Ok, so, I'm opening my very own independent bookstore. It's a cute little thing, in a quaint little old building, right on the water with tons of character -- but that's for a different blog.
I rent the building, which means I have a landlord (this will be an important fact later in the story).
So one day, running back and forth between my house and the bookstore, I placed the single key to the bookstore (another important clue) in my apparently very shallow front jean pocket (a third clue). I, er, um, went to the bathroom and after I flushed I was pulling up my jeans when I heard an unmistakable BLLLLOOOOOP sound. I knew IMMEDIATELY what it was. That's right boys and girls, my only bookstore key flushed right down the toilet. I never saw it, just heard it. After I recovered from the shock and then spent the next 10 minutes laughing hysterically at myself, I had an awful realization -- that was the only key that I had which meant that I had to call and explain the situation to my landlord and get a new key.
Thank goodness I have cool landlords with the same goofy sense of humor as me. The picture is how the new key came back to my from the landlord. In case you can't decipher, it's on a "floaty" -- a device that boaters generally use for their boating keys in case they get dropped in the water they will float. Dang, if only I had thought of that...
(come on...it was WAY TOO FUNNY not to share! agreed?)
A couple of weeks ago, on a whim, I entered an international poetry contest online. Later that day I was laughing to my friend about it, joking that maybe I could at least win some of the money. Today I received a letter informing me that my poem has been chosen as a semi-finalist (no, no money yet).
Does this mean I have to grow a goatee and start hanging out at poetry-bash coffee shops?
Here's the poem:
Evolution of a Pain
You need cheer, help, laughter, I'm there.
"No problem!" I say. It's part of me to give and love.
But it turns against me. What have I said, done wrong?
I was only there for you. How can anyone find fault in that?
But you do. It's never good enough, never enough:
Unwarranted accusations, finger pointing, diversions.
Why are all of your faults acceptable, expected?
I get blank stares in a white room. Everyone else is
laughing, playing, worrying - but not with me, not for me.
I scream silently in the middle of a crowded circle.
It's funny how no one notices. "She has it all together."
It would be a fun game if it weren't happening to me.
A movie, a drama not happening to me, yet I'm part of.
A silent film ruined by the static of unfulfilled needs.
A play filled with disinterest, mindlessness, carelessness.
Look around. Would anyone notice if I weren't here anymore?
Sadly I know the answer. Yes, they would,
but only because no one else would make everything better.
Instead, I smile. "What a happy put together person."
But the eyes tell it all, don't they?
Copyright ©2006 Jacqueline K Wilson
Author's Note: This poem is a 2006 current semifinalist in the International Poetry Competition.
There's a published author with my same name.
It is strange: I'm a published author, she's a published author. I write children's stories, she writes children's stories. As far as I can tell, that's where the similarities stop. I am painfully aware that she exists, while I'm pretty sure that she doesn't even know (or care) about my existence.
I receive about 10 emails a month for her from children on my web site telling me how much they love my childrens' books. Unfortunately, these are not my books they are talking about. How do I know this?
1. I'm currently only published in the academic arena.
2. I've never even submitted my children's stories to a contest, let alone published them.
Not wanting to discourage any young children from reading their favorite author (I was afraid when the children didn't get a response they would lose interest in reading), I did the research and found Jacqueline Wilson's agent in the UK. I now forward all the children's emails to her agent. I'm pretty sure she still doesn't know I exist. I mean, that effort alone should net me some personally-signed copy of one of her books, but who am I?
How do these children even find my site? This is a phenomenon that I can't explain. One night while trying to answer this question, I Googled myself (yes, I'll admit it). There were pages and pages about Jacqueline Wilson (yes, the other Jacqueline Wilson). After about page 27 and no mention of me anywhere, I gave up.
So, here's the conundrum. What name do I publish my fiction mystery novel under? (Yes, I am hopeful that it will be published). If I use "Jacqueline Wilson" I risk the mix up between the two published authors. If I use "Jackie Wilson", you guessed it, people searching for my book will only come up with the famous R&B vocalist. I mentioned using my maiden name to my husband. The silence alone told me that didn't go over well.
I'm pretty sure the other Jacqueline Wilson doesn't lose sleep over having the same name as me.
Today is my birthday. That's right, one day after New Year's. As you can imagine, I got cheated out of all the cool birthday stuff as a kid because everyone was "celebrated out" (or still out of town) by the time my birthday rolled around. Anyway, I digress (and I'm obviously not bitter).
I'm writing a fiction mystery novel. I have made a resolution that I will start submitting my book for publishing this year. HM. Interesting. Especially since I generally regard new year resolutions only for those who can't set and make goals for themselves the rest of the year. But this year I've jumped on the proverbial band wagon of resolutions. Hopefully this won't be one resolution that gets broken. Wish me luck!