Friday, July 01, 2005

OMG, She's Normal

I'm such a geek.

Yesterday I headed to the library in search of some Susan Elizabeth Phillips titles, specifically Heaven, Texas and It Had To Be You. I found the books and was hanging around the PCs while my kids played for awhile. A friend of mine happened to be there and she walked by and saw the two SEPs sitting on the table. Immediately she started praising them, saying they were wonderful reads and that I'd surely love them.

What was really cool, though, is that my friend actually knows SEP!! They're friends. Or maybe only acquaintances. But anyway, my friend knows a really famous published author.

Even better, I found out SEP lives in a suburb a mere twenty miles or so from my very own suburb. She's local!!

See, that's where the geek part comes in. Why in the world this thrills me is beyond explanation, but it does. It's not like I'm now best buddy pals with SEP who will impart to me all of the pearls of wisdom necessary to mimic her success. She would treat me no differently than any complete stranger who happened to bump into her in the grocery store aisle. But I feel we have this connection just because we live so close and we have one person in common.

I think my reaction is based in my need to meet writers who are just normal people. Not that all writers aren't normal people. They are. What I mean is, if I met a famous writer who goes to Dominick's in her shorts and tee shirt without makeup and schelps her kids to the pool and to soccer practice and has to sit in the car pool line, I would see that she's no different from me in any fundamental way. She's living the same life I am but still managed to write and get published.

Which means there is no reason that I can't do it, too. Yeah, I know. There's that whole talent and determination and discipline thing. But you know what I mean.

I guess I just have the image of the Nora Roberts of the world being some kind of unreal person who has hoards of nannies and drivers and chefs and housecleaners who take care of the tasks of her life while she sits sipping her Oolong in a third story writing loft, classical music playing in the background while the household silently tiptoes around so as not to disturb her genius in action. Suzanne Brockmann surely hangs around at the local bar rubbing elbows with Navy SEALS and collecting stories of their exciting missions, while Loretta Chase flits around the world gathering atmosphere from all the exotic locations to infuse into her stories. All of these things I have no ability to do at this point in my life, perhaps never unless I make enough of a success of writing to afford the plane tickets. I am friends with a woman whose daughter is dating a Navy SEAL, but somehow I'd feel...really weird...if I fawned all over a complete stranger pumping him for details about his latest op.

But clearly in the case of SEP, this is not so. If she knows my friend, who is as normal as I am, then she must be somewhat normal, too. My friend said she's just the sweetest, most down-to-Earth woman you'd want to meet. I love hearing that.

And did I mention that I could probably find her address to start stalking her! *G* I'm kidding, SEP.

Geez, now I'm going to have the police knocking at my door.

I'm off for the long weekend out of town. If I'm not back by Monday, Happy Fourth of July!

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