Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Mean This in the Nicest Way Possible

The pen is said to be mightier than the sword,
but that doesn't mean I'm not tempted to test the theory.
Photo source
The deadline for Sweet and Simple Vegan Desserts, the vegan dessert cookbook I’m co-authoring with international best-selling author William Maltese is growing nearer. I’m actually not even sure when the deadline is, because I’m afraid to review my publishing contract. For some reason, though, “August” is written in bright red letters across my brain.

Mr. Editor once advised me, “No one cares that you’re writing.” At first, I thought he meant no one cared what I’d written. As my hate mail file clearly demonstrates, that is not the case. What he meant is no one—including, and perhaps especially so, my husband and kids—sees me banging away on my keyboard, with beads of perspiration running down my face, and thinks, “Wow! She’s really busy. Maybe I shouldn’t interrupt her.”

Um, no.

As far as I can tell, the sight of me typing on my netbook triggers an irrational, desperate, and immediate need for my young children to start an un-caged cage match, and for Mr. Wright to be mysteriously unavailable to send the fighters to their respective corners. Strangely, my tappity-tap-tap is also the signal for Mr. Wright to start unloading every small bit of trivial news from his brain.

“Did you read what Johnny Whosit posted on Facebook this morning?”

“No, Honey. I didn’t,” I sigh. “I’m sort of working, here.”

“Oh, well, he was just commenting on how the House Republicans need to blah, blah, blah-ity blah…”

“Mmmmhmmm…” Tappity-tap-tap.

“…and so I said, blah, blah, blah-ity, blah-ing blahblahblah. Pretty good comeback, huh?”

“Mmhmm.” TAPPITY-TAP-TAP. “Hey, could you pull Snugglebug off Curlytop? I think she’s starting to draw blood.”

Mr. Editor is right. No one cares that I’m writing. My amazing, generous, talented, handsome and patient co-author, on the other hand, certainly cares that I’m NOT writing. Sweet William doesn’t have seven children, or a very-cute-but-slightly-oblivious husband, so he doesn’t fully understand that when I said, “I’ll write a cookbook with you,” I actually meant, “I’ll attempt to bang out 140 pages while working in the domestic equivalent of a demilitarized zone, with chaos erupting on every side of me.”

Frankly (and I mean this in the nicest way possible), I want my family to shut their ever-loving mouths, get out of my personal space, and for crying out loud in the dark— let me write.

No, Mommy won’t open the pool for you, because her battery is low, and her extension cord won’t reach that far.

No, Mr. Wright, I wasn’t planning on making dinner, and yes, I was actually expecting you to feed yourself and the kids.

I’ll just have coffee, thanks.

I’m sorry you’re having trouble figuring out how to update your social media sites, Dear, but you’re just going to have to figure it out, like the rest of the world. I’m not your personal social media guru. Believe it or not, I’m an author—or, at least, trying to be one. Last time I checked, authors actually write books.

Yes, Mommy would love to play “princess” with you, as long as she gets to be the poor princess trapped in a tower by the evil queen. The game is even better if the evil queen forces her to make words with a mystical electronic device. Throw in a curse that doesn’t allow anyone to talk to the princess, tug on her arm, or try to climb in her lap, and we have mutual acceptance on the deal.

I considered running away to a cabin in the woods, Thoreau-style, but realized it’s difficult to write a cookbook without a proper kitchen, and considerably more so without power.

A hotel room with a full kitchen is outside my budget, what with the cost of vegan powdered sugar and all. I have a friend in Sandpoint, Idaho who offered to let me stay with her to finish the book, but she’s allergic to gluten, and I’d hospitalize her with my beignets and brownies—not exactly what I had in mind when I set out to co-author a book of “killer” vegan desserts.

What’s a writer mama to do, besides tappity-tap-tap—“Stop choking your sister!”—tap?

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  1. yeah something about sitting at the computer says "please bother me!" i get that here ALL the time *ugh* good luck with the book!! go hide in a closet :)

  2. I have four less children, no book fourth coming and can’t even manage to go to the bathroom by myself…more power to you! Keep on tapping, Babe!

  3. Lizzie and Sunday - You mean I'm NOT the only one?!

    Oh, bless your hearts, ladies, for stopping by and giving me this much-needed reassurance that it's completely normal to have an entourage when I go to the bathroom, and to not be allowed to get anything done without simultaneously being Mom/Wife/Everywoman. :)

  4. You know, I would cheerfully convert you to the gluten free vegan way. I make loads of gfree vegan desserts, 'cause it's just too mean to expect me to make desserts I can't eat, right?
    And... I need to get writing, too!

  5. AmberDawn, the NEXT book can be GF-vegan. :)


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