Good lesson learned…

Recently, I was a panelist at the annual “Author’s Tea” on the campus of Long Island’s Hofstra University.  I felt quite inadequate being in the company of several amazingly talented veteran authors, including Elinor Lippman (The Family Man, Isabel’s Bed).

We had a dreamy afternoon; a roomful of dynamic women discussing books, the art of writing, and the intense love of a well-told story.  Of the 5 panelists, I was called on first to discuss my vengeful tale of “husband torturing,” and everyone wondered what my inspiration was. I said what I always say when someone poses the question:  14 years of marriage.  Questions came flying from all over the room.  Is my husband angry that I wrote the book?  What did his family think?  How is our relationship really?  Do I get lots of emails from readers?  Basically every question was asked aside from bra size and social security number –actually someone did ask that, but I made believe I didn’t hear the question. 

Then a hand went up in the back of the room.  It belonged to a woman named “Felicia” who looked like a mix between Celine Dion and Judge Judy.  Her question hung in the air for several seconds.  “How have your reviews been?”  I felt a bit exposed for some reason.  Was she doing this purposely to make my mouth run dry?  But then I remembered….my reviews have been pretty darn great, the only complaint has been the wish for better paper stock (which isn’t my fault quite frankly.)  I don’t know what the people at People Magazine think  (Deb Sarah has been the only anointed one to be reviewed by my favorite periodical—and yes, I’m green with envy) but I’ve received several reviews, and they’ve been right on.  My book “101 Ways to Torture Your Husband” is more fantasy than anything else, providing a comedic outlet for frustrated wives (but you don’t have to be married to enjoy it!)   I confessed to receiving a few not-so-great reviews (mostly from the far right) who consider me a heathen for encouraging women to torture their mates (oh my!)  Then the fabulous Elinor Lippman spoke and told a most amusing story.  She said when a local politician in her town would receive mail from a disgruntled resident reading him the riot act for some issue they didn’t approve of  (essentially a review) said politician would fire back the following short note:      “Dear constituent.  You are a moron.”   

So bring on the reviews.  I’m ready.

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Maria Garcia-Kalb

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