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And then I got a book deal and was mentioned in The New York Times. Sort of.

May 2, 2012

Announcement: I got a book deal!

OK. That’s not entirely true. But I am most definitely in a book!

Although that depends on what your definition of “in” is.

All right, fine, if you’re going to be a puritan about prepositions, I’m not so much in a book as on a book. Which still totally counts as a book deal.

Responsive Pleading

My dear bloggy friend Marian Kent, who waxes poetic at Runaway Sentence, emailed me a couple months ago to tell me that her first collection of poetry was being published in the spring. I was so elated for her. And also foaming at the mouth with jealousy. And Listerine. Because I check my email obsessively, even when in the bathroom, because my name is Jessica, and I am an interwebaholic. The first step is admitting you have a problem.

The lovely Marian also was writing to say that she was putting a comment I’d left on her blog on the back cover of her book.


… FOR ME! …

… and whatsherface or whatever.

The tome, “Responsive Pleading,” came in the mail last week. The second I slipped it out of the envelope and placed it on the kitchen table, Isabel sat on it. And I was all, “Must you sit on everything?”

This is why I never read. Also, laziness.

Then I remembered that I shouldn’t be one to talk, and that my cat probably learned this behavior from me. Because I once sat for months on a thick book called “The Kennedy Men” in an effort to keep my injured tailbone from coming in contact with chairs, because I was not yet willing to face the embarrassment of buying and using an ass pillow. That shame was *so* 2011.  I’m sitting on an ass pillow as I write this. I have three ass pillows. I’m kind of an ass pillow connoisseur.

Once Isabel found something else equally uncomfortable to recline on, I read Marian’s book in one sitting. And it is truly gorgeous, cover to cover. Especially the back cover.

I read a lot of blogs and leave a lot of comments. When I’m racing through my reader and launching quick remarks into virtual reality, sometimes its really easy to forget that there are very real people on the receiving end. To think that one of my comments touched someone so much that she put it on her book is pretty fucking fantastic. And *this* is why everyone should always leave comments on blog posts. Wink.

You should buy my our her book. It contains gems such as this one, titled “Roswell”:

Maybe you were sent
to remind me of my belly
fully of bold assertions,
or perhaps you are meant
to paint my dreams
such that I remember what I am.
You are part of what lies
beyond the here,
and now I’ve found a circle.
Maybe the aliens burnt you in the dirt,
fueling you with enough evidence
that I believe in you. — Marian Kent

The day after Marian’s book arrived, The New York Times mentioned my blog in a rave review of “Blogologues: Younger Than Springtime,” a comedy show featuring material, including one of my posts, performed verbatim from the internet.

Well, by “mentioned my blog” I mean “linked to me in a nondescript hyperlink that barely anyone clicked on and that I didn’t notice the first 20 times I read it.” And by “rave” I mean “worst ever.”

Shit gets real before and after this paragraph.

It’s fine. A bad review from the Times is a rite of passage. I would have been pissed if the theater critic hadn’t given us a shitty review. We’ve gotten plenty of good press from other sources. Also, more than 30 fans of the show have left their own glowing reviews in the comments section, noting that the critic is a poopyhead. I’m paraphrasing.

So, as I was saying, I got a book deal and was mentioned in The New York Times.

Two major life goals crossed off the bucket list. My feelings about this can best be expressed by awkwardly posing like Mary Katherine Gallagher and proclaiming, “Superstar!”

My boss Paul tracked down a copy of the NYT arts section and left it on my desk at work. I took it home later that night, and before I could file it away for safekeeping to show my grandcats one day, Isabel sat on it. Because of course she sat on it.

Teach your children well.

40 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2012 4:56 AM

    I’m grateful for the vocabulary lesson. You taught me that I didn’t know the true definitions of SO MANY words. My favourite being “rave”. I’m definitely going to use that one in the correct context from now on. Thanks!

  2. iampisspot permalink
    May 2, 2012 5:29 AM

    You are an effin’ rock star.

    My crush on you is growing ever more…

  3. May 2, 2012 7:23 AM

    Isabel was simply expressing her disdain for the NYT Theatre Critic!

  4. May 2, 2012 7:33 AM

    You you and yay marian!

