I always try to curb my expectations, have a realistic expectation of people and future events, but then, just like Michael Corleone - I go a little nutso - they pull me back in. The two incidents below both were regarding my book,
DARCY AND FITZWILLIAM,
on sale everywhere,
ONLY THE NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED, TO
PROTECT THE INNOCENT, such as they are...
First disappointment. I received a call while Rich and I were on our Vacation From Hell. I don't know if y'all remember my Vacation From Hell series - a trip that was supposed to be a romantic week of fun and North Carolina hi jinks; you know - romping naked in a hot tub with my hubbie, drinking wine from my support shoes, playing Bishop and the Showgirl right after we returned from our Anniversary Dinner at the Golden Coral All You Can Eat Buffet. Instead what we experienced was a life or death struggle with squirrels, brutal mountain roads, broken vans and Paula Deen. It was not for the faint of heart.
What the hell was I talking about before? Oh yeah.
While in North Carolina I received a call from a lady asking me to speak before her book club which meets at a library near my home. (Now I had been told by other, much more prolific writers, to expect these requests to begin pouring in, now that I am a PUBLISHED author and all.) I said, of course, I would love to speak in front of my public.
In my mind I pictured hundreds of people crushed into a smoke filled hall, autograph books in sweaty hands, eagerly listening to my every word, anxious to rush the stage, trampling over each other to speak with me, a LIVING LEGEND
What actually happened . Eight terrorist women showed up. We sat around a table in the library and casually checked out each other's body bombs in silence. The terrorist woman on my left had tabs in her copy of DARCY AND FITZWILLIAM, on sale everywhere. Not a good sign. I knew I was in trouble with this one - her eyes (which was all that I could see, what with that burka and all. I don't care if it did say 'Go Gators' on the back, it's just not a good look. Although black is slimming) did not look happy. First thing she said was, "I really was upset with the way you portray Elizabeth Bennet in your book." Then she and the other women began wailing in tongues. Last thing I remember was her whimpering when I stepped on her throat. Wimp.
Great authors. I really only recognize C. Allyn Pierson and Carl Sandburg.
Second disappointment. Today. I received another call - they are just flooding in I tell you, suh - to see if I wanted to join a group of FELLOW WRITERS. Aha! A club that meets at yet another library. Oh boy - now, Karen said to herself as she polished off the surface where her Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay will reside, now I am finally being recognized as the gifted novelist I truly am and was born to be. I pictured New Yorker types with bushy eyebrows, manuscripts in hand, smoking pipes and wearing tweed. There would be men there too. I was so excited I nearly peed in my pants. All right, so that's not such a big stretch - get over it. At last, though, I would network with great minds, fantastic writers and, most importantly, finally the movie version of
DARCY AND FITZWILLIAM, 3D
on sale everywhere,
could be made.
(I'm the on on the right.)
What actually happened. This is Florida, what the hell was I thinking? For the first fifteen minutes I thought I had somehow taken a bad drug and awakened in a Nursing Home waiting room. A really really smelly awful Nursing Home waiting room. One after another these Octogenarians came wobbling in with their walkers and canes crashing into walls and slapping at chairs. No one could hear. No one smiled. No one was friendly.
At times I even feared no one was breathing.
Everyone (all fifteen of them, sweet Mother of the Divine Savior, pray for us) had five minutes each to read something of their own creation. At least twelve of the fifteen women had compiled personal life histories to pass on down to their great great grandchildren, along with appropriate pictures. ("Here is Ed, my husband. Here we are in Boise. Here is Frank, my son. Here is...")
Do you know how really long five minutes is?
Pretty damn long.