And that’s why I’ll never leave twitter

Sometimes people ask me why I’m on twitter:

twitter

Also, notifications like this:

punted cunt tornado

I want this on a t-shirt.

Unrelated, but something I probably need to address anyway…this morning I wrote about my last book being translated into several different language and a ton of you are like, “Where is your next book?  Why are you making me wait?  Look at your life.  Look at your choices.”  And honestly the next book is coming but it’s really, really fucking hard.  Writing always is for me.  It’s something I’ve always done and will always do but I rewrite and rewrite and look at a blank page for days and feel like my head is constipated with thoughts I can’t write properly until suddenly it all comes together and I end up with one perfect page that took 2 weeks.  I want it to be perfect because a ton of it is about mental illness and that’s a subject I can’t half-ass because it’s that damn important.  Additionally I want it to be insanely funny, and surprisingly mental illness doesn’t easily lend itself to quick and dirty hilarity.  It’s coming along and some parts I’m incredibly proud of and some parts I’m struggling with because I want it to be brilliant for you.  I want people who suffer from mental illness to say “YES.  THAT’S IT.  I’M NOT ALONE.”  I want people who love people with mental illness to read it and say “Oh.  I think I understand a little better now.  I never knew how important I was to those who struggle.”  I want people who are undiagnosed to read it and think “Holy shit.  This is girl is insane but she makes sense so maybe it’s not such a big deal to get tested and treated just in case.”  I want people to say “WTF.  That couldn’t have possible be true because OHMYGODTHEREAREPICTURES” and then get kicked off planes for laughing hysterically.  And I want people who are never touched by mental illness to read it and laugh at the insane stories I’ve collected over the past couple of years and recognize all the little flaws that make us human and special and brilliant.  I could have turned something in last year that would have probably sold well and I would have liked it, but I just want this to be perfect so please know that the time spent waiting is time spent making it better and shinier and funnier and more real because once it’s out there I can’t get it back.  So many people were touched by my first book and in turn they touched me right back (not that way) and I don’t want to let you down.  I have a giant manuscript filled with post-it notes in the shape of Daleks and self-made notes in margins reading “EXTERMINATE THIS.  MAKE IT BETTER.  MAKE IT STRONGER.  MAKE ME A COCKTAIL.  WHO ATE ALL THE BANANAS?  FIND BETTER PICTURES OF ANGRY POSSUMS.”  It’s getting thicker every day and that’s a good thing.

What I can tell you is that the very few wonderful (and painfully honest) people I’ve let read my drafts think it’s some of the best work I’ve done and they keep me from throwing it all in the fire when I feel like a failure, and I hope that you’ll still be here to read it whenever I finish it.  It won’t be long in the scheme of things.

It’s coming.  I promise.  I hope I can make you proud.

And for those of you struggling with your own writing, a few bits of advice that help me to remember that good writing doesn’t always come easy:

I hate writing.  I love having written. ~ Dorothy Parker

There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. ~ Hemingway

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.  You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. E. L. Doctorow

What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hunter S. Thompson attacking writer’s block:

hst

I don’t blame him.

International Incidents

My first book just got released in Polish, and I haven’t seen it in real life but the cover looks sort of baffling and also adorable.

Polish let's pretend this never happened

I don’t speak Polish so I did a quick auto-translation to see what they’re actually saying about the book:

LET US MAKE BELIEVE THAT THIS IS NOT usually TRUE
AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Jenny Lawson,  PRIME MINISTER 27 AUGUST 2014

Hot Barbara and Wanda Gadomskie:
Jenny Lawson comes from killed desk holes in Texas. She grew up amidst a house of sensational eccentrics, insulated by asbestos. Her father – Feelin’ hairy giant  who looks like a dangerous version of ZACHA Galifianakisa – loved animals, but outside the right across … hunts and he taxidermies them. Mama was in turn a hot advocate of literate interpretation of the maxim: “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, which could not remain without influence on psychology of the heroine and her emotional life, especially as a child that already suffers from anxiety and depression. Jenny decided to tell their story and not wrapped in cotton. Through her sense of humor, millions of people doubted their own common sense, breaking my head, for example, on the author’s mad theory that Jesus really was a zombie.

