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A Literary Situation

October 21st, 2010 | 7 comments | Posted by Diana

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to write a book. At age three, in cursive on construction paper, I wrote tables of contents for imaginary novel chapters. From fifth to eighth grade, I created dozens of terrible young adult fiction book outlines that inspired too-long scribbled “Chapter Ones” in loose leaf notebooks. During high school, I attempted to write poetry collections about my non-existent love life and glamorized ideals of solitude. In college, I would study in the University library and take my breaks strolling through my favorite aisles–particularly the 20th century non-fiction texts, running my fingers over the books’ textured spines and gazing with love over the letters that spelled out titles and author names horizontally, like vertebrae.

As a grown-up writer, I think differently about the idea of publishing a book. I would still love to write one (perhaps with Jen, who is a far better scribe than I), but I now unfortunately know all the other stuff that goes along with the endeavor: book proposals and agents and publishers and politics and big-selling Christmas seasons and the word “niche” and writing from the inside and redundancy and timeliness and nervous breakdowns and writer’s block and what-about-my-other-projects and maybe-I-just-can’t-fucking-do-this and wouldn’t-it-just-be-easier–and-faster-to-have-our-twitterfeed-optioned-as-a-lame-William-Shatner-sitcom. I mean, hell, real writers are miserable for a reason.

That said…

Whenever somebody I know publishes a book, particularly a second or third (God help me if I ever befriend Mr. Chopra), my chest heaves a little. I’m jealous. I’m really, really jealous. I’m obviously proud and happy for them, I probably love their book and can’t wait to get my copy signed–but I’m also cringing inside, mad at myself for not realizing such an important dream, even though I arguably write thousands of words every week. Bloggers publish words on a virtual page that isn’t really a page; it doesn’t smell of ink and paper, you can’t dogear it, you can’t lend it to a friend and ask for it back. There’s just something about a book.

That said…

When I see something like this:
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On the Record

January 20th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

In between shedding tears over today’s historic ceremony, and cooing over video of the Obama girls as they watched the Inaugural parade, we read this today: according to UK’s The Mirror, Britney Spears is slated to pen an autobiography. As we’ve stated before, any writer stupid enough to attempt writing a non-fiction book has our sympathy, since we’re pretty sure it’s the only activity so fucked up and difficult that it could kill an invincible man.

But hey–Brit’s strong, right? I mean, she did have a meltdown after Justin dumped her. And–oof–another one (if that’s what you call shaving your head and going ape shit on an SUV) after KFed left her. And her glazed eyes did fill up with anxiety when she recalled the source of her demise–“bad people”–during her interviews for insider doc For the Record. She’s been through some tough (we guess) shit, and gotten through it as a better, stronger (um…) woman.

She’ll be, uh, fine.

Totally fine.

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