Saturday, October 30, 2010

Seriously Terrible Holiday Gifts (Part 2)

(ho ho ho. yes, i'm talking about you suzy)

Dear J.C. Penney,

I finally got a few minutes to peruse the toy section of your Christmas catalog. I must say, I was a little disturbed by this full-page image:

Oh sure, the picture is cute. The description is equally adorable:

Her own itty-bitty baby to love and care for. Birth certificate is included. $19.99.

Ok. But here's the deal. Even if Suzy is delighted with her own itty-bitty baby, Suzy's mother is apt to be less enthusiastic. I mean, who wants to be a grandmother at the age of 28? Apparently Suzy was not listening during those mother-daughter talks about abstinence and purity and not getting caught in the same awful, hopeless trap for the next 20 years of your life with a worthless no-good man who can't even find the time to get off his butt and apply for a job but boy, he's got plenty of time for hanging around Dave and Buster's drinking beer with his good-for-nothing friends.

I would recommend a disclaimer at the bottom of this page. Maybe something like:
WARNING: LIFESTYLE HAZARD. Not recommended for children with low self-esteem.

Just a suggestion.

Thanks for listening! By the way, I love your polyester pants. Nobody does elastic waistbands quite as good as J.C. Penney, I always say.



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Seriously Terrible Holiday Gifts (Part 1)

(happy holidays! or not)

Dear J.C. Penney:

I just received your Christmas catalog in the mail. I knew right away that it was a Christmas catalog because it's red and shiny and it says WOW! YIPPEE! and FREE SHIPPING on the front. For me, those are the real sentiments behind the holidays. Yes, sirree. In fact, I bet that is exactly what the three Wise Men said when they reached the Baby Jesus.

WOW! YIPPEE! FREE SHIPPING directly from heaven!

What a heart-warming thought.

I do have a few questions about the catalog, though.

First, I was looking for a Dallas Cowboys t-shirt for my husband, and I noticed this picture of a headless, half-armed man:

I do think it's admirable that you use real-life, developmentally challenged people like this in your catalogs. Really I do. But this might be carrying it a little too far. Perhaps you could Photoshop someone else's head and upper arms onto him next time.

Just a suggestion.

I can't wait to see what's in the toy section of the catalog!



Sunday, October 24, 2010


(and so it begins ...)

Someone famous once said, "There's a book in each of us." At least, I think it was someone famous. If I had time, I would look it up. But I have a book to write. You'll have to look it up yourself. Sorry.

Regardless of who said it, or whether it was ever said at all, I think there is indeed a book in each of us. The question is, what is my book? Can I uncover the essence of my story? Can I find the words to tell it?

These are deep, important questions, which bring to mind other deep, important questions such as, Why are there so many keys on my key chain? I was pondering this question just this morning, when I realized that out of the mass of keys I carry around every day, I only recognize 2 of them. There's my car key, the big black one with the red panic button designed to go off automatically if you put the keys in your pocket and then sit down at a fancy, exclusive restaurant with your car parked directly out front so all the fancy, exclusive people are guaranteed to be noticeably perturbed when your lights start flashing and your car emits extremely loud beeping noises until you finally realize, duh, that is my car making all that ruckus and you dig out your keys and shut the stupid thing off.

Then of course, there's my house key. It's the silver one that must at all times be kept right next to the car key so I don't confuse it with the six other practically identical silver ones that have somehow appeared on my key chain even though I have no idea what they are for.

It's a mystery. What doors can these keys open? What vehicles might they start? Who put them on my key chain? What story might they tell?

Which brings me back to my original question. What story might I tell? Can I find enough stories to fill an entire book? If this foreword is any indication, I think I will manage just fine.

Time will tell.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Letters from my agent (5)

(it's a good thing i don't discourage easily)

Dear Lesley,

I regret to inform you that Rosetta is no longer employed by Trite & Drivel Publishing Company. She left no forwarding address, she has no cell phone, and her position has not been filled by anyone. In fact, we are no longer accepting submissions of any kind.

Rest assured, we will keep your previous submissions on file. Who knows? Maybe one day there will be a market for a 4-page novel about a scrawny child growing up in Connecticut.

But don't count on it. That was not intended to be encouragement.


Matilda Crumpetbottom

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Letters from my agent (4)


Dear Lesley,

There seems to be a little misunderstanding. I was not referring to you specifically when I said "Success might be just around the corner." That was simply part of my automated signature. Believe me, it had nothing to do with your recent submissions.

Of course, if you dedicate yourself to your writing, success might theoretically be possible at some point. Anything can happen.

