die of laugh and charm.
The free-flying will eat the pattern.
And my favorite: Uncle Ben…was Death!

I have three things to say about this:

1) I am feeling a lot like Uncle Ben, actually, and shall blog again when I have 4 working brain cells.
2) I wish someone would write an epic prose-poem about the free-flying. I would pay good money for it. Although to be ENTIRELY honest, I would probably wait for the paperback.
3) I forgot what three was ALREADY. My brain is shot. Perhaps it is time to back slowly away from the keyboard.

Posted by joshilyn at 7:41 PM | Comments (5)

December 10, 2004

The Slaughter of a Blemish-Free Pigeon is Required

I've been talking with a group of my writer-cronies about the need for specific space (location, ambience) or specific rituals (time of day, objects, colors, quality of light) in order to work. Or rather, THEY have been talking, and I have been nodding and pretending to be very deep in earnest thought and feeling sub-par.

Because I don't have much to add. I feel very strongly that I don't have a muse. If you want me to write? Give me a concrete deadline. I will FIND the mood. Heck, I barely have a process. As far as a special SPACE or location? Well. I like to have a door. If it SHUTS, even better. Like, now, in the new house, I have an office with a DOOR ON IT that SHUTS. This still makes my heart go pittery-pat-pat. SUCH an improvement over the last 3 1/2 years and I am so WILDLY GRATEFUL that I dastn't fuss for anything else. Ever.

In the old house, after I was pregnant with Maisy, we moved my office into the master bedroom so she could have a nursery. Oh good Lord. If I could afford a belief in Feng Shui I would tell you the Fend Shui in that room was VERY BAD. I slept in that room, I worked in that room, and since my husband and the big tv with cable and the game cube and the DVD player and my computer were in there, I did most of my in-home recreating in there. I began to feel like a mental patient, looking at the same four walls every day, all day long, let out for meals downstairs in the inmates' cafeteria. I started to get REALLY squirrelly.

So I took over the dining room. This was our TINY! TINY! starter house and the dining room was a 9 x 9 cube that had two HUGE triple-doorway-wide chunks cut out of the walls. One chunk led into the family/living room and one led into the kitchen. In fact that was the WHOLE downstairs, the kitchen, then my cube, then the family room. So. If anyone was in the house they were bound to come thundering through every ten minutes or so. NOT PRODUCTIVE.

Here? I have a room of one's own. It is a plain room with white walls and no window treatments, no prints hung, nothing, just random piles of my CRAP growing peacefully like a Crap Garden and every avaialable surface coated in paper piles and books and baby shoes and Galleys and McDonald's happy meal toys and Target bags full of only-the-Lord-knows...It is like HEAVEN.

Hmm, but then Ritual?

Nope none of those either. I USED to think I needed to smoke to draft. I HATE drafting. I KNOW the writing is going to be bad in my drafts, and I hate writing bad sentences and bad scenes and sketchy characters and generating 50K of prose that smells so much like dung that BEETLES come sit on it and preen themselves and I have to constantly clean maggots out of my printer. For me, the part that flips my cookie is REVISIONS, but you can't revise until you have something to WORK WITH, so that means DRAFTING. Drafting blows. I used to type for as long as I could bear it and then go stomp up and down the deck, smoking, until I could stand to go back and draft more. But I quit smoking and now I just go outside and stomp. Can "having a temnper tantrum" be considered ritual?

It seems I lack all the qualities that would make one like having rituals or special spaces.

I am not organized (you have to be CAPABLE of doing the same thing at the same time often enough for it to become a habit/ritual)

I associate memory/states of mind with smells and temperatures -- people who associate OBJECTS or LOCATIONS with memories are more likely to feel they need specific items or spaces, not because the items or spaces have any power, but because they help the person access the right frame of mind FASTER. Although---I do write better in cool weather...

I am not superstitious and will happily march under a 50 foot bower made of ladders, stomping hard on every sidewalk crack with a score of black cats parading before me.

I am not sentimental. In fact, I got a new wedding band for my 10th anniversary and have --not less than 6 months later-- COMPLETELY LOST the original one.

It is universally acknowledged that I am dead inside: I do not like songs, so music can be on or off and I won't even notice as I work. And I am left absolutely cold by the wondrous beauty of nature. I don't like looking at sunsets or mountains etc etc. Sorry, but there it is. (I DO like animals, however, and will look at AS MUCH NATURE AS YOU LIKE if you put some squirrels or little deers or silly birds in it.)

