Joss, please don’t kill me

By Mir
April 10, 2005
Category Books | Friends

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.

In summation:
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.)


  1. Jay Allen

    Please tell me you paid for the book. Because when I asked for a copy, Joshilyn told me what I could sit on, and how many times I could spin. To think that she likes you more than me…it’s just more than I can bear, my dear.

  2. Amy

    I love Joss, I love you, I wish we all lived in the same town so we could go shoe shopping together and I could sit by and listen to the brilliant conversations I’m sure you would have. And I don’t have a job, so I think I WILL stand outside of Borders this week telling everyone to BUY THIS BOOK, NOW, and If you ever write a book I’ll do the same for you. ;)

  3. T

    Ohhhhhh…I have to check the fundage. I totally have to get a signed copy…

  4. Joshilyn

    You are pretty. I am SO glad you enjoyed it, whew. It’s always spooky when someone you KNOW and like reads your book…AND for the record, I am PERFECTLY comfortable basking around in BOATLOADS of compliments…as long as they are about somethign I wrote. Just for the LOVE OF GOD do not say anythign nice about me, personally.

  5. Zuska

    I’ve linked to Joshilyn’s blog from yours in the past and can’t wait to read her book. I ran past it in a bookstore in Washington’s Penn Station last week but couldn’t stop or I’d miss my train, but now I wish I’d had just one more minute to pick it up!

    But equally important, I’m struggling to come up with a craft for my superhero-obsessed son that ISN’T as daunting as making capes; I’m thinkin’ I’ll have them decorate their own paper masks with stickers and crayons. Besides, since seeing the Incredibles, Zach has sworn off capes!

  6. Chewie

    Oh Zuska…I’m laughing my butt off right now because that is my FAV part of the Incredibles…”NO keps!” My kids and I say it randomly all day long…I know..pitiful, isn’t it?

    OK..back to your regular program.

  7. Kris

    I think she’ll be very pleased. After all – I imagine most of us will be out there buying her book within a couple days. It’s already on my wish list (I save up until I have enough for free shipping). You said so many nice things about her, I imagine she’ll be glowing!

  8. Rhonda

    Just ordered the book….looking forward to it.


  9. Amanda B.

    She seems like a funny gal. Of course I love anyone who sees the good, the bad, and the insanely hysterical about the south. Will have to check this book out.

  10. Jenny

    Ooh! I’m in the market for some new reading material. (And how have I not been reading Joshilyn’s blog?)

  11. diane

    Mir, what’s your handle on Literati? I’d like to look for you…but I bet you probably play in the la-ti-da lounges where the 2000+ ranked people live. ;)

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