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Yesterday morning I woke up to this fantastic, sassy guest column in the NYT about Joe the Plumber’s book, intended to be out this month. The author of the column, Timothy Egan, asks Mr. Plumber…er…Wurzlebacher:
Do you want me to fix your leaky toilet? I didn’t think so. And I don’t want you writing books. Not when too many good novelists remain unpublished. Not when too many extraordinary histories remain unread. Not when too many riveting memoirs are kicked back at authors after 10 years of toil. Not when voices in Iran, North Korea or China struggle to get past a censor’s gate.
The column later goes on to discuss the $7 million Sarah Palin will be offered to pen a memoir, don’t-cha know. So all of it got me thinking that I should write a humble appeal to publishers as to why I should be considered to be the recipient of these hearty advances. To vet myself, I have not finished my first novel, nor do I have quite enough essays to do a collection. Which leads us to the first reason, after the jump:
1. $7 million will definitely ensure that I’ll get something done.
As it stands my novel has been written predominantly during orchestra rehearsals, during the time that I’m counting rests. While I’m grateful for the mental workout of staying in the right spot and trying to develop a narrative arc, I have no concept of what it must be like to have actual Writing Time. I would love to pace my house, update my Facebook status, and visit my local barista with a furrowed brow and tired eyes that say plainly, “Sorry I look a mess, but I’ve been researching my character’s family history all day.”
2. I have never had “15 minutes” of anything.
Worried I won’t be on the tip of people’s tongues by the time my book comes out? Worry no longer, I wouldn’t know fame’s bright lights from the ones I hung on my Christmas tree. I happily curl in the shadows, lurk in the obscurity of my living room, and sometimes even blush when I get a new friend on Facebook. My time has no danger of being “up” by the time I hit the road for my book tour– but I am easily billable as a “new discovery.”
3. I have never winked at over a million Americans.
I’m not sure if this is intentional or not, but my wink is terribly slow. The wee muscles in my eyelids fatigue easily, and, when asked to give an endearing little bat, they struggle downward in slow motion. I have never failed to creep someone out when I’ve attempted this facial maneuver, so I’ve banished it from my repertoire. However, my forehead muscles easily contract into scowls and worry, so if you’re looking to bill a Serious Writer, I’ve got the face for it.