Since this is a debutante ball, I thought I should let you know I’ve already “come out.” I was going through customs a few weeks ago and for the first time when asked what I did for work I answered, “I’m a writer.” I fully expected flashing lights, sirens and to be dragged to a back room where a burly customs agent named Flo would do a search I wouldn’t soon forget. I felt like there would be a sneer and a raised eyebrow. “So you think you’re a writer huh?”
I fought the urge to explain to the officer that while I still had a day job, I had sold a book to a real live publishing company. It was time to come clean, to stop hiding my true nature, to come out. Counseling pays the bills, but I make my living as a writer.
I didn’t become a writer in the customs hall, or when the book sold, or even when I finished writing the novel. It was a slow evolutionary process. These posts can only be so long so here is the short version of my development:
• Parents provide me with annoyingly healthy upbringing thus depriving me of fodder to write about in later years.
• Discover books are not just for chewing.
• Realize if you make stuff up and pretend it is true they call you a liar and you’ll be punished, however if you say it’s a story you are imaginative and precocious.
• Recognizing that mainstream cheerleader-style popularity will elude me, I channel my inner Molly Ringwald and wear vintage clothing and sport giant puffy hair.
• Believe passionately that Duran-Duran is the greatest musical talent of my generation.
• My writing stars a main character who is a slightly dorky girl who through a Cinderella-like process gets boobs, bravado, and the boy. I did not recognize the autobiographical elements.
Ages 21- 30:
• Fear of living in an impoverished garret (I like chocolate far too much to be a starving artist) leads to pursuing education in counseling.
• Meet, woo, and marry the man of my dreams.
• Spend time wondering if I can write a whole novel. Turns out I could: a really, really, bad novel. Decide to stick with day job.
Ages 31- to present
• Realization that no one else really cares what I am wearing, saying, or doing, thus freeing me up to spend time on more important things.
• Awareness that fear of rejection is not nearly as big as the fear of not having even tried. Begin writing more seriously, even sending some of it to (gasp) others.
• Find agent, sell novel, and daydream of full time literary diva status. Consume full daily calorie allotment in chewed fingernails while awaiting book release.
I can’t think of a better place to come out than here at the debutante ball. Come back often to see where we go from here. I suspect it won’t be all pearls and silk gloves, but I’m certain it won’t be dull. Maybe we could play some Duran Duran to get the party started….
Latest posts by Eileen (see all)
- The Second Time Around - January 3, 2009
- Cancer is a Bitch- but Gail isn’t by Deb Eileen - October 4, 2008
- I Never Knew When To Leave A Party- By (long term) Deb Eileen - August 22, 2008
- Food just tastes better when you set it on fire by Deb Eileen - August 1, 2008
- Heavy Lifting and Monty Python…by Deb Eileen - July 18, 2008