I am not a JOURNEY person. I am a destination person. Which ALSO makes me a sub par human, I am given to understand. But, once again, THERE IT IS. What can one do? I have been told the only answer to that is "Do not breed more soulless robots like you." But hey. TOO LATE. And if I am pragmatic and concrete and goal oriented to the point of mental illness, FINE. I think the world NEEDS some pragmatists. The art-fart world especially-- in this haven of the very strangest, I am the weirdo's weirdo. The one who thinks the EXAMINED life is not worth living.

But maybe this LACK is where my writing comes from...When I start a book, it begins with a sentence that grows out of an image in my head. I have no idea what the image means, what the story is about, and if I did, there is NO WAY IN HELL I could write it. I finished writing gods in Alabama two years ago? At least? And I just re-read it in ARC form and was SHOCKED by some of the deeply personal stuff in there --- in this book I say things I had NO IDEA I was saying at the time, or else I would NEVER have put them in writing--writing that will enter the public domain for the love of little furry rabbits.

And I'm not talking about CHARACTER or PLOT -- Arlene Fleet is not me, I am not her, nothing in this book ever happened -- I'm talking about what the book is saying on other levels, about love (how men and women relate to each other and about how family, especially mothers and daughters, relate) about morality (redemption and what sin is and how God works) and about, well, what justice is.

Holy God but I have wandered far afield. Look, if you stuck with me this far, thanks. I will be heading out to begin therapy now! BRIGHT SMILES ALL AROUND!

Posted by joshilyn at 9:38 AM | Comments (5)

December 8, 2004

From Beneath the Bed of Shame

Hi.

If you KNEW what I was doing just MOMENTS ago, you would probably come over here with your dog and ask him to bite me. It’s UNENDURABLE.

I’m did it anyway…want to know what it iwas? I’ll tell you, but be advised that ADMITTING TO THIS is making my skin CRAWL OFF MY BODY and drape itself across my sofa as it tries to disguise itself as a throw. My skin does not wish to be associated with this behavior.

Okay here goes: I was practicing writing my name. That’s right. I was PRACTICING my signature, like every fourteen year old who ever JUST TOTALLY KNEW he would one day BE A BIG ROCK STAR and be asked to sign albums and autograph books and naked boobs.

This is not just a random flash of NAUSEATING BEHAVIOR. I am getting ready to sign an ARC and take it over to my local indie bookstore. And believe me, if you ever saw me sign a check, you probably wouldn’t fault me for practicing. In my regular signature, my first name looks like a drawing done by a three-year-old, titled “Three mountains as seen by a man on hallucinogens.” My last name looks like an ink-worm that died in convulsions. There is not a single thing in the whole signature that is REMOTELY recognizable as a LETTER OF THE ROMAN ALPHABET.

Yes, I generally speak in hyperbole. No, I am not doing so here.

So, I took a couple of practice runs at it before defacing the ARC, OKAY?
She said defensively.

I felt so dumb and FULL OF MYSELF doing it that after a couple of attempts that looked like someone wrote the letter J and then immediately had a seizure while still holding the pen to the paper, I gave up and began writing, “Mrs. J.E. Law … Joshilyn Law … Mrs. Jude Law … Joshilyn Jackson Law … Joshilyn Jackson Heart-Sparkle-Diamonds Jude Law 4ever!” AND if you assume that I will NOT continue to make the dots over the i’s look like little daisies (and trust me, this assumption is safe as houses), then I ended up with a legible, natural, easy-to-reproduce signature.

AND THEN I SIGNED THE ARC. Mission accomplished. I better go paste my skin on over my musculature and get on with the business of pretending this ENTIRE DAY never happened.

Posted by joshilyn at 8:59 AM | Comments (11)

December 6, 2004

Sunday's child is full of...something

Yesterday at church....Sam, Sam, OH Sam, my beloved eldest child, practically my clone, myself in small male clothing....let's just say, he had a day.

Yesterday was the performance of our church's annual MUSICAL CHRISTMAS PAGEANT. Sam was a Wiseman.

They did a number from the pageant at church to whet everyone's appetite. Sam googled and flailed around all during the song, nothing unusual there, but then AFTER the song, the liturgist made the GRAVE ERROR of asking the kids what we should pray about this Christmas season.

