Now that I am a “real” author, I can give advice to all of you out there who want to publish your novel. I have perfected a system that works for me. I thought I would share it for your benefit:
Sit down at the computer. Think of what your main character is wearing. Try to describe it without using the words “nice” or “very.” Picture your character getting dressed in the morning. Then wonder if he likes fried eggs over easy or scrambled.
This reminds you that you are out of eggs. Get up and add eggs to the grocery list, and then remember to add coffee and cottage cheese. Wander into the living room, where you notice that there are two dead Stinkbugs on the windowsill by the bird feeder. Yell “You Goddamn fuckers!” really loudly. Get a Kleenex and flush the disgusting insects. Return to the living room to make sure the rest of the room is free of bugs. Notice that the bird feeder is empty, and experience a pang of sympathy for that darling, starving cardinal who is sitting dejectedly on one of the feeder’s perches. Rush onto the back porch to get more seed. Go outside and fill feeder.
Once out there, notice how chilly it is getting. Look around and remember that you never planted that bag of daffodil bulbs that is sitting in the garage. Go into the house for a coat and work gloves. Take the bulbs from the garage along with a trowel. Attempt to plant one. The ground is way too hard, and what’s more, you feel that even though you might have gloves on, your manicure is in danger.
Put gloves and bulbs back in the garage. Go back into the house and make an appointment to get your nails done. Have a glass of ice water. Go upstairs and change into a more presentable shirt—you don’t want the people at the nail salon to think you are a slacker.
Look at your watch. Oh, gosh! Your appointment is in a half hour! Rush downstairs, get your purse and keys. Rush into the garage. Turn around, go back and lock the door.
Drive to the salon. When you get there, decide that you have earned a pedicure as well as a manicure, because you work so hard as a writer and wife. Tell them you want the hot stone massage, too.
Enjoy your lovely mani/pedi. As you sit there, try to decide what to have for dinner. Chicken is good. Maybe some salad.
After your nails are done, go to the store for dinner ingredients. Make the chicken recipe, and put it in the oven. Look around the kitchen and realize how dirty the floor is. Get down on hands and knees and wash floor, feeling guilty that you are such a horrible housekeeper.
Take a break. Maybe a chair nap.
Have dinner and clean up. Watch that great PBS show about British detectives. Yawn. Go to bed. As you drift off to sleep, remember that your character was wearing dark brown corduroys, but no shirt—you didn’t get that far. Vow to be more disciplined tomorrow.
If anybody asks you how long it takes to write a book, say this, “It takes years of hard work. Writing and polishing. Rewriting. Editing.”
Now you know the story behind the story…