‘The Shameful Diary of a Hopeless Romantic’ – Excerpt for #SampleSunday

14 Oct

I am excited to announce that ‘The Even More Shameful Diary of a Hopeless Romantic’ will be released by the end of November. So I wanted to give readers who haven’t read the first book yet an opportunity to see what they are missing.

The following is an excerpt from ‘The Shameful Diary of a Hopeless Romantic

Dear Diary,
I need to write a children’s book. I also need to get into tiptop shape. Preferably by next week. I’ve also taken an adverse liking to lawyers. Perhaps they are all not as bad as I thought? I also don’t know if the name Maggie Bonkers suits me. Not that Ben and I are any closer to making the name change happen or anything. I was just playing around with a pen and a notepad and well, it struck me that the name Maggie Bonkers may make people think I’m mad. Or a nymphomaniac. Which I’m not. Well, I may be slightly mad because isn’t that what makes you know you are sane? Because if you think about it, truly mad people have no clue that they are out of it. But I’m definitely not a nympho, not by a long shot. And unless Bradley Cooper comes knocking on my door tonight, I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.

Gayle and Lola weren’t happy when I told them that Blake was my brother’s childhood friend and not really a hot date. They hadn’t been prepared to pay an exorbitant amount for brunch that day either and were none too happy that it had been for naught. I nearly offered to reimburse them, but was worried they would accept the offer and then I’d be in even bigger trouble. Serves them right for being nosey.
Ben didn’t seem to mind though. He said he was pleased, he didn’t think that Blake was my type. I don’t know what he meant by that. Did he really think that a good looking guy wouldn’t be my type or was it that Blake wouldn’t be interested in someone like me? I sort of thought he sounded a bit jealous when we talked at lunch today but as soon as he found out the truth, he started telling me about some hot chick called Brandy that he had met at the gym. I felt a twinge of jealousy for a couple of seconds but continued laughing and listening to him. Maybe when I finally lose the weight, Ben will be interested in me.
But I didn’t know if I should bother with the daydream any longer. Gayle always asked me if I would even want Ben if he did decide one day that he wanted me. Would I ever be able to trust him, she would ask. Did I really think he had it in him to be faithful? And did I really want someone who was only into me after I lost some weight? I didn’t know what to say to that. I’d never really thought it through that far. In my mind, Ben Bonkers falling in love with me was as likely as Bradley Cooper asking me to marry him.
Though it may not be that unlikely that Bradley Cooper would ask me to marry him. Well, I guess I should say that it may not be unlikely that I may one day meet him. It turns out that Blake is a lawyer at an entertainment law firm downtown and he represents a lot of famous clients. He works alongside agents from one of the big Hollywood agencies and well, he does a lot more stuff but I kind of drifted off when he told me some of the people he represents. I didn’t tell Gayle and Lola that part though, because I couldn’t remember if he told me that that information was private and confidential.
I told Blake about my job at the literacy nonprofit and how I wanted to write children’s books. He was very encouraging. He said he could introduce me to an agent who helped movie studios buy the rights to children’s books and then made them into movies. He was a big part of the ‘Show Me Where the Things Are’ adaptation. I was impressed and pleased. Blake didn’t even ask me if he could read my book before he introduced me. He said he remembered the short stories I would write and act out for him and Chad when I was a child and that if I was that entertaining now, he had no doubt that what I was now writing would be phenomenal.

I didn’t have the heart to actually tell him that the book wasn’t finished as yet. Not even started. I mean, I’d seen people’s looks before when I had told them that I wanted to be a children’s author.
“Oh, what’s your book about?” they would say eagerly, ready to get into a discussion about their favorite authors.
“Oh, well, it’s not fully formulated as yet,” I’d mumble, trying to put it as discretely as possible.
“What’s it about though?” the response would still be quite eager.
“Uhm, well, I’m still working on the characters.” I was always embarrassed at this point and chided myself for not having learnt my lesson the last time I said I wanted to be an author and had gotten into a conversation like this.
“Oh, so you haven’t written anything then?” It was at this point that I knew the other person had lost all interest in talking about my upcoming children’s book and had possible labeled me as a lazy wannabe.

