Sheltered

I know this is just what I asked for, but it’s a little quiet around here. That’s okay. I’m happy with the lack of phone calls. Even the construction appears to be finished on both sides of the house. I am currently in a familiar Los Angeles pasttime:

I’m waiting.

It’s an okay kind of waiting. It isn’t a nervous kind of waiting, which is what I’m more used to — waiting on a producer or an exec to give the final “Ah…. no.”

I finished the first draft of the new manuscript, and it’s currently in the hands of a few friends. Some call every few chapters to fill me in on how they’re feeling. Some I won’t hear from for weeks because they’ll feel guilty that they never found time to read it. This happened with the last one. Honestly, I’m just flattered that anyone would want to read 93,000 words and then give me notes. So, I’m waiting on that. After their comments come in I’ll do some rewrites and then the manuscript goes off to my agent, when I wait again.

Two people have finished it, though, and they’ve both given me the thumbs up. I know many writers don’t like having so much input from various sources on early drafts, but I think I’m spoiled from this journal, and now I don’t believe something’s any good until thirty people tell me that they like it.

The typeset pages of Why Girls Are Weird just arrived at my house. I have to go through them for typing errors (there a few hyphens that have appeared like bugs that fell on the pages). The galleys arrived at the publishing house today, and they’ll be off to authors for review next week. And officially: I’m nervous.

It’s very strange discussing book tours and signings, seeing my name on Amazon or Barnes and Noble (where my sales rank is less than desirable, but look at my illustrious company! My mom has always wanted to see my name next to Grisham’s.). I’m going to be at this, where I’m signing books. It still feels like it’s not quite real, as I haven’t left my house yet during all of this. Stuff shows up at my house that looks like a book is being made, but all the actual handlings are in New York, so it all still seems like one day I’ll find out it’s not really going to happen. Maybe that’s because here in Los Angeles you work on so many projects, only to have them get terminated one day when you were least expecting it.

I’m also aware that lately all of my entries have been PLAY, BOOK, SCREENPLAY, PLAY, BOOK, SCREENPLAY. I should leave the house more. After the announcement went out about the screenplay contest last week, my mom apparently emailed everyone she knew. So now everybody knows just how broke I am. I can’t believe that contest told everyone my bank account status. Well, I guess it’s better you know I need the money, rather than “Novelist Takes Another Check Right Out of Your Pocket.” I used to be one of those people who thought writers had nothing but money and vacation time.

Today I’m going on a two-hour “vacation.” In one of the most selfish acts I’ve done in quite some time, I plan on sitting very still and reading the last half of The Corrections. I’m loving it so much that I don’t really want it to end. It’s also one of those books that makes me think, “What the hell am I doing? I’m not a writer. This guy, he’s a writer. He uses big words and makes interesting metaphors. When I think something’s really cool, I call it Awesome. Because I’m seven.”

Anyway, that’s my vacation. And then I’ll feel guilty for having sat around for two hours and I’ll go back to work. Like I’m posting here, even though I don’t really have anything even slightly interesting to say (“No kidding.”), because I feel guilty when I don’t update for four days. But here I am going PLAY, SCREENPLAY, BOOK, PLAY, PLAY again.

So… what has made me happy lately? Da Ali G Show. Cleaning my desk off so I can work like a normal person. The first cup of coffee in the morning, one from a pot that I didn’t brew myself. Thinking about how much fun Chris and Allison will have on their honeymoon, which starts tomorrow. Getting email from old friends and hearing how their lives have changed over the past ten years. Phone calls from my mom. Paying bills (you know you’re broke when paying a bill fills you with satisfaction). Taking meetings where people say very nice things about me. Making the jog around the reservoir without having to slow down for a breather (including the two hills!). Reaching my heels when doing the Camel pose in yoga without my arm flailing out and almost injuring my chest. Finally framing the Janeane Garofalo show poster I’ve had for almost two years. Not having any recaps due for a few days.

Oh, man. After spending ten hours logging Are You Hot? the other day, I almost got into a car accident on the drive home. Trancribing and paraphrasing vacuous pretty people for ten hours without a break did something to the chemicals in my brain, and I was unable to change lanes or merge. I saw the road, but I didn’t understand the road. It took about thirty minutes for my brain to function correctly again. I do believe this was their grand scheme over there, as I’m pretty sure I was in such a funky state of mind that I filled out my time sheet incorrectly. I wonder when I’m allowed to talk about it, if it’s okay after the show airs, because I logged twenty minutes of this guy making salmon, and it’s the funniest, nastiest and — ultimately — most unsatisfying thing I’ve ever had to do for a job.

I messed up a link in the last entry. The Beverly Hills Weekly article about the Anne Heche show was here. But I’ve copied it here, since they don’t archive.

More Call Us Crazy articles: A Florida gay newsletter. I enjoy the title of the article. The Philadelphia Gay News article is very funny, but it’s now barely the truth.

I found the CitySearch review. Thanks, JBLNYC, whoever you are.

Canada.com loves me! An article about Scott Thompson’s appearance.

Okay. That’s it. Tomorrow I’m going to The Getty to see the Bill Viola exhibit. I’ve got to put something new in front of my face.

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