Dr. No: Four Tips to Having a Bad Attitude at Work

I'm so embarrassed. For you.
“This idea is so stupid, I can’t even look.”

The eye-roller. The stop sign. The “Pffft” person. The guy who refuses to say “Yes, but…” and instead says “Let me stop you right there.” Or just: “No.”

Every workplace has one. Every workplace needs one. In a world of yes men, kiss-asses, “we are family” types and the like, there has to be someone who stands athwart the bridge to doom, shouting, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS.”

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Can We Make Her Younger?

Mama (l.) and Aunt Delores outside the old house in Grand Prairie in 2011
Mama (l.) and Aunt Delores outside the old house in Grand Prairie in 2011

When I set out to write a novel from the point of view of a 50-year-old woman, I expected a little bit of trouble. Not so much with the writing, mind you. I’ve written from the point of view of a woman numerous times. And when I finished writing “Sweet as Cane, Salty as Tears,” I was pleased with the results, in particular the main character Katie-Lee Fontenot (when I wasn’t hating myself and the book and writing in general).

But when it comes to getting a book published, the writer’s opinion on his own writing isn’t exactly relevant, especially if said writer hasn’t been anywhere near a best-seller list. I knew this. I knew there’d be some worrying about a guy’s name at the bottom of a book that can be seen as, depending on your definitions of the genres, Southern women’s lit, commercial women’s fiction or even the much-denigrated but extremely lucrative chick lit.

When it comes to selling my books I’m somewhere between a pragmatist and a shameless pimp. If someone had asked me to drop my first name and go with K. Wheaton — or hell, Liz Wheaton (remember that?!) — I would have considered it. If someone suggested I have an arm-wrestling match with Jennifer Weiner, I’d definitely do it.

Continue reading “Can We Make Her Younger?”