Goober Writers Anonymousis a group for writers to vent about past or present writerly mistakes for therapeutic reasons, to educate others, or just for a laugh. If you would like to join the group and sign up to submit a guest post, please leave me your email address in the comments below.
Perks of joining: You get to put the nifty little badge on your blog (yes, this does indeed make you cool), sharing with others and being a part of a group is always fun, and I will put a link to your blog on my blog below under Members of GWA.
Today's Goober Writers Anonymous guest blogger IS...dun, dun, dun! Jai Joshi coming all the way over from the Tulsi Tree! I've been following Jai's blog for a very long time now. As both a published author and well-traveled lady, she's created a blog that is both unique and ridiculously entertaining. Stop on over there and become a follower!
Back yet? Here we go!
When I published my first book, Follow the Cowherd Boy, I wanted to promote it as much as I could. I'd never done anything remotely like promoting or marketing before but after reading tons of book on the subject I made myself a press kit and drew up a plan.
Zealous with love for my work, I set up signings and speaking events and interviews in almost every state in the country, spanning two years. I drove myself from state to state in my trusty minivan, clocking up a whole heck of a lot of miles and adventure and dirty laundry.
All of the books I'd read on marketing had talked about the importance of maintaining a professional image so I was very careful to be smartly groomed and well dressed at all times. It was important to me that I not be lazy in this regard as I didn't want to misrepresent my book or the purpose of my tour.
So during the summer of 2008 I was touring the northeast. It was exhausting to be on the move all the time. I'd drive and drive and get to an event where I had to repeat the same lines over and over again. Then I'd drive to a hotel and drop into bed. One day I happened to be in Ohio and since it was my day off I slept in to catch up on my rest. When I woke up I realised I was dangerously close to my checkout time and had to rush to get showered and dressed and packed. In a frenzy I pulled the first t-shirt out of my bag and got it on, getting my head and arms all tangled in the process. It was my sister's t-shirt so I didn't know why it was in my bag but it was red and stripy and went fine with my pants and I was in a rush so I didn't stop to question it. Pulling my hair into a chignon I grabbed my bags and headed out to the car.
I had several errands and jobs to do throughout that day so I drove all over town. But something strange was happening. Everywhere I went I was being checked out by men. I mean, I've been checked out before but this was different. Men were actually leering, perusing my body with lingering stares and grinning at me smarmily as if they knew just want I needed. A couple of cars even beeped as I walked across the parking lot and crossed the street.
I went to the library, the post office, a couple of banks, the pharmacy. Everywhere I went it was the same. What the heck? I wondered. Where the men in Ohio creeps or what? I finally went to the grocery store in the evening and it was the same deal there too.
I ignored the guy who stared at me all the way down the cereal aisle and moved over to the milk refrigerators, opening the long glass door and grabbing a bottle of red top. (I only drink full fat milk because anything less is a crime against decent food.) I closed the refrigerator door and that was when I saw myself in the glass. My red t-shirt had white lettering over the chest. I deciphered the words slowly as I read it backwards.
must be able to go the full 90 minutes
And underneath in tiny letters was written (Apply Within).
HOLY CRAP! I stared at the words that were printed over my chest. No wonder I was getting leers and smarmy grins. This was a serious wardrobe malfunction and I'd been walking around in it all day! Eek eek eek!
I'd had no signing that day (Thank God!) but this was still awful for my image. I mean, professional authors are supposed to be dignified!
Cheeks flaming, I rushed to the checkout and paid for my stuff. I'd never been so anxious to hand my money over! The male door greeter gave me a fat smile and received a scowl in return as I stalked away.
That night, I made sure to stuff the red 'WANTED' as far down my laundry pile as I could get it. There was no way I was making that mistake again.
Oh dear. Poor Jai! I've never been put in this particular situation because I've never been on book tour, but I did spend the entire afternoon of one middle school day with my skirt tucked into my underpants (if that makes you feel any better).
Thanks for sharing your goober story!
Discussion: Has an embarrassing clothing-related situation happened to any of you, dear readers? It's okay. You can share!