Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Milo's Eyebrows Are at Least 75 Words Each

I can't believe what a neglectful blogger I've been recently, but I have a good reason - I was last seen flailing into the night wearing a bedsheet and shrieking, "I am the Queen of France!" No, seriously, I decided to focus my energies fully on my book for a while, which is coming along just FINE, Mom. Most of you know that I quit my job when I moved to Madison and, with Milo's blessing, made it my full-time career for the short term future to actually finish writing a whole book that didn't have a 25 page interlude in the middle reading nothing but "PEAS PEAS PEAS PEAS PEAS." (It was an artistic gesture, clearly meant to convey "I have no idea what happens next in this plot.") As such, all the ideas, energy, and mental flow I'd normally have stuck up on Livejournal without so much as a cursory proofread instead gets put down in The Book, meticulously shaped, read, reshaped, tinkered over, and eventually deleted when I read it back the next week and decide it couldn't be any more crap if I were possessed by the spirit of Ed Wood.

Anyway, I've finally hit the point of complete despair that happens when you've worked and worked for months on end - promising your husband that yes, very SOON I will have a handsome cash advance in hand for my writing, and yes, I'll stop shopping online until that happens, unless I find a really fancy pair of boots - and my word count is still short. Like, really, REALLY short. I'm working off the rule of thumb that 50,000 words is the bare minimum most publishers will consider, because they cannot justify a $24.95 hardcover list price for a book the size of a grocery list. I just can't seem to reach that number, like someone keeps getting up in the middle of the night and deleting vast swaths of dreck. (Okay, that one's me. But in any case, I routinely read fanfic longer than 50,000 words. How the HELL are you guys doing that and working day jobs and writing your own novels besides?)

Anyway, I was reading Hyperbole and a Half earlier (go forth and cackle until your vocal cords tear, then continue that heaving noiseless laugher until your front is soaked with spittle and blood) and suddenly thought - yes! YES! A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS! All I have to do is include pictures! I mean, I can't draw to save my life, but that hasn't stopped xkcd or Cyanide and Happiness from becoming wildly popular, right?

So, for example, an anecdote about my rogue TomTom can suddenly be made fifty percent longer simply by adding a visual effect:

You'd pay $24.95 for that, right?

Now for a brief teaser of NEVER BEFORE SEEN material, to appear in my upcoming book, coming to your local bookstore just as soon as I finish it, convince an agent to represent me, sell it to a publisher with a reasonable marketing budget, and spend my handsome cash advance on funny hats.

That's $24.95. Tell your friends.


  1. Oh my god Heather. Everyone in MEL is looking at me weirder than usual.

  2. Bahahahaha...I love Hyperbole and a Half. And you've a done a fabulous job of replicating it. Also, I look forward to seeing your best seller in my local B&N (or hipster run Brooklyn specialty indie store, whichever). <3