1. The above picture was originally going to be in honor of Beth Revis (explanation coming), but now it's for Blogger as well.
2. Thank you SO MUCH, Blogger, thou unholy fiend, for losing the post I'd typed up for today, thus forcing me to perform any number of difficult mental gymnastics in a losing effort to remember everything I'd typed.
3. It was a fabulous post.
5. But you'll never know that, will you? Because Blogger got hungry and my post looked like a tasty snack.
6. *wonders if Blogger is really a zombie*
7. I can't recall all the hilarious little anecdotes I shared (It's been a few days. Don't judge me.), but I can assure you it was a blog post that would rank right up there with such fabulous literary works as Chicken Soup for the Idiot's Soul or the classic Green Eggs & Ham.
8. They don't actually publish a Chicken Soup for the Idiot's Soul, but I think that's a mistake. Look how well the __Fill in the blank__ for Dummies is going! Those Chicken Soup folks are missing a (from my personal observations) rather large demographic.
9. Anyway, I can't remember the entertaining little anecdotes that littered my blogging masterpiece, but I can remember this: Beth Revis, author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, tried to kill me.
10. She was sneaky about it too.
11. She disguised her attack as a friendly email full of lovely support and shining promises of opening the secret inner sanctum to a secret few writers know.
12. I was sucked in!
13. I read through the email, wondering what deep, juicy, life-changing secret she was about to share with me ...
14. She did an excellent job of stringing me along, building up the hype, making me WANT TO KNOW...
15. And then she shared the secret.
16. It involved Nutella. And some coffee. But that's not the important part of this story.
17. The important part is this: She took me by surprise, and I half-laughed, half-snerked.
18. It was the snerk that proved to be my undoing.
19. A proper snerk is all about shooting air through one's nostrils like mini oxygenated torpedoes.
20. I do a mean snerk.
21. Sadly, this particular snerk had two overwhelming problems.
22. One, I was in public.
23. Two, I was chewing a fresh piece of Trident cinnamon gum.
24. Cinnamon gum, as I'm sure you're aware, does not shoot through one's nostrils like a mini oxygenated torpedo.
25. It does, however, lodge firmly in the nasal cavities and threaten to cause imminent, immediate, and yes, even instant cinnamon-scented DEATH.
26. Anyone know the universal signal for "Help! Beth Revis caused me to snerk cinnamon gum up my nose and now I can't dislodge it without an act of God?"
27. Neither do I.
28. And you know what is true about fresh cinnamon gum?
29. It burns the tender tissues inside one's nose.
30. So, I had a lot of motivation to get it out.
31. I had nostrils to save. Air to breathe.
32. A best-selling author to kill.
33. I was sitting at my corner table in Books A Million writing. I began contorting my face into expressions designed to scare young children and drop old ladies where they stand.
34. I tried using air to force the gum to complete its journey through my nose.
35. This was a mistake.
36. Now, I was a woman contorting her face, wheezing pathetic amounts of air through her obstructed nostrils, catching the full attention of the barista (who apparently doesn't recognize a gum-arrested snerk when she sees one because she did NOTHING but stare like maybe I was the next Charlie Sheen), and realizing I might need professional help to get myself right again.
37. I could see it. Paramedics called to the scene. Everyone scrambling around for a pair of extra long tweezers. Someone filming it on their iPhone. Another commenting that whatever cinnamon air freshener the bookstore was using smelled quite nice. And everyone wondering why the dying woman on the coffee shop floor kept muttering "Beth Revis" with what little air she had left.
38. I finally scrunched up my face at just the right angle, gathered air like a ninja, and shot that cinnamon-scented projectile right down the back of my throat where, if my grandmother is to be believed, it will reside in my stomach for the next year.
39. Which is fine.
40. It might take me that long to craft the perfect revenge for Beth Revis. Don't worry, Beth. It's coming. And it will smell just as lovely as your initial shot across the bow did for me.
41. I drew my first real breath and that is apparently the universal signal for "Check on the crazy woman in the corner because she might actually die on you" because the barista came over and asked if I was okay.
42. No, I was not okay. I'd nearly had to have a pair of extra-long tweezers stuck up my nose while some stranger made a viral video of me and all because I read an email from Beth Revis.
43. I smelled cinnamon every time I breathed for the next two hours.
44. I recovered my equilibrium and focused on finishing my manuscript. I'm able to completely shut out everyone around me in the bookstore by using my headphones, my playlist, and a single-minded attention on what is going on in my character's heads. So, it was with a great deal of surprise that I looked up to see the barista in front of me an hour later offering me a sample of cheesecake.
45. But it was nice of her, so I accepted.
46. And then got right back to writing.
47. I was nearing the climax of the book. Stuff was happening. Some of it was beautiful, heart-wrenching, and I'd known it was coming for weeks now and was so moved to finally get there with my characters that as they cried, I joined in.
48. Not giant, WHAT IS THAT CRAZY WOMAN DOING NOW? sobs, of course. Just a few tears as I opened a vein and let it bleed across the page.
49. Next thing I know, I'm being offered more cheesecake.
50. I mean, I know it was pretty deserted in the book store at that point (I'd been there for hours and it was getting close to closing time), but really?
51. I finished the scene, wiped my eyes, got up to stretch my legs, used the restroom, bought a coffee, and stared in complete confusion as the barista offered me yet another sample of cheesecake.
52. "I'm fine," I said.
53. "But dear, cheesecake makes everything better," she said.
54. And because she seemed to really need to give it to me, I accepted.
55. Moments later, I packed up, went home, walked in and caught sight of myself in the mirror. (Keep in mind that YES I'd used the restroom at the book store and YES they have a mirror, but I was so focused on being inside my characters' heads, I hadn't bothered to process what I was seeing.).
56. I need to back up this story to the point in the evening where I rushed out of work determined to get to the bookstore as fast as possible so I could finish my book on time.
57. If you're in a hurry, do you grab your change of clothes and go back inside your place of business so you can be stopped by every employee who now wonders what you're doing back in the building so soon just so you can use the restroom to change out of your uniform?
58. Okay, maybe you would. But I wouldn't. I have tinted windows in the back of my Explorer and was deliberately parked in the back, far away from other vehicles.
59. I changed clothes in the cramped backseat of the Explorer.
61. Because the story was burning inside me and needed out.
62. Now, hours later, I'm staring at myself in the mirror and realizing all those offers for cheesecake? Were because I look like a homeless person.
63. My hair was a little wild, no doubt from the cinnamon-scented choking fit I had courtesy of Beth Revis. My eyes were tear-stained. Any semblance of make-up gave up and fled for easier subjects long ago.
64. But the worst? Oh, the worst was the fact that my sweater was buttoned all wrong.
66. Wrong as in the bottom button was in the top button hole.
67. And every subsequent button in between was pigeon-holed wherever I apparently felt there was an appropriate place to stick it.
68. I'm thankful I had a shirt on underneath it or I might have had that choking fit in the back of a police car.
69. I was a wildly disheveled mess who looked like she couldn't even dress herself.
70. No wonder the barista waited until it was obvious I was going to live before approaching me.
71. I wouldn't have wanted to give me mouth to mouth either.
72. I suppose I should blame my own foolishness for the sweater.
73. And my connection to my characters for the tears and lack of make-up.
74. But I'm not.
75. I'm blaming the entire thing on Beth Revis.