Category Archives: I am totally overrated

Pretend You’re Good At It

If you’ve read Furiously Happy, you already know I wrote an entire chapter about how I almost lost the chance to narrate my first book because I was too terrified and kept fucking up.  My amazing friend Neil Gaiman gave me the wonderful advice to “pretend you’re good at it” and it worked.  Since then I have written that mantra on my arm every time I panic.  I write it a lot.  

Today the Audie Award nominations were announced and I found out that I’m a finalist in the categories of Humor and Best Narration by Author.  And I may have cried a little.  Because I still have to pretend I’m good at it (and perhaps I always will) but maybe it’s not as obvious to everyone else.  Which is nice.  No pretending necessary.

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PS. It just dawned on me that most of you probably have no idea what the Audie Awards are.  They’re like the Grammys, but substitute “glamorous rockstars” with “audio books”.  So, yeah.  It’s a pretty big deal.

PPS.  Giant thanks to everyone who bought my audiobook.  I like to pretend that I’m going with you on long road trips, or that I’m in your house with you while you’re doing the dishes.  It makes me feel less hermity and also lightly stalkerish, but in a friendly and encouraging sort of way.

PPPS.  Everyone in these categories are amazing.  You should check out all of these books.

PPPPS.

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Booksgiving. An experiment.

Last September when Furiously Happy came out I was so terrified that people wouldn’t like it, wouldn’t understand it, or would run away after realizing I’m quite a bit crazier than I ever let on.  But you stayed – for the most part – and then even more of you showed up, and now it’s February and Furiously Happy is still on the top 20 NYT list.  This is because of you.  You share quotes, and pictures of yourself reading it, and tell others that it helped and pass it on to people who you think will need it to understand you or to better understand themselves.  Every day I see people online sharing it and it makes such a difference to me and to the people who every day discover that they are so much less alone than they thought.bookplateforfuriouslyhappy

As a thank you I’d like to give you all a box full of live kittens but I don’t have that many kittens or boxes and also I don’t have your address, so instead today I’m giving out copies of Furiously Happy to people who haven’t been able to afford a copy.  If you’re struggling right now and you need a copy just make a wishlist with Furiously Happy on it.  Or if you have Furiously Happy but need someone to buy you another book to get you through a rough time then make a wish list with that book on it.  A book you loved as a kid.  A book to calm you, or revive you, or to read to children.

rory furiouslyhappyI’m going to give out 30 copies of my book.  If you need one I’m going to tell you how to do it.  And every time I do this sort of thing others want to get involved and help so if you want to give books to someone in need you can click on the wish lists in the comments section and send hope and stories and escape to lovely strangers.

Will this work?  No idea.  But let’s try.

Here are the rules:

  1.  If you’re in a rough place and need a book to transport you somewhere else make a BRAND NEW wish list with nothing on it but the book you want.  (Exception: If you have a kid who needs a book you can add that too.)
  2. Here’s how you make a wish list:  Under “Your Lists” on the right, top side of Amazon select “Create a list”.  Choose “Wish list” and name it something like “The book I really need right now” and choose “Public”.  Then click “Create list”.  Now add a book to your list by going to the book and clicking the “add to list” button on the bottom right.  Now here’s the most important thing that everyone forgets to do.  You have to assign a shipping address to that specific wish list or it won’t go to you.  So click on the wish list and click on “public” and it’ll take you to “List settings”.  Click “view details” and where it says “shipping address” add yours.  (Your city will be shown to others but not your full address.)  Then save changes.  Now leave a comment with a link to your wish list.  Click here for my sample wish list so you’ll know what one looks like.  I have about 20 books listed on it for inspiration if you don’t know exactly what you want.  In your comment say which book you want in case someone specifically wants to buy you that book.  Feel happy.
  3. Here’s how you buy a book for a stranger.  Click on their link.  Choose a book.  Select their name so it goes to their address.  If it doesn’t give you the option of picking their name it means they didn’t add a shipping address so delete what’s in your cart and go to the next person.  Send a story to someone in need.  Feel happy.

