Friday, April 01, 2011


 Barb!  I'm sorry your response didn't get published!  I got all kinds of spam at one point & closed open comments: sometimes new comments slip by me!

So much good advice, for which I thank everyone.

It was never an option to break my book contract.  I know too well that my real professional future rests on the notion of publish or perish.  My brother means well & wants me to be secure & solvent.  I do, too -- just as soon as I turn this book in.

& I know we are all overwhelmed by blogs -- but I think I will take a chance on the newsletter, which I intend to call the f chronicles.

As well as posting ads for tutoring, editing, dog walking, baby-sitting.

& I'm terrified.

But there is humor in the situation.  What placard, I'm wondering this drizzly morning, would Daisy and I huddle behind begging for money?  "Help a writer finish her book"?  "Willing to work -- later"?

I've also been mulling over how to convince people to subscribe to the f chronicles.  I have a vision of a five-minute infomercial:

In this once-a-week, finely crafted two-to-three page letter you will be invited into process of the Promethean struggle of one woman to combat relapse and become abstinent, battle the dogs of depression and the dogs of Brooklyn Heights, write a book about dating and own up to her failures and possibilities.  For the price of $5 a month, you will have access to a closed blog where you can discuss the chronicles of f, offer her advice that will make her squirm, criticize her choices and ask why she has never trained her dog to heel.  

And if you send your $5 payment to Pay Pal in the next ten minutes, you will have the unprecedented opportunity to sign up for the f chronicles for only five dollars a month.  That's less than a grande latte and is guaranteed to make you ask for that latte with skim milk!

Listen to what readers of the f chronicles have to say:

"Frances Kuffel should shower more often and take yoga -- and I enjoy telling her this on a daily basis!  It's so much fun to boss someone smart around!" - Susan K., Glenwood, IA

"the f chronicles are better than Ambien!" - John M., Jasper, AL

"I hate her food plan but I'll be damned if I let her lose more weight than me!" - Sylvia T., Visalia, CA

Act now and Frances Kuffel will send you one of her very own tchotchkes!

OK.  Back to Friday, April Fool's Day & the sound of rain on a sheet of plastic outside my window that is beginning to feel very much like the first round of torture at Guantanamo Bay.

There is some truth here.  Upon reading feedback, I think once a week with time to respond is a good way to go.  I think readers should have the chance to subscribe for one, three, six or twelve months, & I think the prices need to reflect that commitment -- $5, 12, 25, 45?
I can promise there is going to be some tough going because I do not WANT to be abstinent and I do not WANT to go back to the Rooms.  But I have never said 12-step programs are the only prescription and I've never said they are by any means undeserving of criticism.

& I also promise I will cheer the fuck up.  I spent two or three months this winter with unbidden thoughts of suicide tapping me on the shoulder &, at its worst, it was because I'm so tired of myself -- tired of fighting, tired of being alone, tired of being afraid of everything.  I can't live like that any more.  I've have a three-day nervous breakdown, slept a lot, pondered much -- & this post is to announce that I am seeking courage, hope, adjectives &, ultimately, 1,000 subscribers.
We can work out a deal on referrals, too.

Look for announcements here, on Facebook & on for further action.

Aren't those the scariest of all words to commit to cyberspace: "further action"?
I think I'll start by brushing my teeth.


E. Jane said...

I like your plan, Frances, and I am anxious to be a reader and a follower of your chronicles.

I'm also glad that you will continue writing--it's who you are as a human being. Your love of the written word is apparent, and your talent is unique and needs to see the light of day in black and white--not packed up and stored for two years, waiting to be resurrected when the bills are paid. Fear be damned! (Something I have also been dealing with in the last couple of posts.) There is fear everywhere--you might as well go for this! Best of luck to you!

Jill Carlson said...

Thanks for your transparency, even though it sucks to be so vulnerable. Community - I abhor it, and yet I need it so very much.

Nan said...

Touché. You'd think someone whose birthday is April 1 would be a little more savvy by now, but you got me! My PayPal finger was quivering at the thought of that tchotchke!

Unknown said...

I'd be careful about advertising for tutoring, editing, dog walking and babysitting all at once. Maybe choose the one or two that appeal to you most.

Hopefully the theme of the blog won't turn out to be "Make Francie your punching bag." That doesn't sound like fun for any of us, especially you. I would be interested in hearing about your writing and the book manuscript/editing process.

kim Anderson said...

I want a tchotchke, too! But either way I'll be there. Can't wait. Do it.

Anonymous said...

I'm on board. I think it is a great idea and your blog, at its best, is worth paying for. Your experiences mean you are at a point where you could think of your blog as group consulting---and that is worth something!

laura said...

I just want to float something out here that may be unpopular.

Do you have a third book? Things have been so hard for you and busy...have you had a chance to really put yourself into it?

While I agree with others about the importance of keeping contracts, I also think carefully crafted, "I'm sorry and I'll pay you backs" are better than putting anything out there that could destroy your credibility.

AFG could do well on the re-release with a new title. Loved the book, hated the title. You have written two very good books that you are proud of. Would you be proud of Sex & The Pity? This is wildly inappropriate for me to say, but there is a vibe about that book and its blog that doesn't jibe with your life.

I think a book written without the chick-lit tone of the blog would work very well. The tone of the blog exposed so much naivete---your expectations and disappointments would be painful and touching in a less flip memoir than the blog indicated you were writing. It could be a going back to the age where you first began forming ideas of dating and what it's like...because it was so clear from the blog that somehow you got stunted at that age...your expectations were so unrealistic and yet you accepted so much less than you deserve.

Of course, I have no idea if the blog was an indicator of how you were writing the book.

I would suggest that you contact your publisher and pitch a new book-same idea but a different spin. People loved Passing and it was honest (I've written before of how I felt about the kissing/breath situation...brilliantly vulnerable). I think you could convince your publisher to take a look at a new proposal...and I know in publishing you only get so many chances, but really---if you force a third book that isn't really you, it's worse.

However, and this is a big however, my opinion is only based on the other blog and on the dark period you have been coming out of.

I will not be offended for one minute if you pass on publishing this comment...nor would I be offended if you asked me to explain what I mean about the naivete. I love you and relate to you, but I sometimes feel that you grab ideas when you are floundering and this might not be the best one.