June 6, 2013

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

When I was younger, my brother was the funny one in our family. He was constantly putting on shows and acting out skit comedy routines. I mean, let's be honest - who doesn't love a six-year-old Fire Marshall Bill? And the time he faked his own death on a plastic sword waiting for the fireworks at Walt Disney World? Classic. He also thew up on the Haunted Mansion ride on that trip, so yeah... banner vacation for that guy.

I clearly remember thinking to myself, "I want to be funny. I bet I could be funny, too!" But here's the problem with trying to be funny: it rarely works out. It often feels forced... even awkward. And if we're being completely honest, at the time my 5-year-old self was somewhat more concerned with finding my next snack and avoiding physical activity than truly honing my comedic skills.

Enter Lucy.

When I started this blog, I was nervous that everyone outside of the immediate Ethels, my 4 lifelong friends (the extended Ethels), and Ricky would think it was weird. Hard to follow. Kind of stupid. It very well may be all of those things, and yet a surprising amount of people keep encouraging me to write because they think I'm FUNNY! Or they want this train wreck to continue, and to those people I simply say: You. Are. Rude.

So last spring, seeking comedic validation from a completely unbiased third party, I submitted two of my blog posts to a publishing company for an anthology about parenting. I didn't tell anyone about it - not even Ricky - because I didn't think either one would actually get chosen. And if you know me well you know I hate to lose.

Examples of me hating to lose:

1. There's a picture of my 4th grade volleyball team taken after the final match in the season tournament - we came in 2nd. All of the other girls are smiling and holding their trophies. My face is bright red from sobbing and I refused to touch the damn trophy. I want a big one or not at all. Take that as you will.

2. I'm a really great spades player. Ricky does not necessarily agree. It never ends well. The only thing worse than us playing against each other is being partners with each other. Even so, we will wipe the floor with your face if you challenge us. So don't.

3. A few summers ago my brother-in-law pulled out Connect 4, you know, for old times' sake. Little did he know that I would force him to play me over and over again until I won. I still haven't won. I still make him play.

4. I played the lottery every week last fall and, shockingly, never won the jackpot. I would stop at the 7-11 every Wednesday and Saturday night to buy my ticket, then dream about what I would do with  millions of dollars. I had a plan, man. I knew what I would buy and who I would (and wouldn't!) share it with, and I made Ricky listen to the details. Every teeny tiny detail... twice a week... every week... for about 4 months. I bet he misses those conversations. I'm positive it didn't wear him out at all. I even watched three documentaries about lottery winners. I'm still pretty pissed I didn't win, so I'd rather you not bring it up next time I see you. That's all.

5. I show no mercy to Little Ricky when we're playing Candy Land. None. If we're going to play we're going to follow the rules, and then we're probably going to clap and cheer when Mommy wins. If that's not okay then we don't have to play. You decide, LR.

(Can you believe Little Ricky is already three, by the way? How the hell did that happen?! He continues to be the funniest child I've ever met. He clearly got it from me.)

All that to say... if my stories didn't get picked for the book then I wouldn't have ever told anyone I submitted them. Like I said, I really really seriously hate to lose, and I didn't want you people to think I'm a loser.

Well guess what? Turns out I'm a winner!! Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! It's like that guy T-Pain says: "All I do is win, win win.... blah blah blah... hands go UP!!"

Don't judge my rap lyrics - No one really knows any other words in that song. Including you. I just love a beat featuring T-Pain. (Also Luda and Snoop. Fa' sho.)

But anyway, I got the official email today... the publishing company chose one of my stories for the book. Here's a sneak peek of the cover:

I even get a free copy. I'm kind of a big deal.
This is the story they chose and this is the story they did not choose.

I actually like the one they didn't choose better. Shows what they know. (If my editor is reading this, that's a joke. The fact that I "have an editor" also seems like kind of a joke.)

So yes... I will officially be a published author come September, although I'm not quite sure this is what my college professors had in mind when they suggested I publish my work. Although it's a far cry from Using Task Analysis to Develop a Process for Teaching Independent Feeding Skills*, published is published, y'all.

*actual title of my special education master's degree treatise; APA format in da' house!

As a result of this little publishing experiment, I've decided to make a comeback - yes, another one - to the blogging world. You're welcome.

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