Angelic Child One: Pray for Santa to come! *laughter from crowd*
Angelic Child Two: Pray for my family! *"awwww," from crowd*
MY kid: Pray no one comes and shoots my cat's OTHER eye out. WITH A GUN. *horrified silence*

THEN at the Pageant, in the very middle of MARY and JOSEPHS touching DUET, my son discovered a BOOGER was lurking deep, deep, DEEP in the recesses of his nose. He went after it with a will, mounting an excavation team of fingers that left sinus territory and ENTERED HIS BRAIN. They emerged victorious just as Mary was warbling, "Why me? I am just an ordinary girl!"

As Joseph sang, "Why here? In this ordinary town," my son was looking long and meditatively at his newly retrieved booger. He brought it toward his face and there was a tense moment where I was ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN HE WAS GOING TO EAT IT, but he was just bringing it closer to his eye so he could read the hidden text inscribed deep within its fascinating folds. Eventually he smeared it down his pants leg, looked up, realized he was IN A MUSICAL CHRISTMAS PAGEANT, sang three lines, and did two dance steps, and fell off the bleachers.

And so on.

Posted by joshilyn at 8:34 AM | Comments (7)

December 4, 2004

Denta-van

I writing from my mom-in-law's comp as I sit in the house my husband grew up in...I am still mightily impressed that it is possible to access/update my site from any computer. WHO KNEW?

I have brought a copy of the ARC back here and am driving around town making my old high school English teacher and my favorite theatre director look at it.. I am UN. EN. DUR. A. BLE. But I have big, merciful plans to get over myself. I am just having a LEEETLE trouble recovering from the ARC. The grace and mystic beauty of the ARC. It is like paper heroin. I sniff at it and my brain floods with love-endorphins.

I will STOP sniffing it as soon as I am home, in the interest of getting actual work done. I can stop sniffing it any time. REALLY. I just...CHOOSE not to. BUT I COULD QUIT. IF I WANTED. *Looks vaguely feral and clutches ARC to bosom.*

A big HUFF of ARC is my new drug of choice, replacing Ativan. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? Let's talk about Ativan for a second. On further reflection, it is possible that ATIVAN could ween me off the ARC sniffing. I wonder if my doctor would think that was a good reason to write me a scrip? Probly not, huh.

Do you know Ativan? I met it because of my ongoing hate-hate relationship with modern dentisty. Let me say here, YOU KNOW I hate dentalness in general, but I LOVE my particular dentist and this one hygienist he has named pretty-red-haired-girl (not her real name). They are the tag-team of soothing hand-holders who get me through most of my procedures without me having a psychotic break. My dentist's eyes over his mask are large and sorrowful and kind. Also, he gives me Valium. SO. We like him. Not as much as we WOULD like him if he gave us ATIVAN, but hey, no one is perfect.

Don't get me wrong -- Valium is fine. It helps. It gets me in the CHAIR, okay, and if they give me a nice nose-scoop of NITROUS OXIDE to go with it, I will even open my mouth and allow them to put HORRIBLE WHINING DRILLS AND TORTUROUS INSTRUMENTS OF VILE POKING in there. I can STAND it if I have the Valium and the gas. But I don't really ENJOY valium. It's just a drug that does a job. Like Benadryl or Vitamin C. If I do not have a dental visit, the Valium will sit in the cabinet til it goes bad, and then I'll throw it out and my dentist gives me more.

BUT. When I was veryveryvery pregnant with Maisy, I had to have a cavity filled, and I was scared to take the Valium because what if it made her grow flippers and an extra head? So. I went to my huge factory of tag-team OBGYNs, and by sheer bad luck drew Dr. ImpersonalJerk (also not his real name....but it SHOULD be). Dr. IJ hummed around COMPLETELY NOT LISTENING to me as I expressed my valium/fetus fears and then said HERE TAKE THIS and handed me a prescription for ONE PILL.

That pill, Oh my lovely ducklings? Was Ativan. Beautiful, beautiful, golden-haired, delightful Princess Atavan. It is about 9 ZILLION TIMES more effective (AND um, toxic) than Valium EVER thought about being. I had no idea. I just assumed it was a milder, non-flipper causing form of valium and gobbled it down like a good illiterate moron who couldn't read the SHEET of warnings the pharmacist handed me along with my rattling single-pill-in-bottle.

ABout an hour after I ate the pill, I was curled up cozy as a cat in the car, watching as my entire town changed into the IT'S A SMALL WORLD ride at Disneyland. Little fat imaginary toddlers lined the roads, twirling and singing, and the SUNLIGHT was a KIND-HEARTED, LIVING GOLD haze that was almost TACTILE, running through my hair like liquid fingers. Scott? My husband? My LORD he was BREATHTAKINGLY LOVELY. He looked like the living incarnation of the Sun-God, RA, and every time he spoke his voice sounded like this BOOMING and CHEERFUL Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

HONEY! sang Ra, ARE! YOU! OKAAAAAAAAAY?? LA LA LA.

