As you may or may not have noticed, I went on an internet hiatus recently. Actually, chances are you didn’t notice, because that’s the strange thing about the Internet. There are so many voices clamoring for our attention, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter if one of us slips in and out from time to time. So here’s why I consciously decided to go MIA for a while: I realized I was spending way too much time on Facebook and Twitter and not nearly enough time, you know, writing my book. Yes, that girl I went to Junior High with has adorable children, but do I really need to look at all 127 photos in her album and then wonder what her husband looks like? No, no I don’t. There are wormholes in Internetville and I’m very susceptible to falling down them. Just the other day, Indy was showing Elili what a real gorilla looks like on You Tube, and somehow they ended up spending an hour rocking out to Gorillaz’s videos. You see my point? An internet diet is never a bad idea.
So, yes! I finished a first draft of THE MODERN GIRL’S HANDBOOK! Which is a huge milestone and really exciting, until that moment when I realized that simply means I have three hundred and some odd pages of words that still needs to be rewritten a bunch more times until it becomes a real book. That’s how my sausage gets made: I write a draft. And then I write it again. And then I write it again. Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat. I only stop when I start throwing things at my computer screen.
I also snuck a big vacation in there. Elili got to meet her great-grandfather for the first time, in a much overdue visit, which was totally awesome-sauce. She particularly loved riding on his walker.
Since this is a book related blog though, I’ll stay off Elili-related tangents for the moment, and I’ll tell you instead about all the great stuff I’ve been reading lately. Just finished BOSSYPANTS, Tina Fey’s new memoir, and it rocked. I had read one of the excerpts in the New Yorker and wasn’t particularly inspired. Then I read the book and realized that someone had just done a poor editing job trying to squeeze two chapters into one piece for the magazine. The book is so much cleaner and funnier and sharper than the excerpt. I’ve always been a Tina Fey fan—I mean come on, who isn’t?—but now I’m sort of, kind of obsessed. And that’s exactly why she is so brilliant—she seduces every reader into believing that should we meet her in an elevator or on a playground we’d instantly become the best of friends. Despite knowing that this is her trick, I’m still convinced that we should hang out. To use an obnoxious writing word, that chick has a Voice. So seriously, Tina, give me a call.
Speaking of funny ladies, I’ve noticed a bunch of profiles popping up all over the place—The New York Times Magazine on Kristen Wiig and The New Yorker on Anna Faris, every piece covering BOSSYPANTS, and they all seem to have the same angle: See, you can still be funny and have a vagina! (But of course, you still need to be pretty too.) Or maybe that’s not quite fair—the pieces are really saying that all these women are facing a battle in reminding people that there is such a thing as a funny lady, and that they have to constantly convince movie executives that people will actually spend their hard-earned money to watch them. I won’t get into the debate here—actually there is no debate—women are just as funny as men, there I said it—but I think my good friend Tina does a great job in describing the discrimination against women in comedy.
I think in the novel writing world, we luckily don’t have to fight that fight since most of our readers are already women and don’t need convincing. Of course, the reviewers are a whole other matter—funny ladies write “chick-lit”, funny men write novels worthy of New York Times reviews—but alas that’s a discussion for another day.
I also finally read Kim Wright’s LOVE IN MID-AIR, (you may remember that Kim kindly answered the FIVE QUESTIONS back in July) which is a brilliant and poignant and yes, funny portrait of the crumbling of a marriage. Highly recommend this one.
Was sent an ARC of Diana Spechler’s SKINNY a few months ago to blurb, and sadly didn’t get around to reading it till recently. The book is out this week, and for those of you who have any sort of body issues (read: all of us) it’s a fascinating look at the intersection between food and love and loss, and it is as smart as it is heartbreaking. Diana has also agreed to tackle the Five Questions, so we’ll be hearing more about this one in a few weeks.
So, the internet diet continues, but now I’m sort of in the maintenance phase as they say in Weight Watchers parlance. So, I’ll be checking in on Facebook and Twitter and keeping up with this blog as best I can, but I’m also hoping to work my arse off on THE MODERN GIRL’S HANDBOOK. No wormholes for me, unless they are Tina Fey related. But you know, that’s only because I am good friend.