Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday's Random Thoughts - Quotes from Famous People*

*not really

If I had to sum up the past week in my typically eloquent way, I would say, "This is some bull shit."

Despite my many attempts to beat it into submission with strong doses of denial and regular spoonfuls of Tylenol Cold & Flu, it's time to admit that I have a cold.

In the spirit of kicking a girl while she's down, the universe also delivered to me not one but two rejections. One came from an agent, the other from a small publisher. Both were full of compliments:

"Your story is incredibly moving, and I really enjoyed your style. You are a very talented writer. You tackled a difficult subject honestly and skillfully. Unfortunately..."

 "It’s an incredible and painful story and you tell it well.  But the problem is, I honestly don’t think I could be successful finding you a publisher." 

One of them suggested I concentrate on building my blog audience so I would have a large base of potential readers. This is just more of what I've been hearing for a year and a half. I do not have a built-in audience. No one cares about this book because no one knows who I am.

Which brings me to this. Nearly every single day on Facebook, someone posts a photo of a famous person with a quote attributed to him or her. It's always something that confirms the poster's world view, like how poor people are the WORST or liberals are the WORST or people who support background checks on gun purchases are the WORST.

I've noticed almost all of these quotes are falsely attributed. For instance, this week I saw AGAIN an entire long essay about a Christian student who schools an atheist professor in faith and, big reveal at the end, that Christian student was Albert Einstein.

No, dummies, it wasn't. Albert Einstein was raised by secular Jews and was an agnostic. If your story doesn't work without attaching a big lie to it, then your story doesn't work.

Another essay was a long piece on conservative values and how, among other things, poor people suck. It was attributed to Bill Cosby. Just ignore the fact that Bill Cosby put an announcement on his Web site that he did not write this "viral" essay and disagrees with the "ugly" opinions contained within it. Nope, doesn't matter. Just spread it.

Maybe it's the journalist in me, but I believe in fact checking. Don't intentionally spread false information. Don't be part of the problem.

I realize now, in my cold medicine-induced haze, that this is just silly. Get on board with the way the world actually works.

Nothing matters unless a famous person says it. My book doesn't matter to publishers because I'm a big nobody and who the hell is going to buy a book by a nobody who hasn't even had the good sense to make a sex tape.

I feel like I'm going crazy. I have read so many memoirs by people I couldn't identify in a line-up. I NEVER read memoirs by celebrities. I'm also just shaking my head that a book on a topic that affects millions of people wouldn't find some kind of an audience. Every year the rate of suicide increases in this country and every day the people who are left behind go looking for something that speaks to their experience.

But what do I know? I have clearly misjudged everything about the book publishing industry.

I know I sound bitter. I've actually been doing so much better with this stuff, but I've had a little setback in the attitude department. I'll get past it (maybe around 5 tonight when I fix a cocktail and chase it with some cold medicine).

So I'm getting on board the crazy train! I agree with you, world. Everything sounds better if a famous person says it. Even better if that famous person is dead! Then they can't deny that they ever said it.

So here are a bunch of things that famous people have said, according to me:

Happy motherfucking Friday, friends!


  1. I totally agree. You need a sex tape.

    1. The problem is that it has to be with a famous person. Maybe I should put an ad on Craigslist. "A- or B-list Celebrity needed for on-camera shenanigans."

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  3. You speak common sense and truth, and you call other people out on their bullshit. That's enough to get me reading someone's work (that and actually knowing how to write). Obviously these rejections come from people who honestly don't think they can sell your book, and they may be right. The public tends to like things with a hook, something easily marketed. If you're a woman writer, then publishers are going to ask whether women readers are going to want to read this book. If it doesn't fit any particular marketable categories, then they won't touch it.

    But don't give up, and don't let it get to you too much. If you haven't started the next book, then get going. You know you're a damn good writer or you wouldn't be so pissed that no one seems to want your book. I'm kind of impressed you actually got personal rejection letters that compliment your writing, rather than form letters. Impressed, but not surprised. Don't give up.

    1. Thanks!
      I think it makes me so nuts, because I thought I had a hook. Woman witnesses ex-husband's suicide (in a time when suicides are increasing every year), sings lots of Ludacris songs, finds a way to forgive him and herself, finds a way to keep going. There's definitely not another memoir like it.
      Then I learned the hard way that the publishing industry doesn't really like "not it." They like "Ooh, this was done before and was a big hit so let's do it again. Can you write in a sparkly vampire, turn it into a series and make it for young adults?" They also like you to pitch your book and show them that you already have 100,000 followers on Twitter.
      Meh, my bitterness is showing again.

      Thanks for the words of encouragement! It really does help.

    2. I can see that being the case with publishing. It's easier to convince your boss that a book will sell if there's another similar book out there that sold millions of copies. Your time will come, and when it does you'll have no time to blog, and then where will I get my gif-fix?? Selfish, I know.

  4. I have laughed and laughed and laughed. I was going to comment. "Get you a sex tape up in there"..but someone else said that. Damn. Well "Get you a sex tape up in here and submit it with your next book proposal"

    1. But it has to be with a famous person! I don't know any famous people, although - as you know - I once met Ice T, but ew, no.

      There has to be another way to get famous enough so people will listen to me and my amazing opinions!

      The other option, which I would prefer, is that I don't have to become famous for people to read my book, so then I can continue to be the normal, lovely, down-to-earth person I am while also raking in the big bucks and taking my best friend to Bora Bora.


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