The only rule is that this is just for books.  No gift cards or clothes or anything else because it gets out of hand really quickly.  Just a simple book to take you away from the world and help you find new ones.

And as always, thank you.  Thank you for supporting my words and listening and passing them on to others.  I’m hesitantly starting book 3 right now and you’re giving me strength to keep writing even when I doubt myself.  I owe you one.  Or 30.

UPDATED: Here are screen shots of what you should see while making a wishlist and add a shipping destination because it’s really easy to mess up.

Create a list under “Your lists”.

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Make it a wish list, name it and make it public.

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After you click “create list” click on the “public” button below:

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Click “view details” to add your shipping address to this wish list:

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Choose a shipping address and save changes.

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Now you’re ready to add something to your list.  Pick a book and choose the “add to list” button on bottom right side:

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If you have another wish list set as your default then you’ll need to click “move to another list.”

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Just click the list you’re going to share here.

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Now go to the wish list and copy the link and paste it into the comments.  That should work.  There might be a better way of doing it but that’s how I do it.

PS.  If you click on a wish list that says it’s empty that’s because the book has been bought for them.  :)  If you leave a comment and don’t see it that’s because my blog puts people into moderation for a bit so I have to approve the comments and sometimes it takes me a minute.  It’ll show up.

PPS.  In the time it’s taken for me to write all of this a ton of books have been sent out to strangers (I prefer the term “strangelings”) on the internet and I haven’t even started giving away my own portion.  Thank you.  For asking and for giving.

PPPS.  It’s 10:30pm Texas time and when I try to buy people books it gives me an error message during checkout.  I’m just going to assume we broke amazon with our awesomeness.  If you get error messages too just try again in a bit.  Also, a ton of books have been sent out all over the world so you might have to search a lot to find a wish list that hasn’t been filled.  Keep looking though if you want to help.  New comments are approved every 15 minutes (until I go to sleep, at least) and they’re still coming in.

UPDATED, DAY 2:  Technically yesterday was Booksgiving but Amazon crashed for like 4 hours yesterday so I say we keep going today.  Besides, it’s a leap year so we get an extra day this month anyway.  Might as well use it for good.

Also, are you reading these comments?  Because you should be…

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I love you guys.  Off to buy more books…

 

 

If it’s Saturday this must be Florida.

Hello, Florida!  Today I’m at Books &Books in Coral Gables, Florida at 7pm.  Come see me?  Pretty please?  Space is limited for the event so you may want to buy a book from the store to have a guaranteed spot for the reading, but I’ll stay later and sign anything you want for free even if you don’t have a book at all.

This is my last stop on the first leg of the tour and I love you all for your support! It’s been exhausting and wonderful and terrifying and brilliant all at once. But it’s the final stop for a week, which is good because I miss my couch and everyone who snuggles with me on it.  So let’s make this awesome, Miami, because I am leaving it all on the stage.  And by “it” I mean my dirty laundry, probably some empty bottles and what’s left of my dignity.

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See here for the rest of the tour.  Pretend I said something witty here, okay?

Love.

IT’S HAPPENING. IT’S REALLY HAPPENING.

I got an email from editor saying “HAPPY PUB DAY!” and I was like, there’s a special day just for going to pubs?  My God, we released my book on exactly the right day, but then I realized “pub” was short for “published” and OMG ::KERMIT FLAIL:: Y’ALL, MY BOOK IS OUT TODAY.  Did you get it?  Did you read it?  Are you now running away because you realize I’m even crazier than I may have let on?

I stayed up late watching lovely people who were counting down the minutes until midnight when my book would show up on their reader and it seems surreal that after years of working on this it’s finally in your hands.  Thank you for making me write this.  Thank you for supporting me and passing on my work to others and for sharing and for helping me when I find myself stuck.  Thank you.