In the meantime, please stop lurking in my bushes. Even though you did get rid of the black fedora, I am 99% certain that's you.

Rosetta Quakenbush
Literary Agent

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Letters from my agent (3)

(oh shoot.)

Dear Lesley,

My, you are persistent, aren't you?

Once again, I must be honest with you. Calling your book "The # 1 New York Times Best Seller" will not guarantee success. My advice is to buckle down and write, write, write. That's what writers do. my dear! Once you have a plot outline, perhaps an appropriate title will spring to mind.

By the way, do you sometimes wear a black fedora?

Keep writing! Success might be just around the corner.

Rosetta Quakenbush
Literary Agent

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Letters from my agent (2)


Dear Lesley,

Thank you for sending the alternate titles for your book. However, these titles are all current best-sellers. You will need a title that has not been used before. Perhaps you should concentrate on developing a plot.

Keep writing! Success might be just around the corner.

Rosetta Quakenbush
Literary Agent

Friday, October 8, 2010

Letters from my agent

(oh darn.)

Dear Lesley:

Thank you for your recent query letter. I agree that it is important to have a catchy title for your novel. However, I must tell you I really don't care for "The World Is About To End You Are Doomed If You Don't Read This Book Immediately." Just being honest! That's my job. Try something a little shorter.

Also, you forgot to mention what the plot would be about.

Keep writing! Success might be just around the corner.

Rosetta Quakenbush
Literary Agent

Thursday, October 7, 2010

In conclusion ...

(my book is well underway ...
now all i need is some stuff to go in the middle)

As the sun began to set behind the Tuscan hills, I put my head on Ramone's strong shoulder and smiled. "Bellissimo," he whispered. "You see that castle in the distance? It's yours. All yours. Happy birthday my darling."

As Oprah shook my hand and leaned in for a hug, I patted her on the back gently. "Don't worry," I said. "The show is in good hands. I'm sure your fans will never forget you." Then I walked to the wardrobe department to choose an outfit for my first episode. The adventure is just beginning!

As the Pulitzer Prize committee smiled and the cheering crowd whipped themselves into a deafening frenzy, I took a final bow and walked off the stage. "Who could have imagined?" I thought to myself. "And it all started with a simple blog."

The end.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


(first things first)

This book is dedicated to my agent, (AGENT'S NAME). Thank you for finally responding to my daily query letters and lifting the restraining order. I hope I have made you proud.

This book is dedicated to Oprah Winfrey, who miraculously picked my book from thousands and thousands of possibilities as the very last Oprah Book Club Selection. You can imagine my amazement when I got the call! I will never forget you, Oprah. Can I have a car, too? No, just kidding. Ha Ha. Say hi to Sophie for me.

This book is dedicated to God, who I am hoping will forgive me for Chapters 4 and 5.

This book is dedicated to my husband, whose wise advice has gone unheeded for more than 30 years. Also my sisters, who hopefully will not be angry that I turned myself into the hero of all our childhood stories. And of course my children, who deeply disappointed me by turning into grownups but subsequently redeemed themselves by becoming my best friends in the entire world.

This book is dedicated to (POET) who once said (SOMETHING MYSTERIOUS AND INSPIRATIONAL). Need I say more?


Sunday, October 3, 2010

I'm writing book. But don't hold your breth.

(my book so far)

Hello, fellow bloggers who have not yet bothered figuring out how to unfollow my virtually inactive blog! Glad you're still round. I mean Around. I'll explain tht in a sec.

First, my exciting announcement: I finally have an idea for the book I have always thought I should write because let's face it, by the time you get to be my age you just really start to think that you should write a book, especially if every one of your three sisters has beat you to it and written actual published books that are undoubtedly better than anything you could possibly come up with.

So here I go!

But don't hold your breth. I mean breAth.

The main obstacle at the moment is my little yellow Dell, which constantly finds new ways to drive me crazy. This week, the letter "a" is sticking so whenever I need to use it, I have to bash it down with my little pinky finger, interrupting the natural flow of thoughts and totally annoying my pinky finger.

Still. I have an outline written, and even a title. And some of it can just be former blog posts, plopped into the chapters that are conveniently titled "Here's Wht I Think About Such nd Such."

But unfortunately the idea of recycling my blog posts caused me to think, "I should go reread those old posts to see if they're really funny" which caused me after an hour or so of admiring my own funnyness to visit Fran's blog because it's been, like, forever since I've read about her adventures which are way funnier than mine, which of course caused some serious blog hopping (hi Amanda! hi Retired One! I so admire the fact that you guys have been blogging so consistently).

Which of course means I have no time to write my first chapter today.

But soon. I'll strt soon.



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