Thursday, February 04, 2010

half full of half empty?

I'm sure you can guess what kind of person I am. I was flipping through the book THE SECRET at work the other day. Anyone heard of it? It was Oprah's big book of the year. That book pisses me off. I won't go into a big tirade but yes, the positive thinking part is good but it doesn't say that you need to do anything else like work hard to make things happen! It also blames sick people for their negative thinking. I guess it's my fault that I'm sic then isn't it? Anyway, what was my point? Ah, yes. Glass half full or half empty. I don't want you all to think that I'm a negative whiney you-know-what all the time because I'm not. I just want people to know what it's really like for authors like me. There are so many out there who are putting on a facade. I could do that too, you know! Here we go.

You meet me for the first time. Let's say you bump into me at BN.

You say: "Oh wow, you're a children's book author?"

"Yes, I am! I've published 9 books and my 10th is coming out this spring! If you buy a copy I'll sign it for you! I'll even personalize it!" (This is what authors usually do).

Then some of them even go further:

"Are your books good for boys or girls?"

"Both! boys and girls love my books. I have won the IRA Children's Choice Award several times. My books have won dozens of other awards including best nonfiction book of the year, ALA best book of the year, and so on. Here, let me sign some books for you!"

So I could do that. I could tell you that everything is great, great, great. I am an award winner. I have spoken to hundreds of school children across the country. Heck, kids have even asked for me to sign their foreheads! I have seen these authors first-hand when they come into the kids' dept. in the bookstore. They act like they're oh-so-special. "Where are my books" they demand. "Why aren't they on display!" It's funny how authors don't even know how the system works! You'd think that they're earning a million dollars and their limo is waiting for them outside. BUT I've spoken to them. It's usually their first book.. they're nervous... they got a low advance... they've got kids to support... and so on. But the face that they display to everyone is not that face.

So if I'm the only one to show you all what it's really like then so be it! I'll take on that challenge.



nelsong said...

I remember those first time authors from when I worked there. You could tell because they were the ones 'facing' their own books.

Laura Ludwig Hamor said...

I think it is very generous of you to be so open with your own story. Thank you!

Linda S. Wingerter said...

Hey, you aren't the only one who gets pissed off by that book for that very same reason. It's a double edged sword, and no one should ever feel like it's their fault they are sick.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I haven't read that book. I do know what it feels like to be in pain 24/7.

This happened quite some time ago: I went from doctor to doctor because I wasn't feeling well. None of the doctors could find anything wrong with me. One doctor even suggested to me that I might have a "psychological" problem. After more than four years, I finally found a doctor who diagnosed my condition correctly. I was treated and was left free of pain. It felt so good to feel well again!

My condition had nothing to do with my lack of positive thinking. It's easy to be bright and perky when you're healthy and not coping with pain every day.

Meghan McCarthy said...

Yeah, the whole thing is rather ridiculous. And, of course, they find that rare case where a person with cancer was "cured" due to magical thinking. I've known some great people who have died and they were positive until the very end! The secret to that book is that the authors made millions off of it. I'd like to see some of them deal with real pain 24/7 and see if they can be positive all the time. And as far as the money stuff goes--those lottery playing people are just being encouraged to waste more of their money. It's so stupid!

bonnidette said...

I have read the book. It's a good book in fact. It offers alot of good advice and it makes some really good points. The problem I see with it is like you said it doesn't mention anything about hard work.
Positive thinking is important and a lot of the other things they talk about in the book are relivent like the law of attraction. The problem here though is that they talk about the law of attractionm, but don't mention the other 11 universal laws at work.

I don't want to continue ranting here I just want to say the book is not all bad, but just like anything else your not going to get all the answers in one book.

The book "The Secret" Only scratches the serface. The problem is that so many people reading it think that it gives all the answers where in fact it only gives you snippets of information instead of all the information.

Linda S. Wingerter said...

Meghan, you are one of the hardest working, most prolific children's book makers I've met, and achieved even when you're struggling with sickness and financial worries. I admire you for that, and your outright honesty in public. You're an awesome lady. I'm thinking positive thoughts for you!