Saturday, April 11, 2009


When I Am an Old Writer I Shall Write Purple Prose

(Dedicated with love to Jenny Joseph)

When I am an old writer, I shall write purple prose
and ask for erotic red cover art that offends the art department
And I shall spend my advance on the Levengers catalog
and buy voodoo candles, and say I've no money for medical insurance.
I shall sit down at writer conferences when I am tired
(even if I have to kick Jan Karon out of my way first)
and gobble up Godiva and write scorching parodies
and use my laptop to write a love scene during another writer's workshop
and make up for everything I was too afraid to do during my rookie year.
I shall go out in my favorite Oh, Blow Me T-Shirt at reader conferences
and recommend on my blog books by competing authors
and learn how to swear at my agent.

You can write terrible tell-alls and piss off reviewers
and eat three pounds of M&Ms at a go
or only french bread pizza and popcorn for a week
and hoard promotional pens and bookmarks and giveaway books in boxes

But now we must write books that keep us employed
and pay our internet bill and not tell the editor to shove those revisions
and set a good example for the Aspiring.
We must have writer friends over for critique group and read Publishers Weekly.
But maybe I ought to practice ruining my career a little now?
So people who know me are not too dismayed and confused
When I start hanging out at PBW
and write purple prose.


  1. When I am an old writer, I shall write purple prose...

    I freaking love it.

  2. Oh I love this. I love the original and you have a lovely homage here.

  3. Thank you!

    I know this was not written for me, but it was exactly the type of inspiration I needed today.

    And pretty damned funny :)

    Happy Easter, by the way.

  4. Keita Haruka5:52 AM


    *looks around nervously in case anyone sees him hanging out at PBW*


    Word verification: prente...which coincidentally means "pictures" in my native language...

  5. this is bar none the strangest blog post I've read this entire year. Funny, true, but odd.

  6. Awesome. With awesome sauce.

  7. Actually, I want an O.H.B.I.T.E.M.E. tee. *g* Love this!

  8. Anonymous10:45 AM

    Thanks for the smile!

  9. Wonderful!

    You made my morning, especially since I am slogging through some rewrites!

    Ruth m

  10. Too funny!!! Where can I get a "Oh, Blow Me" T-shirt? I could so use one for my Monday morning status meetings....kidding, but not really...

  11. I love this! And I want one of those tee-shirts too.

  12. Very sweet. I think though you don't have to work at making people unsurprised at the change...especially the T-shirts :). It's not like you don't diss the whole convention anyway. Though I have to say that red is better than pink, right?

  13. Yup, you can add the "Oh, Blow Me" t-shirt to my order. You did get the order for my O.H.B.I.T.E.M.E t-shirt the other day, right?


    Love the post. I needed this today.


  14. Absolutely fabulous.

  15. We must have writer friends over for critique group and read Publishers Weekly.

    How about we have writer friends over for lunch (or dinner) and read your books instead. :)

    And I'd like to order twelve of the O.H.B.I.T.E.M.E. t-shirts (11 to share with writer friends I don't invite over for critique group. :)
    word verification= gliced- is that something you do to coffee?

  16. I laughed out loud. Thank you so much. *g*


  17. Anonymous10:41 AM

    This rookie shares your perspectives, and has a sneaking suspicion that her 2009 Golden Heart final will be her first and last effin' hurrah. ;-)

  18. This has been one of my favorite poems for years and now you made it even a bigger favorite! I have giggled all day over it.