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I’m Going to Write a Book

November 23, 2012

I’m going to write a book. I’m going to write a book about writing a book. Maybe I’m writing it right now. Maybe this is the first chapter. Or the prologue. I’m going to be honest. I want to write a book to make a lot of money. I’m not really interested in fame but I’ll deal with it if that’s the price I have to pay.

Here’s the situation. I’m poor. Broke. Ramen noodle every night broke. I recently divorced my husband of 21 years. The truth is neither of us was good with money and we weren’t in very good shape at the time of the split. When I left he had just purchased a company but I’ll get into that later. That will be a chapter called, The Divorce. My point is, I didn’t exactly get a windfall from the settlement. I have as much debt as I have in savings which puts me at a zero balance.

My job doesn’t pay much but that, too is another story. I’ll include that in one of the beginning chapters about who and where I am right now.

So, my future is uncertain. I have no prospects and I need to look out for myself. So I had this idea that I would write a book. I don’t need it to be a bestseller. I don’t need critical acclaim. I’m not trying to write the next great American novel. I have no delusions of grandeur, though I suppose setting out to write a book about yourself requires some level of arrogance or narcissism. My sole purpose here is to make money. So, hopefully if you’re reading this, it’s on your iPad on Kindle or you’re holding a beautifully designed hard copy with my name emblazoned on the spine. Or maybe a little paperback you picked up at the thrift store for a dollar. In reality you’re probably reading it on my blog and it will never appear anywhere else. Prove me wrong, world, I dare you!

One of my favorite authors is Jane Austen. In Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte tells Elizabeth that she’s going to marry Mr. Collins. Elizabeth is shocked because Mr. Collins is an idiot. In the book, the pragmatic, sensible Charlotte explains to Lizzy calmly and coldly that her decision is logical and reasoned. She needs to secure her future. She needs a way to live. For women in that place and time, a “suitable marriage,” was the only way to do that.

I like the movie version better. In Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte expresses the desperation and fear that a woman in her position must have felt.

“I’ve been offered a comfortable home and protection,” Charlotte says to Lizzy. “I’m 27 years old. I’ve no money and no prospects. I’m already a burden to my parents and I’m frightened. So don’t judge me Lizzy. Don’t you dare judge me.”

Austen didn’t show that side of Charlotte but the screenplay, written by Deborah Moggach shows a different side. She uses the word, “protection.” “I’m frightened,” she says. “A burden,” she says. That word hits hard with me. That’s what my husband said I was to him in the end.

I’ve thought a lot about Charlotte Lucas over the past months. I need protection. I’m frightened. I lost my family, my future, my plans….our plans.

So, I’m writing a book. This is my Mr. Collins. This is my Blue Dog. I’ll explain that later. I’ll call that chapter……that’s not worth a chapter. I’ll put that in the index along with the family tree and other explanations.

So, here goes. Enjoy my story. It’s not very extraordinary. Family. Friends. Marriage. Divorce. Loss. Love. Laughter. Life. It’s just the story of one ordinary human being on the planet. If I tell it well maybe I’ll be writing the second one from a cafe in Paris. The sequel will be about how I became rich and famous after writing a book about writing a book.

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From → Rantings, The Book

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