My friend Jay has a t-shirt that says, “Careful, or you’’ll end up in my novel.” And it’s true – ideas are everywhere. For example, here, for your viewing pleasure, a few nuggets mined from the literary treasure chest that was today’s office cafeteria:
“I’m not a road trip person, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Actually, the reason that most Americans don’t want to travel is because they know how great it is here. Why would we want to leave? The only other place like America is Australia. Basically, Australia is exactly the same as America, except the talk with an accent and they drive on the wrong side of the road. So going to Australia is okay but I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.”
-Lady with red hair and bright pink dress
“She’s trying to glamorize this life of going out with her friends and drinking wine, but she has two kids. It’s like I have to remind her about that. I’m going to talk to her about it soon. I have to say something. Or else get her to start counseling.”
-Lady with mullet and beige nurse shoes
-Guy reading Star Trek novel (Hey, I said I’d give you a sample and I don’t discriminate.)
“Damn. I hate it here.”
-Lady with… oh, wait, that was me!
But that’s not all. Let’s not forget about Sam the Intern. I could write a whole series about Sam. Every week is something new:
1) “I don’’t like fiction books. They aren’t real. I like books that are about real life, like business books. Business is real life. But also I would read your books about girls.”
2) “Why won’t you tell me your salary? Can I call HR to tell me your salary?”
3) “You eat too many carbs. And sugars. Do you know that?”
4) “You look very pretty today. Is this okay to say?” (lesson learned from the smackdown I gave him about last week’s dietary comments)
And today, I totally caught him sleeping at his desk. Oh yeah, completely passed out, head flopped backwards over the chair, mouth wide open, flies a’buzzin. At first I thought he was dead, or doing some kind of freaky office yoga. But as soon as I walked by him and cleared my throat, he shot right up and got back to typing as if I didn’t catch him with his proverbial pants down. Goooood mornin’!
Now I’m sitting in Panera. I like the Starbucks vibe better (no little kids, usually), but Panera has free WiFi, so I can, like, pretend to write my novel while totally procrastinating. And drinking a soy caramel latte in an actual mug instead of a paper cup. So fancy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m making tons of progress on the novel. I haven’t had the balls to give the full rundown in the LitFest yet (because I don’t want to jinx myself!), but in sum, the experience and the feedback I got was incredible, and I’m on another writing spree. I came home the other night with ideas for at least three more books (excluding the life and times of Sam the Intern), one of them being an adult novel and the others YA. It’s bittersweet – I’m thrilled to have found a wealth of new ideas within, but it makes me even more anxious to get on the road to home and the writer’s life of “glamour” (she said, making quotes in the air with her fingers) that awaits me.
Speaking of the glamorous writing life, last night I listed to a radio interview with Sarah Dessen, in which Sarah talked about what it was like to waitress at the Flying Burrito even after she sold her first book, and how she’d set down her tray of food mid-delivery in order to sign books that customers brought in during the holidays. I guess I’m lucky that my rock star baby brother is not just a rock star, but a soon-to-be server at the O.G. Can you say, hook it up?
Hey, do you think when I’m a real writer they’ll let me get an intern? Who will bring me soy caramel lattes? And won’t fall asleep when he’’s supposed to be making me PowerPoints?