And tonight?  We party as if we all had ponies.  Tonight is our launch and instead of doing tv shows and fancy parties I’m staying home and broadcasting live from my house as I do a reading and a Q&A for you guys and I’m nervous as hell but also very excited because over 1000 of you have already RSVPed and that’s about 998 more people I’ve ever had at my house in real life.  To watch it just click here at 7pm central tonight.  You don’t have to have a camera or an account…just computer that can pick up a video feed.  With luck it’ll go well and not crash, but if it crashes just follow me on twitter and we’ll regroup.  You can chat in the hangout, I think, but it’ll probably be easier if you do it on twitter using the hashtag #FH so everyone can follow along.  Or just lurk.  Or come late and watch the recorded video and pretend it’s live.  Or skip it and go spelunking.  Whatever makes you (furiously) happy.

PS.  I just checked and my book is #3 on Amazon in biographies right now.  Yeehaw!  Number one is Mindy Kaling who is too adorable for me to stab so I can take her place, but number two is “Bill O’Reilly Killing Reagan“.  WTF?  I already didn’t like O’Reilly and now he’s killing Reagan and beating me in rankings?  This is why we can’t have nice things.

PPS.  Last night we did a test to see if I could make google hangouts work and I super fucked it up at first but then we got our shit together and giant thank yous go out to the hundreds of people who showed up to tell me what I was doing wrong and also to see my beaver.  If you want to see what you missed it’s recorded right here and if you click on “cc” for subtitles it becomes even more ridiculous.

See you at 7?  Yes?  Right here.

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It’s like a lemonade stand, but not at all.

My 10-year-old daughter got a “fashion sketchbook” last Christmas and she uses it to draw obscure t-shirt designs and astronaut suits and clothes for cats.  She showed me one design that seemed particularly confusing.

She’d started with the phrase “I PUNCH LIKE A GIRL” because she thought it was empowering (plus also anyone questioning her would get punched) so the t-shirt was both a girl-power mantra and also a legal disclaimer, but she’d messed up the “G” because “cursive is hard” and it looked like a “B” so she decided to just change it to “I PUNCH LIKE A BEAR”.

Which is awesome.  For girls and guys.  So she designed the shirt (with a little help from me) and is now selling it in my shop because that’s what kids do today instead of lemonade stands.  I assume.

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*******

And now, the weekly wrap-up…

SID3

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Jennifer Ammoscato, author of the novel Dear Internet: It’s Me, Avery. When newspaper reporter Avery Fowler discovers her husband is having an affair, the online help site HowTo.com is naturally where she turns to navigate this challenging stage of her life. Its live chat option gives her a virtual life coach (Clementine, a snippy, British chippy) for the low, low price of $14.95 a month. A perfect book for anyone who’s been screwed over. Or had a bad hair day. Or tried haemorrhoid cream under their eyes to hide the bags because they read online it might help. You can check it out here.

Well that’s…huh.

Did you know that if you search for “giant dildo” on Amazon my first book is the 4th thing that shows up?  Not that I was searching for giant dildos.  I mean, I was but only because someone else told me that if you search for “giant dildo” my book pops right up (Her: “It’s awesome that your work is so versatile and all, but I’m a little concerned about paper cuts”) and I thought she was fucking with me, but then I checked myself and she was totally right.

This is real.

This is real.

And what’s even more baffling here is that no dildos showed up at all.  Way to frustrate your customers, Amazon.  There were some “party beads” that showed up at the end of the first page, which is weird because what kind of party are you having?

I mean, not that I’m judging you.  After all, I just unsuccessfully looked for giant dildos and ended up finding myself.  Jesus.  That sounds even worse when I write it out.

But in my defense, I also looked up my upcoming book and Amazon said it was the #1 new release in “Medical Psychology Pathologies”, which is nice because now when I go to dinner parties with strangers and they’re like, “Oh, I’m familiar with your work.  I found it while looking for giant dildos” I can say, “I’m not sure what you’re referring to.  I’m the #1 Medical Psychology Pathologies author in America.  Good luck hunting for your giant dildo though.”

Honestly this seems just as odd as the prior photo.

Honestly this seems just as odd as the prior photo.

