Congressmen Ask the Toughest Questions

Don’t forget our giveaway this week. I know you’re gonna want a signed copy of YA author Stephanie Morrill’s Out With the In Crowd. You can see contest details HERE.

I am on snow day number three. What a way to extend Christmas break! We are expected to get a little more snow tonight, so the rest of the week looks iffy. But it is freezing. I love snow, and I love snow days, but this bitter Arctic cold is a bit much. My hands look like they belong to a 90 year old woman.

I read a great book this week.
miraculous journey edward tulane

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is by fabulous author Kate DiCamillo. I loved The Magician’s Elephant and was excited to try out this book that I’d heard even more raves about.  Well. . .nobody told me it was gonna be sad. And it was. But it’s so worth it. I can’t recommend this enough.  DiCamillo is about sending messages, and it’s usually really obvious, but it’s wrapped up in so much good stuff it totally doesn’t make you roll your eyes. Instead you read the pages and just nod your head and think, “Amen, sister. Amen!”  The book is about a toy rabbit who is there to be played with and loved. . .but realizes he doesn’t love and give back to others. So begins a journey where he becomes the rabbit of various types of people–a hobo, a lonely couple, a dying little girl, and his heart and mind are opened to how life is about giving love to get love. Omigosh, it’s so awesome. I’d recommend this book for any kids or adults. Please read this book. But grab a Kleenex for the ending.

So I graduated from my crazy diet yesterday. In case you missed that scintillating detail of my life, my doctor put me on a no sugar, no yeast, no wheat, no nothing diet. So I could eat lightly seasoned meat, most vegetables, and a little bit of fruit.  It was kind of hard–especially in the beginning. In fact, during the first three days I thought I was gonna turn into Medusa and snakes would shoot out of my hairline. But after 30 days, it is over. I celebrated by leaving my doctor’s office and heading straight to Braum’s for a cappuccino chocolate chunk ice cream cone.  Might’ve later topped that off with some Moose Munch. And an iced tea.

So last Saturday I had the privilege of meeting with a U.S. Congressman and asking him a million questions for about an hour. He was so incredibly kind and helpful and generous with his information and time. I could’ve sat there for hours. This is for research for the book I’m currently writing, where the HMOUP (hot male of unrealistic proportions) is a former pro football player and making a bid for Congress. I had 3 pages of questions for Congressman Boozman, but I knew, I KNEW he would ask me at least one question himself: What is this book about? I thought about that for a few days. And came up with nothing remotely intelligent. I mean I write comedy. Comedy that dips its toe in the occasional moment of farce. This man makes life altering decisions every day. The fate of health care and the economy rests on his shoulders daily. And I have to tell him that he’s investing his time with me so I can write a book about two people who pretend to be engaged. Niiiice.

So here’s how that part of the conversation went:

Congressman Boozman: Tell me what the theme of the book is.

Me: (Thinking, yes! Safe question!) The theme is about forgiveness–God’s definition of forgiveness–not ours.

Congressman Boozman: And what is the book about?

Me: (face falling. eyes rolling in back of head where I’m searching for ideas in the outer reaches of my brain….)  Um, it’s about a guy. And a woman. And they pretend to be….well, you see, the guy is a wealthy playboy from a famous family–like a Kennedy, but yet not like a Kennedy (WHY did I use the word playboy! Why! Who uses that word anymore! What if he thinks I’m meaning a male whore, that I’m writing a  book about a male whore who wants a job JUST LIKE HIS.) And he’s running for Congress and he’s a really unlikely candidate and it’s not going well so he asks this woman to pose as his fiancee but they don’t love each other and then of course they will and he has no qualifications to run for office but when has that ever stopped anyone omgiosh was that insulting because I didn’t mean that quite how it sounded but in the end they kiss and live happily ever ever.

And then I ended it by saying something like, “Um….yeah.” Nodding. “It’s not gonna win any Pulitzers or anything.”

So like Stephanie Morrill and I talked about on Monday’s blog, it is REALLY hard to explain your own book. Especially when it’s not a serious book. Or when you’re talking to someone who does serious work. And you write one liners. And kissing scenes. And fart jokes.

Have a great week. Don’t forget to enter the contest for the free copy of Out with the In Crowd.

JEN

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9 comments

9 Comments so far

  1. Colene January 6th, 2010 1:47 pm

    oh Jenny, you and your books are an inspiration to lil ol non-published writers.

    i was editing on the couch one night when my husband had a friend over and he asked what my book was about. my face turned all red and all i could think to say was “i dont wanna talk about it.” so im glad its not just me.

    happy snow week!

  2. Sarah January 6th, 2010 11:41 pm

    Ok, that’s hilarious!! I’m sure he was excited to read it after that, right?:)

    And I adored Edward Tulane-the story is amazing and artwork is beautiful-it’s so touching and beautiful. I think everyone should read that book.

  3. Erin V January 7th, 2010 10:44 am

    I’m all for voting out the entire Congress these days – except for Boozman. I’ve always liked that man. And I think there’s one from Wyoming that’s a decent guy, too.

  4. tammy January 7th, 2010 3:20 pm

    Ha ha talking about books, I was at the bookstore today and a lady came up to me and asked me if I had read your book! I got all excited and was like “yes! their amazing! buy them! buy them for all your friends..and their friends!” ha ha i felt like a spokes person for you :p Your next book sounds really cool! i cant wait to read it!

  5. Natalie January 7th, 2010 10:38 pm

    I am AWFUL at talking about my books. A friend of mine asked me what I was writing right now and I copped out and told her she could read it when I finished. It’s so so so hard to explain a book without feeling silly :)

  6. Shauna January 8th, 2010 10:09 am

    I almost started reading Edward Tulane to my kids as a read-aloud. I’m glad I got the audiobook instead, as I wouldn’t have been able to keep reading through all the tears and sniffles.

  7. Nicole O'Dell January 8th, 2010 10:23 am

    LOL I can totally see how rough that would have been! It IS so difficult to talk about our own books.

    We’re on day two snow day…but it’s silly. We just don’t have that much snow here (4 inches) and the roads are clear. Plus, it’s not that cold. Oh well. :)

  8. Kit Wilkinson January 8th, 2010 2:18 pm

    Yeah, I hate it when people ask me what a book is about. I mean, I’m glad they ask but I hate trying to answer. I can make it sound all serious but then I’m afraid they’ll actually read it and find it lacking. So I usually play it off like, “Oh you know, a romance novel.” But they might find it lacking in that department too ;o)

    Kit

  9. Jenny B. Jones January 8th, 2010 4:42 pm

    I get a major complex at writer’s conferences because 90 percent of the people there can rattle off a blurb of their like magic. And then they ask me what I’m writing…

    Shauna, I was not prepared for the ending of Edward Tulane. ugh. But still so worth the read.

    And Sarah, you’re right–GREAT artwork. I love how DiCamillo always has some art with her books.

    Tammy, thank you for being my spokesperson! I’m sure you did a great job. Way to represent. ; )

    Erin, Congressman Boozman is so real about what he does. He has such a genuine heart for his work and for helping people. I couldn’t have been more impressed.

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