Is this the bus to Cartagena?

I don’t remember how old I was the first time I saw Romancing The Stone. The movie was just always there, woven into the fabric of my life and probably every other person alive in the 80s. I never questioned it. Some cultures have myths, religion, gods–I have Kathleen Turner. For anyone who has somehow missed the amazingly sexy/cheesy/classic film, it’s about a mousy romance writer with no life or love, who travels to Colombia on a quest to save her sister from some bad guys, ultimately sheds her mousy exterior and comes into her own hawt romance with the one and only Michael Douglas. Danger and hijinx abound.

The point of this post is that for years my one and only mental image of a writer was embodied by Joan Wilder. And I’m not talking about the sexy, breezy woman who sails off into the sunset with Jack Colton. I’m talking about THIS Joan Wilder:

NOT this one:








I wanted to be her. The headphone-and-pajamas, weeping-over-her-typewriter, lives alone with her cat, and has post-it notes ALL over her apartment…WRITER. Forget the action and romance in the rest of the movie, I could watch the first fifteen minutes where she finishes her novel and celebrates all by herself over and over. That’s what writing is really like! (well, except maybe for the part where she types out the perfect last sentence and THE END without tearing every last strand of her hair out)

So recently when a client of mine heard about my book being published, he asked me clear out of the blue, “Does this mean you’re going to run off to South America and become Joan Wilder or something?”

And you know what? I might have a MacBook instead of a typewriter, but I realized today that I have the headphones, the pajamas, the post-it notes…and even the cat (my late kitty Thyme was actually the spitting image of Joan Wilder’s cat Romeo). Omg, I have fulfilled the dream of mousy writerdom!

Then today I received one other Joan Wilder accessory that I never thought I’d have:

(haha, it’s a publishing contract, not Jack Colton…I’m set in that department)

I know you are probably thinking: Emily, you have a severely distorted vision of reality, get help! And you wouldn’t be the first person to say that recently! But you know, I think everyone who has ever tried to get published has an image of a WRITER that they see in their heads when they let themselves dream. And I think I could do a lot worse than Kathleen Turner.


So when you think writer, or for that matter, any dream you aspire to…
What do you see?


Insulting Neil Gaiman

Last night I dreamed that I left a Tori Amos concert to run to the bookstore (???)… 

I wasn’t going to be gone long, but when I got there, I found out Neil Gaiman’s new book, The Graveyard Book, had been released early. A helpful bookseller said I should get in line because Neil Gaiman was there in the store doing a signing, (!!!) I figured it would be too long a line and I wanted to get back to the concert, but then she pointed out the line only had about five people in it, so…

Here I should mention that I was sitting in my office chair from home this whole time – wheeling around the store. So I asked the lady to help me get the chair through the stacks, and I got in line. And there he was, signing books, with only five people in front of me! And then they were suddenly gone and I didn’t know what to say! 

He asked which book I wanted since I wasn’t holding one, and I said, “Any one will do.” (eeeek!) and then he went on about it not being worth the shipping to get such and such or something, and finally signed a copy of The Graveyard Book for me. I was feeling bad that i hadn’t read the new book yet (even though it had just been released that day), but in real non-dreaming life, I’ve been listening to him on audio a lot (HIGHLY reccommend!). So I told him I listened to his audio…and that I really enjoyed it…except, I said, “You do a really bad English accent.”


I don’t remember how he reacted, but I quickly corrected myself and said, “I meant to say you do a bad American accent!” (Awesome! I put my foot in my mouth in my own dreams!!) I back-pedaled, trying to explain myself and not being able to because I really don’t think this at all and I don’t know why I said it! At that point, I think he wanted me to leave, so he began chatting with the booksellers, and I began to wheel pitifully away in my office chair, feeling stupid that I ruined my one and only chance to speak to Neil Gaiman.

This one goes in the nightmare folder. *sigh*