PS.  You can look all this up on Amazon to confirm it but you will get a shitload of inappropriate google ads based on your search history and then later when you go to show your grandmother some kittens on Facebook your computer will be like “HEY!  DID YOU FIND THAT GIANT DILDO YOU WERE LOOKING FOR?  CHECK THESE OUT!”  Just an FYI, y’all.  ‘Cause I care.

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And now, the weekly wrap-up…

SID3

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

  • As requested, #WheresRory shirts to confuse everyone around you.

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you once again by Kathleen Flinn’s Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, a memoir with recipes said to be “hilarious” by Redbook and “poignant” by Kirkus Reviews and “cheaper, now that it’s in paperback” by the author. The book was a finalist in the IACP Cookbook Awards, Goodreads Choice Awards, the Northwest Book Awards and was named a 2015 Michigan Notable Book. To celebrate the paperback, Kathleen is doing a full month of giveaways that include kitchen stuff such as a full-on canning setup, a fancy Wusthof knife and a whole bunch of jars of blueberry jam that she claims to be making herself. You should go check it out (and enter the contest) here.

IT’S HERE. IT’S HERE. IT’S HERE.

Look what just came in the mail, you guys!

The real, final copy of my book.

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It feels so real and heavy and substantial and holy crap, y’all, after years of work and doubt it’s actually done.  Well, not done done because the book tour starts in four weeks, but still.  And I heard Victor in the other room leafing through it and laughing out loud.  And that man doesn’t laugh out loud.  Best review ever.

PS.  You’re in this book.  Be prepared.  (It’s all good though.)

PPS. Did you sign up for your free, autographed bookplate?  Because they’re going fast.  And I’m giving away a copy on that same post so leave a comment?

PPPS.  Thank you.  I would never have finished this without your support.  I hope to God you like it.

Will a signed copy of my book one day be worth one million dollars? Almost probably.

So, I was asked to sign some collector copies of FURIOUSLY HAPPY for people who wanted a signed book but didn’t want to go to a signing and I said I’d do it, but then I got a draft of the signing page and it said something like, “This limited, signed, 1st edition has been specially bound” and it felt like it was missing something, so I scrawled “IN HUMAN SKIN” on the bottom and sent it back.  Then a month later I got to sign the actual books:

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I fucking love my job.

Lots of indie bookstores will have collector signed copies available so if you want one just check this list for your local store and then call or email to pre-order:

