I always dreamed of being a full-time novelist -- hell, who didn't? I mean, heck, you get to work from home, wear sweat pants, not have to blow out your frizzy hair or shave your legs (more on that in a moment). All that AND make money? It's almost like being a phone-sex operator except you get the added patina of being considered literary. Heh. Sign me up.
And then, it happened. After toiling for 10 years at the lovely Page Six, I wrote Mercury In Retrograde, and it hit the New York Times Bestseller list. Realizing I didn't ever want my boss' job and that I was bored to the point of chewing on my socks, I knew it was the time to quit and join the legions of the fun-employed to be a (trumpet blare) FULL TIME NOVELIST.
I immediately started working on a scripted show for MTV and another novel, Female Kryptonite, which is about a guy, Jim, who turns 40 and realizes he's getting older, is lonely, and is kind of an ass. It delves into the phenomenon that women and men are almost the same - men just grow up six years after women. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus is bullshit. Trust me.
I was psyched. I banged out the first two chapters pretty quickly and then...
Well, frankly, I've never been one for discipline.
Things I do instead of working on my novel, which my lovely editor Greer Hendricks calls me about twice a week:
TV, which infuriates me. I caught myself screaming at the TV the other day -- you know, when I should have been working on chapter 3 and my outline - and nearly choked on my Yoo-Hoo when I came across yet another interview with the eponymous, skunk-haired baby dispenser, Kate Gosselin, who said she was getting her own talk show, and explained, "I just have the gift of the gab!" I threw some Milk Duds at the screen, bellowing, "Oh, come ON!" I mean, more lousy women's programming? Seriously -- Have you ever noticed that "female" programming sucks? It's like all the men in charge have decided that if you have a ladyflower you must have down's syndrome. All the women's channels are full of bridal shows (cuz that's all I'M about, WE - my wedding!), bad behavior and stereotypes. In order for a woman to be a show, she has to be a bitch, a slut, a whore, a raving narcissist, a drunk or an uneducated retard. Or a plug in - you know, the Fox News types where they literally look like, after their half hour is done, some producer-type comes along, unplugs them and carts them away to a closet until their next close-up?
Travel: So I got out of dodge. I went to LA. Bad idea. Do you know how much work people do in LA? Not a lot. That, and I'm convinced the majority of the men out there are three degrees from Paris Hilton's vagina -- it ain't pretty.
Plan more travel. Nairobi in November? Sure! Hawaii in December? Okay! Cuba in January? Let me check the hurricane season!
Write -- but not the novel -- for places like the Huffington Post and the LA Times magazine.
Take meetings. I love 'em! Do you know how many interesting people are out there? It's fun -- I swear! I feel like I'm getting a free education from all these people (education is SO wasted on the young). It also gives me an excuse to get out of my sweatpants and not look homeless.
- Laser Hair removal. My pal Alesia Sabeira rocks. 'Nuff said.
So yeah. It's going slowly. But gimme a break -- I haven't been unemployed, well, ever. Okay -- there was that one six-month trip to India, but that was 1997! And Greer: I SWEAR I will have everything to you by December. I swear. Just wait till I get back on Monday, I will be a typing fiend. I swear. Oh, wait, I think I see something sparkly in the corner...
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