Happy anniversary, George

A year ago today, I self-published my first story with help from Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. It was short. It wasn’t overly promoted except perhaps in these pages. It never went viral. My fantasy of appearing on late night TV has not been fulfilled. But it was an accomplishment nonetheless.

I’d estimate that a couple hundred of you read it. Frankly, I have not. Not since doing a final run through anyway before hitting click and committing it to the electronic world forever. I just can’t. And especially now, eight weeks into my writing class. I already suspect what my flaws were. I can be at peace with it all by thinking that someday, you all will call it my ‘early work’.

My full-length novel, which does not feature an appearance by George Clooney, is developing nicely. The Stanford online writing class has provided me good structure, feedback and a community of fellow writers. In two weeks, 5,000 words of my ending will be workshopped. While at the start of this class, I dreaded my workshop week, now I look forward to it.

I can’t say for sure how far along I’d be right now in writing my novel if I hadn’t taken the baby step of writing My Night with George Clooney. So on this, our anniversary, I think of George and apologize that he’s been folded up in a box since our return from Hawaii.

I promise to pull him out to celebrate the completion of No Working Title Yet.

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on george clooney

If it were socially acceptable for me to have a poster of George Clooney in my bedroom, I totally would.

It’s fair to say I think about him often. Maybe even everyday. I mean, not in a scary stalker sort of way. I don’t want to marry him. After all, I know he isn’t the marrying type. But if he met me, wouldn’t he be so charmed by my wit that he would want to whisk me off to Lake Como for a weekend? That’s all I’m looking for from him. No pressure.

And here’s how a modern (and female) Walter Mitty contemplates potentially meeting him. When I fly, I dream this is the time he’ll be stuck in coach, sitting next to me, of course. We strike up conversation while stuck on the tarmac for 5 hours, thus later when we are in the air and hit massive turbulence, he already knows I have a mild fear of flying and holds my hand to comfort me. Or when I’m eating out, I imagine he’s there rubbing shoulders with some of DC’s political elite. After dinner, he comes to the bar where I’m drinking a glass of sparkling and engages me in a conversation about climate change. Sparks fly. In some fantasies he’s testifying on the Hill and manages to escape a throng of admirers and reporters by jumping into an elevator that I happen to be in. We get stuck, of course. By the time the maintenance crew frees us, he’s asked for my phone number.

Sadly, the one time I literally crossed his path, I didn’t know until after the fact. In March when he was arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy, I happened to drive by the scene. I saw the protesters, who held up traffic such that I feared being late for my appointment. But I never for one minute imagined George Clooney would be among the crowd. If I had given it any thought, I would have parked my car, scribbled a sign out of some of the kids’ art materials that litter the back of my car and joined the cause. (Except for the going to jail part.)

Anyway, it’s these Clooney-dominated thoughts that inspired me to write my short story.

Yes, the short story. The one I’ve alluded to a number of times now. The one that diverts my creative energy away from the blog. If you haven’t guessed by now, my story features the dreamy Mr. Clooney. I’m about to take a leap and place my story in the hands of an editor. On the top of my to do list is to read the fine print in the Terms of Service for Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. Oh, and I have more than half of the sequel already in the works.

If my story is a wild success, I just might follow in my dad’s footsteps and score an invite to be on the Daily Show. Of course, Jon Stewart will secretly arrange for George Clooney to make a guest appearance while I’m there. After taping, George (“may I call you George?”) asks me to take a walk through Central Park, and enjoys my company so much, we make plans for dinner. In Paris.

Maybe it would be healthier to indulge in that poster after all.