Monday, December 12, 2011

Insecurity - My Middle Name

This nonsense first appeared on 4-5-2009. I thought it might be time for a bit of fun again. Enjoy.

As we all know, writers are by nature very insecure people, especially in the early years when perhaps the only thing we get published is a letter to the editor and that's cut from four paragraphs to three lines. In fact, for years, basic insecurity was the only thing I had to affirm my credibility as a writer.

But even in my moment of greatest anxiety, I never reached the heights (or should I say the depths) of insecurity as did Glenda Gibberish. She wrote an entire book on squares of toilet tissue and hid each page in an empty roll. When her husband, Harry, asked about all the cardboard cylinders lining the dresser, Glenda told him she was making toys for the gerbils.

That worked well until he decided to take an interest in the welfare of the pets. She lost one whole chapter in a single afternoon.

Following that disaster, Glenda resorted to stuffing the rolls in her underwear drawer, in the empty cookie jar, and in the springs of the old sofa bed. She figured she was safe since she put her own clothes away and nobody ever bothered with the cookie jar since she never baked. But she forgot about her mother-in-law's visit. Oddly enough, the other woman said nothing when they unfolded the bed and toilet tissue rolls fell out, but Harry gave her one of those looks that we women enjoy so much. Then he surprised the gerbils with new toys.

This ruse went on for years, and she couldn't bring herself to tell a soul that she was writing. Then one day she was hit with this overwhelming urge to “out” herself. It was the same compulsion that drives a dieter to a banana split at Dairy Queen, and try as she might Glenda couldn't shake it. So she had lunch with her best friend.

“Oh, no. Is it serious?”

“Not right now, but it could be.”

“How long... I mean, have you been this way forever?”

“Since I was a little girl. But, you know. It isn't the kind of thing you just drop into casual conversation.”

“Good. Maybe we can keep it from getting around.”

“Don't worry. I have plenty of editors looking out for me on that count.”

“Have you told Harry yet?”

“No. But he did wonder about the sudden demise of Jake the gerbil. I think he choked on a particularly graphic sex scene.”

“Harry?”

“No. The gerbil.”

“Hasn't Harry noticed you writing ?”

“Right now, I tell him I'm going into the closet to straighten up a few things. But that's not going to last long. Sooner or later he's going to remember that I don't like to straighten anything.”

“Don't worry. You can trust me with your secret.”

“Actually, I wouldn't mind if you told a few people. My book comes out next month and I need the publicity.”
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Maryann Miller is an author and freelance editor. Information about her books, her editing services, and her blogs can be found on her Web site at www.maryannwrites.com  Follow her on Twitter and Facebook

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14 comments :

  1. It's difficult to send your baby out into the world, for fear people won't think it's perfect. I'm going over Forever Young: Blessing or Curse for the umpteenth time before releasing it.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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  2. I love it! This is hilarious, Maryann. We are an insecure bunch, for sure, but we have so much fun living vicariously through our characters. Great post!

    :-)

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  4. Okay, Maryanne, you set us up with the premise ... now what the heck happened? Was the book successful? Did Glenda have to kill Harry? And, most importantly, did she sell the movie rights?

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  5. Glad you all enjoyed the post. I understand about going over and over a ms, Morgan. I can't even count the number of times I've done that with one of my books.

    Christopher, never fear, Harry is alive and well. The book was moderately successful, but no movie rights. LOL

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  7. We are all insecure by nature. I'm facing my debut novel, The Curse of Gremdon, being released next month. I thought sending it out to critique partners the first time was scary. Ha! :)

    Thanks for checking out the book trailer over at Alex's blog.

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  8. Ciara, good luck with your book. I wish I could say the insecurity gets better after several are published, but it doesn't always. There is always that little fear that we have hit a limit.

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  9. Great post, I enjoyed ready reading it, liked everything very much) keep it up and dont stop)

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  10. Thanks for this great post, nobody write like you, you put everything in very well manner, i like your blogs every time, thanks for your posting.

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  11. Very nice,its difficult to say like this as you say,but i found you so brave and your article was so good and interesting.

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  12. Thanks for defining every thing you work very well and i like your article so much.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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