19 Mar 2008


Not a lot of blogging going on of late, which is good, as I am quite bereft without something to feel guilty about. I’ve made great strides in the proposal, and can’t count on any guilt from that quarter, so it’s good to have an infrequently updated blog to fall back on.

At last, I know what the book’s about. Mostly. I have a Selling Handle that made me cringe to write. (I think I may have a problem with capitalism. I know. You’re shocked. We’ll see how much of a problem I have with it when I cash the check.) I have a Concept Statement, and a page called About the Author. That was more difficult to write about than I thought it would be, but gosh, it’s nice to write about a subject you really know. I have several pages written About the Competition, which isn’t about competition at all, so much as describing what books are likely to be on the same shelf of the bookstore as my book.

My book. I love saying that. If I swear by all that is holy never to utter the words, “As I say in my book…”, once it is published, can I be just a little insufferable now?

Moving along, the next section of the proposal was About the Book, which was hard going because I had no idea what the book was about. “Well, it’s like scouting, but different, and there’s some knitting, and some badges…”

I had to skip About the Book, and add it to the tail end of the month when, hopefully, I will know what’s in the book, and be able to write about it. With that out of the way it should have been full steam ahead, but then I hit a passage in Book Proposals 101 that read, “After your preliminary research, you’ll have some sort of files, note cards or jottings. Divide this information into groups…”

Jottings? I was supposed to jot?

I panicked, before remembering that I have badges. Who needs jottings! I have badges. Tonia helped me divide the material up, arrange it, and find connections. And then, there it was. My table of contents.

Of course almost a month has elapsed since I felt the heady TOC excitement of my book, made tangible, and it’s been kind of a hard slog of a month as I fumble around looking for where I last left my voice. I wrote two BEAUTIFUL pages of prose, honest to god I felt invincible and like use of the English language was my super power — “All shall love me and despair!” — I read it over and over again before I realized, lovely as it was, it read like the opening of a dissertation. A kick ass dissertation, to be sure, but not really what I was going for. Not at all. And it only took me an entire day to realize that, and only a weekend to let go of those two pages of beautiful prose. So there’s some progress. But I still mourn their loss.

I needn’t have worried about the voice though. I found it again after reading old stuff I’d written for the podcast. I don’t know why writing for the podcast, or here, for that matter, is different than Writing the Book, but it is, and I’d much rather it wasn’t. (Note to self – it’s all just writing, now get on with it.)

Re: the hate video – I realized reading your comments that I was so busy feeling outraged by the anti gay hate speech, I hardly noticed the perverted Christian doctrine. Seriously, I had to go back and watch it it again. “Did she even mention the bible? Oh, yes. There it is, of course she did.”

Reminds me of a gay Jewish comedian I once saw, who could not believe his ears when someone called him a “kike” (which is a really bad word for a Jew, so don’t ever use it) and he totally thought the guy had said “dyke”. And he was like, “Well, you’re close…” Then he finally twigged what the guy had said, and he realized that homophobia was SO distracting, he sometimes just forgot all about antisemitism.

Posted on March 19, in Blog


  1. Of course, there are plenty of us who have followed your writing and would *love* to read those lovely two pages of prose.

    Posted on 3.19.08 ·
  2. Maria wrote:

    Dear Brenda,
    I had seen that video on YouTube a couple of weeks ago and had been similarly disgusted. I have written to Ms. Kerns, her husband, the church and the Oklahoma State Government. I am sickened by the stunning ignorance displayed by Ms. Kerns. This hypocrisy is the very thing that steers people away from any form of Christianity, mistakenly thinking that being narrow minded comes with the territory. In fact, I am quite certain that when Jesus was carrying on His ministry he had folks just like her that were astounded by His relationships with adulterers, thieves and what was the worst type of person at the time (and maybe even today…) – tax collectors!
    I don’t know if you read the pastor’s letter on the church website but it claims that this is a church “committed to preaching the Word of God, that reaches out in every way we can to to touch lives with the love of Christ.” I have challenged him to prove that.
    I pray for God to heal their prejudicial spirit.

    Posted on 4.1.08 ·
  3. Laura Sue wrote:

    I am new to you and your podcast. I listened to the most recent two, then downloaded them all. I am sitting here with tears drying on my cheeks after listening to “Snow Day;” and now your blog with its sensitivity and joy and self-awareness. I am blown away. I don’t know what you are writing, but I want to put one on reserve with amazon.com as soon as it is possible. Your work touches hearts as well as minds. When you describe your day or where you live, I am there. I see it and smell it. The sweater. The chicken roasting. The sea glinting silver. I will listen right on through, in order, because that’s the kind of gal I am. What a fine discovery, your work. I am savoring it.

    Posted on 4.3.08 ·
  4. Richard wrote:

    Was the comedian Simon Amstell? He’s brilliant. 🙂

    Posted on 4.7.08 ·

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