Sometimes I think I’m too jaded. Then I think no, it’s just the lighting ~Rachel Thompson, A Walk In The Snark
If you’re at all familiar with @RachelintheOC via my Twitter feed, my blog, or my new book A Walk In The Snark, you probably know me as that redheaded Queen of Snark in a sea of blondes (OC does stand for Orange County, CA, home of the Tragic – I mean Magic – Kingdom), after all. Essays like Stupid Pants Syndrome, Men are from Seinfeld, Women are From Friends (Mancode), and I’m Fine. Deconstructed. (Chickspeak) certainly cement that fact.
It’s true – I’m a humorist. I do funny. I do funny really, really well. It’s my wheelhouse. Sure, I lean toward the sarcastic, I’m pretty much allergic to happy, and I rarely use exclamation marks unless forced* (though I won’t judge you if you do….much). That’s funny, right?
However…during the writing of what was to become this book, I dealt with something that shook my world. An ex-love (I call him “D”) with whom I’d recently reconnected (on Facebook, where else?) committed suicide. I’m happily married, going on nineteen years. It wasn’t that kind of “run off and start a new life,” kind of reconnection. Yet…I thought I would marry D at one point; but after four years together he broke my heart so thoroughly I didn’t know if I’d ever recover. It took time, a cross-country move on my own, and meeting my wonderful (though clearly Mancode) JP to know I’d be just fine.
When D looked me up to talk things through and apologize, my husband understood. He knew our history (he’s a way cool dude). We had three months of chats, emails, etc. And then, boom: I talked with D at lunch one day and by dinner he was gone. I found out by reading his wall. Welcome to technology.
Guilt, anger, rage, shock, denial, disbelief – I clearly had no idea what was really going on in his life, what his mental state really was. I learned more from his sister and nephew as the days went on. Without even realizing what I was doing, I gathered all my emails from him, notes and messages, songs he sent me, even journals from our time together way back when…and I started writing. Poems, stories, memories, and essays.
I haven’t stopped.
I started posting many of my essays and poems on my blog. Tentatively at first, because remember, I’m the funny chick, right? I also had to get over my worries about what others might think. The response, however, was profound. People came forward with their own stories of love and loss. Though horrifying, this event was such a catalyst for me as a writer and as a person.
In addition, I found as I added in new material and started editing my book something really interesting: almost every post I wrote about him had a “D” in the title. Our subconscious lets us get away with nothing.
I hope you enjoyed this insight into my writing process for my book A Walk In The Snark: Best Of RachelintheOC. It’s my first book and it IS funny. The D-List essays comprise only a small but critical part, but I felt it important to include them as it shows how I became the woman I am– Queen of Snark or chick who lets you into her heart.
*Time for forced exclamation marks:
Books and Prizes! Be sure to hop over to the Blog Tour de Force website and find out all the details of our latest promotion. 10 writers, 5 days, lots of prizes—including a Free Kindle! Yea, baby. Help me win MY day on Tuesday, April 19 when I go head to head, er, Chickspeak to Mancode with author George Pappas (Monogamy Sucks), his book about the life of a swinger; whoever receives the most blog (go to RachelintheOC.com ) comments WINS and moves on to the semi-final round! Let’s show this BOY what chickpower is ALL about!
Tell your friends, your mom, even your dog! Remember, you don’t need an eReader to read my (or ANY) eBook. Just a computer or a smartphone.
Please email me if you have any questions or comments at RachelintheOC@gmail.com or come visit my blog anytime RachelintheOC.com or Twitter or Facebook or GoodReads. I’m everywhere (except, ya know, the kitchen). I also teach writers epublishing, social media and stuff over at the Indie Book Collective so find me there as well.
Thanks for hearing my story and thanks to Denise at ThePenMuse for this wonderful opportunity. It’s the reviewers and readers like you who make me love what I do so very much.