Lipomas & Little Red Riding Hood

As an aspiring writer, I look to find pieces of myself in successful writers because it helps to fan the flame of hope (or delusion) that if they managed to prosper off of their talent, then maybe I can too.  It doesn’t matter how pathetically thin the connective thread is, I will cling to it like my life depends on it…. or at the very least, my sanity.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this.  Please, tell me I’m not the only one who does this!!   I imagine some singers look at Lady Gaga and think that because they both enjoy eating and wearing their dinner entrees, they have a chance of playing Madison Square Garden one day too; Or chefs who believe they can achieve Emeril Lagasse’s  level of success because they both use annoying exclamations like “BAM!” at the end of every sentence.

I look to find those little things I can identify with in humor writers like David Sedaris and Jenny Lawson because I stalk love them.  It makes no difference if these commonalities are completely inane or have no correlation with being a writer; I get giddy with excitement when I discover one.  Here are two of the most recently uncovered kindred spirit connections….

The similarities between David Sedaris and myself are (sadly) few and far between, except for our past love affair with cigarettes, and our mutual attraction towards gay men; which makes it all the more thrilling when I stumble upon a new one.  When his book Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls came out, I raced out and bought it, just like I had with all of his other books.  In his first personal essay entitled Dentists Without Borders he talks about the discovery of a lump on his right side that he described as a little deviled egg tucked beneath his skin.  I had made a similar discovery on myself, except my mysterious lump was on my back and more closely resembled a small marble – but let’s not split hairs.

Where we diverged was how we handled it.  Within twenty minutes of making the discovery, David had assumed the lump was cancerous, called up his doctor, and made an appointment to have it checked out.  Whereas I jumped headfirst into denial (for about a year), and assumed that the lump was just another lovely byproduct of turning forty, like moles and chin hair.  But our two medical mysteries ultimately intersected at the same diagnosis – a lipoma (a fatty tumor).  Gross, but harmless.  And even though my little lipoma might someday reach Quasimodo proportions, I grin every time my hand grazes it because I feel like it brings me one step closer to a book deal.

   IMG_3506_2     david-sedaris-27

Tumor twins!!!

The second recent parallel I discovered was with The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson.  In general, I think it’s easier to find things in common with Jenny (over David) because we are both card carrying members of the almighty woman’s club – very exclusive, only half the world’s population is allowed in.  And we have at one time or another, used our membership privileges (read that as vaginas) to create a person. Add to that, our mutual affection for cats and the word motherfucker, and it’s like we were separated at birth.

While reading this blog post, I found out that we also have equally dark and twisted offspring.  While other little girls dressed up as Disney princesses and over-sexualized superheroes for Halloween, our daughters decided to go the more macabre, Grimm’s fairytale route….

DSC09824   small-little-dead-riding-hood

Though I have to admit,The Bloggess really went the extra mile, and had her daughter collect (what I can only assume are) the tiny remains of competing trick-or-treaters in her basket; my daughter, Meghan, only had Laffy Taffy and Skittles in hers.  In all fairness though, with Jenny’s long-standing obsession with taxidermy (no really, you NEED to click on that link),  she’s got a really big head start into the world of all things creepy as hell.  So, it look’s like I’ve got some serious catching up to do if I want to call myself a published author someday.

Who are some of your idols?  Do you have anything in common with them?

7 thoughts on “Lipomas & Little Red Riding Hood

  1. Thou shalt not stand alone!
    I do know David Sedaris and Jenny Lawson, and I didn’t comment because, 1. I don’t comment often, and it takes me a long time to comment to writers I’m still getting to know (which takes me forever because I rarely comment), and 2. I’m selfishly hoarding my words for my NaNoWriMo project, which, coincidentally, has produced almost a dozen posts that sit all lonely without any comments.

    • Mel –

      Awww! You commented on my commentless blog post!! That is so sweet. Thank you for filling the sad, pathetic void, and for using a few of your typed words on my blog during the NaNoWriMo insanity. Having been through that process twice myself, I know just how precious those words (and the creative brainpower behind them) can be during the month of November!

      Let’s see…. you’re at the halfway mark now. So, that probably means your will to live is being loosely held together by excessive amounts of caffeine and the scarce few moments of shut eye you’re able to catch when you’re not busy pounding away on your keyboard. Am I right? Wait – don’t answer that. You’ve already typed too much….

      Good luck during the next two weeks!!


      • Twice? How cool! I keep getting to the point where I feel I can’t do this anymore, so I sit down and write and find that I can do this some more. And then I procrastinate by reading blogs.
        My will to live is being held together by sticky coffee stains, and my eyes held open by toothpicks…all in the name of a few more words…

        • Mel –

          Yep, twice (around 2006-2007). I’m not sure what I was thinking the second time. The first time around, I thought NaNo would be the spark of inspiration I needed to get the next great American novel up off the ground. As it turned out, not so much. As soon as November ended, so did my motivation and now I have TWO half-written novels sitting on my computer. Mocking me.

          I think the second time I did NaNo was because of the community of writers I had met from my first go-round. Have you checked to see if there are any other NaNoers in your area? I got together with about a dozen other people from NY who were doing it, and we all hung out a couple of times for, what were supposed to be, writing sessions. But we did a lot more drinking than writing – guess that’s what you get for meeting up at a bar.

          But whether you go it alone or find company, just keep sitting down at your keyboard and you’ll find the will to keep going. I have NO idea where it comes from, but it does happen, even when you think you’ve got nothing left.

          Keep your mug full, your mind sharp, and your toothpicks dull!


          • I would like to finish the novel, and I know that will take more than 50000 words. Thankfully I have one dear friend cheering me on, and if I don’t take her to the end of the story, she will hunt me. With love, of course, and maybe knives…
            I’m in Atlanta, and there are tons of other NaNoers around. They do one or two write-ins a week. I haven’t gone, and probably won’t go. It doesn’t appeal to my introvertedness.
            I got a full cup and I’m ready to tackle my night of writing. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

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