This Is Me Buck Naked

I think I’ve figured out why I’m not sleeping.  And surprisingly, it’s not just because I looked at this photo just before going to bed last night:

Replace the Gulls with Swans and Let the Nightmares Begin

Though I’m quite certain that didn’t help.  (I’m looking at you, Creamed Corn.)

You see, Interwebz, I finished my book.  Or at least I finished a full draft of the thing.  And now there are people reading it.


It’s just a handful of people, mind you.  But if you get buck naked and do the Running Man in front of five people, are you any less naked than if you do it in front of five hundred?  No.  And I’m pretty sure there are ample studies documenting that fact.  *looks to Wicked Shawn for verification*

So yeah, I’m terrified that these people are going to tell me they hate the book.  Or even worse?  They’ll read it, hate it, and then feel like they still have to tell me it’s good.  Then everyone’s time will have been wasted.

But I can’t lie.  It’s a little exciting, too.  As I stood at the counter in the copy center, listening to the machines whir away, my heart caught in my chest when the young dude with the goatee set a flat, white, cardboard box in front of me.

Dude.  I wrote a book.  Like…a book, book.  Like a whole motherfucking BOOK.  And I don’t think I used the word “vagina” even once.

Then I threw up in my mouth a little as I divided the copies up and shoved them into manila envelopes.  Fortunately the post office hadn’t been crowded, because it took the desk clerk a solid five minutes to coax those packages out of my hands.  Even after she disappeared into the back to drop them in their appropriate bins, I stood at the window, chewing my tongue, wondering if I could somehow get them back.

…and I haven’t really slept since.

Because right now there are five people holding a fillet of my soul.

Interwebz, can you hear my heart pounding from where you are?  I think I might pass out.

Meanwhile, I’m supposed to find an agent.  That’s what they tell me anyway.  So I’m sending this first chapter all over the place.  Which is only like a tiny, chicken nugget of my soul.  So maybe give it a read if you’re curious.  Then tell everyone you know who happen to be a genius literary agents and beg them to work with me.  Then maybe hand me one of those little air sickness bags they have on planes.  Also, can you rub my back and throw Dr. Horrible in the DVD player?

And while I’m being all naked and vulnerable (SOO not my best look), I thought maybe I’d show you this photo.  Being the whack job that I am, when I lost all my hair I decided my new look needed to be documented.  So I called my brilliant photographer friend and he scheduled a photo shoot with a makeup artist and everything.  This is one of the photos that came from that day.

I hope someday it’ll be on the cover of my book.  Lining the shelves at your local Barnes and Noble.  Maybe even in Oprah’s lap.

Seriously, I need a gingerale and a sleeping pill, STAT.


  1. Dude, you wrote a book. A whole, lovingly-crafted, motherfucking BOOK!

    Go, you. I am totally jumping up and down. But, you know, on the inside. From my desk chair.


  2. I mean, maybe this is insensitive, I don’t know, but I think you need to suck it up and if they don’t like and they hate it, then obviously get some new fucking friends.

    Also, cause you know there’s no way they are going to hate it.

    But if you really want to torture yourself, give it to some total strangers who don’t give a fuck about you.

  3. That photo is AWESOME. I don’t know why you haven’t gotten a 24 inch enlargement and hung it on the wall in a gilded frame, sort of like those olden days portraits of Queens and stuff. You look less chemo patient and more “I will kick your ass if you cross me!” skinhead babe.

    I’m enjoying the book so far! It just reeks of you! I mean that as a compliment, in case there was any doubt. I want to read the whole thing now, please see to it. And good luck!

    P.S. I’m really happy you survived, because without you there’d be no Herbert or Isabella or joy in the world.

    1. I wish you were, too. That would be full of the win. Oh never mind, I like you too much this way already.

      Heh. You said “do yer book.”

  4. just read the first chapter, elly. couldn’t take my eyes off the screen! i want to know more STAT. does your book go into what happened before this point. what you were experiencing? how they diagnosed you?

    i loved the humor you found during the procedure and in describing it. i was crying over the love and support given by rocco and your family.

    and you did pick the right doctor! not only for his colorful ties and iphone apps but because he took excellent care of our girl!

    1. It covers all of it, finding it, diagnosing it, chemo-ing it, post-chemo-ing it. All with dick jokes!

      Best part? I sent a copy to the doc and he called me the other day and said, “Hi it’s Aloysius.” I laughed so hard I cried. God I love that man. See people? Save my life and I’ll write a book about you. 🙂

  5. Wishing you nothing but good luck with your book! And you know, not everyone looks good bald, but you do. You have a nicely shaped head. Were you a Caesarian-birth baby, by any chance? Their heads are the best because they don’t get all squished up and misshapen coming through the birth canal. Otherwise known as the vagina. Hmmm, is there a connection here with your vagina fixation? Okay, I’ll stop now.

    1. Nope. I was squished out of a vagina. Mom has the absorbent underpants to prove it.

      And fortunately you can’t see the giant birthmark on the back of my head in the photos. After the head shaving Mom said, “Oh NOW I remember that spot!” Sheesh.

  6. I read chapter 1….very good!! I has no idea you had blue blood (Duke fan)! We are hardcore Dukies, too!

    I don’t know any agents…but I hope you find one.

  7. Congratulations on finishing your book and having the guts to send it out! I envy your drive. And I love the picture. RAWR!

    When you’re famous, will you still stop by and leave me inappropriate comments? 🙂

  8. That is absolutely spectacular. That you finished the book, that you sent it out. And that chapter. And that picture. All spectacular.
    I wish you all the luck in the ever-loving world with it.

  9. Awesome! Do you KNOW what this means?


    You are so loved pookie, you will never have to fear anything again. We’re like the wind beneath your wings or something. But not Swan wings. Promise.

