Monday, August 16, 2010

Post-birthday thanks, unraveling knitted threads, and Justin Bieber

I want to tell you how very much I appreciate all your gracious input. I asked for your preferences, and you gave me very thoughtful answers. You all are just wonderful.

As many of you know, I've wanted to write a book for a long time. I'm trying to. It is a big, scary project.

I've started writing pieces but I just suck at outlines and writing is easier because here's what I don't know: What's the story arc? Where does it start and stop?

In other words - what am I actually doing with the whole thing?

I can't even get into am I good enough, because that's another conversation entirely, and one that I cannot indulge in, because it is paralyzing. I mean, I write professionally, but those pieces are not my topics, my heart.

And really, how hard is it to write about caulk?

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

But seriously. When it's you and your topic choices and your heart, could you be more vulnerable?

However, I have to try. If it doesn't work out, at least I won't ever be 80 looking back and wondering, you know?

One of my friends wrote, "I can't really say what story I like the best. They are all short wonderful chapters of your threads knitted together so as you pull on one thread, it pulls another one with it and it another and another. One would not make sense without the other."

Isn't that so beautiful and poetic?

This is exactly what I've been struggling with.

It all ties together. I can't write any of it without writing about my dad. I wouldn't be who I am without him, without the light and dark, without the joy and the struggles and the happy surprises and the terror.

Growing up with my dad figures into everything.

But I don't want to write a heavy book. And I'm having trouble figuring out how to just write about the funny without including the other parts, because, as she said, you pull one and it pulls another with it.

You're always you at whatever point, after all.

And so I turned to you for input on what you like. Because I figured, you already like me and how I write, so mostly it's a content question.

I've saved all your comments and emails in a Word file on my desktop for reference. I appreciate so much you taking the time, and being so thoughtful. These are gifts, and I don't take them lightly.

Also, that little 16-year old singing fuck Justin Bieber? Apparently his memoir comes out in October.


  1. What the fuck does Justin Bieber have to remember? And that reminds me -- have you ever seen Justin Bieber's dad???

    Personally, I think you should write about growing up with your dad. I'm sure parts of it will be heavy, really heavy, but not all. It will be real, and I think people will read it.

  2. I don't think a book you write about your life with your dad will be a heavy book. It is very heavy stuff, but you have a sense of levity that is inspiring and admirable.

  3. I'm ecstatic over LG the memoir/book! The thread analogy is beautiful, very poetic. I think you're brilliant at balancing heavy, humor and reality and your perspective is so unique and fascinating. I feel the same way about Justin Bierber as LeAnn Rhimes when she was 13 and belting out love ballads.

  4. Yes! I was hoping you were working on a memoir. With your talent, I'm confident that you'll write a winner. Have you looked into how to put together a nonfiction proposal?

  5. I feel like I'm supposed to like Justin Bieber because he's Canadian and I'm Canadian and we're supposed to stick together, you know? Solidarity and all that. But every time I see his stupid face I want to tell him to cut his damn hair. Now that he's got a memoir coming out, I hate him more. God. What does a 16-year old write about?

    I am excited that you're writing a book. I'm confident that you will be successful. I'm not just saying that because I think you're a hunny bunny. I really do think you've got a fabulous story-telling voice :)

  6. Please include your father in the book. It won't be too heavy. It will be perfect - one of those threads your friend mentioned.

    I can't even think about Jason Bieber's memoirs.

  7. Lisa - Seriously. His mom has the single mother story, but the kid?? What pains me is that I even know this much about his life.

    I appreciate that. I think I have to include it because I don't know how not to.

    Maiden Metallurgist - Thank you. I like that take on it, because it's true, there's a lot of very heavy.

    HKW - Thank youi so much. I hope lots of people have your view on it.
    And what a good analogy - how much love and heartbreak is there by age 13?!

    Lisa - Gah! Do you have suggestions? I have googled around and read some stuff. Which basically says that memoirs are like fiction and you have to write the whole thing before you put a proposal out there. And even just the proposal process is daunting.

    Hillary - I suppose I could see that but really, do you have to like everyone in your country? How would that even be possible?

    And thank you, lovely. That feels very good to hear.

    Lynn - I hope not. A lot of it is heavy, but I don't want to pull people down.

    And I know. 16!

  8. A memoir at 16?? What's he gonna talk about...diaper changes?

    Lisa, I think you can write about everything and anything in your life - the funny, weird, loving and sad and not have it come out too heavy. It will come out as life, the way your posts do. It's your style of writing and expressing yourself that are what bind those threads together. When people read your writing, they really feel they get to know you. You're a wonderful writer. You can do it!

  9. Kate - I assume he has a lot to say about styling products and keeping the tween and teen girls at bay???

    Thank you for the kind words!

  10. Yeah, you lost me at Justin Bieber...the first time. In the head line. This could have been the most poetic, beautiful blog post ever written in the history of the known universe and to me it would have been "Post-birthday thanks, unraveling knitted threads, and Justin Bieber...blah blah blah......"

    Kidding, of course.

    Also, if it only has the funny, everyone's just going to think you're perky. And we wouldn't want that, would we?

  11. I missed the original post because I was being lazy for 3 days. But, please write more about caulk. (my) Nick and I laughed till it hurt reading that and I STILL giggle thinking about the picture.

