Tag Archives: book

Why Write?

Disappointment isn’t something that I deal with well. More often than not I keep things behind the scenes, but occasionally whining slips out—as evidenced by this post I’ve written and quickly put up before I could go and delete it.

But I’ve been thinking I need a new hobby. This writing thing has been great and I truly enjoy it, but the disappointment and rejection tend to build and create this volcano of frustration and self-doubt that threatens to erupt when even the garbage man refuses to buy my new book.

YOU CAN READ IT WHILE YOU’RE ON THE CRAPPER, YOU FOOL!

Anyway, I have a couple humor-centric posts coming soon, but that’s where my head is. Stuck up my butt in a constant loop of defeat, researching ways to make creative doilies out of cat hair and perfecting my pitch for “Shark Tank.”

But a friend—a writer friend—alerted me to something she had recently read that might resonate, and yes, yes it did. It’s an introduction to “Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Writers on How and Why They Do What They Do” by editor Meredith Maran.

Below is part of what she had to say:

“Why do writers write? Anyone who’s ever sworn at a blinking cursor has asked herself that question at some point. Or at many, many points.

When the work is going well, and the author is transported, fingers flying under the watchful eye of the muse, she might wonder, as she takes her first sip of the coffee she poured and forgot about hours ago, ‘How did I get so lucky, that this is what I get to do?’

And then there are the less rapturous writing days or weeks or decades, when the muse is injured on the job and leaves the author sunk to the armpits in quicksand, and every word she types or scribbles is wrong, wrong, wrong, and she cries out to the heavens, ‘Why am I doing this to myself?’

It’s a curiosity in either case. Why do some people become neurosurgeons, dental hygienists, investment bankers, while others choose an avocation that promises only poverty, rejection, and self-doubt? Why do otherwise rational individuals get up every morning – often very, very early in the morning, before the sun or the family or the day job calls – and willingly enter the cage?

Is it the triumph of seeing one’s words in print? Statistics show this isn’t a reasonable incentive. According to the website Publishing Explained, more than one million manuscripts are currently searching for a U.S. publisher. One percent of these will get the nod.

Nor can we credit the satisfaction of a job well done. As the ever-cheerful Oscar Wilde put it, “Books are never finished. They are merely abandoned.” Only 30 percent of published books turn a profit, so we can rule out material motivation. God knows it can’t be for the boost in self-esteem. To paraphrase Charlie Chaplin’s depiction of actors, ‘Writers search for rejection. If they don’t get it, they reject themselves.’

Why, then, does anyone write? Unlike performing brain surgery, cleaning teeth, or trading books, anyone can pick up a yellow pad or a laptop or a journal and create a poem or a story or a memoir. And, despite the odds against attaining the desired result, many, many people do. We fill our journals and write our novels and take our writing classes. We read voraciously, marveling at the sentences and characters and plot twists our favorite authors bestow upon us. How do they do it? we ask ourselves. And why?”

In 2001, naturalist Terry Tempest Williams addressed the question in “Why I Write” in Northern Lights magazine.

“I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create fabric in a world that often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin a dialogue. I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things differently perhaps the world will change.”

I don’t know if I would go as far as to say I write in hopes the world will change, but I suppose I write in hopes that my world will change in some way. Writing gives me an escape, and although at times it feels like it makes me a prisoner to my head and leaves me at the mercy of readers who might not be there, I come back. Every day I come back to the words.

And I promise words with less weight in the future, but I just had to vent. Today, that’s what writing is for (the doilies will just have to wait.)

If you write, why do you write? If you read, why do you read?

Like the blog? Buy the NEW book here. Why? It has stories about drunk nuns, Vanilla Ice and adventures at the ATM. Plus, you’ll be cooler than my garbage man. 

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Talking Dirty

If you’re new here, I should tell you that I love my garden and flowers.

The OCD in me takes immense pleasure in dead-heading petunias, picking green beans and pulling out weeds (in both my yard and any other surface that makes me feel twitchy—it’s actually really a curse.)

While Michigan weather is unpredictable, it’s usually a safe bet that you can start planting things any time after Memorial Day, which means we’re getting down and dirty around Chez Abby these days.

But a few trips to the greenhouse and Home Depot combined with my useless need to make puns have enlightened (questionable word choice) me to the fact that the simple act of gardening could also be a great bed to plant the seeds for a budding romance—or at least leaf a good first impression.

