Rage-Writing as Memoir. Is it a Book, a Blog or just BS?

Raise your hands!

Is your anger and resentment so all-consuming that you can talk about nothing to friend and family other than how awful your ex is being toward you, how mistreated and marginalized you were at work, or how loathsome and certifiable your neighbor is? Are you cornering virtual strangers in the supermarket and subjecting them to your indignant tirade, when all they wanted was help getting a can of peas off the top shelf? When you saw Charlie Shanian, Tori Spelling’s ex-husband last week on “The Dr. Keith Ablow Show,” did you scream: BOOK ME!

A memoir fueled by anger fairly flies off the page, so writing it might be easy and even, let’s admit it, exhilarating. Nonetheless, I strongly suggest you finish this post before you open a new Word document and start to pound your fingers into bloody stubs, 24/7. Maybe you don’t have a book. Maybe a blog will do. Or maybe it is all BS and you shouldn’t do anything but lick your wounds and get on with your life. The fact is, no literary agent or editor will want to put on hip boots and wade through your pools of vomitus unless you’ve got something worthy to rage-write about, along with a big audience eager to take a vicarious slog with you.

You’re writing your memoir to help others! You say your motives are altruistic? Don’t kid yourself! If you are going to rage-write, spare me the “if I can make a difference in just one person’s life” blather. How often have you heard that one and then gotten a front row seat as a family’s excruciatingly embarrassing dirty linen gets hung out in public? Is your goal really to protect those nebulous “others” you profess to care so deeply about? Hah! Rage writing is not about helping others. There is just too much unfettered joy in exposing someone as a hypocritical fraud or mean-spirited opportunist—fill in your own descriptors! If you know in your heart of angry hearts that retribution and making people PAY, figuratively, if not literally, is part of the equation, then admit it—unabashedly–to yourself and others. He’ll regret the day he was born!
 
What about the backlash? Take seriously the possibility that your efforts might boomerang. Bridges may go up in flames not only behind you, but in front of you, too. Do you remember You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again by Julia Phillips? That book was a tell-all about Hollywood. The hardcover was published in 1991 and the paperback was reprinted in 2002 by NAL Trade. I believe Ms. Phillips never did eat lunch in that town again.

And if you might have been or should have been straightjacketed, like Kathy O’Beirne, author of Don’t Ever Tell, the 350,000-copies-sold autobiography/memoir about her alleged torture and rape by Irish priests, pregnancy at 14, whippings by overzealous, ruler-wielding nuns, and your entire family (all seven brothers and sisters in O’Beirne’s case) will step forward and wave your dirty panties or boxers for all to see and undermine the credibility of your memoir, perhaps you want to consider an intensive anger management course, rather than write a memoir. Your own reputation might wind up as sullied as the people about whom you gleefully write in your memoir. (Another Freygate!)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about all memoirs. Hilary Clinton’s 2002 memoir, Living History, or Lynn Scherr’s just-released, Outside the Box—a Memoir, do not fall into the category of rage-writing, though I don’t doubt for a second that there might have been some subtle potshots these books could have taken if the authors had wanted to! However, these women do intend to eat lunch in this town again. They realize that the time for rage-writing is not yet right and, for them, it may never be! But if it ever is, get out of the way of the stampede. 

Does anybody give a hoot? No literary agent or traditional publisher is going to offer you a book contract and a six-figure advance for your diatribe — whoops, memoir — until you develop a “Who Cares” list. Maybe it’s just you! And no one is going to care if you are not saying something new about divorce (or whatever), but are spewing the same old bitter rant. Are there enough people interested in your particular obnoxious boss to sell more than a handful of copies of your book? Is your neighbor just like everybody else’s creepy neighbor? The object of your attack needs to be worthy of vilification. 

So before you even submit your query letter and book proposal, you need to break your reading audience down into bite-size bits and work the numbers. Want an example of the reasoning process?  Here’s one, “ripped from the pages of real life,” as they say:

Some of you might recall a lawsuit I mentioned in a previous post, Bela Szigethy v. Lynne W. Scanlon, in which my neighbor sued me in an effort to acquire a portion of property I own on Halsey Island in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey.  The three incredibly stressful and expensive years that elapsed between the day a Marshall served a formal Complaint and the day a jury ultimately returned a verdict in my favor make me want to weep – or even better, rage-write!

