Blog?” I said. “Isn't the internet clogged with blogs? Won't it seem vulgar or pushy?”
It was explained to me that people like to feel connected to celebrities.
I explained that I am not a celebrity.
“That,” I was informed, “is why you have to blog.”
Thus hoisted upon my own petard, I am now blogging so that you can feel connected to me and I can become a celebrity and sell many, many books. Which would be a good idea, by the way, if you were to buy a book. That's one book sold; I can buy lunch! Some ramen; maybe a vegetable. Some fruit to ward off scurvy.
You probably figured out already that this becoming-a-celebrity thing doesn't come naturally. You would never hear Julia Roberts begging for lunch money. She looks like she has class.
But that's what we stoop to, we artisty types. I once told John Ratzenberger (you remember him, right? Cliff Claven from Cheers?) that he should buy the biggest cappuccino-maker in the store because I needed the commission to feed my cats. How tacky. But he did buy the cappuccino maker.
We all like to feel connected to famous people.
On another occasion, Mr. Ratzenberger came into the roastery where I worked. An older couple in the store saw John (I call him John because we're such close friends—unless he's present in which case I call him Mr. Ratzenberger because he's not actually aware of our friendship). Anyway, they huddled together and whispered urgently, then the husband approached Mr. Ratzenberger.
“Mr. Ratzenberger,” he said. “I'm George Dobbs, and this is my wife Barbara. We've seen you at the country-club, but we haven't had the opportunity to introduce ourselves.” There was some more of the same sort of thing with Mr. Dobbs acting all cool and serious and Mr. Ratzenberger getting in a word or two before he found an excuse to flee the store without buying anything.
Mr. and Mrs. Dobbs brought their beans to the counter. “That was John Ratzenberger,” they explained.
Sympathetic to their star-struck condition, I said, “Every time he comes in, I want to fling myself at his feet screaming, 'Cliff! Cliff!'”
Mr. Dobbs looked down his nose. “John hates that.”
'Cause we all like to feel connected to celebrity.
I believe this is the point where I am supposed to bring the conversation back around to Symbiont, my recently published science-fiction novel—which is, incidentally, about an actress who loses her career when she is implanted with a symbiotic skin. The gengineered organism saves her life after a studio accident but forces her to reshape (sometimes literally) her sense of self (plus many adventures and perils and some romance with the hunky...well you know the drill).
The story probably came out of my introvert's aversion to exposure. The trouble with being all reserved and introverty is that I really, really want you to read this story (assuming you like science-fiction and whatnot, otherwise don't torture yourself) because you don't write stories for yourself (mostly). You write stories you want other people to enjoy, and when you do that, they wind up knowing something about you, and then you're connected. So I might as well get used to it. Someday, maybe John Ratzenberger will brag to his friends that he met me back when I worked in a coffee roastery on Vashon Island. Because we all like to feel connected to celebrity.