So if you’re someone like me whose relationship status is often: “Drunk on allergy medication and just cleaned out the cat’s crap box,” this guide might be just what you need to get down and dirty.

Get Down and Dirty

The most important thing to remember is that no trip to Home Depot (or similar home improvement store that will make you feel like you need all new handles for your cabinets) is official until you loudly proclaim either, “I just want a good stud finder!” or “Where my hose at?”

This establishes your mission—not to simply find tools or get kelp for your yard, but to find someone who will be mowtivated to maybe plant one on you (wink, wink.)

When approached by a possible suitor, be sure to lure them over to the gardening section, as making initial contact around the nails, caulk and nipples is a bit too forward these days—and the puns are entirely too obvious. You’re screwed.

See? Way too obvious.

Once you’ve secured your position in the Garden Center, casually mention that you’re an entre-manure who wants to create Miracle-Gro for small boobs. If they don’t get your humor, move on, as brilliance cannot be wasted on those who can’t till it like it is.

But what’s that, you say? They dug what you said?

Then with the fertile groundwork planted, continue to cultivate the conversation by sharing that although you’re “a bit rough around the hedges, you’re really a kick in the plants” or that you “just finished trimming your bush and are looking for veggies that will ex-seed all your expectations.”

They will probably counter with something that sounds like, “Umm…I’m rooting for you—ha, ha—but I thought you were looking for the aisle that contained cow shit for your garden.” That should be interpreted as, “I think that weed make a great pair.”

But if you’re forced to leave without your stud finder or hose, don’t feel too bad. Remember, it’s the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and at the end of the day, you’re still single and ready to shingle.

gnomes

And of course, there’s no place like gnome.

Like the blog? Buy the NEW book!

Thanks again to everyone who has shared and will continue to share—hint, hint—the news about my new book. If you read it and don’t hate it, I would love for you to write an Amazon review. If you hated it, then you probably hate my blog. And raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but that’s okay. Some people are weird. Don’t feel bad.

Anyway, the winner of the Amazon gift card as chosen by random.org is Marie! I’ll send you an email today.

Spring Word Search

This isn’t a “real” post.

Well, technically it is considering that I wrote words and published it here, but the “real” post will come on Tuesday, so be prepared for mild amusement and/or disappointment and the winner of my giveaway.

Yes, the giveaway!

The real reason for this post that isn’t really a post is to remind you to 1) read my last post 2) humor me by possibly buying the book and 3) leave a comment so you can be entered to win the Amazon gift card.

With your “to-do” clearly established, I will also add that I wrote this post that isn’t really a post is to 4) thank everyone who HAS read, shared and commented on my last post and 5) welcome all the new followers as a result of those shares and a magical alignment of the stars.

Because I’m saving a “real” post for Tuesday—good lord, I better make sure I have a post done by Tuesday—I thought today would be a good time to do another “Word Search” post.

For the uninitiated, I get some very random and often humorous search terms that lead to my blog. Sometimes I can tell what post led them here, but sometimes I’m confused and a little bit disturbed.

For example, I’m not sure what it means that “emotional constipation” has shown up on the list more than once, but I don’t feel like that’s very favorable for me. Actually, it’s not very favorable for whoever is Googling “emotional constipation.” They really should start up a blog.

Anyway, I present the latest Word Search installment (with my notes in parenthesis.)

  • I’ve got on my big girl panties, bitch bra and shitkicker boots
  • I wish it were socially acceptable to hibernate (whoever Googled this—we should be friends)
  • Fine, whatever. I’ll just date myself.
  • I love stickers and raccoons hunting with pellet guns (who doesn’t?)
  • Peegret—when you wish you would have gone to the bathroom before you left
  • I have to be naked when I drive
  • Banana clips or Polish babushkas? (Forget the meaning of life. This is the important stuff, people.)
  • Woman cites “He hit ‘reply all’” as reason for insanity. Judge accepts plea.
  • Vanilla Ice in a thong
  • Traveling gnomes using the squatty potty and avocado cutters (at the same time?)
  • I wrote “bitch” in my GPS and it lead me to your driveway (I saw you pull in and dove behind the couch)
  • My grandma is totes cray-cray (probably because you use the words “totes” and “cray-cray,” which technically aren’t even real words)
  • My dog calms down after I put a dress on her (please send pictures)
  • I would exercise but it makes me spill my drink
  • I like putting on a show for the neighbor lady with my tater tots (let’s assume tater tots is NOT a euphemism for anything else, shall we?)
  • Boy squirrel glued in a French maid dress cleaning the house (is this a thing? I would totally sign up for that.)
  • I’ll be your dork

