I’m leaving it all up to you

7 08 2011

It was so obvious I forgot to mention it: the Big Fear.

About The Unexpected Neighbor, I mean, the main reason I hesitated to tell people  I knew that the book was now available at Smashwords.

And no, not whether or not they liked it. But whether they’d think less of me for this story. I mean, they could like it, but think it a trifle, and thus consider me. . . trifling.

Y’know how I mentioned a couple of posts ago that, however foolish the attempt, I nonetheless try to control what people think about me? Wasn’t kidding. Not one bit.

So here I tell people—you, my friends in New York, a friend in Wisconsin, my mom—that I wrote this book. Because I want you to know that I wrote this book. And I might even want you to read it.

Maybe.

But if nobody I know reads it, I don’t know if I’ll be more disappointed or relieved. I want you to like the story, and I think the story is likable, but I’d like you to like it quite apart from me—as in, AbsurdBeats is here and the book is there and never the twain shall meet.

Silly, I know, and embarrassingly neurotic. (Okay, so the control thing may have something to do with neurosis, as well, but it sounds so much. . . flintier to state I want to control than to say I want people to think well of me. Control, yeah, I’ll go with that.)

Anyway.

I want to get better at this, the novel-writing, and while I think The Unexpected Neighbor is a decent first book, I don’t know that I’d have published it if I thought it were my only book. I wouldn’t want this to be too big a piece of me.

It’s not me. It’s not biography, and no one in the story is me. But it came out of me and there are bits of me (and friends of mine) scattered throughout these characters. It’s not all or nothing; the twain has met.

It’s mine, but not me.

I know that. I have to trust that if anyone I know reads this, they’ll know that, too.

How they know that, well—deep breath—that’s not up to me. That’s up to them.

Or I could just hope that only strangers read it.

_____

(This is the real hat-tip to Susan Wise Bauer, but her site’s not loading; I’ll add a link when I can here’s the link.)

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5 responses

8 08 2011
dmf

following one’s passions has a tendency to make one more exposed, even vulnerable, but but better that than deadened nerves.

9 08 2011
absurdbeats

Have you ever seen Albert Brooks’s “Defending Your Life”?

I am trying to be less afraid.

1 09 2011
BJ

If you don’t tell anyone about the book…then only strangers might read it. Maye that’s still true, because;

1. I haven’t finished it yet, and;
2. We’re nearly stangers.

I’m intrigued enough by the sample to buy a copy. It’s you and definitely not you. If that makes any sense.

One more thing…I live 5 miles from “home” and it’s weird for me to go there, every time. You described it better than I might have.

Take care!
BJ

1 09 2011
absurdbeats

Hi BJ

Thanks for the comment—I mean, both for commenting, and for what you said (in the comment).

Ahem. So much for smooth words.

Anyway, we’re not quite strangers, are we? How do we describe those of us who meet in TNC’s joint nearly every day and chat and laugh and jibe and snipe and muse and trust one another, even without knowing each other? Except, of course we do.

Cyber-friends is too cute, and doesn’t quite capture it. Colleagues? Doesn’t quite cut it. Maybe fellow-travellers. . . .

2 09 2011
BJ

Smooth as necessary. It fit your style.

“I am an idiot” is a theme. Since you saved me a few hundred dollars at PC on food, the least I could do is repay three bucks of it on your novel. Now thanks to your novel (or my own idiocy) I’m studying less for an exam and more about the relationships between Linsday and Cate and Kit and Veronica (L and C and K and V? Love all the initials.)

Why DO we trust those random people more than our own friends? That is how I describe the big, scary college we attended to perspective students…every semester, you’ll get into this pattern, walking to class, eating, parties…you’ll see many of the same faces, and seek mini “relationships” with these people. You trust each other, nod, chat…at the end of the semester, it’s all over, you never see them again…and you start the same thing next semester with a new group of “fellow-travelers”.

Another distraction…gotta run.
BJ

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