I saw Bela Szigethy’s lawsuit against me, his neighbor, as a confrontation between Goliath v. David, and I seriously considered putting together a memoir about it.  However, before even getting started, the question I had to answer for myself was: “Is there an entire book in this story of Corporate Raider v. Writer? Or should I just be content with continuing to take every opportunity to unburden myself on friends, family and total strangers until I’ve ventilated myself into a puddle of spent protoplasm on the floor?” 

Maybe? Probably? No?

What’s the potential market, really? You simply must ask yourself this question. I did. Here’s my list of people possibly interested in my memoir: 

  • Halsey Island Residents: Only 20 families. Nice people, good people, kind people, generous people, and there-in-a-pinch people, but not this pinch, or only guardedly. So maybe they don’t even want to think about it any more, let alone read about it. Twenty books at most and probably less? Forget it. I’m not getting rich off that.
  • Goliath: He might try to buy every single copy printed to keep them out of the local Barnes & Noble, Borders Books or Books-a-Million in the Lake Hopatcong area. Still, since publishers print so few first editions, the 2,500 or 3,000 copies hot off the press and stored in his basement wouldn’t generate even gas money for me, let alone help me earn back that fantasy six-figure advance-against-royalties. One book or 3,000 books sold and ultimately burned by him don’t interest me. 
  • Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club and Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum: Bela Szigethy is a member of the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club as well as a contributor to the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum. I’ve got gleeful, eager buyers in this crowd, but how many? A few hundred? Not enough to rock the literary world with sales figures.
  • The Riverside Company in New York City:  When I last looked, Szigethy’s company had $143 million dollars in earnings in 2005 and 4,000 employees. He’s been merging and acquiring, doing best what M&A guys do to turnaround companies (don’t ask, you know) for years. Even if all the employees were to hunker down in their cubicles, furtively reading my book while keeping a wary eye out for the bosses, we’re not talking more than a few thousand copies sold. On the other hand, the sales would probably occur quickly and at full-price!
  • Oberlin College: Hey, I’m on a roll! Yep, he is a graduate of Oberlin College and a busy alumnus. What’s the count: the president of the college, a few professors, the odd(!) student, former classmates? Not a significant number of book buyers, I wouldn’t think.
  • Law Firms with Adverse Possession Cases: (That’s MY flowerbed. No, it’s mine! What do you mean my driveway is on your property? That deck is over the line.) Even though all the people working at Garrity Graham Favetta & Flinn, the law firm that represented me, including Thomas D. Flinn, hero to all damsels tied to the railroad tracks, would hightail it to the bookstore to buy my memoir in quantity, the truth is that law firms get their info from legal references, not personal memoirs. True, my victory was precedent-setting and made the cover of the New Jersey Law Journal right after the verdict came in, but a few hundred copies sold to firm members and partners’ relatives are the most I could hope for.
  • Anyone with a land dispute: Judge W. Hunt Dumont (hey, he might buy a book or two himself!) said in the courtroom that the vast majority of civil cases involve land disputes. Whoa, that’s a lot of people. In fact, some of the prospective jurors were excused because they had ongoing land disputes. Now we are talking high numbers of potential book buyers.  But how motivated would they be to buy a book about somebody else’s problems, even though those problems might be somewhat similar to their own?
  • Nosey Neighbors: In my last post, I talked about location, location, location as being an important tool in boosting sales for fiction. The same holds true for nonfiction. While the town of Flanders, New Jersey isn’t a resort area like Old Orchard Beach, Maine, Bela Szigethy is a hometown-boy-made-good. His high school buddies would buy a few books, as would members of his minister-father’s former Presbyterian congregation. My memoir would offer a little après-Sunday-dinner reading among folks who espouse “love they neighbor as thyself” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” More sales, definitely. For them, we might just be talking “page-turner.”

Ok, once you’ve done some calculating, you also need to ask yourself the following question:

How important is timing? Is it too late to write your memoir? Some books have to be cranked out fast and furiously before public interest fades or a subject is exhausted. Other books have to be postponed perhaps for decades until the market is ripe for your memoir. (Bela Szigethy is no Sumner Redstone.)
 