I will be your dork for as long as you guys will put up with me. And if you’ve put up with me all the way to the end of this post that isn’t really a post, I will remind you again to enter the giveaway and then come back next time when one person will be announced the winner and everyone else will be disappointed and probably never visit again.

But for now, enjoy your weekend. Unless you’re the person who Googled “I want to nurture Martha Stewart and help her with her bra wedgie.”

In that case, you’re on your own.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

Abby Still Has Issues and a Giveaway!

I wrote another book.

cover2front

You probably have questions, like “Why in the world did you think that’s a good idea?” “Why should anyone buy this? and “How did it feel to find a picture of yourself as a toddler in a bathing suit and realize your boobs are still the same size?”

Well—you little ray of sunshine, you—perhaps writing this book wasn’t a good idea and maybe no one will buy it. But people actually buy Snuggies, so I figured it was worth giving it a go once again.

I say “again” because there are a few of you out there I roped  into buying my first book (or that found it propping open the door of a portable toilet at a campground somewhere in the rural Midwest) who read it and might decide to give this one a go in the comfort of indoor plumbing.

If you do, I thank you in advance for reading this book, the second compilation of neurotic essays from this blog.

(“Neurotic,” not “erotic,” although if that will help sell some copies, I can try and slip in a few pictures of me longingly gazing at a new jar of vegan pesto or something equally lusty. Just let me know.)

Will anyone buy it? I don’t know.

But I’ve had at least 12 people ask me to write another book, and 7 of them weren’t even related to me or drunk at the time of request. Because I’m a people pleaser when that pleasing will validate my many insecurities, I decided to cater to my audience of dozens.

You’re welcome Mom and that creepy guy from Facebook.

Actually, I did it because writing is the one thing I really take pride in, the thing that keeps me afloat when I feel like I can barely keep my head above water (ahem, every day.) So while this book is far from perfect or fancy—much like me, it has some issues — if I can share a little humor with even a dozen people that I am or am not related to that are either sober or half in the bag, then it’s been worth it to me.

And I hope it’s worth it to you.

But if you hate this new book, I suggest you drink while reading it or use it to prop open the door of a portable toilet at a campground somewhere for someone to find.

I’m all about paying it forward.


Speaking of which, here’s the deal.

First, you buy this book HERE in paperback,  HERE in Kindle or out of the back of my car if you see me in person. Then you share this post via Twitter, Facebook, running up and down the street yelling that you just bought a book, etc.  Finally, leave a comment below telling me what you did or plan to do.*

Why?

Because you’ll be entered in a random drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card you can use to buy another copy of my book (since you’re buying it right now) or a life-sized Justin Bieber cutout. Your call. I won’t judge…that much.

I will announce the winner in a post on June 4, so get thee to the Amazon.com!

*If you don’t plan on doing anything but still want to leave a comment, that’s fine. But if you win, I will demand that the gift card can only be used to buy a life-sized Justin Bieber cutout. Although future posts here include underwear and pick-up lines at Home Depot,  I do have some dignity, my friends.

A Thank You Note

I actually had another post ready to go, but you’ll have to wait a couple days to be mildly amused or disappointed. Why, you ask?

Because I realized it’s been almost one year since I released my humble little book, and decided to ramble reflect on the past year instead.

First of all, I want to thank each and every person who ever bought it, tweeted about it, sent me a note/picture about it or even used it as a coaster for beer. You have no idea how humbling it was when you did this, and I’m still amazed that anyone cares what I say.

But for those who don’t know the story, I didn’t self-publish this book to try and make money, as that is a laughable notion.

No, I wanted a collection of my words I could hold in my hand and give to my mom for a Christmas present. She’s my biggest fan, and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t accidentally delete my blog in a fit of frustrated rage and lose a compelling account of my Tooth Fairy campaign.