  10. I suppose I’m not going to nap after that first picture – but the second one rocks, buck naked and all. And so does that first chapter.

  11. You rock the nakedness!! Congrats on finishing the book! First chapter gets two thumbs up, even though there are no vagina’s you did manage a blow job.

    My world would be a much suckier (in a bad way) place without you! Thanks for kicking cancers ass!!!

  12. Yay for bookwriting! I’ll read the chapter when I don’t have two sick kids sitting on me.

    Also, you have a damn fine looking skull. I wish mine looked like that instead of having a big ridge down the middle and dents and scars and shit on it. Cause my hair ain’t coming back.

  13. O.K. I’m officially going to get REALLY grumpy if this book doesn’t get published. I’m not even joking Elly. Fuckin’ brilliant. It’s your voice through and through and I LOVE it. I’m not a violent man, however I will put a thumpin’ on whoever DOESN’T like this. Cheers and a big hug to you for embarking on this journey. I will follow all the way.

  14. Okay, change “seagulls” into “unicorns” and “assaulting you” into “blessing you with magical baptism” and this is the way I feel about you AND your book.

    I can’t wait to read it.

  15. Poppin’ the champagne! Like Tom said its Motherfuckingbooktime with a side of booze!
    I will stop back and read the chapter later….when I am not supposed to be workin’ it!

    I love you hard!

  16. I am going to become an agent. And start taking self-defense classes. Because even though you have a head full of hair again, if you show up at my house in the middle of the night wanting to know why I am such a crappy agent, I know by the looks on your face in that photo, that you can and will kick my ass. Loved the first chapter, btw. I already have a crush on your doctor.

  17. Holy Crap! A book. Cool! Put me on the pre-order list. I read the 1st chapter and cannot wait for it.

    Gotta say, you rock the bald look. Way hotter than Persis Khambatta. Even with the snarl. Or maybe because of.

  18. My MIL went through chemo and radiation- and we were with her every step of the way- you have captured the process perfectly. The good, the bad, and the ugly -because cancer is ugly.

    It is amazing that you were able to maintain your sense of humor through it all…this is why you are such a strong woman-

    You blow me away…. kudos!

  19. Firstly, me want to read. Secondly, you looked hot bald. nice head, lady!

    Mine thinned out in a major way, but due to abusivey marriage stuff long long ago. I was worried it would all fall out because my head looks like a block of white cheese.

  20. This is amazing! So awesome… I can’t begin to tell you how much I adore your outlook on this whole thing called life. I know it’s been said in the comments above but if there is any news that warrants MFBT… it’s this. And that it will be friday tomorrow. So Friday and this book news. MFBT. Do it to it.

    I can’t wait to read the first chapter! And the photo…gorgeous.

  21. The only thing that could make this better is more cowbell AND a few more chapters of that book.
    Why is no one else concerned about the one very belligerent and terrifyingly aware bird screaming into the camera with a dire warning while his friends pick off the man on the rock behind him?
    “You see this!” he’s saying, “this is what happens to stupid mother fuckers who climb too close. Let this be a warning, CAW CAW CAW!!!!” Eyes burst into flames.

    Anyway, your book is worth it’s weight in gold as far as I’m concerned and I’m grabbing onto your trouser leg if you get famous.

    1. See? This is why I need to see you again soon and tongue you down. You. Complete. Me. And I totally mean that in a creepy Scientology kind of way. You’re the L. Ron to my Hubbard.

      Are you doing this San Diego thing? Why can’t I make up my damn mind?

  22. Great Job Elly!!! Can’t wait to read the rest. I know someone here in Seatown that works as a proofreader for a publishing company. If you think it would help, I’d be happy to pass along!

    1. I’ll try anything! If you think your person has agent or pub friends that are looking for the next Mennonite in a Little Black dress (but with less mennonite, more cancer, and a shit ton more cursing) then YES!

      PS I miss you.

  23. You wrote a whole BOOK??? I’m already impressed, and I haven’t even read any of it yet.

    I’m afraid that if I read the first chapter, I’ll be all impatient waiting for the rest of it. Much the way I’m all stabby toward authors (that I’ve never met) who have started series but don’t seem all that inclined to finish them. (I’m looking at you, George RR Martin…)

    Basically, I hate starting books I can’t finish.

    And btw, that’s an awesome photo of you in the red dress/shirt.

  24. I cannot even try to be witty. So here it is:

    WOW. You did it! YOU.FUCKING.DID.IT!!!!!! I have the first draft on my hard drive now and I will read it this weekend. I can’t wait! Thank you for giving us the sneak peek so we won’t die of anticipation.

    So I assume this weekend is going to be whiled away by heavy binge drinking, eh? 🙂 You so deserve it!

    That picture is so awesome I cannot even think of proper things to say about it. Yes, I cannot wait to have it staring at me on my bookshelf either. xxoo

  25. Okay, so it took me half way through the comments to finally figure out that I could access your first chapter. I must admit to feeling very petulant that everyone else seemed to have gotten to read it and I was left out. So then I read it. Good God Girl. I cannot wait for this book to come out! Like the kind of “cannot wait for the next Stephen King” book to come out!!

    I don’t know any agents personally, but if I find some, I will totally harass them on your behalf. And is it really harassing if they end up making millions? And Oprah better damn well have you on her show. Or else.

    Also, that first picture freaking terrifies me. Thanks for that.


    1. And I’ve not even read the whole thing…or in order. So, really, if it can be awesome in out-of-order spurts, how can it be otherwise when full-blown organized?

      I hope you’ve gotten some sleep!

  26. I came back to tell you: I LOVE Aloysius. He answered the call the way one would say, I am Spartacus.

    I LOVE Aloysius and how the name is made to carry such significance in your story.

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