And I bobbled my head up and down and the air around me turned to maple syrup, slowing my nod and making breathing a slow, thick, sticky-sweet experience. "Breathing is fun," I whispered, and RA sang, LA LA LA HONEY? HONEY? HONEY????

I drifted into my dentist's office and plopped in the chair and this huge needle came at my mouth and I was all, like, HELLO NEEDLE! YOU ARE SO SHINY! AND SILVER! LET US BE DEAR FRIENDS! AND I SHALL CALL YOU FELIX! AND LOVE YOU! WOW! YOU ARE POKING ME IN THE MOUTH AND IT IS SORT OF EXCRUTIATING! HOW INTERESTING! PAIN IS INTERESTING! AND NICE! HEY! PAIN! LET'S MAKE OUT!

Then there was drilling in three part harmony and my dentist floated beside me as we drifted through a black velvet galaxy with MULTIPLE Elvises painted on it like sequined constelations and my dentist's eyes were FULL! OF! STARS! If bad things happened? I remember none of them.

The next thing I knew I was HOME. Trying on all my lingerie... even though I was big-as-a-whale pregnant. My whole head was pleasantly numb from novacain and my mouth glistened with interesting drool. YOU ARE PRETTY! I said to me, and I did a sort of prance-like flolloping manuever that landed me on the bed. And then I think I passed out.

When I woke up four days later, pleasantly surpised NOT to find myself facedown in a pool of my own vomit in a back alley in Tijuana, I looked up Ativan on WEB MD. It said in thirty foot high letters, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT TAKE THIS WHILE PREGNANT IT ABSOLUTELY WILL CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS AND PS IT KILLS MOST OF YOUR BRAIN CELLS AND CAUSES CANCER IN MICE AND CAN BE USED AS A CHEMICAL WEAPON! The sheet the pharmacist gave me with my usual Valium just said, "Maybe you shouldn't take A LOT of this while pregnant. We're not totally sure. Doubt one will hurt you, but don't go gulping down bucketfuls."

Luckily Maisy came out flipper free and 'scutiating smart, and luckily Dr IJ only gave me the ONE Ativan. Because I don't think I want it in the house. It was SUCH a nice place to visit, but man, oh man, I wouldn't want to live there.


Posted by joshilyn at 9:22 AM | Comments (4)

December 2, 2004

What Happened Yesterday...

Imagine this is YESTERDAY, okay? It is yesterday at 10 in the morning and I say…

The gods in Alabama ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) are here. They are like a paperback version of the book.I am weeping into my hair. I have three things to say about this.

First? It isn't a SLICK cover--it's MATTE. And It FEELS so good and THICK to touch all GRAINY and the title and my name are embossed (raised letters) and the whole back cover is this ROCKING, hugely supportive letter from my publisher telling booksellers that Warner is making this their lead book for spring/summer and why.

Second? The book looks like a PRESENT. A RAMPAGING genius at Warner had this idea to put a glossy paper BAND around the book, this sky blue band you have to BREAK to get into the book and open it. And of course the COVER is gorgeous and the PRESENT look just makes your HANDS ITCH to POP the band and open the book up. The band has the Christina Schwarz blurb printed on one side and a little bit of the jacket copy on the other.

And then THIRDLY I am going CRAZY holding this thing. It's my book and I wrote it and it has my title on it and my name on it in raised warm goldeny-orange-brown letters and it smells like clean, beautiful paper and fresh ink--it smells like a BOOK, like a new real actual book and it is cool and solid in my hands and I wrote it and it is real and in my hands.

I am weeping and weeping and can't stop touching it and turning it and touching it and weeping into my hair.

If you want to see the cover it is HERE. Click on the thumbnail to make it BIG. Right now I have to go tell everyone I ever met ONCE about this now, and tell the people who have known me for years 20 or 30 times.

The bad part:

Now imagine I finished writing that, and the baby needed lunch and etc etc, but I get back to my comp at about 2 PM, and I am spellchecking and whatnot, and SOMEONE, I do not know who, but SOMEONE throws a grenade in my mouth and BOOM! Half my head comes off. Or, anyway, it FEELS like that. Or maybe it feels more like someone took a burning torch and shoved down THROUGH my brain into my mouth. I don’t really have time to get an EXACT metaphor as I am too busy keening and scrabbling for pain meds and being on hold with my dentist’s office.

