Monday, May 4, 2009

Paaaarty, paaarty, paaarty!

We have martinis, we have bellinis, and, of course, the ever popular appletinis. Come one, come all-- it's party time. Why party, you ask? Well, it's because the tenacious Tertia of So Close finally has her book (conveniently also titled So Close) out and available for purchase in the US, and Mel, the queen of stirrups, support, and organization is throwing her a book shower. Which reminds me-- we should really have wine, since that's Tertia's poison of choice. There-- white and red, all better. Now-- what can I get you?

And while you are enjoying your beverage of choice (oh, have you tried the cheese?), let me tell you a story. I've had a few of these virtual cocktails myself already (what?-- I had to make sure they were properly mixed; the things I do for you), so if I get weepy and sentimental, blame it on the booze, k?

The story is most on point-- it's about this very book. The one that's only available in the US now, but one that I've owned for over two years. See, just before A died, we had a visiting scholar from South Africa come for a month. Most of which month I was at home licking my physical wounds. I went back to work about three weeks post partum, just in time for a farewell reception for the visiting scholar. Who very sweetly said that if anyone wanted anything from South Africa, she would be happy to find a way to get it to us. Can you say light bulb? I hesitated for maybe two minutes before deciding that even though I wouldn't normally have the guts to ask for a book unrelated to my professional life, this wasn't normally. At all. This was as far away from normally as I was likely to get. So I asked for the book. In fact, I had to ask my boss, who was the one putting together the list of things people were asking about. And I even did that. Woohoo.

A few weeks later an envelope showed up at work. I still remember it-- covered all over with stamps to make up international postage. As I recall it, my hands were shaking as I opened it, and there was a definite knot in my stomach pulling the book from its padded traveling enclosure. I can't tell you how many days it took me to read the book. Time didn't mean a whole lot then. It felt like I devoured it, but I also remember stopping for the day in a place or two. I cried, yes, but I also laughed. Because Tertia also brings teh funny. Most of all, she brings her heart. Completely open, completely exposed. Fully, consciously vulnerable. Breathtaking, really.

One of the things Melissa asked us to do at this shower is to answer one of the questions she posed in preparation, all conversation-like. I am going with a softball-- where do you draw your support?

Duh, say I, conversationally. Here. On the great wide internets. Well, I also have very good friends who started out IRL, you know, off line, and some who started out as electrons, but are now very corporeal. But the thing that popped into my mind when I first read the question was that way back in the prehistoric times, before Monkey, when I was going through primary infertility, I really didn't have anyone except JD. From where I sit now it just sounds strange. For two years we slogged through by ourselves, and a lot of the time it was really just me, by my lonesome. It sounds frankly insane. How did we, how did I, make it? In fact, I think that had we not gotten pregnant so soon after the miscarriage, it might have well done my unsupported head right in. I was in a pretty bad shape back then.

A darkly funny anecdote from that time. About half way through the two year slog, the first of my friends were having a baby. They had been living together for a while, but weren't yet married. In fact at the time, we were the only ones of our friends who were married. So sometime during that shower another friend decided to rib me to the tune of why is it that the only properly married couple is not the one having a baby, relinquishing the honor to one of the in-sin-living people instead. As I was using all I had in me to just be there, I didn't have the energy to laugh it off. So out came something to the effect of "we would if we could, it's not going so great." Hm... more dark than funny, ha? But the good part of this is that the friend in question turned out to be a one-trial learner, and has later told me that that conversation taught her to never ask that kind of question of anyone lest she step where it hurts.

Mmmm... Let's turn back to the subject of the shower. I may be three virtual sheets to the wind, but I still remember my hosting manners. So let me get you talking, dear guests. Tell me, won't you, what are you drinking? And also, have you ever thought of writing a book? Based on your blog? Or who of the as yet unpublished bloggers would you like to see write a book?

And finally, what do you think of the blogging anonymity and its unavoidable end if a blogger writes that book? I was thinking of this one because Tertia never was anonymous, even in the early days of her blog. But Miss Mel, who is also a published author now (everyone-- do a shot in honor of The Land of IF) was, prior to gaining fame and fortune, a semi-anonymous blogger. So tell me, is anonymity important to you? Would you give it up to write a book? Would you give it up for any other reason (like, say, being interviewed in a newspaper)? Would giving it up change the nature of your blog?

And please, don't forget to stop by the party central for more stops on the shower tour.

Now, who wants another drink?


JamieD said...

I also started my blog for support. After our struggles to get (and stay) pregnant, it quickly became apparent that I wasn't going to get a lot of empathy from my IRL friends. Sure, they were sorry for us, but either didn't know what to say or said the COMPLETELY wrong things.

I would prefer my blog to remain semi-anonymous so I can stay honest and blunt. Say the things my IRL life friends and famiy wouldn't understand. Because fellow IFers just ~know~.

Miryam (mama o' the matrices) said...

I'm hanging on to the semi-anonymity. But not by much.

The illusion of being able to be really starkly honest is important, even when I'm actively censoring things that my family needn't know, etc.

loribeth said...

Hmmm, a bellini sounds good (& it's not even 9 a.m. yet, oh dear...). Lots of food for thought here. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I think Lori's Weebles Wobblog blog would make a great book about open adoption... and I agree with many others who vote for Pam at Blood Signs -- she's such a fabulous writer, I think I'd read anything she cared to write on any topic.

As for me, I am currently halfway through Pamela Jeanne's book & I think she has already done a fabulous job of covering our particular market niche. ; ) Giving up my anonymity would be difficult... although the temptation to see a book that I had written in print might persuade me. ; ) When I was a kid, I always said I wanted to write books... I was thinking more novels than infertility memoirs, but I actually find non-fiction more interesting these days anyway.

Lori said...

You crack me up. These are the best-mixed mojitos I've ever had online!

I'm so honored by LoriBeth's comment.

But it seems like a lot of work!

I think it's great that Tertia's book came to you at the time you needed it. And I love our community for the way we support and uplift each other.

Betty M said...

Mine would be a pretty short book! I like my semi anonymity. The IRL world knows very little about this aspect of my life. I don't feel ready to share.

I'd read a book by Pam, or Slouching Mom, or Sweet and Salty Kate and lots of others. I would love to still have Cancer, Baby's blog - it was a book right there.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I didn't know about the bellinis :-)

It was strange stepping out of the anonymity not for reasons internal to the community, but for the Googleability for face-to-face people. It meant ex-boyfriends could find me and most likely breathe a sigh of relief that we broke up.

I love that you had this book for years. And thank you for my toast. And the bellini.

red pen mama said...

I will have a pinot noir if you have it. If not, any old dry red will do.

I will write books someday. I will. Not likely based on my blog, however. My blog is what I use to keep up writerly chops. (Your mileage may vary.)

I don't sweat my semi-anonymity too hard. It is funny when virtual people who became IRL buddies call my kids Monkey & Bun. But I wouldn't mind shedding it if it needed to go.

ciao, Julia. I love this place, by the way. you're a great host(ess?)!


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