Thursday, June 14, 2007

Xanax and Barnes & Noble

For about a year after I realized my book wasn't going to be published, I dared not enter a bookstore, because if I did, I would start crying like a crazy chick. I sometimes even teared up merely passing the window displays of bookstores. I would stand there and think, "Jesus, look at all this crap people sell, and I can't even sell my crap, which I know is better than their crap."

And of course the book's course of events led to the downward spiral that caused me to leave New York, forsake writing, publishing and magazines, and move to Miami to get a "real job." Which of course made me realize how I was literally soulless without my writing, and having a boring "real job" made me more positive than ever that this is what I was meant to do. (Save your catty comments, I know I'm not Virginia Woolf. I'm not trying to be.)

It was only after I left NYC that I could enter a Barnes & Noble without the fear of crying. But then when I was in Miami, and I began venturing back into bookstores, I had these weird visceral reactions. I would get dizzy, lighthearted and short of breath. I would be unsteady on my feet. I felt the need to race through there and get to my car, ASAP.

It wasn't until a few months later that I realized I was having anxiety attacks each and every time I entered a bookstore. These pretty, colorful tomes were taunting me, screaming, "We got published and you didn't, and look at how crappy our book is! Ha, you total loser."

Well, I read several books a week and don't have the patience to order online, so bookstores are unavoidable. Today I was out of books; had to trek to B&N. And before I knew it, there was the nausea, the unsteadiness, the utter sadness, the pit of dread. And when I pulled into my garage and looked at the B&N bag, I just started crying. I couldn't help it.

I am trying to live in the moment here and focus on my future and my freelance career that is keeping me very busy, but for me, the non-publication of my book is like the death of a boyfriend or a lover—the insurmountable loss of something that you poured your heart, soul, time and money into all for naught. Or, more appropriately, it is the death of my dreams.

And upon reflection, I still can't say for sure that writing it was a mistake, because some good things did come out of it. But I do think that this rejection, especially since it was on a Page-Six-level public scale, is one that I may never get over.

Or maybe I will, when I write another one, or edit the 500 pages I have into something coherent. My July respite in South Beach may be just the place to do that. Because even though I can be a whiny, sensitive girly-girl, I'm also a tough chick, unafraid to kick ass, who can conquer pretty much anything. So perhaps there's hope for my dreams yet.


Per my do-gooder brother, please read the following. And if you feel so inclined to donate, please do so.

There is this kid named Sanjay who is trying to help polio (can you even believe brother is vacationing where there is still polio?) people in India.

Read about him here.

In my brother's words: "He is trying to buy a hemoglobin machine for the village. He gives free
health care to polio patients and rural villagers on the weekends. It would
be the equivalent of driving to Orlando [a two hour drive from where I am] every Sunday on dirt roads even though you have a full-time job and 2 kids. He's made children walk again
for the first time and its the only healthcare these people have. Here's my
experience with him

Here is the link for Palms (I'm guessing that's his charity). . Click on "Special Projects."

They're trying to raise only $3,000 to send a woman to Tanzania to work with
crippled orphans, and she can't go unless they raise that amount.

I'm going to be charitable and donate; I need all the good karma I can get right now. And you cheap bastards donate too. A dollar or two makes a huge difference in India. They can like live on that for a day.

Oh and check out my brother's amazing pictures and please comment and encourage him to take this up professionally; natch he won't listen to his sister or his parents. But he very well may listen to strangers.