Fear of Libel: Be afraid. Very afraid. You need to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Don’t lie. Don’t embellish. Don’t create composite characters. Don’t be the old James Frey or the new Kathy O’Beirne.  Can you restrain yourself enough to do that?

In summary, if you’ve got a searing memoir to write, instead of stewing and annoying shopper after shopper (people run screaming when I enter the supermarket!), consider putting it in writing—but only if you’ve got the readership locked in. And make sure you are getting what you want out of the experience, that there isn’t something that would make writing a memoir completely unnecessary—like a sincere apology. Yes, you might let the object of your splenetic desire know what it would take to get you to stop your memoir before you start it or stop it at the half-way point before it goes public. Sometimes, an acknowledgement of the wrong done to you and an apology is enough. Then again, sometimes it is not.

Or you could just blog about your nemesis, kick back and smile. 

It’s okay to put your hands down now!

Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): Don’t forget to leave your email address if you want to receive email notification directly from me when I post again! Thanks!

29 Responses to “Rage-Writing as Memoir. Is it a Book, a Blog or just BS?”

  1. The Curmudgeon Says:

    Of course an easy way around this is to write it as fiction- a form that has been called a “novel”- and this permits you to embellish it, lie, spew venom and vomitus, and generally try to make it more appealing to people who really care about aluminum siding.

  2. heromama Says:

    If you need a model for memoir, check out Jeannette Walls’s glimmering memoir, The Glass Castle. If anyone ever deserved to rage, it was Ms. Walls, but did she? No. She told a truthful tale with grace, and in so doing, raised the bar for memoir.

    Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM):    Karen Spears’ commentary has been featured in   The New York Times, Newsweek and NPR. The Arrow that Flies by Day will be published in 2007.

  3. Gina Burgess Says:

    Of course… now I know why I didn’t spew out all that vomitus about my ex. I don’t think the blather would have even helped me. Oh. Wait. Why not something completely different like a story of forgiveness? Ummm. Wonder if forgiveness has enough conflict in it to sell?

    [Curmudgeon],… sometimes truth is far, far stranger than fiction, although aluminum siding does have different colors.

    Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): Gina is a grant writer in Newellton, Louisiana. She’s just finished writing the first three chapters of her book, Running from Shadows. (Thanks for dropping by, Gina!)

  4. Andrew O'Hara Says:

    Well, Her Wickedness does make a point for literary integrity (as if it exists among publishers) but she doesn’t persuade me that “hate writers,” much less blatant liars, will go anywhere but to the bank deposit line.

    I believe James Frey was punished by having to put a disclaimer in the front of his book and give refunds to readers who want them (and to get the refund you have to turn in not only the receipt but a “piece of the book” AND a sworn statement that you thought the book was true when you bought it). Do you really call that is a show of good faith by the publisher?

    Do you really think young Kathy O’Beirne will get off with some greater “punishment?” Her family has already given an insanity defense. Now they can write a book about HER–and claim stress, duress, repressed memories or just “The devil made us do it.” She’s happy, they’re happy, the publisher’s happy. Probably the only unhappy one is Oprah because she didn’t get a chance to trip the light indignant.

    The public loves this stuff, and publishers love it just as much. They may say otherwise, but don’t be fooled. Not for a second.

  5. Bernita Says:

    You are a clever, clever, wicked, wicked woman.

     

     

    Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): Thanks Bernita, for the early morning, pre-Java, compliment! How’s the weather up there in Ontario? Brrrrr!

  6. Dawnsister Says:

    I just had a conversation with my sister about this a month ago. She is getting divorced from not only her husband but a very old-world Hispanic father and mother in law. They have put her thru h*ll over the last few years and do things that not only hurt my sister, but make life very difficult for her kids. Her ex had the utilities turned off—while she and the kids still lived in the house. My sister works for a retail store and sometimes has to work nights—the ex said he would watch them if she paid his new girlfriend to babysit them—the girlfriend is a very young chippy who is straight from S. America, speaks no english and is his sister’s nanny!

    I told her she should think about getting some frustration out by writing a semi-funny memoir of her marriage and divorce.

    Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): Oh, No! Nannygate!!!! Hi, Shelley! I think the question is whether your sister should make her memoir available to the world, or just self-publish for posterity and shelve it along side the family photo albums.