AL: Alabama Booksmith, Homewood * Capitol Book & News CO, Montgomery * Little Professor Book Center, Homewood
AZ: Antigone Books, Tucson  * Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe * University Of Arizona Bookstore, Tucson
CA: Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena * A Great Good Place, Oakland * Alexander Book CO, San Francisco * Book Seller, Grass Valley * Book Shop West Portal, San Francisco * Books Inc, San Francisco * Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Chaucers Books, Santa Barbara * Copperfield’s Books, Sebastopol * Gallery Bookshop, Mendocino * Green Apple Books, San Francisco * Haight Booksmith, San Francisco * Kepler’s 2020, Menlo Park * Readers’ Books, Sonoma * Skylight Books, Los Angeles * Warwicks, La Jolla
CO: Book Shop of Fort Collins, Fort Collins * Bookies, Denver * Bookworm of Edwards , Edwards  * Boulder Bookstore * Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver
DC: Kramerbooks & Afterwords, Washington
DE: Browseabout Shop Inc, Rehoboth Beach
FL: Bookstore 1 Sarasota * Classic Bookshop, Palm Beach * Inkwood Books, Tampa * BookMark, Neptune Beach  * Vero Beach Book Center, Vero Beach
GA: A Cappella Books, Atlanta * Avid Bookshop, Athens * E Shaver Fine Books, Savannah * Eagle Eye Bookshop, Decatur * G J Ford Bookshop & Café, St Simons Island * Little Shop of Stories, Decatur
IA: Prairie Lights-Bookstore, Iowa City * Iowa Book, Iowa City
IL: Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville * Book Cellar, Chicago *
Book Stall of Winnetka, Winnetka * Book Table, Oak Park *
City Lit Books, Chicago * Unabridged Bookstore, Chicago
KS: Raven Book Store, Lawrence
KY: Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville * Coffeetree Books, Morehead
The Morris Bookshop, Lexington
LA: Garden District Bookshop, New Orleans * Maple Street Bookshop, New Orleans * Octavia Books, New Orleans
MA: Odyssey Bookshop Inc, South Hadley
ME: Maine Coast Bookshop, Damariscotta * Sherman’s Books & Stationery, Boothbay Harbor
MI: Bookbug, Kalamazoo * Between the Covers, Harbor Springs * Forever Books, Saint Joseph * Horizon Books, Traverse City * Literati, Ann Arbor *
Mclean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey * Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids
MN: Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis * Common Good Books, Saint Paul * University Minnesota Bookstore, Minneapolis
MO: Subterranean Books, Saint LouisThe Novel Neighbor, Saint Louis
MS: Fountain Books GreenwoodLe Muria Books, Jackson * Square Books, Oxford
NC: Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh * Park Road Books, Charlotte Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill * Malaprop’s Bookstore, Ashville * Regulator Bookshop, Durham
NH: Country Bookseller, Wolfeboro * Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord 
NJ: Word Bookstore, Jersey City
NM: Bookworks, Albuquerque * Collected Works Bookstore, Santa Fe
NY: Book Revue, HuntingtonWord Bookstore, Brooklyn * Oblong Books & Music, MillertonOpen Door Bookstore, SchenectadyPower House Arena, Brooklyn * The Golden Notebook, WoodstockStrand Bookstore, New York * The Northshire Bookstore
OH: Book Loft, Columbus * Joseph Beth, CincinnatiThe Bookshelf, CincinnatiBooksellers on Fountain Square, CincinnatiBooksellers at Austin Landing, Miamisburg * Jay & Mary’s Book Center, TroyLearned Owl, Hudson
OR: V J Books, Tualatin
PA: Penguin Bookshop, SewickleyTowne Book Center and Cafe, Collegeville
RI: Books on the Square, Providence
SC: Hub City Bookshop, Spartanburg
TN: Union Ave Books, Knoxville * Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis
TX: Brazos Bookstore, Houston *
UT: The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake CityDolly’s Bookstore, Park City
VA: One More Page, Arlington
VT: Everyone’s Books, Brattleboro   * Phoenix Books, Essex * Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock
WA: The Elliott Bay Book Company, SeattleVillage Books, Bellingham
WI: Books and Company, Oconomowoc
CAN: Raincoast Books, Richmond, BC

And you can preorder it online at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or if you’re in Canada, you can get it at Indigo.

And you may be saying to yourself, “But what if I already preordered?  Why am I being punished for being helpful and supportive?  WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO US, JENNY?” and I would say, first of all, stop yelling because you’re going to get us all fired.  And secondly? I’ve got your back, Little Ninja, because if you preordered and can’t make it to a book signing then just click right here to fill in your address and you will get (for free!) a signed bookplate that you can stick inside your book.  Last time my bookplates had Hamlet Von Schnitzel on them and that’s hard to top, but these have illustrations of the Midnight Raccoon Rodeo on them and they are better than tacos:

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You might be saying to yourself, “What is the Midnight Raccoon Rodeo?  Is this supposed to make sense to me?  STOP GIVING ME REFERENCES I DON’T YET GET, YOU WHORE” and I would say, “Calm your tits, y’all.  Calm all of your beautiful tits. Are you hungry right now?  Because you’re not yourself.  Go eat some cheesecake.  And then go listen to the sample of my audiobook where you can hear a tiny snippet of what the Midnight Raccoon Rodeo is all about.  You’ll have to get the book to find out how I actually lost both of my arms and if I ever got them back though.  That’s a teaser, btw.  Not a very good one if you’ve seen pictures of me with arms lately, but still.”

Here’s a picture of me signing hundreds of bookplates in spite of the fact that Hunter S. Thomcat insisted they were tiny pillows he needed to lay on while I was signing them.

