I was having breakfast yesterday with a couple of girlfriends. We were talking about movies and naturally the conversation came around to Napoleon Dynamite and tater tots and all things sweet.
My friend told us about the time she was on vacation with her whole family and decided to show them how she could do “sweet jumps” on her bike. With everyone watching, she proceeded to have a massive wipe out. Now her husband won’t let her get a motorcycle because he says “You can’t even handle a bike without a motor.”
It occurs to me that publishing a book is a bit like doing sweet jumps at the family vacation. Only the family is the whole reading public. If you are crazy enough to write a memoir, as I have done, the bike feels more like a motorcycle with a couple of jet engines attached to the back, similar to what you see in those Spike TV shows about the myriad dumb ways people find to kill themselves. Maybe you’ll make the sweet jump and no one will notice but you’ll feel quiet satisfaction. Maybe you’ll make the sweet jump and become a family legend. But just as likely you won’t make the sweet jump and will end up with road rash all over yourself and your family will laugh about your failed attempt every time they see you for the rest of your life and the story will be featured in bold in the Christmas letter. Or worse, maybe the sweet jump will go terribly wrong and you’ll crash into Aunt Pat and break her leg and give yourself a head injury and a collapsed lung. Then no one will laugh, especially not Aunt Pat and her new boyfriend, and you’ll be banished from family vacations forever.
Publishing a book, like attempting a sweet jump, involves an element of risk. I admire everyone who tries it. I just wish authors, like stunt riders, were allowed to wear helmets. (Do you think people would wonder if I wore one to my public events? hmmm. Maybe wrist guards and elbow pads, too…)
Nice Recovery is officially out tomorrow, March 16. Thanks to all of you who’ve already read it and been so nice.
There are several public events/readings coming up across Canada, including the Ottawa Writer’s Festival (April 25-26) and an event with SmallPrint/TINARS on April 28th in Toronto. I will be speaking with CBC’s lovely Shelagh Rogers on Wed. for her show, The Next Chapter and will let you know when that’s due to air. There will be a full list of events and their dates on the sidebar of this blog as soon as I have them. We also have extremely sweet plans for a book launch, which I will reveal as soon as they’re finalized.
Until then, try the sweet jumps but make sure to keep your pads on.
P.S. Don’t forget to Vote for Sherm. The semifinals are two weeks long. He’s holding strong at 60%. Stay tuned for news about Vote for Sherm swag!
P.P.S. I have a several sweet jump books I want to talk about but I have to wait until my schedule clears a bit. For now, let me say that Lauren Mechling’s Dream Life, Chevy Steven‘s Still Missing and Jay Ruzesky‘s Wolsenburg Clock are three jumps you don’t want to miss! I don’t even think their authors need helmets. More on them next month…