  7. Lynne Says:

    The last angry memoir I read was To See Every Bird on Earth—A Father, A Son, and a Lifelong Obsession by Dan Koeppel. I know the players, as they say. The father is a well-known, high-ranking birder, as well as my neighbor and good friend. Dan’s parents are divorced.

    The book has done very, very well. I’m betting the initial audience was, you guessed it, birders. Thousands and thousands of birders flocked to the book!

    Lynne  

  8. Bernita Says:

    I still have roses, Madame Lynne!

  9. Minx Says:

    I agree with the Curmudgeon. Cloaking it in ‘aluminum siding’ within the covers of a novel is surely more cathartic than re-invoking the ‘pain and stress’ of the original episode. You could have so much more fun with it as well!!

  10. Lorra Laven Says:

    Phew! So much to think about in this one.

    One of the most important points Lynne makes isn’t about audience size, but about libel. Anyone writing a memoir or roman a clef should heed Lynne’s warnings about telling the truth. The truth is always a defense against libel.

    That being said, telling the truth does NOT mean you won’t get sued and that Goliath won’t throw everything he has at you to crush you beneath his mega-corporate heel. You will have to defend yourself — right or wrong — against a phalanx of high-priced lawyers. Goliath is counting on you turning tail and running squealing into the bushes like the helpless, little rodent he believes you are.

    But hold on there just a second, little field mouse. You have two things going for you: First, if you have told the truth, and you can prove it, you will win against Goliath. Second, if your memoir is considered to be in the best interest of the common good — a recent example was a writer who dished the dirt on her abusive husband; a case decided in her favor, I believe, in the Supreme Court — you will win against Goliath. Third — and you need to pay attention here, little mouse — most home owners’ policies, and I assume renters’ policies, have, for a nominal sum, a rider available that offers up to twenty million dollars to help you defend your good name. And believe me: it could cost you that much.

    As to whether you should write a memoir or not: Lynne has made some great points. One, she doesn’t include, is collateral damage. Lynne knows that I chose not to write a memoir, even though I was urged to write my story as non-fiction by several literary agents, because of the possibility of more suicides among kids central to the story. Instead, I researched the topic extensively, including meeting with the FBI and talking to psychologists who counseled both victims and perpretators, and wrote a novel instead.

    As to Lynne’s story: it would be great fun to read it in novel form. A possible opening: A statuesque blond, laying on the beach in her leaopard-skin bikini, discovers a bloated body whose eyes have been eaten by fish. The deceased, trussed up like a calf waiting for branding, is covered with multiple lacerations which the coroner determines are the result of hundreds of jelly fish stings inflicted prior to drowning. (Oh well!) 

    The protaganist — we’ll call her Clarissa — is the prime suspect in the business mogul’s torture and murder, as she has lost all of her savings defending a baseless lawsuit wherein the deceased sought to seize her land which was handed down to her by her father.

    But wait. A handsome detective, who of course becomes a love interest for Clarissa, discovers that Goliath has pissed off innumerable people, among them, his neighbor, who he has cuckolded, a former business partner who he has bankrupt and a mysterious consortium of “business people” in South America.

    Rolph, the handsome detective, discovers that Goliath has been seeking to sieze Clarissa’s land because he has buried something on it that is somehow related to his dealings in South America. Clarissa’s life is in danger . . . blah, blah blah. Pulp fictionish twist of events and a really, pissed off Goliath ensue.

    Happy ending in novel; big lawsuit by Goliath which serves to promote the book; the mouse wins the lawsuit because libel insurance lets her hire the best lawyers. Pimp-slapping Goliath feels great. The End.

    Lorra  

  11. Frazer Dobson Says:

    And a fine post it is. Sally also enjoyed it. But please don’t discourage people from shooting themselves in the foot. We need schaudenfreude too.

    Frazer

    Note from the Wicked Witch: Frazer Dobson is an owner and handseller at Park Row Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. For the past 18 years Park Road Books has been voted “Charlotte’s Best” by readers and editors of Creative Loafing, the arts and entertainment newspaper.

  12. Gina Burgess Says:

    No, Lynne, you are correct! Smearing mommy’s name didn’t sell books, it was being a birder. I had a problem with “Mommy Dearest”… Being a Mom of two grown daughters. I think people who write rage-books just do not have a clue how to handle their problems and they turn to money grubbing tactics rather than thinking the problem through or getting professional help. I don’t read them because 1. they make my blood boil and 2. they never solve anything, all they do is stir up anger feelings.

