These are the things I love:  My home, my family, my pets, and my book.

These are the things I hate:  Global warming, wasting money, my double chin, and my book.

My stupid computer, my terrible chair, my messy writing desk, and that worthless piece of crap, the 2012 Writer’s Market. Not in photo: The chains that tie me to my desk.

Notice the one item that overlaps?  This Stupid Book!


How long have I been writing this stupid book?  How many years?  One year?  Two?  I wish that were the case but glaciers have melted into the sea since I began.  I’m sick of it.  Every time I think I’m finished, I realize I’ve only begun.  The beginning became the middle and the ending doesn’t work at all.   No one will publish it.  It’s horrible. I know that for a fact because I’ve given copies to people who say they love me and even they won’t read it.  Or worse, they do read it and tell me it’s confusing or that it sounds like the sort of book I’d be ashamed to carry around in a paper bag, let alone emulate.


That’s a good word.  I should use that in my book.   How can I wedge it in?  Certainly not in dialogue.  Who says emulate?  “Lord Chamberlain,” she said.  “You are not the only one in this house who can emulate the fool.”  That’s so stupid.  I’ll use it to describe dialogue.  That’s the ticket.   She emulated his lively banter.  Lively!  How mundane is that?  Where’s my thesaurus?  Convivial.  Better.  She emulated his convivial banter.

When did I even start this stupid book?  What month?   September?  November?  Must have been in September, after the kids were in school.  Somewhere between cleaning and cooking and washing the dogs.  Relatives and friends have read my book.   They tell me it’s “interesting”.  Interesting!   That’s code for stupid.  Stupid and boring.  Everyone knows that.   They tell me I have talent and encourage me not to quit. I hate them.


Remember how that feels.  Hate.   Put that in my book.  She hated his flushing, flattering, fatiguing face.  That’s horrible!  Too many “F”-ing words.    My back hurts.  My husband says I need a new chair.   A new chair?  How can I justify buying a new chair to write something that will never earn a dime?  He’s just being supportive.  Wants me to continue.  Loves me.  Encourages me.   God, I hate him sometimes.  Why can’t he be a male chauvinist stereotype like the idiots on the Jerry Springer show?  Why can’t he say that women are supposed to be barefoot and in the kitchen instead of trying to write a stupid book.  No, that wouldn’t work either.  I’d probably leave him, and then I’d still be stuck with this stupid book.

You want the truth about writing a book?  Here’s the truth:  if a loved one wants to write a book, tell them they’re wasting their time.  Tell them they’re talentless losers.  Pull the bandage off fast.  Save them years of suffering.

Reading at Writer House in Charlottesville, Virginia. Nov. 2012. Actually from my NEXT stupid book! Geesh!

1 thought on “THIS STUPID BOOK

  1. That’s the spirit! Give it up. No, you want to write. That makes you an artist. And what do they say about artists? They suffer for their art. You are just paying your dues. This is what makes it convincing later when you say, “I am not really an overnight success. I struggled for acceptance.” That’s what makes everyone else love you (as opposed to LOVING you because you’re the latest thing). Go to your public library and get or ask them to borrow Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel or James N. Frey’s How to Write a Damn Good Novel. I read both and thought they were very good on the mechanics of writing. Have I published a novel? No. But when I do, they will have helped. Keep writing; and moaning helps, too. Remember, the public LOVES an overnight success. It loves an artist who suffers for her art. You can do this.


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