John Cusack & A Fistful of NutterButters

I went off the deep end pretty early this morning. Maybe even before 9 a.m. The cause? A Twitter-friend pointing out a novel with an intro blurb that could have been written about my work-in-progress aka The Beast. If you changed three words — the main character’s name and the color of her hair — I could use that paragraph on the back of my book.

My stomach dropped and my brain fell right out of my head. It took me roughly 32 seconds to go through about 181 emotions. Of course I landed on chucking the whole fucking thing, firing all my clients, and going to go work in a corporate cube somewhere until I died of unfulfillment.

It was awful. Eventually Christa talked me down from the ledge with helpful words like, “that’s not your book” and “don’t read that book.”

Since it was so early I tried to salvage the day. Unlike Garfield, I don’t mind Mondays too much. I usually try to stay busy to avoid any of that stereotypical Mondayness and thus they turn out to be oddly productive.

I held out hope that the day would recover through lunch. I can do it, I thought. You can beat this gray, dreary mean-red kind of day. Yes, you can!

I couldn’t.

The day devolved into yuck and more yuck where the yuck piles up because you are emotionally incapable of dealing with any sort of inconvenience. It’s as though my brain decided that if everything didn’t go exactly the way we wanted it at the very moment we wanted it to happen then everything sucked and everyone hated us and we might as well go eat some worms.

The inside of my head has been a grand place today.

After dinner with “Mad Men” (the nipple episode, yowch), I pulled Enid onto my lap determined to add to the 273 words I had managed to squeeze out today. But of course I had to do some research first.

I’m at the point in the story where my main character is crushing hard on a man. Super hard. Right now it is the weakest part of my story. I’m having some difficulty conjuring up that giddy crush feeling of falling in love. So I did what all authors do, mine their own lives.

Hooboy was that a step in the wrong direction.

As a digital packrat, my gmail box is a veritable emotional landmine. I have to be careful what I search for because if I click the wrong email and the next thing I know I’m curled up in the fetal position clutching my cat to my chest and wondering where it all went wrong.

I didn’t get quite that far tonight. I stopped reading as I felt that old, familiar ache in my chest and tears wobbled in my eyes. I stopped and flipped an imaginary coin. Heads I’d pop “High Fidelity” into the DVD player. Tails, “Guville Redux” the documentary about Liz Phair’s “Exile in Guyville.”

Clearly the fates knew I needed my John Cusack fix with a side of Liz Phair. When John Cusack starts quoting “Dance of the Seven Veils” I turn to goo. You add a fistful of NutterButters, and it quickly turns into the best thing to happen all day.

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  1. Susanna 19.May.14 at 9:02 am

    If you’re talking about what I think you’re talking about, I’m so sorry. And I so know the feeling, though my poison is not Nutter Butters. One particular memoir made me need oxygen because she wrote about what I’m writing about ONLY BETTER. I’m sure the crisis has long since passed, but a wise person told me (and it was some consolation) that if your book isn’t done, if you finish it pronto it will still be at least a couple years until it’s published, and by then everyone will have forgotten that other book unless it becomes the bomb, and if it becomes said bomb, they’ll be wanting more in two years and you’ll be there ready to seize the day.

    1. Jodi 19.May.14 at 9:04 am

      It is what I’m talking about & no apologies! I still want to read the book and the more women talking about rock & roll the better. But yeah. . . so there with the needing oxygen. My very wise friend Donna, who is also a writer, gave me the same advice so clearly it’s the truth!


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