I didn’t want to see that same look of disappointment in Blake’s eyes if I told him that I didn’t actually have a book completed as yet. It was unfortunate that he also now thought that I had a trilogy of some sort completed and it was just waiting to go through final edits. I hadn’t deliberately lied. I had really just been trying to impress him with all my knowledge and wanted to show him that I was serious about my writing. I’d recently read that the way to go with writing these days was to self-publish. A winning strategy was to write a trilogy, and sell the first part for a really cheap price or even give it away for free, then you would get the reader hooked and they would be more than happy to pay full-price for the second and third parts of the series. It sounded like a winning plan to me. And for some reason, Blake misinterpreted my excited babble about getting rich to mean that I had the trilogy ready to go. And due to all his connections, he was pretty confident he could get me an agent. Which was really great news. I mean, when else would I ever have the opportunity to get a great agent this easily?
I had given myself a few weeks by telling him I really needed to revise and edit before I could go on a lunch date with him to pitch my book to someone. But now I actually had to write something and make it good. It was time for me to hit the coffee shops again, like Gayle and I had done in college.
Sometimes what you need is the impetus to get going when you are a creator. Or a want-to-be creator. But this wasn’t like my goal to be the next Monet or Van Gogh, I could actually write, or had been told in high school and college that I had talent. I had written a whole book once, my magnum opus or piece d’resistance, or so I had liked to think of it. And I had dedicated it to the love of my life at the time, Charles Killjoy. We had had a typical college romance, not even lasting six months. But like every other typical hopeless romantic, I had believed that he was the one from the first day I had met him. It had seemed like fate to me that we would meet at the ice cream shop and order the same flavor of ice cream at the same time. And when we both asked for the whole wheat ice cream cone, well, it made us glance at each other and laugh (I have never admitted this to anyone, but I only ordered the whole wheat cone because he had. Maybe that’s why it never really worked out; we weren’t really soul mates who shared a love of all things whole wheat, we were two people who liked strawberry ice cream who ended up being in the same store at the same time).
Unfortunately, I had gotten it into my head that we were soul mates. I decided this right after our chat in the store, so I got his email address and phone number, with the pretense of wanting to introduce him to an entire number of whole wheat products that would change his life. If you didn’t know already, I was a white flour kind of girl and whole wheat had never knowingly entered my shopping basket at the grocery store. However, all is fair in love and war, and well, for love I could eat some whole wheat.
I spent about 2 days researching the best whole food products on the internet and looking for local stores that actually carried the brands before I emailed Charles. I figured that an email was less obnoxious than calling, and at that I wouldn’t feel as bad if he didn’t really want to talk to me. However, he responded pretty promptly to my email and we corresponded back and forth for a week before I was able to get a first date by inviting him over to try some of the delicious food I could make with all the whole wheat and natural products I was now into. And he loved it. It was the most appreciative response I’d ever had to a meal I had cooked.
My biggest mistake had been trusting Charles with the truth. After a few months of pretending I loved whole wheat as much as he did, I decided to come clean and let him know that I actually hated whole wheat and had just said it to gain his love. I’d thought that our love was strong enough and had written a book about the ultimate love story. The book had been written with us as the main characters and was completed about 2 weeks before Charles dumped me. He told me that he just couldn’t get over all the lies I had told and that he just couldn’t trust me anymore. He had gone on and on about how he had really tried to not let my lies affect our relationship. I had felt pretty guilty for a while until I found out that he was actually a cad and had blamed me for the demise of our relationship while he was actually boinking some new girl he had met at the gym. Needless to say, the novel was just a reminder of all the pain I went through and now that the real relationship had combusted, the relationship in the book only made me sad and depressed.
Obviously, I should have learned a greater lesson from that whole experience, something along the lines of ‘lies never get you anywhere’ but I hadn’t intended on lying to Blake and I fully believed that I could get a children’s book written in time if I fully prepared myself.

Ideas for Children’s book
1. High school girl realizes she is a witch and has to go to witches school. (No that sounds too much like a female Harry Potter).
2. Teenage boy falls in love with shy, naive girl but dates the popular chick to keep up the status quo (plotline is too similar to every 80’s movie starring John Cusack).
3. Trio of friends travel to new world and have to figure a way to get back to Earth with help from a robot from Mars (sounds like most sci-fi stories set on another planet).

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