Who says you can't go back?
Lisa and I were honored to be recognized last week by our Alma Mater, Cal Poly Pomona as part of the Golden Leaves library program. We were proud to be included with many other distinguished alumni authors!
We were told to prepare a little something to say, but with Lisa was out of town, my limited public speaking skills and I were left to fend for ourselves. So I put on my naughty librarian suit and dragged my husband along to take pictures. And as we walked through the newly remodeled Library, I tried in vain to remember spending time in there as a coed. But besides recalling one all-night study session with someone I was crushing on and an odd Lexis-Nexis flashback , I couldn't even remember checking out a book! My husband was very perplexed by this. How did I graduate? And I told him that I did what I always do.
I winged it!
That's right, people. I don't like to over-prepare. Outline, schmoutline! Test? Let's skim the material and see what sticks. Giving a speech at the library for published alumni authors? Just get up there and see what comes to mind!
And so that's what I did. I told myself not to be intimidated that I'll Have Who She's Having was sitting on a table next to In Sputnick's Shadow: The President's Science Advisory Committee and Cold War America. Or that the lady before me was reading about Chaucer. Or the fact that the Dean of the Library kept talking about pedagogy and I had no idea what that was.
When my name was called, I took a deep breath and made sure I had appropriate cleavage showing. Don't judge, I was just playing to my strengths. And what I may be lacking in vocabulary, I make up for in boobs!
Then I sauntered up to the podium and told them about our journey to publication. How every agent out there, said, Like this manuscript a lot but sorry, Chick lit is dead, maybe take out some pop culture references and call it Women's fiction?...That Lisa and I looked around at all our educated women friends that were DYING for a good book with a happy ending and said SCREW THAT! CHICK LIT IS ALIVE AND WELL! That's right, I told them. Get ready people, because women want to read GOOD books about other women. And we want movies made from these books! And no, we won't call it Women's fiction so you can feel better about reading it! IT'S CHICK LIT, DAMNIT!
Okay, so maybe I didn't say it quite like that. But I did say screw. And crap. But not f*ck. I didn't think it would be cool to drop an F bomb when the President of the University was sitting five feet in front of me.
And then, because I hadn't really um, *cough*, prepared, I just starting saying stuff. I told them that sometimes my brain likes to go on vacation. And when my brain packs up and heads out on vacation, it doesn't want to read about someone's kid dying or molecular biology. My brain wants to have a margarita, a happy ending and some chips with guacamole. In that order.
And after that, I proudly held up I'll Have Who She's Having and said they should pick up a copy if their brain wants a vacation too!
And while I'm sure that some in that room just dismissed me as a dumb blonde with a fluffy book, there were others who came up to me after and told me they agreed. And in that moment, I knew that I made the right choice to take a stand for Chick lit. To show them who I really am...
A thirty-something girl with too much shit going on that sometimes just wants a good book and a glass of wine. Oh, and liposuction. But that can wait. For now I'll take the wine and book.