Recently, someone called me a celebrity. Like in a non-joking way, because of my book.
And while I was flattered, I felt the need to correct her.
Now, I’m not one of those people who can’t take a compliment. If you tell me my hair looks nice, I’ll thank you (even though 90 percent of the time, it’s dirty. #momlife). Tell me you like my shirt, I’ll thank you and tell you where I got it (likely answer? Amazon. Let me send you a link!).
But a celebrity?
Another author I know (okay, that part sounds famous) said that only one percent of authors are able to make a real living off of their book royalties. Which is the most discouraging number I’ve ever heard, but we beat on, boats against the current–wait, I’m stealing that from an ACTUAL famous author.
(And I did once spend four hours as the number one bestselling humor author in Australia. #famous)
Admittedly, authors steal a lot too. (Sorry friends who have recognized bits of themselves in my work! Love you!)
Hopefully I’ll make it to that elusive one percent someday, but so far, I haven’t seen a cent in royalties. Because if you get an advance, you don’t see another penny until your book “earns out,” meaning makes that amount of money back. And if your book sells at auction like mine did… well, you’ll be waiting a few months at best.
With that said, sales have been solid and I’m happy with them. And I’m EXTREMELY excited for my next book, She’s Up to No Good, which is coming out August 1.
But a celebrity?
My alarm goes off at 5:55 on school days. Notice I didn’t say I wake up at 5:55, because I’m often already awake from one child or the other. Jacob will run in at 5:30 under the guise of a bad dream (aka woke up and wants me to tuck him back in), and if Max hears him, we’re all up.
I shower at night now because a morning shower is NOT guaranteed with two little ones.
Did you hear that? It was the sound of my mother retching. Sorry mom.
We then race around to make breakfast while getting dressed, taking the dog out, and keeping two tiny humans alive while they run amok and dive bomb off of anything they can climb. I drink my coffee (which I make at home) over ice because iced coffee won’t burn a child when they inevitably run into or dive bomb off of me. (And I’m basic. Deal with it.)
Breakfast is a scarfed bowl of cereal at the counter while I get everyone’s lunches into the correct bags. I messed up and gave the kids the wrong lunches two weeks ago. I’m now supervised heavily in this role lest I mess up again. (One mistake all year. And I’ll never be trustworthy again.)
Then I wrestle the tiny humans into clothes. Jacob will only wear short sleeves and his outfit HAS to match his brother’s. If Max doesn’t have the same shirt, SOMETIMES Jacob will settle for one that’s the same color and material. SOMETIMES.
Assuming I succeed, I take Jacob to school and the husband takes Max. We have not left on time yet. We’re 110 days into the school year and we are 0/110. That’s a wordle score I definitely wouldn’t post.
After drop off, I drive like a demon (or an angry groundhog, as Jacob would say. We showed him that scene of the movie on Groundhog Day and now he tells me not to drive angry) to make it to school (where I do the walk of shame, teacher-mom style, daily. I arrive late, in sunglasses, with my coffee from home. My principal is amazing and knows I’m frequently late from drop off so I promised never to walk in with Starbucks and to do my best to get here. That promise I’ve kept!). And I have the speed camera tickets to prove it.
I spend the next seven and a half hours being, as one of my students put it the other day, the mask police. We used to spend our days telling kids to put their phones away. Now it’s “cover your nose. Pull your mask up. I shouldn’t see nostrils. Eat that in the hall. Keep your mask on. Why is only your chin covered? Turn to page–no, don’t pull your mask down to sneeze!” etc.
For the record, yes, I hate masking too. But my kids aren’t old enough to be vaccinated, so it’s the only thing I can do to keep them safe from me for now.
Then, when the day is over, I race back home, eat a quick snack, and, if I’m fast enough, do a VERY SHORT workout before the kids arrive home.
Then I’m on mom duty for the rest of the day. Breaks do not exist. If I use the bathroom, they will find me. They get 30 minutes to an hour of tv so that I can make their lunches for the next day and pull together dinner, which is futile because they’ll wind up eating dinosaur nuggets no matter what I make. And yes, they must be shaped like dinosaurs or they will not be consumed.
Then it’s an hour of bath time and getting them ready for bed.
Whew! I’m done.
No, wait, I’m not. Then it’s time to write.
Because I’m not exhausted by 8pm or anything.
I give myself an hour and a half to write/edit, then finally hop in the shower (without washing my hair. I told you it’s dirty!) and MAYBE watch 20 minutes of tv with the hubs while I drink a glass of well-earned wine before bed.
I may be living the beginning of the dream with my publishing career, but I feel as far from a celebrity as it’s possible to get. Instead, I’m a tired mom working multiple jobs and feeling like I can’t possibly juggle another ball, all while people keep tossing me more balls. And as Keegan, my high school journalism teacher, will tell you, I’m the only Rampage alum whom he failed to teach to juggle.
But to answer what I’m sure are your only two questions after reading all of this: YES, I’m working on book three, and I wash my hair on weekends.