Living the Dream

As a young girl, I always dreamed of becoming another Lucy Maud, devouring books sometimes three and four on the go at one time. Now, here I am, 50-something, and the dream keeps coming back to me. When Magpie Tales started publishing their prompts, I couldn't resist. My first few attempts were shared with a very select few - and it is thanks to their encouragement that I am emboldened to share with more of the world. Read, enjoy (I hope), critique, and tell me what you think.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Life in a Fishbowl

Willow at Magpie Tales has come up with another prompt to inspire us.  Check out all the wonderful stories and poems written as a response to this:

I wrote a book!!  This surprised me as much as anybody.  Even though I’d always dreamed of being a famous published author, traveling to glamorous places, appearing at book signings and authors’ events all over the country, having paparazzi clamoring to get a glimpse so they could make up stories about me and my life.  Little did I know what a fishbowl life can be when one is in the public eye!

I didn’t really believe I had a book in me.  But then one day, I sat down and started putting thoughts to paper - well, computer actually, so much easier than using a pen and paper and having to make sure your thoughts were in order and you had spelling and grammar correct the first time you wrote it – and out came a mystery.

Eventually I found I had words put together in some semblance of order, and the story seemed, at least to me, to be a good one.  I found an agent, and she found a publisher, and here I am today, a real author.  Now, apparently, I have to ‘sell’ the book.  I need to go to libraries and book stores and chat with people and sign books and submit to interviews for newspapers, magazines, radio, and public television.  Who knew that writing a book didn’t leap one directly into a glamorous lifestyle?

Instead, I’m up at the crack of dawn to drive (not fly) to the next two-star motel and meeting place, spend hours either on my feet talking or sitting at a table getting writer’s cramp signing my name to intimate little messages for perfect strangers.  Then late evenings in a studio or motel lobby telling my life story to an interviewer.

But what really astounds me are the questions that I get asked, both by interviewers and by readers.

‘Is Felicia Goldstone your real name?’

‘Are you married?’

‘What do you do for a living?’

‘Where do you live?’

‘What does your husband do?’

‘Do you have children?’

‘How hard is it to write a book?’

‘Do you have pets?’

‘Do you have hobbies?’

What kind of books do you read?’

These are the easy ones – people are just curious.  Then there are the ones that come from the book.

‘How close is your life to your heroine’s?’

Do you live in the country, like your heroine?’

Do you have a large house like your heroine?’

Do you drive a pick-up truck?’

‘Do you like to ride horses?’

Do you have a large garden?’

Still not hard questions to answer, again I just assume that my readers want to know more about what kind of person I am.  But some people seem to think they should know every intimate detail of my life.

What do you like to eat for breakfast/lunch/supper?’  (Are they going to cook for me?)

What time to you get up in the morning/go to bed at night'?’  (Will they have my coffee ready, or do
they want to tuck me in?)

Where do you go to buy your groceries/clothing/medicines?’  (Are they hoping to meet me in the store?)

Do you have guns/knives/poison in your house?’  (Do they think that I practice murder in order to write a mystery?)

What size dress, shoes, bra do you wear?’  (All I can hope is that they want to buy me a gift!)

What do you sleep in – pj’s, nightie, or in the nude?’  (What difference could that possibly make to anybody besides me and my husband?)

The fish in the fishbowl may be ever in view – but he never has to answer anybody’s questions!

23 comments:

  1. Such a relevant piece for this day and age!! Wonderful ........

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  2. I'd like to give the fish bowl a whirl. Just once.

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  3. I am with Willow -- I would love to be on tour doing my book promotion. Such is life! I would have fun with the questions and have a repartee or just some silly witty little retorts handy not to offend just to have fun.

    Joanny

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  4. That is fascinating! Who would ask a question about what you wear to bed?!?

    did you tell them: Chanel No. 5.

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  5. I'd like to be in that fish bowl too! (Well, I wouldn't really like it, but you know what I mean! LOL) The reality is just not the same as the fantasy, though is it? You captured that very well. Great job!

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  6. I can't imagine what the questioning must be like - sometimes being a stay at home fish sounds quite lovely! I enjoyed this!

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  7. Oh I loved it. I don't know about a book. I might be discouraged about that now. I read about your plan on your main blog. Good deal.
    QMM

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  8. i was wondering where you were going with this one but you did not disappoint in the end at al. very poignant magpie! nicely done!

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  9. Dear LTD: May I PLEASE have your autograph? When's your next book signing? When are you coming to my town? I want to be there! You don't mind if I bring my cousins? They'll all want autographs too!And maybe a few locks of your hair and do you have any spare underwear?

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  10. Ah, yes, the fishbowl others create by reading your creation. Well done, Peg.

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  11. I'm ready to be an instant celeb..isn't everyone these days..all I need is fifteen minutes, but not a minute more!!
    Clever piece!!

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  12. I loved the questions, I wondered do people really want all that information and do authors give answers that satisfy!!
    Clever take on the picture prompt, and you made it your own.
    Christine

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  13. Good description of life in a fishbowl.

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  14. Thank you all for your kind comments - I tried to answer each individually, but some don't have email contact.

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  15. It's very curios why people care to ask such odd questions.

    Random Annoying Person:How hard is it to write a book?

    FG:Considerably hard when all I have time to do is answer questions like "Where do you shop?" In fact, I don't any more, I have to do interviews and sign books all day (every day).


    I can just imagine the conversations.

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  16. Ah, the price of fame. Are people really that nosy? Huh? Huh?

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  17. Yep, something to be said about being able to stay in the background and not be on the firing line all the time. Thanks for the view of the other side.

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  18. http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/magpie-tale-the-list-of-magpie-tale-participants/

    mine is up.
    thanks for the feedback!

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  19. wow,
    a very thoughtful tale!
    thank you for sharing!

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  20. http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/sunday-special-awards-for-remarkable-memes-and-participants/

    Meme participation award
    Happy Sunday!
    Happy Mother's Day for Moms in your life!

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  21. Jingle - thank you for the award, how lovely to be acknowledged like this.

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  22. http://itistimetothinkformyself.blogspot.com/2010/05/jingles-may-follower-award-week-3.html

    awards for you.
    Happy Monday!

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