May 3, 2011

Bashed, But Floating

Have you heard of 'cognitive dissonance'? That's when your brain is struggling to reconcile two opposing thoughts. (Or at least I hope that's what it means. I'll feel really stupid if it turns out to mean something quite different. Like... you know... 'cheese platter'.)

Well, I'm suffering from cognitive dissonance at the moment. (My version of cognitive dissonance. Not cheese platter.)You see, on the one hand, I'm living this really exciting post-book launch life of doing interviews and signing books and appearing on Oprah (okay, so that last one was a lie, but it could happen); but on the other hand I'm still a mother of three and a wife of one and have laundry and cooking and cleaning and washing and schlepping and homework and all the monotonous mundanities of every day life to do. And it's not fair. Don't my family know I'm a PUBLISHED AUTHOR???

What's more, the normal irritations of life keep getting in the way of my temporary foray into glamour and fabulous. Just this morning, for example, I was driving the kids to school when another car slammed into us from the right hand side. We were all fine, which is the important thing, except that the car was not, which is kind of important too.

I jumped out of my car to confront the person who had wreaked such senseless damage, prepared to be cross. Didn't they know I'm a PUBLISHED AUTHOR?

A handsome young man approached me. Too handsome. I can't yell at a nice handsome man! (Er... not that I'm that good at yelling at mean ugly men, but it's much easier.)

"I'm sorry!" he said sincerely. "I didn't see you!" Well, duh. I mean, I didn't expect he would have bashed into me if he did see me. Unless he was really mean. And even then he'd need a good reason.

"Well that's very bad," I said. "I'm a published author and this is not acceptable." (Okay, so I didn't say that, because it would have been really idiotic and embarrassing. But I thought it.)

"I'm so sorry," he said. "Are the kids okay?" Oh yeah... the kids. I checked again. They were still fine.

"I feel so bad, I'm so sorry. But at least no-one was hurt!" Bugger. Now he was really being nice. How dare he be nice when he just banged into my car?

So in the end, we shook hands, I smiled warmly (I was cross, but he was handsome!), said goodbye, exchanged cards, and went our own separate ways. And as I drove away, I looked back at my beautiful children, and felt immensely lucky just to have them safe and sound, and knew a piece of metal on wheels didn't matter.

Except that's not really what I felt at all. I was still annoyed about the car. But then I went to do a radio interview to promote my book (Yes! I'm a PUBLISHED AUTHOR!), and though I may have been driving in a battered car, I was walking on air again.

This is not my car. Nor does it look like my car. Nor was the damage to my car as extensive as the damage to this car. But it's someone's car. And that's all that matters.


  1. Kerri, first of all I'm so glad you're all okay! I know what you mean about the cheese platter stuff, happened to me too - back in February I had to wipe bottoms and clean the floor between talking on the radio and doing general book promo things. Perhaps it's so we stay grounded and don't float away from the surreal happiness of seeing our books in print! Hope your car can get fixed quickly and you keep having a ball xx

  2. Thank God you are all okay.
    When I was first published I had a couple of heady weeks, where I was on Sunrise, ACA, in the weekly magazines, newspapers, radio etc ... It all sounded glamorous and the kids thought it was ace, but they keep asking when I'm going on telly again and why aren't I in the magazines anymore?
    And then there was the hideous sickness I got before every TV or radio interview. I had to get there early to be sick/go to the loo, suffering crippling nausea and stomach cramps. I don't know why because I used to work in TV and radio, but there you have it.
    Strangely, I was fine with print interviews.
    And I haven't published any books yet, so don't even call myself an author any more ...
    At least you have that!

  3. Aww bubba. Take care you're a PUBLISHED AUTHOR after all

  4. I know!!!! At least he was handsome *sobs*

  5. Didn't you write a book about divorce??? It looked really interesting!

  6. Kerri, it's shocking that such mundanities are intruding into your new and very fabulous life as a published author. Can't that washing just sort itself out?

    Totally relate... My creative genius was much impeded today by trips to the bus depot to collect sports bag that had been left on bus and to shops to buy birthday pressure for pesky twins.

    Harsh but true, we must struggle on.... even published authors just can't get the staff these days.

  7. Thank you! But do I have to stay grounded? I kind of liked floating around the ceiling there for those first few days.... sigh.....

  8. Handsome men should not be driving around crashing into PUBLISHED AUTHOR'S cars. They should be fanning said PUBLISHED AUTHOR with a palm frond & feeding her nutella from a diamond encrusted golden spoon while she lays by the pool waiting for her next interview to arrive.
    PS glad you are all ok. xxxxx

  9. Gosh - that is BEYOND shocking! How can I help you feel better?

    Hmmmm... do you know there is a whole other universe, in which UNpublished authors (and there are many of us out there) cannot get smashed into by handsome men, even if we try? Really...

    Not that I am speaking from personal experience *ahem*. At least not recently. Although I think the my car WAS bumped into in the not-too-distant past. By a roo. And (come to think of it) it was NOT a particularly handsome one at that.

    Did that help?

  10. Glad all is ok except for the car. I saw a Sunday secret once that someone had deliberately run into a car so they could meet the other driver... food for thought, since you're a published Author :) I have permanent cognitive dissonance. I'm a mum to a 6yr old but I should be swanning my way around Europe on a long holiday by now not swanning around running tacks watching school sports...

  11. What? You don't automatically get servants or slaves to do the menial tasks once published? So not good.

    What about conning a couple of obsessive fans into the role? That'd work, don't you think?

    After all... you are a PUBLISHED AUTHOR!

    Though personally I prefer the archaic term authoress, rhymes with sorceress.

  12. The very DAY that my first novel came out in the US I was sitting at home by the phone b/c I had a phone interview lined up with someone in San Francisco. The phone rang, I picked it up, smiling, all prepared to be a witty, articulate, inspiring published author... and it was my daughter's school ringing to tell me that Cam had had diarrhoea and needed new undies brought up. Also shoes. Also socks. Oh, and could I bring some wipes as well? I had cognitive dissonance out the wazoo.

    (Full marks for correct use of "cognitive dissonance' BTW. And that's a lovely wedge of brie.;))

  13. What have I started ? PUBLISHED AUTHOR, indeed. You are getting way too big headed. It would serve you right, if you only sold 60 squillion copies of that door stopper...... ;-)

  14. Sports bag? Twins??? UNACCEPTABLE!!!!

  15. Yes! (Actually no, but I'm trying to make you feel good....)
    P.S. poor roo

  16. a) I want slaves
    b) I want to be a sorceress

  17. Thank you for bringing diarrhoea to my blog. No really. Thanks.

  18. i drove past you yesterday and i thought to myself "that car doesn't look like the car of a published author". (Actually I thought 'Oy' - how fitting).
    Although some would probably argue that now that the panel is missing you look *more* like an author than before.
    Seriously though, glad you are all okay :)

  19. I'm so relieved that somebody has finally explained cognitive dissonance in a way the village idiot (for which I will use the excuse of baby brain) can understand.

    Forget those wankerish 'baby on board' signs for the car, you clearly need a PUBLISHED AUTHOR sign to avoid these sorts of problems in the future.


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