A List of Books I Haven’t Written (And How to Get Those That I Did)

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June 12, 2017 by Katia

You may know me from such books as “Things That My Children Think About me Based on Stuff I Tell Them” (working title) and other famous books I imagined writing over the years. I am less known for the actual things I write (this blog and the essays I’ve contributed to various anthologies) but to quote Sia: I’ve got stamina.

Sia

Photo credit: Sia on Instagram

I’ve most recently authored this entertaining Amazon Author Page and I’m the proud photographer behind the featured selfie, which I will be using for all eternity like these people on dating websites or LinkedIn who post photographs of themselves from eight years ago on their profiles and then they show up and their entire hair is grey and they try not to meet your eyes (I’ve been using my selfie for four years and one sleep deprivation ago, before #2 fully joined and embraced the cycle).

Yesterday I had a new book come out, But Did You Die, the fifth anthology to feature my writing and  the fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling parenting humour series, I Just Want to Pee Alone by Jen Mann. I’m incredibly proud of this one because: 1. I’ve always wanted to collaborate with Jen. 2. I wrote this post during a great-big-huge-no-good writing dry spell. 3. The list of authors includes some of my favourite writers and funniest human beings I know. 4. I like feeling included. 5. The only way this could get any better is if Mindy Kaling was in it. Here’s the opening sentence:

Remember that thing I said in the title about the books I didn’t write? Well, I’m a very prolific author and I wanted to share some of my work with you. Please don’t steal it if the words intellectual property mean anything to you.

  1. Things That my children Think I Think They’re Doing Based on Stuff They Tell Me – this is the prequel to the previously mentioned book. The idea was born when my four year-old thought he had successfully lied to me about visiting an invisible castle in the sky by flying there on a spaceship with a very old invisible friend. Wow, he must think I’m really stupid to believe this story, I thought to myself, and this is how Things That my Children Think I Think They’re Doing Based on Stuff They Tell Me was born.
  2. Children’s book(s) (possibly a series) – topic undetermined but my friend Anya will illustrate. She signed a verbal contract.
  3. A mystery/crime novel that starts (middle and ends) with the sentence: “No one ever leaves home thinking they won’t come back. Besides those who plan for it.” There’s a female protagonist in this mystery/crime novel and she is kidnapped or decides to disappear. Once this element is decided everything else will basically write itself. This novel is not as appealing to me as my other ones, by the way. It’s that “she’s so successful already she can only screw this one up” second book syndrome book.
  4. I’m also a theoretically skilled biographer and wrote a screenplay based on a biography about my great grandfather, a famous Jewish actor and theater director and social leader during the time of stalin. The movie stars Jon Bernthal and it’s already generating Oscar hype (I know, thank you!). Or buzz, it might be Oscar buzz.
  5. After reading about a book an expatriate wrote in English about her military service in Israel, I took it upon myself to rewrite the same book. I didn’t read the original but I love the idea so much and my book is so much better! It brings to light a lot of the intricacies of the Israeli society, laments the death of the peace process with Rabin and touches upon everything.
  6.  An Eat, Pray, Love type memoir (big fan of Elizabeth Gilbert, hated the movie, read her other books). This book is based on a trip we won’t be taking around the world – an idea pitched by my husband one night in a state of deep work fatigue (the idea he pitched involved taking a trip around the world, not not taking it). I shut this down immediately because this is what I do, but also there was too much uncertainty. He said we could do this while the kids are still young and can miss school (who’s young? The oldest is eight! What about his friends? And our moms? And the guinea pigs and kitten on the way? And what about stranger danger? What do we know about these people that whose culture we’ve just verbally embraced? Remember how 8 year old needed to talk in Italy and got so frustrated that he couldn’t communicate? He thrives on socializing!). Anyways, I’m also writing about that trip.

    This list will be updated with new work shortly. I’m working on it as we speak.

    **

    Which books have you written or didn’t write?

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2 thoughts on “A List of Books I Haven’t Written (And How to Get Those That I Did)

  1. You crack me up. Oh, the books we could write!!! And huge congratulations, friend, on being in Did You Die? I have it on order. LOVE YOU!!!

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Between 2014-2015:

BlogHer '13 Voices of the Year Community Keynote Honoree
Scary Mommy
The Epistolarians

Books:

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What makes a happy new year? 
This is my story, but I suspect, it might also be yours. 
Lately I haven't been writing much. Forget writing, I can't even produce an entertaining Facebook update. Why? Because selecting the right words requires an effort and I don't have any effs (for effort) left to give. First I stopped posting to my blog, then my blog's Facebook page and eventually my own Facebook profile. I'm making an effort but I find it draining. Who knew that posting funny updates on your profile is not so easy? 
Nothing dramatic is going on in my life. Work's been extra busy with some newly added responsibilities and stress, bedtimes are still long-ish and my sleep is still often interrupted, but it's not nearly as often as before. My "me time" is limited and starts late. The emotional energy I invest in my work, the nature of my sleep and the limited time I spend on myself leave me with little energy to spare. Any energy I have left and then some is invested in my kids.

My kids, whom you all know I adore and admire, are daring, often reckless and very young and inexperienced. Sometimes I'm surprised at the extent of their lack of caution and I'm always, always disproportionately worried. I know that because I'm unlike the other mothers around me. I come from a family of worriers and anxious people. My neural pathways always lead me to a dead end - literally. I catastrophize and imagine the worst outcome. For years I've been able to rationalize and talk myself out of useless, time consuming and energy wasting internal struggles with often imagined worrisome scenarios, but now that words are burdensome and my energy is dwindled, I can't. 
I'm entering this new year happier and more optimistic than I've been in awhile. Yesterday I went to see my doctor. After a lot of internal turmoil and thoughts about cancelling my appointment I came in and blurted out: I think I'm suffering from some form of anxiety. His very calm and matter of fact-ish reaction ("like everyone else in the 21st century") wasn't dismissive, but reassuring. Self care sometimes means looking deeper. 
I wish everyone a happy new year of good mental health. It's the basis for everything.
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