Fame And Fortune And All That Rot  

Posted by Heidi in

Today, I was going to write a very short post to give a rest to those madly reading the daily blog posts of those (those other those) participating in, er, well, whatever they call that thing wherein you post every day in the month of November whether you want to or not BUT then I had a thought and in my usual misguided and hopelessly optimistic way, I felt I should share.

There have been people, not many, but a few, who have made it clear, one way or another, that they think I am somehow special or better than “they” because I have a book coming out. So not true! There are many fantastic writers out there who are being read every day (because they blog and let’s face it, 10 real blog readers per day, over the course of a year, trumps a mere 100 novel readers any day, hands down!) who just haven’t had the right set of circumstances arise. You know, the ones that lead to a book being published. Which is not to say they ever will, which makes me super lucky but not BETTER.

I’m still the same pitiful me, woefully hoping for validation and recognition because one little book does not, by any means, mean I have “arrived”. (Very few do fully arrive in this business except for people like J.K and Steph but when (I ask) when, do they have time to hug their kids or eat meals with their family or talk with their spouse, which is why some of them aren’t, in fact, married anymore, and by that I don’t mean Steph because I haven’t heard anything. Have you?) I am also still the same star-struck fan of great books and great writing (though I am less enchanted with actual writers, because, let’s face it, they write their books one chapter at a time, just like me. I once had the chance to meet, at a book signing, an author that I totally completely and inappropriately worshipped along with the characters she had created but meeting her drove home the concept that these characters weren’t real because she did, in fact, create them and what’s more, I could see with my own eyes that she was made of flesh and blood and had split ends and five to ten extra pounds, just like me, which put an end to the inappropriate worshipful attitude, pronto, which was ineffably sad but so needed to happen).

So, let me just say I don’t want to be on anyone’s pedestal, something with which I have some experience as the mom of a multiply disabled child. There are some kind and misguided souls out there who think I was given the Big Guy, with all his attendant woes, because I was some kind of wonderful when the truth is umm, er, this metaphor to follow. If you go out into the barn the day a calf is born and pick it up—and you do that every day—pretty soon you are picking up a cow, (which, in my case, is a somewhat bloated, overweight bovine who fortunately doesn’t need picking up nearly as often as he used to and who even picks me up sometimes). Why no pedestal? Because it is so darn isolating and way too far away from the grounded people. Those are the ones I want to hang with (which isn’t to say that we shouldn’t love, admire and respect and even emulate people who deserve it, as long as everyone understands that even though we aren’t all the same, we are all equal).

In the words of the great Evita (I doubt Eva Peron herself actually said them) with which I whole-heartedly agree, “And as for fortune, and as for fame . . . they are illusions, they’re not the solution they promise to be. The answer was here all the time. I love you and hope you love me.” (You go, girl!)

That’s not to say that this whole book thing, and thereby being a member of “the” club (because that’s a real thing) and going to a publisher’s party and almost swooning when I opened my book for the first time and having a book signing and, most of all, people reading my book and really truly liking it, isn’t fun, because it’s a blast! But so is going to Disneyland (but only if you leave your kids at home—trust me on this one).

So, go out there and enjoy what you have. It might not be the same as the next guy/gal but it’s yours, all yours! Make the most of what you have because it all comes from on high and therefore can never be anything but enough. For which I am very grateful.

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 at Thursday, November 13, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

31 wise, witty and wonderful comments

I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy.

Just kidding.

You are a great writer. And I like to read your blog. Simple as that.

I love how you call it "all that rot." And quoting Evita - you get bonus points.

November 13, 2008 at 12:50 PM

Thanks Erin! Gotta love that Evita! My uncle-in-law felt that song was the most perfect ever written.

November 13, 2008 at 1:01 PM

This is how I feel about blogging lately. Compared to the big guns (CJane, Dooce, et al.), I'm way small potatoes, but I think sometimes people THINK the traffic I get is a big deal.

