August 11, 2010
All Good, All the Time . . . Pretty Please?
I know that the planets are in some strange alignment but does anyone else out there feel like this has just been a bizarre summer? I've resorted to putting a post-it note by my bedside, which is the first thing I look at when I wake up. It says, "Don't panic."
Trying to adhere to the laws of attraction and positive thinking I have an abundance of mantras, pictures of suns in my career/success corner, coins in the bottom of shoes (a challenge with flip flops), and a few strange statues buried in my backyard, which my sister's Boston Terrier seems intent on trying to exhume.
I find myself forcing a smile and muttering to myself as I walk down supermarket aisles, "It will all be fine. It will all be fine. It will all be fine," which works okay for me but seems to frighten small children in the frozen food aisle. They turn to their mothers to ask, 'Who is she talking to?' and 'I think that lady has something stuck on the bottom of her sandal.'
Most of us would like to think that we are just one great idea away from great riches and a panic free life of leisure. I mean, why couldn't I have invented the Hanky Panky? I'm good with lingerie. Like millions of women I, too, was searching for the comfortable but pretty thong. But no, I had to spend my time on learning how to read tarot cards and experimenting to find the perfect pie crust.
I have a friend just back from business school who has great ideas based on domain names which he buys on a regular basis. The only problem is that these strokes of genius tend to go hand in hand with late nights at Murf's and the genius names he has registered are often misspelled. The restaurant discount site becomes cheepdate.com or the dog social networking site allbarknobitte.com.
Writers haven't had an easy time of it financially and many of us have to find other skill sets to rely upon which range from part-time dog sitter to full-time swashbuckler on a tourist schooner in Maine. It's not like the old days where you could publish a book every two years and hang out at Bobby Van's all the time.
What used to be well-paid magazine assignments to go boar hunting in Australia have turned into copywriting jobs for RV websites. It is not the turn of the phrase that is important but knowledge of how search engines work. It is not figuring out how to work diaphanous into the description but how many times you can put "discount diapers" into the text. You have to think to yourself, 'What would Proust do?'
Luckily for writers there is still the hope for simply writing the best seller, which then gets made into a movie with Julia Roberts. There's a practical idea. Maybe I should put her picture on my flip flops.
What we need is for people to value writers and books as much as a comfortable thong. While they may not be hanging out regularly at Bobby Van's, successful authors actually will all be under one big Hamptons tent. The 6th Annual Authors Night at the East Hampton Library is on Saturday and you can certainly turn out to meet them, buy their books, and also attend private dinner parties held in their honor to raise funds for the library. For more information on the event, go to www.authorsnight.org. Tell them that their talent, dedication, and grocery store abundance mantras are working.
I will be there to cheer them on – just after I rebury the saint in the back yard.
You can find more of my writing at HipHamptons.com or drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.