Hunter: “Why are you writing on my pillows?  What are you even doing?”

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FYI: A few of bookplates have weird marks from when the cats would grab at my pen while I was signing (because my cats are assholes who don’t understand professionalism) but whenever that happened I tried to make up for it by turning the errant squiggle into a small drawing of a dog’s face or curly fries, or a lower intestine.  Sorry.  I had to work with what they gave me.

So go preorder and then get your bookplate and then leave me a comment because I’ve heard a rumor I’ll be getting real copies of the book any day now and I’d love to give a few away as a small thank you for your incredible support.

Honestly, this book would never have happened without you.

So if people don’t like it, I’m blaming you.

Let me be frank.

This week I spoke at frank in Florida and it was lovely.  Click here to see the glorious magnificence of my hotel room.  I highly recommend checking out all of the speeches but if you have 30 minutes and want to see mine you can check it out here.  You have to fast-forward to the end to see it.  It’s at the 1 hour 14 minute mark.

PS. I corrected Matt who credited @crappytaxidermy but it actually was @craptaxidermy so ignore me.  And I’m sure I fucked up other stuff too.  The usual.

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PPS.  Unrelated, but this dress debate is killing me.  You’ve seen this, right?

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I saw this CLEARLY WHITE AND GOLD dress this morning and everyone else I know is saying it’s clearly black and blue so I ask Victor and he said it was black and blue as well and that’s when I decided this was a big practical joke on me.  You win.  Lot of trouble to go through to make me think I’m losing my mind, y’all.

PPS.  WHAT THE FUCKETY FUCK.  I just looked at it again and now it’s black and blue and I can’t understand how I ever thought it was gold and white.  What sort of wizardry is this?

My grandparents would be very proud. Maybe.

You guys.  My book has now been translated into Czech, which is awesome because my dad’s parents are Czech and if they were still alive I think they would be very proud.  Or they’d change their names and pretend they were Bolivian.

I never know what the covers are going to look like so it’s always a surprise.  This one is a particular favorite because I’m pretty sure they dressed up a live mouse in a Shakespearean costume, and also because it literally has the word “fuck” scrawled right on the front cover.  That’s not something I did myself.  The cover is intentionally vandalized.  And that is awesome.

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I think it translates to “Fuck.  This is true?”  Which?  Fair enough, I guess.

Apparently it’s getting good reviews, although I can’t read them because I don’t speak Czech.  But I did do a translation of one of them and this paragraph was pretty explanatory:

“When the snake looks like a rattlesnake and still has before him an armed to the teeth mother, it’s the same as if you were in front of the cop and pulled out a fake gun. In both cases you are expecting nothing but death. Texas is a state where they once banned sodomy and oral sex, but calmly here in the name of passion hunting is tolerated when guys smell like skunks.”

So, yeah.  NAILED IT.

PS. This could never have happened without your amazing support so as a small token of thanks I’m giving away an autographed copy of my book in whatever language you want.  Or an autographed copy of someone else’s book.  Or a banana.  You want me to sign a banana?  ‘Cause I can do that.  You need a cake?  Whatever you want really.  Just tell me what you want in the comments and I’ll randomly pick someone to send an autographed hamster or whatever it is you need.

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UPDATED:  Okay, I’m sending signed weird things to several of you but the actual winner is Karen Martin, who made me cry a little with her comment:

One of my last favorite fabulous days with my mother was sitting on the beach raeding your book right when it came out. I was laughing so hard at everything and mom asked what was so funny? So I started reading aloud the part I was reading at that moment and mom grabbed the book out of my hands and proceeded to read the entire book! She loved it and once I got it back, so did I! Mom suffered from six strokes shortly thereafter and held on for almost a year after. I was blessed with the gift of caring for her during that time and would read your book to her wvwn though she couldn’t outwardly respond. I know she was laughing inside though. In her memory, I would love a book signed to her, Claudette, so I can always see a visual of the love we shared and all the laughter! You rock, Jenny, and you rocked my mom’s world, too!

Thank you so much for sharing that, Karen.  Check your email.