Now and then I go to comment on a new blog where I don't usually post, and people make a big deal out of it. It makes me nervous to comment. Because I'm just as dumb as everyone else, and the only people who read my blog at first were the members of my own family.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I liked your post. And I'm still jealous of your novel. :>

November 13, 2008 at 1:24 PM

PS: Is your book already out? I thought it didn't come out till next month - that's what your author site says. I need to read it.

November 13, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Of course you want to be read and noticed. You wrote a book, and published it! You didn't write it and stick it in a trunk under your grandmother's dress and stick it in the attic.
I think, most people do want to be noticed and read whether it's a book or a post because if they didn't, they'd have a private setting. Although, that's meant for close friends and families usually, so then they still in a way want to be read - just not by everyone.

I come to read you because you're interesting, honest, and inspiring for little people like me who one day want to have a story published too.

November 13, 2008 at 1:55 PM

I love Evita and I love that you quoted it in your blog! Cool!

You are right... we are all different in our talents, our timing, and our struggles. It's the mix of those things that make us who we are, not just the BEST of those things.

I still think you are awesome, though... sorry!

November 13, 2008 at 2:47 PM

I love you, Heidi Ashworth.

November 13, 2008 at 2:49 PM

My favorite line in this post is the Disneyland comment. We are getting ready to go for Thanksgiving and I was just thinking how fun it was to go pre kids!

November 13, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Sue, guilty as charged! Time for me to take you right off that pedestal I had you on. Yikes! How did I not see that one coming? (I guess cause I didn't see YOU coming) And, to answer your question, the book isn't officially out, but it is in some libraries (the Logan library is the closest available to you at the moment) but should you feel the need to buy it, it is available for pre-order right this very minute at Amazon.com, Overstock.com, Barnesandnoble.com and if you prefer, Target.com. Or, if you want one signed you can just tell me and I will mail it to your house (in light of the previous pedestal thing, and all) because I think you are way better than Dooce (CJane's traffic is alot about voyuerism at the moment, you have to admit!--no disrespect intended, I'm there every day, too, just like everyone else) unless you don't want me to have your address because I am too weird and stalkerish. I would totally understand (what with that pedestal thing and all). And I'm still jealous of your traffic. :> Abra, you are so sweet! Have you posted more of your compelling horror novel yet? Kazzy, I love you! That's just all there is to it. Mary Tong, I love you, too, and I'm not just saying that! Jen--I kinda thought that was the best bit, too. One trip there with kids and we haven't been back. Your adorable boys will love it, though. They won't realize that Daddy's smile is a bit too tight and Mommy's laughter is bordering on hysterical, that lunch cost more than your hotel room and baby just dropped your only car key down the air conditioning grid. (true story!)

November 13, 2008 at 3:29 PM

Bravo! Well said! I might just have to quote that last little bit you wrote in my quote book.

BTW, you are shabby chic to the maxx! :)

November 13, 2008 at 4:06 PM

Thanks Sabrina! It would be too cruel to leave me out of the shabby chic monarchy (see her blog for further info on this blog convo)

November 13, 2008 at 4:30 PM

Okay, if you don't mind, I'm still going to put you on a pedestal. But I would still love to come to your book signing and see your split end and your 5 extra lbs.

And from what I hear, Steph is married with children and a calling. At least that's what my creative writing teacher says.


I only had to add one "m" to that word to make it funny.

November 13, 2008 at 5:08 PM

I love this post.

November 13, 2008 at 5:32 PM

Bravo! Well said! Everything you've written is insightful and true.

Hey, by the way, because of your new routine that you mentioned I added the following feature to my sidebar. Thanks for the nudge. I was lame for not having done it sooner. ;)


November 13, 2008 at 6:01 PM

Crash, don't be crazy, you're an English teacher/professor (?)! At my house growing up that was getting pretty high . . . I knew Steph was married, I was just wondering about the divorce (but I'm not starting any rumours because I have heard nothing)Luisa, thank you and welcome! Luisa wronte a book, check her out!Cindy, thanks so much for adding that feature--I was going to tell everyone to rush over and "follow" you but by the time I got there, tons of people had already done it. Sheez!