  5. May 2, 2012 8:12 AM

    Yay! I was consumed with rabid jealousy when I saw you had a book deal. Now I don’t feel jealous, but sad since so you should have a book deal! You deserve one!

    I got a blurb on a book cover recently. It’s an odd feeling…I’m published…on someone else’s wonderful novel cover…hmmm


    • May 2, 2012 8:31 AM

      I had a blurb on The Bloggess’ book cover.

      Sort of. Actually, it was some other Jen Lancaster and she spelled my name wrong … So really I don’t know what point I’m making. Maybe that I’m not famous at all.

      • May 2, 2012 6:38 PM

        Totally counts as being famous. I’m sure you’re way better than the other Jen Lancaster, who obviously doesn’t know how to spell her own name.

  6. May 2, 2012 8:32 AM

    I never really know what to comment now that the stakes are that high!
    So I’ll just compliment you for both your achievemnts 🙂
    Good job.

    PS: It really is hard to remember real people are on the other side of the screen, real people with real cats 😉

  7. May 2, 2012 9:24 AM

    Well done! It’s only a matter of time before you’re choosing comments for *your* book jacket. I assume the cats will have a say in the design seeing as they are going to be using it so much.

  8. May 2, 2012 9:51 AM

    dude. i got so freaking excited when i thought you had gotten a book deal and hadn’t said anything because you were saving the secret for this post. were you trying to make us all feel like you did when the nyt was all, “i’m going to review you rock stars!” and then was all, “basically this is a dramatization of all the procrastination-worthy links college students send one another while pulling lonely all-nighters”?

    (also, what’s wrong with that anyway? and whatever, nyt reviewer, college students don’t have cats to be alone with during those all-nighters.)

  9. Marian permalink
    May 2, 2012 9:58 AM

    mutual admiration is going to be the end of us both. we are going to implode into a million pieces and careen off into the universe, maybe becoming comets, or better yet, asteroids, so that my kids can be like NO BAD THINGS TONIGHT MAMA? no bad things. NO ASTEROIDS SLAMMING INTO THE EARTH TONIGHT MAMA? and i’ll be like, well now that i’m flying around the universe and have actually turned into an asteroid, maybe, well, oh what the hell am i even talking about? LOVE FOR YOU is what i’m talking about. yippee!

  10. May 2, 2012 10:09 AM

    bucket list items are completely negotiable. you’ve hit two. celebrate and dance!

    i was on tv once…a console tv. much harder to accomplish now that we’ve all got flat screens…

    • May 3, 2012 7:37 PM

      Hey I had my moment of fame too. Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski spoke to me at a wedding. They said “Excuse me, I think those seats are ours”

      Jessica, I hope your bucket list still includes a trip to Australia. If you come in February I can get you on a Mardi Gras float

  11. Lance permalink
    May 2, 2012 10:12 AM

    congratulations to both of you.

    Marian is brilliant, Her book is a path of light. Roswell is one of my favorites too.

  12. May 2, 2012 11:07 AM

    I’ve loved your comment/quote since Marian sent me to look at it forever ago, both because it’s true and because it brought her so much joy.

    And your cats have excellent taste in sitting.. er.. reading material.

  13. LauraMaylene permalink
    May 2, 2012 11:15 AM

    Congratulations to you (and Marian, too). For all we know, you really DO have a book contract and Isabel is just sitting on it?

  14. Chinese Cowboy permalink
    May 2, 2012 11:33 AM

    I laughed, I cried …

    I’ll never forget the shattering denouement …

    This year’s best!

    There, that should get you started for cover blurbs when the time comes.

  15. May 2, 2012 11:42 AM

    Enjoyed the post! Tried to sign in on WordPress, as a “fellow” blogger, but it would not let me…I follow Lame Adventures and found you through her…thank you!

  16. May 2, 2012 11:43 AM

    “It ran the full gamut of emotions from A to B….” to quickly plagiarize and paraphrase a poor review for Katherine Hepburn I once read….

  17. thesuniverse permalink
    May 2, 2012 11:45 AM

    You are killing me dead with all your brilliance and wonderfulness.

    I’m so proud of you, I am right now creating a voodoo doll in order to capture some of your magic. SUPERSTAR.


    PS My old lady cat tends to sit on bags. Like my purse or tote bag or, you know, a plastic Target bag. Because that HAS to be comfortable. For the record, I rarely sit on bags.