I also published it so I could share my crazy view on things and maybe make you laugh, smile or feel a bit more normal. I decided that if you invested a little bit of time and money into reading it, I would give a little bit of time and money back by donating all the profits to the local Humane Society.

You can read about all that over here, so I won’t rehash the whole thing.

All I can say is that a year later, I’m still proud I took the chance when I did. It was a lot of work, but seeing the look on my mom’s face when I gave it to her and when we got to deliver the goods to the Humane Society was priceless, as are the comments I still get today.

With that said, I can’t help but wonder what’s next.

The last year of blogging has taught me so much—about myself, about others, about writing, about life—but there are many times when I feel like maybe I’ve said everything I want to say. More often than not I’ll think, “I should blog about that!” only to realize I wrote up that post just last year.

After three years it gets hard to keep churning things out, but the reason I put pressure on myself is simply because I need something — something that makes me feel creative, makes me feel wanted, that connects me to people who feel the same way.

True, some days I want to delete the damn thing, and maybe some day that will happen. But for now, I still kind of like it and am sticking around for a bit.

And to answer the question I get once in awhile, yes, I’ve thought about doing another book. I think I’ve defined my voice and perhaps even stepped up my game since the last book came out. But I also feel like maybe that (sales) ship has sailed and I really hate self-promotion, which is kind of important with things.

Plus, I’ve already used the one picture I have for the cover on the first one, so there’s that.

Anyway, this whole long ramble is to sincerely thank you for your support this past year—not just with the book, but with the blog and with me as a person. I know readers and blogs come and go, and I am truly thankful for those who are with me today.

That’s as mushy as I get. Now it’s your turn.

Who do you think needs a thank you? I don’t care if it’s the inventor of the OveGlove (genius!) or the nice person who told you there was a fabric softener sheet sticking out of the ass of your pants. Let’s give thanks.

Technically, I Should Be a Celebrity

Unless it involves sports,  I generally have no interest in celebrity gossip.

While many of them are talented and deserve to be recognized and compensated for their natural gifts, a majority of them do absolutely nothing more than get paid for acting like idiots who got a lucky break.

But unless you live under a rock—or with the Unibomber, who should have directed his mailings to several of those tabloid celebrities—you can’t escape the coverage.

This got me thinking—how am I not a celebrity?

1261957930glamourshit

I don’t want the fame, but I do need the fortune.

The obvious answer is because I don’t have shockingly good looks, boobs or any skills that would warrant me fame and fortune —minor details, of course—but when you see some of the “celebrity” stories, they’re really not that different from me.

So while I avoid discussing politics like the plague—in fact, I would rather discuss the plague—I am launching my campaign to reach celebrity status so I can represent the “normal” people.

Here are my qualifications:

Sob Stories

Unless you’ve won something like an Oscar or a gold medal, chances are you’ve failed at something and kept on going. Well, a majority of celebrities have some “incredible” sob story that they swear “made them who they are today.”

“She grew up without high-speed Internet, her parents got divorced and she still managed to write song lyrics on the back of cocktail napkins before leaving the bar!”

“He wasn’t recruited by NBA scouts until his junior year, meaning he had to actually work while attending classes he was taking on a full-ride scholarship!”

Yes, Famous People, some of you have overcome incredible odds. But guess what? That’s kind of real life, and when you twist normalcy into some weird saga for sympathy, it leaves most people rolling their eyes so hard they pull a muscle .

So I pledge not to share my sob story when I become a celebrity (mostly because I’ve already done it on this blog for the past two years.)

Pooch Power

Many celebrities have small little dogs. 

I have a little dog.

In fact, he’s smarter than most of the celebrities out there, so if I can’t cut it as a famous person, maybe he still has a shot.

Exhausted Excuses

Celebrities need to quit complaining of exhaustion. I know they work a lot, but they get paid a lot. I also work a lot, but I do not get paid a lot. This means that when I’m exhausted and can barely lift my arms to get out of bed in the morning—every morning—I still have to go to work and not the hospital.

So when I become a celebrity for a yet-to-be-determined reason, I will already have this “exhaustion” thing down and buck the stereotype by taking a tropical vacation instead. This frees up medical personnel for real sick people and instead employs the services of young tanned gentlemen paid to run suntan lotion on my tired back.

I do this for you, my people.