November 13, 2008 at 6:17 PM

Love you. Love your book. Your fame and fortune don't influence my behavior at all. 'Cuz really it's you I love, not your fame. But your fame is cool and if a little of it rubs off on me that wouldn't be bad or inappropriately grovelling because REALLY I am TOTALLY uninfluenced by the fame (and the money). I never really even think about it. Really.

November 13, 2008 at 6:31 PM

Ho ho! Believe me, the money isn't worth a thought! Even if it was, the love is better anyway, esp. Jami love.

November 13, 2008 at 6:50 PM

At the end there, before I corrected it, it said, "doing to Disneyland" Can you tell that I was vacillating between saying, "going to Disneyland" and "doing Disneyland"? This blogging thing sure keeps me humble. For which my husband is very grateful.

November 13, 2008 at 8:38 PM

I would LOVE a signed one - that would be awesome. I'd be honored.

Re: Courtney's blog - while I think that of course her blog-fame came about because of the accident, she's kept it because of her wonderful writing, her grace under fire, and the amazing way she's handled all of this during an incredibly stressful time. And she is GINORMOUS now. Bigger than Amalah. HUGE. I say good for her. (I know you weren't saying anything contrary, I just felt like saying that. In your comment section. Because I like to hear myself blather on.)

November 13, 2008 at 11:31 PM

Your modesty is appreciated, but even if we don't worship you we do admire you. You may not be better per se, but you've done something we wish we could but have not. Fortunately, admiring you does NOT make me feel bad about me or jealous of you, so I guess I'm still in the healthy admiration sphere. If I make it to your book signing and see you I promise not to be a big fat swoony dork :-) I think.

November 14, 2008 at 12:09 AM

Thanks for this post, Heidi. Your modesty is just another of your admirable qualities!!

November 14, 2008 at 5:19 AM

This is post is SO real to my experience. I have people calling me rich and famous because I've written books. (Yeah, I KNOW you're laughing at both of those, right?) I'm still ME. Sure, I'm having a ball, and I love being published and all the fun that goes with that, but it's not like to turned into some diva that belongs on a pedestal. One of the best things, seriously? Finding other writers friends who GET me and hanging out with them.

November 14, 2008 at 6:54 AM

(Oh, and congrats on your upcoming release! Enjoy every second of it!)

November 14, 2008 at 6:55 AM

Sue--I don't even know who Amalah is. Boy, I'm out of the loop, eh? But, of course, Courtney is a great blogger and deserves it--natch! (You can email your address to me using the email in my author website--cool!) Marivic--I would love it if you came to my signing! Jami lives out your way and is thinking of coming, too, maybe, if she can. Maybe you could carpool. Lisa--thank you! I appreciate that. Speaking of modest . . . Annette--I must have missed something. I'll be checking out your blog soon!

November 14, 2008 at 7:20 AM

BTW, it's not like it's tons of people, just one or two and not a big deal (so don't wonder if it's "you" I was talking about) but it just made an interesting topic to write on since it has always been kind of a problem with the Big Guy. Of course, there are always those who figure I am beneath them, as well, due to my obvious "problem child". Now that he is bigger and can smash them to a pulp with one hammy fist, "they" don't make snide comments as often as they used to. :)

November 14, 2008 at 7:24 AM

Fame and Success are flighty things and often change in definition. It is good to be grounded, such as you are, and realize that bloatiness, messy houses and smelly bathrooms come to us all. Love it.

November 14, 2008 at 12:07 PM

Katie, how did you see inside my house all the from Michigan? !? Yes, they do come to us all--so insightful!

November 14, 2008 at 12:17 PM

I can't wait to read your book!!
And I don't think you're better than everyone else... much.

November 14, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Thanks Justrandi! You rock!

November 14, 2008 at 12:22 PM

Oh my gosh! I don't have to write a book now, because I think I have 10 readers! This is awesome. I know I would never finish one since I can't pull myself away from blogging :)

Congrats again on the book. I will be ordering it shortly.

November 14, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Nevadanista, that's what I'm saying! Having perfect strangers read your blog every day rocks big time!

November 14, 2008 at 10:39 PM

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