    • May 2, 2012 6:40 PM

      My cats sit on bags, too. That’s why I don’t understand the phrase “the cat’s out of the bag.” The cat is almost always on the bag.

  18. May 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    Your mom is going to be thrilled that her famous playwright daughter has a book deal.

    I love the pictures of Isabel. When she’s sitting on the book, it looks like you could probably persuade her to let you read it, but when she’s on the newspaper, it looks like she’s determined not to budge.

  19. May 2, 2012 3:36 PM

    As a long-time fan of Marian, and a first-time reader of your blog, I have a strange desire to come on over for a group hug. You guys rock.

  20. May 2, 2012 5:07 PM

    I was one of the few people who found you through the NY Times, so I think it worked!

    • Marian permalink
      May 2, 2012 6:23 PM

      you are one of the few people who found her through the NYT and COMMENTED. there are legions here who are reading and not saying bupkis. winning!

  21. May 3, 2012 1:12 AM

    you’re so famous! you’re so famous! you’re so famous!!! I’m also very impressed with how you dress your cereal.

  22. May 3, 2012 9:19 AM

    Well done! You ARE a Super Star! Don’t every forget that!

    Bjorn told me he wants to hang out with Isabel. Maybe she can read to him…his Catenglish isn’t very good 😉

  23. surftwin permalink
    May 3, 2012 6:17 PM

    I had forgotten that you broke your ass. I broke half my ass a few weeks ago. No ass pillow needed….butt (typo intended) therapy has been interesting & a pain in the ass…to say the least.

    Congrats on your book deal! 🙂

  24. May 3, 2012 10:48 PM

    When you follow Marian’s lead and land your own book deal, and I’m confident that this will happen in the not too distant future, I don’t think you’ll need to tell anyone about it for your joy will be so intense, it will measure on the Richter Scale — and then Isabel will have a new tome where she’ll park herself. Happiness for all!

  25. May 4, 2012 7:34 PM

    Congrats, love! What is it about cats that make them want to sit on any type of reading material? I think they are saying “You shall not read this. You shall stroke me.” Exciting times for you and the meows. Rad!

  26. May 8, 2012 7:45 AM

    I know your’re being all humble and coy and whatnot but if the Times ever linked to my blog I think I’d jump for joy out of my 13th floor offce window and splat on the corner of 55th Street and 6th Avenue. Just sayin’.

    This post makes me miss my cats. Am now saddled with a dog. It wasn’t my idea. I was outvoted.

  27. May 8, 2012 1:02 PM

    And…? Is the book comfortable or not? On a scale of one to asspillow,

    • May 8, 2012 11:15 PM

      It’s too small to offer the ass support I’ve come to demand from my books. This is why I couldn’t give it 5 stars on Amazon.

  28. May 9, 2012 3:58 AM

    . . . jealous, just jealous. . .

  29. May 10, 2012 1:05 PM

    Just so you know, I plan on putting your entire blog on the back cover of my upcoming book. AND on the front cover of my book.

    …Also, inside my book.

    Basically it’s just a simple cut and paste, with a few minor word edits here and there. (For example “humor” will be spelled “humour”, “theater”=”theatre”, “?”-“Eh?”, etc.)

    I’m calling it “Alone With Cats, Cdn Edition.”

  30. Simone Says... permalink
    May 11, 2012 1:09 PM

    i have her (your) book on my amazon wishlist.

  31. HogsAteMySister permalink
    May 13, 2012 6:19 AM

    If this book is not the best ass pillow ever, it will not be because your cover blurb and the goose did not totally rock.

  32. May 13, 2012 8:13 PM

    So excited for you!

    P.S. I bought this book recently ( and the first thing I thought was “Wow, why isn’t AWC in here?” You need your own book out already!

  33. May 16, 2012 2:40 PM

    *prepares to write something meaningul and touching, that will make the owner of alonewithcats remember this comment and someday post it on back cover of a book, whenever she publishes it*

    What the comments end up being, after deep consideration:

    “Cats, cats, cats are enigmatic. Oh, cats, alone, together with us!”

    Ps: great writting. 😉

  34. July 25, 2012 4:48 AM

    my cat is very similar to that of the picture – unbelievable!

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