From the wording of the question, I just knew she was going to be disappointed.
“Are you still pushing that book with the high heels?” The person on the other end of the phone is a beloved relative who shall remain nameless, and I had just reminded her that I was heading to Chicago this Saturday, June 6, to sell and sign copies of my book at the Printers Row Lit Fest. I had a great time meeting new people at Printers Row last year, and expect I’ll have a pretty good time there this year too. I’m that kind of gal. If you’re going to be down there that day, I’ll be hanging out at the Illinois Woman’s Press Association and the Chicago Writers Association tents.
I gritted my teeth, because I knew what was coming. “It’s a shame that you don’t put your effort into something more worthwhile.”
I sighed. How do you respond to that? For that matter, how do I respond to her other frequent observation that my posterior is “too big for that job of yours…you should look like that female attorney on Law & Order!” I think those actresses are always about a size two. Well excuse me for liking chocolate!
It’s been a long road to claiming my own voice, to trust my instincts and my gut. Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book “Blink”, which I read a few years ago on the advice of a guy I had a single but spectacular date with, was like preaching to the choir. And one of the things I shot purely from the hip on a year ago was to collect my essays and publish them. There are a lot of things that “Running with Stilettos” isn’t. The book isn’t the Great American Novel. It doesn’t hold a cure for cancer. It’s not the answer to the quest for world peace. But it’s a fun read. It was a whole lot of fun to write. And promoting it has led me to some of the most amazing experiences and opportunities and some of the most delightful people!
I’m glad I’ve gotten to the point where I can quit listening to the other voices from my past that said “you can’t” and “you shouldn’t,” and start listening to my own voice telling me “you can!” and “you will!” I know that relative of mine who disapproves and wonders bluntly, “who would possibly want to read something so confessional?” would be deeply disappointed.
But you know what?
I’m writing a sequel.