Say “Cheese”

Like many celebrities, I already duck the media and paparazzi in an effort to maintain my privacy—or just not show off the fact that I forgot I had a Velcro roller in my hair or broccoli in my teeth.

However, when given the go-ahead to ham things up, I’m all about the spotlight. If elected, I promise to continue to ramble on and wildly gesticulate when given the cue to perform and throw things at people who try and get a shot of me when I’m unprepared.

Read Between the Lines

I wrote a book that sold a few copies.

Snooki and Paris Hilton are both best-selling “authors.”

snooki-best-seller

No further questions, Your Honor.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

Every campaign needs a solid running mate, so I’m currently screening applicants. What “celebrity” qualifications do you bring to the table?

I’m a Winner!

I just about crapped kittens when I found out that I won not one, but TWO Studio30 Plus Boomerang Awards, as voted on by Studio30 Plus members:

2011 Best Female Blogger (a tie)

and

2011 Blog of the Year

Although they promised me a cool button/badge to put on my site next week, I found out there was no formal awards ceremony or anything. This is kind of disappointing, as I was planning on wearing these

mgshoes

My birthday tiara…

tiara

…and an attempt at makeup that would  make a drag queen either proud or absolutely disgusted. You know how I crap glamour.

But since there’s no ceremony, I’ll just have to go ahead and wear the get-up to the grocery store one night this week like I had planned. The snow presents a bit of a challenge with the shoes, but now that I’m a WINNER, perhaps I can just get someone to carry me so my feet don’t actually have to touch the ground.

I’ll let you know how that works out.

Anyway, I suppose I should give some sort of speech, so here’s where you visualize me walking up to the podium in those kick-ass shoes, tripping and hitting the floor—most likely exposing my ass to the audience—and bravely adjusting my tiara before saying:

First of all, I would like to thank the whole crew at Studio30 Plus, as finding that community has most certainly been a highlight in my year.

The amount of talented people that interact on that site is ridiculous, and I’m constantly humbled by the things they can do with words and that they let me into such a cool club (never mind that they let everyone it. Go with it.)

Second, I would like to thank anyone who has ever read anything I’ve written, unless it was one of those stupid posts in which I just complain. I’m sorry about that, but it will probably happen again.

My blog is tiny in comparison to the millions of other bloggers out there. It’s not self-hosted, it takes me hours to figure out how to add a crappy picture (see above) and I pretty much just ramble about whatever’s on my mind.

Yet a handful of you guys still read, and despite what I may claim, it is nice to be noticed and acknowledged in some way. Blogging is a hobby, and unless your hobby involves poking rabid animals with sticks, hobbies are supposed to be fun and not stressful. 

So until someone actually pays me to write this crap—I’m a WINNER now!—I’ll try not to spend too much time stressing that I have nothing to write about. No promises, but I like you guys and want to have fun. That would be impossible if I worried about following 10,ooo people or getting 10,000 people to follow me.

That’s never been my goal.

In fact, my “goal” list includes items like “make a new to-do list” and “find the piece of broccoli I dropped down the couch,” not “become the next Bloggess.” (Although honestly, that would be cool. The Bloggess thing and finding that piece of rogue broccoli.)

So I am very humbled and grateful for the awards and would just like to thank everyone for everything everywhere. That includes my couch for being a constant source of support, and Comcast for providing such shitty service that I often have angst I can channel into a post.

And don’t worry!

Just because I’m a WINNER doesn’t mean I don’t still put my pajama pants on one leg at a time like you do, only to realize that I’ve been wearing them backwards a couple hours later. That won’t change either. I’m prepared to stay humble and self-deprecating. 

But most of all, I promise to never forget the little people—the drunk nuns, the Verizon phone operators, and of course, Uncle June.

june

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go stress that I don’t have anything else to blog about, put on my tiara and try to get something free at the bookstore. “But I’m a WINNER!”

I’ll let you know how that works out.

You Can Be a Winner, Too!

Because I’m a WINNER, I want to make at least two of you feel like winners too, so I’m giving away two (2) signed copies of my book. If you already have it/don’t want it, I’ll send you a $10 Amazon gift card instead.

All you have to do is tell me a) the name of your pet and why you chose that name or b) what you would name your next pet. I’ll randomly select two people from the comments on Wednesday and email the winners.