dirt is good for you

Those of you who know me best know of my ongoing tortuous quest to write a book.  Yes, I am a total cliché in that I know I have the next great American novel in me.  The only thing that separates me from all the other book author wannabes is that I have never written a lick of fiction in my life.  I can’t seem to get over myself, which has kept my feet firmly planted in the narrative non-fiction, memoir genre.  And still, no book.

Why is this so important?  I have asked myself this question as I have toiled away with query letters, agents and proposals.  It comes down to the fact that getting a book deal legitimizes your work because someone thinks you are good enough that they can make money off you.  The fact that I just described prostitution is not lost on me gentle readers.  Yet, even if you are talented and lucky enough to get a book deal, the acceptance part is just beginning.  After you are published, you are reviewed – by professionals and readers alike.  Honestly, it is no wonder writers are total head cases.  We spend our lives begging readers to love us, never pleasing everyone.  I don’t see how authors can ever be at peace.

Because of this reality,  my pursuit of a book deal has ebbed and flowed.  It is currently ebbing as evidenced by my ability to find anything else in the world including scrubbing toilets something extremely important that needs my attention every time I sit down to work on my book.  I’m in the market for a muse.  Please send resumes to my email address at MoB.

All this being said, I am hoping to become newly inspired this evening when I attend my first book party in NYC… for something that I have actually written.  I am calling this a “book party lite.”  Babble.com recently published “Dirt is Good for You:  True Stories of Surviving Parenthood”.  It is an anthology in which I have two pieces from the Bad Parent column that I contribute to now and then.  The essays, Nude Awakening and Mama’s Boys, are my ticket to a trendy bar in Manhattan where I will get to meet editors who I have only traded emails with over the last several years.  Other than that, I have no expectations.

But if I meet some other writers there who already have book deals, maybe it will piss me off enough to come home and start the flow again.  Stay tuned!

PS – Remember the writer’s angst I spoke of in the second paragraph above?  Check out some of the reader reviews for the book.  The good ones are roughly equal to the bad ones in numbers, but I’m just sharing some of the more scathing remarks so you’ll understand why I twitch when you see me in person.  I hope “dirt” is good for writers, too because these haters really spreads it on thick.

On the whole though these authors just honestly digusted (sic) me. I can only think of one who actually sounded as if they were not some Manhattanite free-lance writer engaging in masturbatory overindulgence of the ego.

Have you ever been trapped in a conversation with a parent who spews endlessly about how their way of parenting is the best? Someone who takes their views to extreme? I had that same feeling when I was reading this book.

This book is intended for “urban, hipster” parents, which I’ve concluded is code for “since we pay $2500 a month for a 4th floor 800 square-foot walkup, we think we’re better than people who live in ranch homes and shop at Walmart.” Although the essays are by different authors, the tone is remarkably similar throughout–the unbearable smugness just won’t let up. Imagine the kids from high school who thought they were the coolest because they claimed to like bands that no one else had ever heard of. Okay, now imagine those kids raising kids, and telling you that since what they do goes “against the grain,” it’s totally hip. Annoying doesn’t even begin to cover it.

80% of the essays are written by the most unbelievably elitist uber-parents you could ever hope to meet in a Whole Foods market in Brooklyn.

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