I could write about the sun being out or the errands I ran yesterday or all the things I need to do today or the fact that Monkey is now suffering from my headache-and-fever malady of last weekend or that I have LESS! THAN! ONE! WEEK! to finish up things for Chickadee’s birthday party. (Remember the capes from Monkey’s birthday? Because I am incapable of learning from my mistakes, we’re making aprons for Chickadee’s party! Yes!) (Shut UP.)
But, no. We’ll not be talking about any of that, right now. Instead we’ll be talking about HOW FREAKING COOL it is that Joshilyn‘s pretty, pretty book arrived in the mail yesterday.
There are people out there that have become friends through this whole blogging thing, and that’s always awesome. I’m always just a little tiny bit, well, amazed when someone whom I consider to be an amazing writer actually likes me back. I find myself feeling all warm and fuzzy and floaty but maybe just peeking up every now and then to be on the lookout for, I dunno, a bucket of pig’s blood or something. I mean, I’m sure everyone does that. Right? No? Oh. Um. Hey! Just kidding, then!
Joshilyn happens to be a prolific and entertaining blogger as well as a downright lovely lady. She never lords it over me that she can kick my ass in Literati with half her brain tied behind her back. She understands when I confess that I sometimes have unnatural thoughts about pretty shoes. As you can see, our relationship is multifaceted.
But the reality is that sometimes, someone you adore does something that just doesn’t live up to expectations. And then you have to decide how to handle it. What do you say? How do you act?
I’m serious about my friendships and I would never want to hurt a friend’s feelings. But I’m also pretty serious about writing and I’m very serious about honesty. As I checked the status of my Amazon order eleventy billion times and then ran out to the mailbox four thousand times once my copy of her book had shipped, I pondered how I would proceed if the book wasn’t all I’d hoped it would be.
The possibilities offered several acceptable courses of action. Given my current schedule and the small humans that attempt to suck the life out of me, I could stall for quite a while, claiming I hadn’t read it yet. After that, I could let her know that I enjoyed it (it seemed impossible to me that I wouldn’t, even if it didn’t knock my socks off) and try not to discuss it further. Or I could attempt an intellectual discussion of whatever issues I had with it and hope she didn’t hate me. Or I could just change my name and move. There were lots of choices.
Yesterday, the long-awaited box arrived. I shoved aside the other contents–some books Chickadee’s therapist suggested–because really, one has to have priorities, and triumphantly pulled out my pristine copy of gods in Alabama. I snuck pages of it here and there while I shuffled the kids through the evening routine and dosed Monkey with motrin and supervised Chickadee’s shower and then once they were in bed, I got serious.
I sat with gods and a Heath bar and swallowed them both whole. Finally I turned the last page, blinked at the clock and calculated how little sleep I was going to get, and went to bed.
The bad news is, the book wasn’t all I’d hoped it would be.
The good news is, it was way more.
I could tell you to buy her book because she’s my friend and a great writer, sure. I wouldn’t even put that past me; it’s the kind of thing I would do, wide-eyed sincerity and all. She is my friend and she is a great writer. But hey, I’m a great writer (in my own oh-so-humble opinion) and I couldn’t write a novel if my life depended on it. So that’s not what I want to say.
What I want to say is that if you read, you MUST read this book because you’ll kick yourself if you don’t. It’s all the things the back cover says and then some. It’s so well-crafted that I looked at my blog and thought Hey, my writing is good, compared to this book, in the sense that a Big Mac is still technically food, even when compared to chateaubriand.
And then I pulled myself out of my pit of comparison and inferiority and decided to quit my job and hang around at Borders and tell people to BUY THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. But then it occurred to me that it might be more prudent and less illegal to just come here and tell all of you.
1) You should be reading Joshilyn’s blog if you aren’t already, because she’s a funny lady.
2) You should go out RIGHT NOW and buy gods in Alabama from anyplace that will sell it to you, but Amazon is pretty handy. Or if you want to order a signed copy and support Book Sense, you can do that until April 23rd.
3) Don’t play Joshilyn in Literati unless you feel like having your ego squashed.
4) The betting pool is now open: contact me for the odds on how long it’s going to take for Joss to speak to me again, because she is going to be all manner of pissed with me on account of her mental illness only allows for teeny tiny and preferrably indirect compliments. (In my defense: neener neener! Oh, wait, no… I mean… I couldn’t help it.)