iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2009
Tue, 05-19-2009 - 12:19pm


Susan Gabriel, author of Seeking Sara Summers
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 05-21-2009 - 5:49pm

Welcome to The Writing Life, Susan! Sorry this has taken me so long.

Your all-caps subject made me fear you were a sales post only. That's against the TOS of iVillage. I was ready to "turn you in" and have the post removed but you said some things that struck me. I read through the "sales pitch" part of your post to see a writer who wants to help and motivate other writers. If that's you, you may stay.

Nearly every writer's newsletter I read these days espouses marketing in almost every possible way. Sometimes it seems a little heavy handed for a community website like iVillage. We must investigate our venues before we jump in.

I agree that writing is never a wasted effort. We learn things about ourselves. We learn tons of stuff about writing no matter how much we thought we knew at the start.

I want to see every gentle writer at The Writing Life find success. Success may be writing a memoir for the family or a best selling novel. Success may be one winning query and meaningful article. Success might be a forty-year journal. This message board has lost more than one writer to a publishing contract. I'd love to talk with them all again. (Oh! I can. Most of them are on Facebook.)

Somehow I don't see how $25 or $100 articles every week are going to get me out of the muck the economy has put me in. A $10 or $20 e-book isn't going to do it either. Both together might soften the blow on the piddly savings I have left but even all of them won't. Well, maybe they can if I play the game right. Any tips on playing the game, Susan?

I hope the rub of your initial post comes from enthusiasm. I'd love to hear your enthusiasm and motivation again.



iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2009
Sat, 05-23-2009 - 1:29pm

That's just what I did! And I published it. My book, World's Toughest Job, at www.worldstoughestjob.com, is a collection of columns written for Florida Today and other newspapers over the past 12 years. I'm selling it at booksignings, book fairs, conferences and through the Web site, which takes Paypal. It's been a great experiment so far and helped cover expenses now that I have 2 sons in college.

Here's a sample from World's Toughest Job that you might like if you're raising boys:

He’s a Boy

He’s a boy. He has a hole in his sock and tear in his shirt. The difference between his good shoes and his bad shoes is the good ones still have half a shoelace. He can’t stand those itchy tags in new shirts, but going around all day in sopping wet shoes is not a problem. He gets queasy when the foods on his plate start touching, but he’s been known to lick a dog biscuit.
He’s a boy. He knows the real reason for tooth brushing is the chance to check for bicep growth in the bathroom mirror. He can dismantle and reassemble a skateboard, but he can’t get his shirt buttoned right. He can spot a video arcade from a mile away, but he can’t see the clothes on floor of his room that need picking up. He hears God in the wind at night, but he doesn’t really want to talk about it.
He’s a boy. He has a mosaic of scars on his knees and a pointillist landscape of scabs on his elbows. He thinks the shortest distance between two points is a somersault.
He wants to be good almost as much as he wants to stage a sneak attack on the candy stash.
The only thing he likes better than an electronic gadget is a whole warehouse full of electronic gadgets. Rolling in the grass does not make him itchy; having to sit at the dinner table or practice music after rolling in the grass makes him itchy.
He’s a boy. His idea of heaven is a tree fort. His idea of the other place is itchy clothes. His teeth are too big for his mouth and his ideas are too big for his head. He comes home from the playground with lizards hanging from his ears and his pockets full of shiny stones he is positive are worth lots of money. He has hidden his best Pokemon card so well even he can’t find it. He suddenly has to know what “ignorant” means, but refuses to tell why he needs to know.
He’s a boy. He’s grouchy in the morning, wired in the afternoon, expansive in the evening. He would like to know why, if couches are not for jumping on, they went and made them so soft and jumpable. He’s got a head full of touchdown statistics and batting averages, which makes it hard to remember what 7x8 is. He’d give you the shirt off his back, but don’t ask him to share the couch with his brother. When no one is looking, he forgets he’s not supposed to swig soda straight from the liter jug, but he’d never do a backwash in the bottle.
He’s a boy. When he grows up he wants a cool car, the world’s fastest computer, a huge television, and Kraft’s macaroni and cheese for dinner every night.
He wants to go to the moon, to the stars, to Hawaii and to South America, but only if they have Kraft’s macaroni and cheese there. He wants to be a pop star, a famous athlete, a millionaire, and just like Dad, only not so hairy.
He’s a boy. He could survive in the woods for three days on nachos, Gatorade and comic books, but at home he’s got to have his oatmeal with just the right amount of milk in it or no way. He’s been teased, bullied, threatened, punished, grounded, lectured and nagged, but he still sings in the shower. He’s been stung, bitten, bandaged, stitched up, splinted, knocked out by a baseball, and put in a cast, but he still says Bring It On!
He likes his back scratched and his feet massaged and his worries soothed, but he’s nobody’s sweet little fellow anymore, okay?
Well, maybe just for one more day, but don’t tell anyone, because, you know, he’s a boy.