And you know how I feel about dental procedures…

Oh LORDY. So I spent the rest of the day in a Lortab/Valium haze, drooling onto a pillow, and TODAY I get to go have a FUN TIME getting a root canal.

You know what’s weird? Excruciating pain and impending dental horrors and cloudy waves of drugged sleep could not stop yesterday from being a MAGICAL day. I mean, MAGICAL. And as I sit here alternately typing this and fondling the ARC in my lap, I have to say, today, root canal included, looks pretty SPANKIN’ GOOD to me as well.

Farewell for now. It’s time to pop more Lortab, and then I must go cool my fevered cheek against the breezy beauty of the COVER of the ARC.

Posted by joshilyn at 7:35 AM | Comments (13)

December 1, 2004

How Do You Spell “Hemorrhage?”

See above, and ps THANKS MICROSOFT WORD SPELL CHECK! You spell it just like that, when you mean BLOOD. When you mean MONEY, it is probably spelled in a different way, depending on your most beautiful secret avarices. I USUALLY spell it like this:
B-U-Y S-H-O-E-S
But this month I am spelling it:
C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S.

Bah. Also Humbug. I am very bored with budgeting this month and want to go spend a BUNCH OF MONEY on a laptop. I just want to go out and PICK the laptop I want and put it on my pocket and leave. Instant gratification. BUT I WON’T. I will be prim and virtuous and work and save and be thrifty in my white apron and wimple. I will save up and comparison shop because I am fiscally responsible and debt-o-phobic BLAH BLAH BLAH.

I will ALSO buy a lotto ticket and hope the numbers fairy lands SPLAT on me with both feet.

I think most everyone has a PLACE in their head that is FINANCIALLY THE GOAL. It isn’t a number, really, it’s just an IDEA of a life-place. I have been SURVEYING people for their place, and women are all over with all these weird things, but men almost UNIVERSALLY say the same thing. They say they are “there” when they can afford a big screen plasma TV with TIVO. The few men I have asked that already HAVE that? Want some sort of car.

You want to know my place? I want to have ONSTAR. I don’t even care what the car is. I just want it to FIT all my children in and have ONSTAR. I want ONSTAR so bad I get weepy watching the commercials, even. Have you SEEN those commercials? The ones with the black screen and you just hear the VOICES of people in BAD CAR situations---run off the road or lost or hurt or locked out --- and this INCREDIBLY SOOTHING human on the other end of whatever ONSTAR is just MAGICALLY fixes it. I kind of suspect the ONSTAR people of being, you know, in thrall to Satan. They are too good to be true, and they seem to have such astounding earthly powers.

Unhappy Man: I’m locked out and its 400 degrees and the BABY IS IN THE CAR he is PUFFING UP and TURNING LOBSTER-RED.

Soothing OnStar-ian: Don’t worry. I am dragging a young goat with no blemish to the altar even as we speak…hold on sir…*Panicked bleating in the background*

No-Longer-Unhappy Man: It popped open! The lock just popped OPEN! How did you do that? And, um HOW did you EVEN HEAR ME since the ONSTAR thing is IN THE CAR with the BABY---How on earth did I even CONTACT YOU?

Soothing On-Star-ian: Don’t question the Dark Lord, sir. And have a nice day.

I almost don’t care if it IS run by the powers of evil. I SO NEED ONSTAR. I bet I would put them out of business, though, or at the very least I would drive everyone’s rates up. They would have to hire a special TEAM – “The 24 Hour Joshilyn Jackson Mobile Alert Chaos Prevention Team.” They would be an Elite Group of specialists gathered to help me get to Kroger. I would need Hannibal AND Face AND Murdock to get to the parking lot. Mr. T would get me safely home.

I have no sense of direction and I always lock my keys in (usually with the engine running) and if I am in the car I am probably lost. I am the kind of girl who can't get to the bathroom in my own house without a MAP, and, um, I CANNOT READ MAPS. Which means when I really need to go I have to hobble around in circles flinging open doors and hoping I will see a toilet and not the stinking coat closet again.

Okay, that's a VERY slight exaggeration. VERY SLIGHT. BAH. I have to go do seven impossible things before breakfast now, and ALL seven are “balance my checkbook.”

Oh well, perhaps Santa will bring me ONSTAR.
And a LAPTOP!
And a PONY!!!!

Posted by joshilyn at 7:40 AM | Comments (11)