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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Should I book it?

I haven't posted much recently because life has felt rather "blah." But I get the sense that I might be about to break free of the daily-grind quagmire in a big way. It has taken longer than I'd expected (don't most things?), but it's looking like I'll finally be cutting back from full-time work this month. I don't know how quickly the drawdown will happen, or even if this will be the final outcome, but I think my eventual goal is to be "contracted" in to do project work for my company instead of having a set-in-stone daily schedule. We'll see.

So, what am I going to be doing in my free time? Several ideas have been percolating, but the one I want to share with you poor sods (apparently my inner British gent is coming out, but I'm too lazy to delete that phrase and think of something new) is a book idea! I'm honestly thinking about writing a book, and I'm fairly committed to the idea.

A few weeks ago my neighbor Jenna and I were talking about how a lot of books for military spouses are great at giving you information and how-tos. So great, in fact, that you get the sense that if you learn enough and are prepared enough, military life will be straightforward. You'll know what to do, when to do it, and where to go in every situation. You'll never be surprised! Meanwhile, as your confidence builds with each chapter, the Military Gods are rolling in the floor and peeing their pants with laughter. (And that's not even mentioning the books that talk about etiquette, how to write the proper thank-yous, and when to wear white gloves.)

Now, Jenna and I are not trying to downplay the info-centric books and manuals. Not in the least. But we also said to ourselves, "Hey, don't you think other spouses in our situation would appreciate a more story-based book about the realities of the first year being a MilSpouse?" We're envisioning a short, witty, irreverent book in which each chapter contains one or more humorous stories on a certain topic; for example, the Commissary, On-Post Housing, Deployments, and Making Friends. We'd be aiming for the tone of Chelsea Handler's My Horizontal Life, without all the sleeping around. Perhaps Jenna and I are delusional narcissists, but we think that, between the two of us and our other acquaintances, we can come up with some compelling tales. Which I may test drive here on the blog.

The only book in this genre I've heard of is Mollie Gross' Confessions of a Military Wife. (I've never read it, and might continue to avoid it so I don't accidentally steal stuff from her.) Mollie is a Marine wife, so I figure there's at least a nominal niche for an Army book.

So, my questions are: is this a good idea? Would you read such a book, assuming publishers didn't laugh uproariously upon receiving the manuscript? (And is there a whole list of MilSpouse humor books of which I'm currently unaware? If so, please tell me!)


  1. I think it's a great idea! I'd read it:) Are you going to focus just on the Army or on the other branches as well?

  2. I love your idea, and I would read it! I have some "how to" military spouse books and they just annoy me! I have watched some Mollie Gross clips on youtube and she is hysterical! I think you should write it and give us a preview! :)

  3. I would read it! And there's always the option of self-publishing an e-edition until a big-time production comes into play!

    There are so many facets to military life that those one-stop-shopping books just can't compare. How does an infantry wife compare to a COD wife? They don't. Why make us all into one crazy life when there are many shades of crazy.

    And of course, you'll have a chapter on eloping and the aftermath. :)

  4. I wrote a book exactly like that for NaNoWriMo year before last! I've yet to get it published, but I've been actively searching for an agent. So yeah, I'd definitely read it! lol

  5. Sounds like a great plan! It would be great if it could be short stories and like stand alone chapters so if someone needed to commiserate they could read the PX chapter or whatever without having to know that they could follow characters.

  6. Sarah Smiley has a few books out like this. She is a Navy wife. Doesn't mean you can't also write one, though. Good luck!

  7. Thanks for the encouragement! Each chapter would be stand-alone...and I think it would be great to have a few chapters guest-written by spouses in other branches since the stories my friends and I tell would be Army-centric.