Richard used to hang around the office of the college newspaper, trying to get us to review his book, In A Pig's Eye. It was self-published in hard cover, which was quite a novelty back then. Richard was older than the average student, even at Hunter where there were a lot of older students. We had no idea how old, but he was all gray and it didn't seem at all premature. In A Pig's Eye featured a giant sentient worm, which at one point acted as a sitz bath for the human she loved. It was a strange book.
All my friends are publishing books.
At least it seems that way.
I got an email today from someone I used to work with. She was a pretty Texan with a surprising glow of snark and sullen-ness. She hated nutria, got engaged to a man after their first date, and considered the Chicago Manual of Style her bible. She wrote a book, the email said, and some of the old work crew were getting together after her reading for drinks.
Now, I don't know exactly how she will read from this book—it's a non-fiction book about collecting art. I feel like a blackboard may be necessary.
She's not the only one, as you can surmise from my first sentence.
Another friend's book is coming out in February, and a third's came out last March. Someone who measured me for a bra at a reading—her book came out in June.
Also, I was standing behind David Rakoff last night while buying my ticket for the Dave Hill Explosion at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater.
So, where is my book? To be fair, none of my published or soon-to-be-published friends have written books I would have written. They're all non-fiction, and I just don't think I would enjoy doing the research necessary to write non-fiction. That sounds like work, and I already have a job. Granted, it's not a glamorous one, but I probably make as much as most professional writers. It doesn't get you invited to parties, though. But I guess I do get invited to parties, so what am I worried about?
I guess it's not the parties.
I guess it's just that I always thought I was a writer and that being a writer I would publish a book some day. Maybe I wouldn't write it all at once—maybe it would be a collection of some sort. Paperback original would be fine. I would not dedicate it to my cats, or mention them in my bio, but I would thank them in the acknowledgements. I would insist that there not be drop caps in the text. The book, or the stories, would not have real endings, but be left unresolved, leaving the reader feeling uneasy. There would be a professional photograph, and a 4/c cover with matte lam and spot gloss.
Anyway, knowing me means you have a good chance of being published! Congrats to you all.