Call me Margaret.
It took me years but I wrote the book of dreams. For three years, I worked with my editor over the phone, talked to the agent, the PR people and finally… finally my book Love and Consequences is being published!!! Michiko Kakutani has given me a rave review in the NY Times. She called it "raw and tender." Of course, this makes me v.v. hot.
Book tour!! How long can I pass as Margaret B. Jones, raised on the streets of South Central LA? Part white, part native American? Which tribe? I found by picking an obscure one, no one bothers to ask twice. At least, it worked with the lady on NPR.
Am figuring out how long I have to keep the southern accent gleaned from watching reruns of The Jeffersons, Good Times and Sanford and Son. Listened to my interview on NPR. The longer I talk, the thicker my accent becomes. Would Margaret keep those inflections that long? Or would she sound more like that lady on NPR? Maybe I'll tone it down. Interview went well. As I told her, I might have combined some people, but everything is true.
Must remember to Google the exact location of Leo's Barbecue so that I have some geographic pinpoints to toss off. Have decided to scrap the accent, instead imitate the v.v. hot Halle Berry. It's a softer sound. What if Oprah calls and they want to tour around South Central L.A? Do I rehire Big Mom? Must Google locations around Watts Towers. Watts Towers would make stunning background for my interview with Oprah. Clothes? Should look outstandingly urban and hip. Must Google Sean Jean on eBay. No, Margaret would look more literary. Grungy? Must figure out a literary grunge urban hip MFA outfit. Would look v.v. cool. Will put red bandanna in handbag.
2/29/08 1:36 a.m.
A few minutes ago, I surrendered to my state of wakefulness and turned on the light.
I have the book in my hand. Do you know how much I want to call all my friends? Have my photo of me standing next to a display of my books? Do you know how much I want to start a blog? Have blogging buddies? Go to the Maui Writers Conference? But I can't. At least not now. I hope none of my pals pays any attention to Margaret B. Jones. Won't recognize me, I mean, as I stroll the streets as I talk to Oprah with the Watts Towers in the background. Must remember to take friends to lunch the day Oprah airs.
When we were little, sister and I were sent to a snooty gentile Episcopal School in the Valley. Sister got me in trouble, when she informed the rector that I pocketed the host during communion. Everyone was horrified. As if carrying Jesus in my pocket were a big deal. I have hated her ever since. Today, Miss Blabbermouth has done it again. She snitched.
That bitch. She is so NOT hot.
Ohmigod. The news is out: "Riverhead Books (Penguin Group USA) announced that all copies of the newly released Love and Consequences, A Memoir of Hope and Survival, have been recalled. The author, writing under the nom de plume Margaret B. Jones, has admitted the she made the whole thing up."
I guess this means no Oprah. But wait!!! Didn't James Frey go on Oprah? Maybe, all is not lost.
People want to know why. I wanted to get published more than anything else. Do you know how many agents want both women's fiction and ethnic fiction? Can anyone blame me for upping the ante by submitting a "women's ethnic memoir?" Ethnic is v.v. cool!!! So I delivered: Bloods, Crips, drug deals, eating last, foster homes, CYA….. what more did they want? Getting the query accepted was like fishing from a barrel. I got an agent, a check, and an editor!!! I won!!!!
Like I told the lady at NPR that it's not the big things that end up being big, it's the little things that chip away at you and add up to something big and really hurts. Lots of rejection letters would have really hurt, so I delivered what they wanted. It wasn't hard. I did what Margaret did. I taught myself not to feel. I submitted my book. I didn't care.
No biggie. Have work to do. I've decided I want to be a screenwriter. My story? A sister reunion! Must call sister. Must get new screen name…. I think… Maggie Seltzer sounds v.v. smart!!!!