    I think what I love best about you is that you write the way I (and prob a lot of your readers) think. But you actually write it down instead of having a passing thought. I mean, who (of the female gender) HASN'T thought about what it would be like to have a penis and where we'd stick it? But you wrote about it and made us laugh hysterically.

    You blend the absurd with the hard and serious. It's something many find so easy to relate with because THAT's what life really is. Anyways, I love your blog, always have and I hope you write a book because I'll be first in line to buy it.

  12. Hahaha, on the Justin Bieber comment!

    How about just a collection of your blog posts? Of course, exclude the few you don't like as much, but start from the beginning. I'd buy it.

    (Seriously, I would. Sure I can get it for free here, but I can't read this on the bus, and I can't pass it over to a friend -- a book is much more meaningful than a link...)

  13. Your book wont be heavy if it includes the good and the bad. People relate to both of these things so include them both. It makes it real if people can relate to it and a good book is one that sends you on a journey of emotions.

    As for that Beiber twit. Ben had hair like that as a 6 yr old so he was way ahead of the Beibster...thank god he had well and truely grown out of it before he was 16. Cant stand the little brat, and he is from what I have heard a little prima donna brat too.

  14. See I know that much about him I cant even spell his name right. Little toss-pot!!

  15. I think you will find that as you write, and one string tugs on another, or something becomes unraveled, that that is the arc of your story. All of your posts fit together with synergy and I'm sure that your book will, too. One of my favorite authors claims she doesn't write in straight lines, rather - she writes chunks of her stories and then puts them together later. I think that could be a good way to look at it. So exciting!

  16. I saw my first Justin Bieber video on YouTube this weekend and immediately felt the need to scrub my eyes with Brillo pads and flush my ears with hot oil.

  17. "You're always you at whatever point, after all."

    Perfect, Lisa.

  18. but I love the posts about your dad. They're so heart-aching ... and then you mix in your amazing sense of humour and writing style with the other stories and it all balances out to perfection.

    As a Canadian, I'm sorry for Justin. Really, really sorry.

  19. Write it Write it! We will read it! Trust the process! You've got the talent!

  20. You still look like a boy

  21. I love all of your posts....the sunny ones and the dark and twisty ones. If there was an LJ book, I think I might read an entry each day to make me smile or think. Your humor is refreshing. I say go for it! You have definitely lived much more than Justin Bieber and his stupid Bieber fever head twitch :)

  22. So will The Biebs memoir be found in the "Short Story" section?

  23. I always pictured your book as a memoir with lots of shorter stories (10-20 pages each, maybe a bit more or less for some)... they wouldn't necessarily connect directly with the one before or after, but they all have some major character overlap (you and your family and friends).

    The "arc" would be just you and your personal evolution into the amazing woman you are today. :-)

  24. FoggyDew - You are so right - it would be terrible if people just thought I was perky! Thank you for reminding me!

    Jo - Oh, thank you thank you for your effusiveness! It feels so good!

    Carla - I don't know that I'd find anyone to publish like that but I will definitely be drawing from the blog. I really appreciate the suggestion and the support!

    Go-Betty - You made me laugh so hard. Now I want to run around calling people little toss-pots!

    Ryane - I love that idea. That fits much better with how I approach things. Thank you.

    Dana - I've never actually watched him sing. I can't, just can't.

    nicole - Thank you sweetie. It's true, no?

    sarah - That makes me really happy to hear. I need to write them, but I'm never sure if people need to read them.

    Anonymous - Thank you! I appreciate it!

    Anonymous - At least I'm not a dick.

    Kristin - Thank you, lovely! It's true, I've lived, waaaay more than Beiber. Even if I don't have quite as good hair.

    K dog - Hahahaha! One has to assume so. :)

    VVK - I think that would work for me, because connecting them all together currently escapes me. Thank you, my friend. :)

  25. Hi Lisa,
    I am posting a few days back cause I was at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for five days and I am just now coming out of the fog. The loud music,loud bikes, mary-jane and rye filled fog...And I'm just a bystander. Aye.

    Happy Belated Birthday!!!

    I wanted to get my 2cents in about what I like that you write. Ummm.... Everything. If you make a mixture of all that you feel it will be well rounded and just what all of us keep tuning in for. And I have always liked how you feel like my twin. You speak for a lot of us and those posts that have comments regarding such will be a hit too. I read a girls blog on and she wrote a book about her blind cat. When she was at the stage your at she mentioned writing a book. For each one of us that she encouraged she had their name in the back of the book. It was cool to see my name!
    I also love all of the comments too. Wish You could include some of the funnier ones if you used a blog format in your book. Some are priceless. Like you.
    Yes I do.
    Prairie Lynn

  26. >>>For each one of us that she encouraged she had their name in the back of the book. It was cool to see my name!
    I meant, for each of us that encouraged her, she acknowledged us. BTW, it was a best seller. Us blog readers know a good writer when we read one. You it.

  27. I can't write without writing about The Dead Guy. And most of that is just freaking morbid (go figure), followed by my year of drunken madness. So? I don't know what kind of story I have, but I want to write, too. I have a blog friend who does what she calls, "Writing bites." She'll look over something, make suggestions, etc. for a small fee. Might be a place to start. Email me if you want her info.


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