I am so in the dark about these things. So I’m just now hearing about this chick Veronica Roth and how her book published just a few months shy of my first book took off and how she was already offered a movie deal. I really had no clue about this person until I saw this post on Dlisted and then googled her book and came across her twitter account where she describes her books as ending with ‘gent’, which I must admit to finding quite clever. Now, I guess I could tell her to stop writing but that’s been done before or I could ‘make’ her stop writing, but my ‘dungeon’ is getting pretty full as it is, so instead, I’ll just say congrats and wishing her the best. Yeah, she doesn’t know me and would probably just snicker, sensing the loser that I am, if she ever saw me on the corner of Clark and Division, but, eh, least I can do to help another Chi-town girl and NU alum out. So I really do hope you check out Ms. Roth’s trilogy and the movies made from it and, oh yeah, … I hope you buy my damn book as well!
These are some of the gems I wrote in November 2012 before I had some friends look it over and basically tell me this. Again, new comments are in bold and italics.
With the heavy traffic, the cab ride unfortunately longer than anticipated [This particular dimension takes place in Chicago so that’s about right]. After struggling to retrieve all their packages from the taxi, they finally made it to the hotel entrance, where the doorman kindly helped them inside. [This particular dimension takes place in Chicago so that’s about not right. This part is where the fantasy kicks in.] Tina and the children tried to wave their way through the sea of conference attendees, bustling about, and eventually ended up in the middle of the lobby [Whew … they EVENTUALLY made it!], quite a sight [QUITE a sight!!] to see with its black and white marble decor. The kids were pleased to see that that the hotel once more installed its famous fountain in the center of the space and ran towards it, with change in hand ready to make some wishes [Damn kids … do they think that they’re in a 1950s dimension? Why can’t they just roll their eyes and remain glued to their iPhones like normal children?]. Tina yelled after them to slow down before a bellhop approached her and asked if she needed help with the packages and if she would like them stored. [Yup … this is the fantasy part!] She thus [THUS!!!] kindly thanked the young man and handed him some packages and walked over him to the front desk. She just left all their packages with a young lady at the desk to be stored and was about to call Jane and inform her that they have arrived [and yet she conveniently ‘forgot’ to inform Jane about Amy’s new pierced tongue and tattoo …hmmm] when the lobby became dark. Panic became imminent in the air just as a flash of light zipped through the entire space. [Ya think panic would become imminent?]
“But they are not here.” Anton replied in an alarmingly casual tone. [Yes, his tone is not just casual. No, no. It’s ALARMINGLY casual. That’s how you know he’s really up to no good.] “They are at a conference in Pittsburgh, remember? [Side note: I like Pittsburgh. I’ve never been there but I like it as a lot of cool people come from there or reside there now, as Mr. Rogers, my publicist, Jessi, and my future husband. That is all.] We flew in here as I was giving a class this week at the Art Institute and we are staying with your cousin, albeit [see now, this is an example how the deep, dark sexy Russian does deep, dark sexy Russian stuff like use the word ‘albeit’] she and her family only spent two days with us during our visit as they needed to fly to Pittsburgh for her conference on Monday. [Huh? I didn’t even get that part. I’m still recovering from the deep, dark, sexy Russian saying ‘albeit’. I think I need another moment.]
Okay, I’m good now. Anywho, if I find anymore such treasures as I’m re-writing parts of Book 2, I’ll be sure to share them with you also. And don’t worry about all the cackling mixed with crying you heard as you were reading this. That was just NBR chained up in the ‘dungeon’ again.
So I posted something earlier about a bad review that I found upsetting as the blogger made a comment about English not being my native language. I acknowledged my poor writing style in the very first edition of the book, as I have done before, but I was also taken aback by that native language comment. Still, I was really pissy and spitting nails and out of character, even for this blog. I’m still quite upset over the assumption but thinking it over, she probably didn’t mean to imply that I’m a dumb little something that starts with a ‘P’ and ends with ‘ollock’. That said, she’s still not off the hook. I still think she was probably one of those queen bees in high school who liked to say these things to the only black girl in the group. Of course, by saying that, I am no better than her by making an assumption about a person that I do not know in person. Okay, I’m probably giving her more ammo with my poor wording here … but whatever – you know what I mean. Anyway, I just want to tell this person if she reads this to be more careful with her future reviews and perhaps refrain from future references regarding what someone’s native tongue might be or how their ethnicity might affect their writing. Yes, I am the child of immigrants and yes, I grew up in a home learning two languages (how many do you know, by the way?), but I was also born here in the States and was raised here in Chicago all my life. And even if that was not the case, putting something like that in your review was uncalled for and makes you look like the one who’s an idiot. But I have now changed your title from KKK Reviewer to NBR (‘Nice’ Bigoted Reviewer) and I’m sorry for making the assumption that you must be a Russian prostitute with an infant daughter running away from your pimp, Vlad. Wait … you never heard me say that? Oooh … okay, never mind then.