    Here’s the question… Did it eliminate the rage or did it just fan it to wildfire levels? Anger turns to bitterness and bitterness creates diseases in the body. Chances are, the person who made them angry wasn’t even aware they did so and those people sail blissfully off into the sunset unaware of the storm they’ve left behind. And that’s two cents more.

    Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): Gina, I do think in certain cases the object of one’s hatred is oblivious, but I think what happens more frequently is there is revisionist history, feigned amnesia or self-serving rationalization.

  13. Andrew O'Hara Says:

    “…but that doesn’t excuse Dan’s disloyalty…” I agree with Her Wickedness, but that makes two of us and a few more here, I’m sure, that feel that way. But we need to look at the rest of the world, and that’s when the nice sentiment begins to crumble. I, too, wish this was a just world in which nasty liars really did get their pants on fire.

    Yes, on the one hand, anyone can sue anyone for anything–that part of the system has been so abused it has no credibility.

    Yes, on the other hand, anyone spitting out libel can be sued, and that part of the system has lost its credibility as well. Why do you think it takes ten years to get a case before a jury?

    The bottom line–and I don’t like it any more than Her Wickedness–is that there are plenty of people willing to take the risk, and many publishers (witness only the recent examples) who are willing to ride the lightning with them. And if worse comes to worse, put a fine-type disclaimer in the front and demand a notarized declaration of stupidity from anyone demanding a refund.

    Nice to talk morals, but salability remains the name of the game and gets you out of the slushpile.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Take that, Goliath! And that!

    (I’d say my name, but I’m too afraid of him!)

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Should you or shouldn’t you?
    “And…The Wicked Witch weighs writing a memoir herself.”

    You killed 2 birds w/ one stone most effectively. Maybe that jerk will even apologize to you now. (Yeah right…)

    I wish every raging memoirist would heed your wise words. Problem is, most are too enraged to do so–including one I know. SIGH.

    Best wishes!

  16. DC Stanfa Says:

    How about this? Take the mean nuns, the bad boys, the UNFAIR high school days, the slutty days of Dallas (and almost marrying into the mafia), the Jerry Springer show appearance, the wedding disasters, the divorce–and turn the drama into a comedy.

    The only spewing will be milk out of your nose, when you get the last laugh, by making it all funny. When, I did this, anger took a bus back to Rush Limbaugh’s house.

  17. Rob Gregory Browne Says:

    I rarely get angry, and most of my rants are on political blogs, so I guess I’m out of the memoir business.

    I’m curious, however, about people’s perception of memoirs as truth. We get so upset when somebody like Frey is exposed as a liar. But let’s face it — most people are unable to tell you about even a trip to the supermarket without embellishing the story.

    Why would anyone ever believe that a memoir would be even remotely accurate? It’s a reflection of the person writing it, not a history book (and, let’s face it, few history books tell the truth either — hell, even the news is b.s. half the time), so I tend to think of it as merely a piece of “reality” filtered through hazy memories and wishful thinking.

    I learned long ago never to take anything written and labled as non-fiction to be gospel. Not even the, uh, Gospel.

    Hmmm. That sounded like an angry rant, didn’t it.

    Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): Rob has a two-book contract with St. Martin’s Press. You can read the first three chapters of Kiss Her Goodbye on his Web site. Check out the simple, but effective (scary!) trailer for his book. (Thanks for coming by for the first time, Rob.)

  18. Maxine Says:

    I liked reading your post, Lynne. As ever, the witches have it.

    Interesting to look at this topic from the perspective of “revenge is a dish best served cold”?Maxine

    I am thinking of that Irish woman’s memoir, about her childhood in the Magdalene laundries, etc, which turns out to be made up. Is she mad or getting even? Her family are saying she has not good touch with reality. I am with the GOB in thinking the publisher bears responsibilty in this and other cases of “rage memoir” as you call it.

    Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): Maxine Clarke is a science journal editor living in the UK.

  19. Webwriter Says:

    [...] The Publishing Contrarian – Discussions about Dramatic Change in the Business and Operation of Publishing Posted by Web editor Filed in writing, publishing [...]

