UPDATE: The contest is now closed, and we have our winners. The mushy mystical powers of www.random.org have selected three. They’ve all been contacted. Unless they change their minds, and tell me to beat myself about the head with my own book, I’ll be shipping their copies out to them posthaste. To all three I say: Congratulations! Or possibly: Condolences! God only knows how badly they’ll be traumatized by reading it.
And to everyone who kicked in a comment I say: Thank you! What marvelously scatological suggestions, one and all. I’m grateful to have so many fellow travelers on the path of F.S.O.
OK, guess what! The Advance Reader Copies of Figuring Shit Out (due for release Oct. 7) have arrived, and I’d like to give away a few in my first faint stab at promoting my own book. I am not good at promoting my own things. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I’m not good at owning things in general. Maybe in some past life I was a Byzantine monk who lived in the desert and ate sand.
Anyways. So. My book. It concerns my husband’s suicide and the life my kids and managed to live in its wake — the first year or so, in all its tears, snot and moments of blessed levity. The subtitle is Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival. The length is short. Very short. About 200 pages. Small pages. You could read the whole thing, maybe twice, on a plane to Oxnard, even though I have never heard of anyone flying to Oxnard (I checked; it has an airport). I only used Oxnard as an example because the word sounds like some kind of weird soup or geographic formation (“the glacial oxnard can be found in the outwash of sandy topography occupied by monks”).
Another thing to recommend my memoir: I make an idiot out of myself. I really really do. In fact, I make such an idiot out of myself that anyone who wants to read this book must sign a legally binding form promising not to look at me funny or stop talking to me entirely afterwards, whether you do your perusing at home, at the beach or on the plane to Oxnard. I want to be sure you understand this. It’s important, because I don’t want anyone to stop talking to me, even people whose conversation I don’t actually enjoy, although it’s possible I might begin to regret that someday. I chose to make an idiot out of myself; it was an act of empowerment. So be with me. Talk to me. Please.
With that in mind, if you want a chance to win an an early, uncorrected ARC of Figuring Shit Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival, answer this question in the comments below: What should I title the sequel? Of course, this assumes I’m going write a sequel, and I hope I don’t, because I’m greatly looking forward to a tragedy-free life from this point on. A boring few decades for me, folks! NO MORE MEMOIR FODDER FROM THIS POINT ON! HURRAY! But in the event I do write some deadly dull follow-up, my son suggested We Get Rid of It For A Reason as a title, which I rather like.
What do you think? What would you call it? Comment below by 5 p.m. Wednesday. I will NOT be judging these responses on their literary merit; instead, I’ll assign numbers based on the order of posting and then use www.random.org to pick three winners.