Do it wrong the first time

brainA brief anatomy lesson: I have a hard time finding a hat that fits, because I was cursed with a freakishly large melon head. Honestly, my neck has to put in overtime to keep my head from sinking down to my shoulders. People only use about 10% of their brains. If my head is bigger, my brain is bigger, ergo, my 10% is bigger than the average homo sapien’s. I should think that I would have a leg up on delicate-framed super models who have to shop for their hats in the children’s section.

It also means that I have more brain cells to devote to self-doubt, fear, and why some people wear their pajamas to Uber-Mart. (You know who you are.) That’s why I’m especially grateful for people who take the time to write reviews for my books.

Objectivity for a writer is about as rare as snakes on a plane. (Don’t believe everything you see at the movies.) Humor is anything but objective. By the time you edit the hell out of your manuscript and re-read it until your eyes bleed, the jokes seem pretty lame. It’s such a relief to get a confirmation from someone other than your mother. I’d like to share a very nice review I received yesterday from Grady Harp, one of the top reviewers at Amazon.

I NEVER DROVE A BULLDOZER: THERE’S A HOLE IN MY BUCKET LIST is not only incredibly hilarious, it also touches on the issues of those of us who are somewhere between declining gonadal function and trying to remember which retirement home has a sale on for the Golden Years.

A good review is a two-edged sword. A nice pat on the back, and the expectation that the next book will win the Pulitzer prize (or at least not suck). When soul-crushing self-doubt has me dragging my feet, I have to keep telling myself that the first draft is supposed to be wrong. Otherwise my brain cells will spontaneously combust with the effort of thinking up excuses not to write that next book.

I don’t think there’s any writer who has never felt insecure about their books. The good news: I won’t be getting the big head anytime soon, or have to invest in a three-man dome tent next time I go hat shopping.

P.S. Take a moment to check out the cool book trailer I made for Box of Rocks on the sidebar (with the butterfly). The plot is a little thin, but the special effects are amazing. I’m thinking Oscar.

My brains are on fire

I’ve only known a few vegetarians in my lifetime. These are people who have never opened a box of macaroni and cheese in their lives. They shop in the produce aisles, at roadside stands, and at black market Amish bake sales. I’m sorry, but you can chop, parboil, and puree a radish all you like and it’s never going to taste like a Snickers bar.

Years ago, while waiting to pick up my kids from preschool, I noticed one of these emaciated souls eating something that looked like candy. My curiosity peaked, I asked her what it was and she offered me a piece of crystallized ginger. It had nothing on salt water taffy, but tasted sweet, with a nice little bite to it.

Of all the home remedies that were forced on me as a child (one of which involving a hose and warm water, that would make any suspect confess to a multitude of crimes) my mother never gave me ginger. It is a proven remedy for headaches, as it reduces inflammation in the brain.

I’m pretty sure that my brain is in a constant state of inflammation. I don’t suffer headaches often because I possess a skull roughly the size of a gym bag, easily accommodating lycra biker shorts, towels, energy drinks, and oversized brains. But my neurons seem to be under-performing lately.

I can only attribute that to brain cells spontaneously combusting every time I try to form a coherent thought. Admittedly, I killed a lot of brain cells in my misbegotten youth, when I enjoyed a liquid diet that would put down a fully grown wildebeest. In the interest of science, today I’m enjoying a liquid diet composed mostly of diet ginger ale.

If my blog is less chaotic than normal, and noticeably free of dog jizz, then I owe a debt to Canada Dry. Still, I’m not likely to resort to Mom’s method for curing constipation. I don’t have any crimes to confess.