I just read this to Victor and he was like, “That sounds like a better book than the one you wrote” and I’ll admit, it sounds intriguing.  The most fascinating part is that according to the title I think I’m going to be crowned the new Polish Prime Minister on August 27th.  I’m not sure it lasts longer than that one day so if you want any Polish laws, commandments or wishes passed then please leave them in the comments and I’ll approve all of them by waving the scepter I got when I became a Czar.  I assume it works internationally.  Also, I think this makes me a foreign diplomat and unarrestable on that day so I’m saving up all of my arson for then.  Don’t piss me off on August the 26th or you’ll be fucked.

PS. I just got a few copies of the Turkish version of my book in the mail and I’m giving a signed copy away if you want it.  Just leave me a comment and I’ll pick one.  Or if you prefer I’ll give you an English version.  Or I’ll pass a Polish proclamation that Saturday will henceforth be known as “YOUR-NAME-HEREday” and free cheeses will be available to all.  Up to you, really.

That's supposed to be me on the cover.  It's not really the most flattering position.

That’s supposed to be me on the cover. It’s not really the most flattering position.

FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, LOIS.

This isn’t a real post.  It’s just a quick update on Hailey because my grandparents complain that the cats get more play on this blog than my nine-year-old.  And they have a point.  This one’s for you, granny.

I’ve been a bit MIA because Hailey was at sleep-away camp and I spent each evening rocking in a fetal position while every slasher film I’ve ever seen ran through my mind.  At the end of the week, however, we drove up with the grandparents and found Hailey, alive, filthy, overjoyed and ready to show off the horseback riding skills she’d picked up at the ranch.  I was a bit nervous because Hailey takes after me when it comes to grace and she’d already good-naturedly accepted an award for (no shit) “MOST PRONE TO FALLING OFF THINGS.”

This camp was already old when Victor went there himself 30 years ago and apparently few things have changed.  It’s basically one of those camps where the kids sort of learn to fend for themselves and recover from helicopter-parents by hurting themselves a lot in the same stupid ways we did when we were kids with no real boundaries.

Hailey on a tractor made entirely from tetanus.

Hailey on a tractor made entirely from tetanus.

A few highlights from camp…

Things said by the adorable and very young counselors when they were discussing how the activities had gone:

Yoga:  “None of us had ever done yoga before so we let the kids teach us how to do roundoffs instead.  Later we found a yoga book in the van.”

Candy-making:  “We couldn’t find any supplies for candy-making so instead we just walked the kids to the store and bought them popsicles.  One day we tried to make some candy but it wasn’t cooking fast enough so we turned the oven up to 500 degrees and that didn’t work out at all.  On competition day we broke a chocolate bar into pieces to see who could spit their piece of chocolate the furthest.”

Movie-making: “I just basically turned on the camera and let them do what they wanted.”  Then they showed the movie.  It was 10 minutes of screaming girls tracking a panther by tasting the urine it was spraying out all over the place.

Skits:  We actually got to watch the skits and they were fascinating.  My favorite line was by Hailey’s nine-year-old cabin-mate who was giving helpful advice to a young girl who was pining for her lost summer camp puppy-love:  “FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, LOIS.  THIS IS CAMP.  GET TOUGH OR DIE.”  

Hailey told us about her horse (The Professor) whom she loved even though she’d originally been assigned to another horse.  When I asked why she’d switched to The Professor she told me, “It started raining and two of his shoes fell off so I had to use another horse.”  I don’t even know what to say about this.

In the end we sat in the bleachers to watch the camp rodeo and the horses all seemed lovely and healthy, and I nervously tightened Hailey’s riding helmet to help with the inevitable fall she’d probably take while barrel-racing.

I've never had that much confidence in my life.  It must skip a generation.

I’ve never had that much confidence in my life. It must skip a generation.

But she didn’t fall.

Hailey and The Professor.

She won.

SHE WON.

And this is her at the exact moment that she found out she’d gotten the fastest time in her division:

FURIOUSLY HAPPY.

FURIOUSLY HAPPY.

It’s also the same moment she begged to be able to come back again every summer for the rest of her life.