  20. Tom Clavin Says:

    Witch:

    A very smart column. Maybe it will reduce some of the trash out there. However, I don’t really blame the writers. The writing process might be the best thing for them — in place of or in addition to booze and sex and shopping — to help alleviate the anger. And it is less intrusive than stopping strangers on the street or burdening friends and family. I blame the desperate or dim editors who think the act of publishing turns a sow’s ear into a silk purse. They should think more about saving trees, and quality writing.

    Tom Clavin     Tom Clavin Dark Noon 

    Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): Tom is an oft-published journalist and author living in East Hampton, New York.

  21. Fran Says:

    I think writers should write what they feel compelled to write, as long as they accept that they might have to suffer some consequences eventually. Writing is like cooking: the best writers don’t doggedly follow recipes written by other writers. They create their own recipes.

    Having said that, I also think too much rage is unhealthy for both the reader and the writer. On the OTHER hand, a moderate amount of word-rage can move people to change the world–as long as the rage is balanced with more positive stuff. And holding rage in too much often multiplies it even more. Guess I have mixed feelings here and see lots of gray areas, as usual….

    Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): I clicked over to Fran’s Web site since she is a first-time commenter here. (Thanks, Fran!). It looks like Fran has multiple blogs and two books online, one completed, Honest Love, and one in-progress, A Strange Arrangement. She also has short stories, Strange and Not so Strange Tales, at yet another blog.

  22. Caroline Smailes Says:

    And yet again – wise wise words.

    I am for the mixing of memoirs and fiction. It’s fun. Surely everything that we write stems from memoir? or perhaps that’s just me??

    You’ve got me thinking again!

    Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): Caroline is an Associate Lecturer for Open University, the UK’s largest university for part-time higher education. She lives in The Wirral, which is a penisula in the Nortwest of England. Caroline has written a novel called In Search of Adam. (Second visit! Thanks, Caroline!)

  23. Peter L. Winkler Says:

    Julia Phillips had already burned her bridges in Hollywood before writing her memoir. I suppose she concluded that she had nothing to lose. She followed the first book with a second one, Driving Under the Affluence (1995). She died in 2002.

    As for Kathy O’Beirne, what’s the downside for her? I suspect she was already alienated from her family.

    Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): Peter lives in Valley Village, California. His latest post at his blog, Precious Cargo, is “Who REALLY Invented the Blog?”

  24. A Friend Says:

    If it is any consolation, Lynne, everyone on Lake Hopatcong is shocked by what Bela Szigethy did to you over 1/3 of an acre and your right to walk along an easement around the island where it crosses parcels of property he owns.

    We heard the legal fees ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s a pissing contest in which he planned to prevail…at any cost to him and at a huge cost to you.

    You should contact The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. You’ve got a great human interest story, if not a book, in this. 

  25. Big Bad Book Blog » Blog Archive » Big Bad Book Blog Links 09-25-2006 Says:

     Clint Greenleaf

    [...] The Publishing Contrarian: Discussions About Dramatic Change in the Business and Operation of Publishing Rage-Writing as Memoir. Is it a Book, a Blog or just BS? [...] 

  26. Neil Says:

    If you really wanted to capture a big market, the best bet is to just hate everyone! (and I’m sure this has helped fuel some writers)

  27. Dave Newton Says:

    I haven’t decided whether you’re just plain wicked, or the WW of the Hamptons. You are clever. You’ve succeeded in writing an instructive post and inflicting your rage-memory story on us, simultaneously, and without going near the supermarket. Not only that, I now hear “vomitus” echoing endlessly through my sinuses.

    Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): Heh, heh. 

  28. Diana McClintic Says:

    Ok I am confused. If you go the way of the novel and change the names. Do you have to change actual emails or correspondence in a book of conversations with my mentor. Ill change the names to make it better but everyone will know who this popular man is by his words as he is so unique. Its so important to have this published however if he screams for using his emails to me over a two year period even if I change his name is that the worst. It is what people need and want to hear. A special mentor book. So tell me, is it ok to keep the emails as was written if I change the name?

  29. Joan Greene Says:

    I just read your article about your land woes on Halsey Island. All I can say is that if you wrote a book, I, for one, would buy it. I am so sick of the mega buyers on our lake purchasing every old house, tearing them apart, and then not paying property taxes because they have suddenly become a church! You go girl.

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