I’m so excited. QC has been offered a book deal, by Hyperion no less, because some (obviously brilliant) editor there has discovered her blog and realized she’s publishing-worthy. I can’t wait till the book is published. I’ll be the first in line at Border’s to get a copy, nonchalantly telling people, “Oh yeah, I was reading her blog LONG before this was published,” despite the fact that I was about two years late to the party. I’ll take the book home, fall out of my chair, and roll around the floor in hysterics the way I do when I read Three Men in a Boat or a collection of David Rakoff essays. Speaking of Rakoff, I hope one day to hear QC on NPR’s This American Life. She’s already begun blogging some on the experience of writing the book (or procrastinating, as the case may be), and I’m looking forward to reading more (since I missed out on the whole discovering Julie Powell’s blog before the book was written thing). It’s all going to be so much fun.
Isn’t it nice that Pollyanna has taken up residence in my blog? Uh-oh, here comes The Wicked Witch. She’s shoving Pollyanna into the oven and saying to me, “Come on. You’re even greener than I am. We all know exactly what you’re thinking.” Damn her. She’s right.
I’m extremely jealous. Not because QC doesn’t deserve her good fortune: she absolutely does. I’m not even jealous because I’m aspiring to be a published writer these days. Besides, if I do still have any of those aspirations, it’s to be a published writer of ghost stories and children’s books, not of anything that resembles this blog. What makes me jealous is that I’m not the sort of person who ever has such luck.
If I were to decide I wanted to turn my blog into a book (despite recently being classified among the best of the best bloggers by both Litlove and Charlotte, honors of which I’m so proud, I plan to come back long after I’m dead and haunt people with them, forcing cursors to click on old archives), I’d have to beg some agent to take me on, probably as some sort of pity case. She’d spend all her time trying to convince me not to aim very high, suggesting I try Two Cousins Press, a little known outfit in Neverheardofit, KA. They mostly publish books on quilting, but they’re beginning to branch out a little, and my book will be a great experiment for them. Cousin #1 would agree to publish the book for 2% royalties and then, as my editor, tell me they sort of like the concept but would like my book to be far more serious than my blog. She’d proceed to delete all humorous passages from the sample pages I’d send, and we’d end up with a 98-page book that never sold out its first print run of 250.
That’s the sort of person I am, the sort who fantasizes that someone from Knopf will happen upon my blog, call me up, and say, “Have you ever tried your hand at writing fiction? I have an idea for a series of books. Do you think you’d be interested?” I’d go on to become a 21st-century cross between Dorothy Parker and William Faulkner, writing a series of books that all take place in the same location, featuring different dysfunctional members of the community. In reality I end up practically paying Two Cousins Press to publish me.
I’m the sort of person who’s had to work and fight for every promotion she’s ever gotten in the business world. You know how some people will come into a company, work there for less than a year, do absolutely nothing spectacular, and the next thing you know, they’re being promoted to VP of Nothing Spectacular, making twice the salary at which they were hired? Well, that wouldn’t be me. I’m the one putting in long hours, being whipped by my perfectionist and ethical slave drivers, refusing to “play the game,” especially when doing so requires cheating, and five years after being hired, I’m still slogging away at my entry-level position with my 3% annual raises.
I’m the sort who if she goes off and is offered a job elsewhere, making $10K more than she’s making now, has a boss who says, “See ya!” Meanwhile, the woman in the next-door cubicle, who dumps all her work on the assistants and does nothing but complain all day long about this horrible company for which she works, goes off and gets another company to offer her $5K more than she’s currently making. This company that can’t wait to see me go offers her $20K not to leave.
I’m the wife who will tell her husband that eating free range, organic eggs is actually good for his heart, that they are full of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Despite the fact that his cholesterol levels are fantastic and that his doctor claims he’s in great shape, he’ll complain, because we happen to have them twice in one week, that we’re eating way too many eggs. Then one day, he’ll read in The New York Times that organic, free-range eggs are good for the heart, and suddenly, having eggs for breakfast every morning becomes a wonderful plan. The New York Times, that bastion of responsible news reporting, never having misrepresented anything, nor having hired journalists who just make up stories, is far more trustworthy than a silly old wife who dabbles in nutrition as a hobby.
I’m even the sort who can patronize a restaurant for years, encourage everyone to go there, be loyal to it even when some grand new place opens up right across the street. One night, it will be overly crowded, and I’ll politely wait my turn for a seat, asking for and getting no special treatment. Suddenly, some obnoxious person traveling into town from Ohio or someplace will waltz in, demand the best table, complain about the service, and have everyone fawning all over him. He’ll be scraping the last crumbs off his dessert plate just as I’m being seated.
So, yes, The Wicked Witch is right. I’m a little green these days. It’ll pass, though. It always does. Jealousy is an emotion that, contrary to what one might read in some sexy, trendy women’s magazine, doesn’t do me a bit of good. I’m pulling Pollyanna out of that oven and shoving this green monster in there instead.