You know, I’ve been quite good up until now with anonymity because let’s face it, statisticians are like priests – they know how to take secrets to the grave. Actually, they’re one up on priests because they have not only have God but data on their side. This i
s so not a a semi-blind item though as you could probably figure out (unless you’re Dictionary Lady and not capable of using that google thingy) whom I’m talking about when I say that this story involves a certain Ivy League school producing a certain Tennessee Williams play starring a certain True Blood star. And no, there is no restraining order involved anymore as I’m trying to be a good girl and stay away from taken men. But I have decided to try a gimmick that I thought might bring my book some attention so I went on my favorite social media, next to Facebook, Linkedin, and Google+ and tweeted this star that I will deliver five Chicago-style deep dish pizzas to the night of his last performance if he re-tweeted the post. And you know what? (Unfortunately) he re-tweeted it. I did get lots of attention though and even got the theatre group to follow me which I thought was cool! But then five Chicago-style deep dish pizzas became three Chicago-style deep dish pizzas and three New Haven clam pies. Now, I have seen that the Chi frozen pizzas arrived about two days ago and I’ve been trying to avoid this page like the plague, instead just trying to think that they arrived safe and sound. So yesterday, I tried calling in an order to the local and university favorite to order the three NH clams, only to find out that they don’t deliver. What could I do? I messaged the theatre director about the situation and asked if someone could pick up the pies but he informed me that no one would be available at that time. Scrabbling in a panic, I resorted to ordering from a place in New Haven I found on Eat24hours.com but now I’m wondering if that was a good idea. The reviews I found online for the place were mixed. I’ve looked up Eat24 spots around Rogers Park near Loyola University here in Chicago once and each of them also had iffy reviews but I’ve always passed it off as those Jesuits having palates that are way too refined. Anyway, just now, I also received a call from a 203 area code number saying “I put ’em in a da cafeteria, mkay?” At this point, I sure do hope that the theatre does have a cafeteria and that the Ivy-League-educated cast and crew do know how to find food there. But it should be okay, right? RIGHT? It’ll be fine. The cast and crew will find the pizzas in a da cafeteria, mkay? And all the pizzas will be good decent edible. No one will get sick. They’ll all love the pizzas, right? The restraining order will not be re-instated. Right? And most importantly of all, the theatre group won’t unfollow me, right? RIGHT? Ah well, just hoping for the best at this point. Now, onto my next stunt — time to finish that tiny hat to send out to University Park, Pennsylvania.
Okay, so I kind of touched on this topic before. But just thought I would revisit it. Recently, I came across yet another article about how science fiction, albeit boasting such proliferative authors as Mary Shelley, Margaret Atwood, and Audrey Niffeneger, still considered a man’s world and how it’s easier to publish syfy as a man rather than a woman. Mind you — I’m not comparing myself to any of those talented writers (BTW, did I mention that I got another sucky review this week — woohoo!!) but I think I just figured out why my uphill battle is so, well, uphill. Even with such wonderful organizations as the Cambridge-based Scientista Foundation, Chicago-based Project Exploration, and EU’s Science: It’s a Girl Thing helping to promote the sciences to girls, the mainstream media is not picking up on the concept. And unfortunately, we’re regressing. When I was five, this lady was the hot stuff. Now, with my niece at that age, this **cough, cough** lady is. (Excuse me, hair ball).