I couldn’t say no to that look of glee, even though I might not survive the worry.  But I just took a deep breath and nodded and reminded myself of some good advice I’d recently heard.  “For Christ’s sake, Lois.  This is camp.  Get tough or die.”

PS.  In these kinds of rodeos you don’t win trophies.  Instead you win belt buckles.  It’s like a trophy you wear over your genitals.  I don’t entirely understand the draw but it’s hard to argue with this face.

buckle

It’s not really that comforting.

A few days ago I wrote about comforters that make you into princesses and flamenco dancers and impossible astronauts, and I suspect that’s why today I got a targeted ad for this:

corpsey comforter

It’s like a Slim-Goodbody snuggie.  And I don’t entirely understand it but it seems somewhat helpful because when zombies break in to eat you they will probably just shuffle off disappointedly because it looks like other zombies have already eaten all your good stuff.  Also, I sort of like that the corpse is plus-sized.  You almost never see that in a corpse.  In fact, I expressed interest in being an extra on The Walking Dead last season but then I was told they were only casting for super skinny corpses because the zombies have been decomposing so long that they’d be super thin.  So once again, all the good roles go to the thin-enough-to-be-dead people.  I had a point with this but I have a sinus infection and I’m on a lot of cold meds.  I need a hot toddy.  And a corpsey comforter.

Both of them plus-sized, if you please.

Someone get a shoe.

Hunter S. Thomcat when he sees a tiny intruder in the house:

motherfucker

In fairness, it’s the exact same way I react to spiders.

Our marriage is more mature than we are.

Our wedding anniversary was a few days ago and I was going to hire an evil clown to stalk Victor for a week to celebrate it (that’s a real thing) but then I got a cold (which is currently trying to suffocate me), and also I was fairly certain that Victor’s automatic instinct would be to bludgeon the clown to death with his own shoes.  Instead we decided to just postpone our anniversary so that I can properly surprise Victor with a suitcase full of monkeys or something when he’s not expecting it.

We’ve officially been married now for 18 years, so if our marriage was a person it could be tried and convicted as an adult.  I’m fairly sure our marriage is now more mature than we are.

It seems weird to think we’ve been married for 18 years.  Sometimes it feels like we’ve only been married for 10 years because I’ve slept a lot so it seems like some years shouldn’t count, and sometimes it feels likes we’ve been married for forty years because some years are so much bigger than they should be.  But 18 seems right.

Old enough to make bad choices.  Young enough to still enjoy them.

18 seems about perfect.

PS. Sometimes people complain that I seldom post pictures of Victor and it’s hard to argue with that because if you search for google images of Victor you end up with stuff like this.  So I’m remedying that with a not-particularly-flattering but very candid picture of me and Victor, which shows why we never get taken seriously at neighborhood watch meetings.

You can't tell but he's laughing too.  Or he's mad.  It's hard to tell, really.

You can’t tell, but he’s totally laughing too. Or he’s really mad.  Or maybe it’s someone else entirely.  It’s hard to tell, really.  That man is a damn enigma.

PPS.  I’m on a lot of cold meds.  This might be obvious.

Whoa there, princess.

Victor and I usually fight over the right side of the bed because someone always eats cookies on my side of the bed.   Usually I’ll try to stake out the non-crumby side but then Victor just pushes me over even though I keep explaining that crumbs are natural exfoliants and that he’ll smell like delicious thin mints all night but he never falls for it.

Luckily, I found a company that makes comforters just for selfish people like me:

Hey there, princess.

Well hey there, princess.

PS.  Turns out that Victor is secure enough in his masculinity to not give a shit about princesses so instead I’m just buying this version so I can at least look super-fancy while sleeping on the couch.

****************

And in other news, it’s time for the weekly wrap-up:

(graphic by Kelly Vivanco)

What you missed in my shop (Named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by the fantastic Jane Devin, who just released her latest novel,  Bright Lines: A Life in Search of the Beautiful Ordinary.  After a childhood spent drifting between foster homes and the care of his criminally inept father, Easton McNeil embarks on a search for all the ‘beautifully ordinary’ things he’s never had.  Now an empty-nester, the man who’s always loved the idea of home sells his and embarks on a wholehearted mission to say yes.  You should buy it.  I just did.