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:
- Laser Hair removal. My pal Alesia Sabeira rocks. 'Nuff said.
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.
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...