And that’s really a shame. It’s like society doesn’t care about the past, present, or future contributions that women had made to science fiction or for that matter, to science anymore. We no longer seem to care that Marie Curie discovered radium and polonium as long as bitch made Pierre a sandwich. Or that it was Rosalind Franklin who actually first determined the structure of DNA through her work in x-ray crystallography as long as bitch made a sandwich for Watson and Crick. Or that Lisa Randall is now one of the leading proponents of the multiverse theory, as long as bitch makes a sandwich for Greene and Kaku. So how do we change these attitudes? I dunno. Beats me. If I knew, I’d like to think that
I would rule the world by now and all its riches would be MINE, MINE, MINE!!! I would do whatever I can to keep spreading the word out. And in the process, maybe girls would even pick up my book and say, “hey, that heroine who’s a physics student is a pretty cool chick. Maybe I could do that too.” Ah well, still sticking to biostats in the meantime. By the way, my dissertation advisor and boss are both of the menfolk kind as well as graduates of the Penn State Statistics department. Gee, I hope they don’t realize I’m of the womenfolk kind. And I don’t need Miley Cyrus to send them any friendly reminders regarding my gender as well as my race either. You know, because in case you haven’t noticed, I really need to keep this job.
Y’all might think I’m crazy for starting this blog in the first place. Why alienate people and hurt my book sales? What book sales?? That’s the whole point of this blog! I’m just pointing out my mistakes and what’s not working and hopefully giving you a laugh in the process. And the people I’m talking about will probably never see this anyway. And even if they do, they might not realize that it’s them and get peeved. And if they do realize that it’s them and get peeved, it’s not like they can come after me and sue me as long as I keep them anonymous as I said before. Unless they have a strong urge to out themselves as real a … anyway, they wouldn’t get a dime because have they seen my bank account lately? SUCKAS!!! Oh, and also Mr. Nicholson would have a message for them.
Other than that, I have nothing to hide. Dammit! Another corpse fell out of the closet. BRB … okay, where was I? My name is Irene Helenowski. My parents met in medical school in Gdansk (yes, it’s Gdansk — never say Danzig to a Pole), got married, had three kids (my sister and two brothers), and then immigrated to Chicago where I was born. I got my my PhD from UIC last year, and work as a Biostatistician at a comprehensive cancer center in Chicago. I very much like my day job and want to continue my research in multiple imputation. As I long as I don’t do anything really illegal, I should hope that I don’t jeopardize that career. Last time I checked, UIC still had my dissertation posted (which you can google), and I do not intend to give them a reason to remove it. Even stalking John Krasinski is not worth it! (Okay, now maybe that would be a little worth it). By the way, Johnny, sweetie, baby, if you are reading this, this is what I look like.
Yes, I do realize that this must be the worst Dr. Evil impersonation ever. But after all I’m a biostatistician
and an author, not an impersonator. At least I’m a doctor now, so shut up.
You wrote a book. That’s nice. Now you want to publish. Why? You want to get it out there, hoping you might be a like a Weezer song and become the next big thing? Well, if you do become that, be forewarned that you will also become my mortal enemy. Cause yeah, that’s really what I thought I would be. Wrote this book about inter-dimensional travel, entitled Order of The Dimensions (yes, Order of The Dimensions, if you want to pick it up, maybe, hopefully, please!!!) and started working on the sequel and success would be at my doorstep and the movie offers would start pouring and it was just going to be so awesome! Uh, no. I mean, I just endured the seven most grueling years of my life trying to get a PhD in biostatistics, how hard could this be? You know something’s not going to be that easy, if you look back at working for your doctorate and say “well, that was a walk in the park, wasn’t it?”. I mean, if Stephanie Meyer or EL James or Suzanne Collins … with each passing day, I really am tempted to try on my tinfoil hat and believe that they are puppets of the Illuminati. And JK Rowling is their high priestess of course. Seriously, that’s the only thing I got for their shot to the top from obscurity.
So I decided to start this blog about my (mis)adventures in book promotion. Please note that I do not name names, however, as I believe that despite living in a culture with an ever growing hunger for who, when, where, and why, a bit of anonymity is still a good thing. That and I do not want to get sued. That and it might not look good for me if any names mentioned here were to match those of the victims in a mass grave that state troopers might stumble upon just off of Route 120 in Woodstock. I wouldn’t, you say? Huh, I suggest that you do not cross this Polish American princess from the Northwest side of Chicago and find out. Okay, I’m kidding! Don’t worry! The authorities reading this … what? The authorities left? Well then, as I was saying … do not cross me. Ever.
Anywhoo, my life insofar is turning out to be a Weezer song anyway. You know, the part that says:
I’m just a no class, beat down fool
And I will always be that way
I might as well enjoy my life
And watch the stars play