Thursday, December 06, 2007


We got our first real copies of Gotta Keep on Tryin’, on Tuesday. We even celebrated with the UPS guy—he’s the regular guy—so he knows what we do and said he was honored to be the first “real person” to see the new book. We are always supremely silly when we see the first book—in the dust jacket, all nice and shiny. Until then, it’s like we have hallucinated this notion that we have written a book and someone is going to publish it. The book is physical evidence. This is novel number five and it happens every time.

We have it on the desk while we’re working to finish What Doesn’t Kill You, our next book—it’s kind of inspiration and sometimes we stare at it and grin for no apparent reason—very goofy.

We had this cute (retarded) idea that we were going to take a picture of ourselves holding the book to include with the blog today. Then we got up this morning, and the ridiculousness of this notion became apparent when we looked at each other. Because we are eyelash deep in writing, and writing is not cute.

On any given day we are wearing whatever we can put our hands on that is reasonably clean—color coordinated is optional. Virginia finally had to toss a red sweater she wore so long (through our early magazine adventure and three books) that her mother, who is unfailingly sweet, said, “I would like never to see that sweater again, dear.” Donna is still breaking in a new pink and white striped button down shirt—the old one finally disintegrated. Shredded really, not at the seams, the actual fabric.

Our hair is frequently standing pretty much the same way it was when it left our respective pillows. OK, maybe a little finger combing has taken place—Virginia found something crunchy and unidentifiable in hers this morning. Are we scaring you? Sorry, but these are the sad facts—not pretty.

Neither are writer’s desks. Whenever you see a photo of a writer sitting in a handsome chair, before a gleaming desk, with a pen and pencil set mounted in a polished wood stand, a leather bound journal, and a bouquet of jonquils, and they tell you that’s where they work—they are lying. Writing is chaotic. Our desk has this morning’s coffee cups, yesterday’s soda cans, water glasses, wine glasses (we like to stay hydrated), a salt shaker and two crackers left over from yesterdays soup, a tape measure (no that’s not how we measure the length of the manuscript), a dead light bulb laying in a votive holder, floppy disks from two books ago, notes taped to the monitor, a heating pad, bottles of Mucinex and Aleve (for Virginia’s cold and Donna’s sprained thumb), papers, pamphlets, business cards, a week’s worth of unopened mail, tissue boxes, various sweaters, jackets and bras (which can become particularly restrictive to thought and thus must be removed), nail polish remover. . . You get the idea, and like we said, it’s not pretty.

So, imagine if you will, the two of us looking rested and well groomed seated at our gleaming desk and smiling as we hold our new book. It’s a nice picture—just not today.

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 11:19 AM


Blogger Carleen Brice said...

Congratulations!! And I know totally what you mean. I'm wearing a sweater so holey it could preach a sermon and my office is filled with so much, including bras! I particularly laughed at that.

8:30 PM  
Blogger DeBerry & Grant said...

Good to know we're not the only ones!

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Ms.Prose said...

Thank you so much for that, lol!!! Now, despite the fact that I have yet to be published, I feel like a real writer. Now I feel justified in wearing my uniform of velour sweats, white socks, a neck scarf, fingerless gloves (I can't get the mouse to work on my laptop with regular gloves on), and house shoes. My husband tells me that I look homeless. I also feel a lot better about writing in the bed, on the couch, at the kitchen table, on the floor in my kids' bedroom, or in a lawn chair in the backyard with countless water bottles and coffee cups scattered about. BTW, I can't wait to read your new book.

5:15 PM  
Blogger CydneyR said...

I agree with you. Writing isn't pretty. It's kind of nasty. In the early days I would print pages of a book, read them, ball them up and throw them on the floor, not caring about the mess. Great piece.

6:33 AM  
Blogger DeBerry & Grant said...

LOL Cydney! We didn't EVEN mention what the rest of the office looks like--the desk is scary enough!

11:30 AM  

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