Fembook submissions

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October 6, 2003

Today is the day to use your shirt as a napkin.

I'm still guest editing Opium. Even though its editor, Todd Zuniga, claims that he's a Cubs fan when I've known him to cheer for at least three other teams.

So last week, I tried my hand at writing those sweet, frothy fembooks, and invited my readers to participate. Enjoy their submissions.  Thanks to all. By the way, if you were wondering more about my book, it's called Size Six, and at the end, Natasha gets the guy, contracts, like, the chic-est tapeworm ever, and finally gets down to a coveted six two.

You Go Girls!

From Cynthia Smith:

Jordan Giles was furious. As she slammed the door behind her, she knew that she had just made a terrible mistake. She should not have left Gage on the sidewalk. If she were the generous person she wanted him to believe she was, she would have graciously accepted his offer to carry her bags up for her. It was the least he could do, after all. He was even more confused than she was about her motives for breaking up with him in Cabo. And now, here she was, breathing heavily after dragging her suitcase up the five flights of stairs to her airy apartment. There was only one thing to do.

ìMandy! Thank God youíre home!î Jordan sang into the phone.

ìJordan? Whatís going on? Are you still in Cabo? OHMIGOD! He did it! So, tell me ñ how does the ring look?î Mandy screamed

Jordan paused. She should have been ready for this. After all, she had all but guaranteed Mandy she would be a maid of honor when Jordan returned from her two-year anniversary trip with Gage.

ìHe didnít, and I got mad and dumped him. Get over here, stat. Bring some Chubby Hubby and Binky ñ I need to drown my sorrows in frozen yogurt and schnoodle fur.î

From Shauna McKenna:

Lucy was the youngest child in a family of four boys and one girl. "Little Vagina" her wise old granny used to call her, knitting needles clacking. Together, they went on long hikes through the forest, granny pointing at the magic herbs you could use for migraines, menstrual cramps, and brain rot.

She waved a gnarled hand over a vibrating plant.

"Spanish fly," she creaked, in her cracked creaky voice.

"What's that for?" asked Lucy.

"I'll tell you, child, and keep it stuck next to your heart like a melted Jolly Rancher," she drew in a deep breath, and continued, "It's for the fucking."

That night, Lucy lay awake in the bedroom all five children shared with each other together.

"The fucking," she murmured. "The fucking."

From Jim Ruland:


Alcohol, consumed in bars 3-7, 9, 13-27, 31, 44-46, 51-55, 57-66, 70, 80, 84-91, 93-94, 96, 98, 101-111, 124, 139-140

Sex, bitter recriminations about 17-25, 30-38, 45, 53-55, 69, 74-77, 88-95, 113

Alcohol, consumed alone 1, 11, 30, 48, 50, 58, 73-74, 84-88,125-134

Shopping 12, 38, 49, 59, 75-77, 79, 93-94, 99

Flirtations with nearly famous people 44, 54-55, 62-64, 86, 88, 108

Reflections on weight loss 47, 56, 67, 75, 92, 114-118

Complaints about diaphragms 27, 66, 91, 134

Mariah Carey, hatred for 45-46, 54, 60-61

Wally Lamb, genius of 46, 123, 135-136

Masturbation 67-69, 112-122

Vibrator upkeep and maintenance 66, 111

Pet care 75, 125

Cell phone conversations bemoaning lack of real friends 4, 8

Sex, with men 28, 92

Rehab jokes as form of foreshadowing 4-5

Plucky commentary on courageousness of being a single woman living alone in New York 140

Brandon Hobson:

The Girl in the Floating Dress
 Chapter1: Rumors at the Vogue Christmas Party
     The controversy surrounding my brother's life as a film director had nothing to do with his tragic overdose.  Who are we kidding?  Anton's fictional documentary--Rain Dancer: The Girl in the Floating Dress--launched rumors at the Vogue Christmas party that Anton had based the film entirely on our childhood.  I'll admit only the obvious: Exhibit Number One is a photograph of me on my sixth birthday, circa 1977, taken by my father from his house in Miami.  In the photograph I'm wearing a blue dress, levitating high above the piano so that I'm touching the red balloon that had floated to the ceiling.  Keep in mind this is the only evidence.  I've got nothing else to prove.  The truth is that I floated around our bedroom for hours, very late at night, while my brother struggled with his insomnia (even at age eight!).  I remember all those cocktail parties, how my father was forced to lie to guests about my fingers wrapped in band-aids: "Sophia has an allergy, you insensitive fuck.  Must you pry?"  Or: "Sophia's very attracted to the rose garden."  Or even: "My daughter's now a victim of electrocution, with a quiet demeanor and a remarkable love for lightning."  My brother and I, and even my father, were always terrific liars.

From Leonard Pierce:



The trash was gone when I got to the office Tuesday morning, the same way it always was.  I donít know how it got taken away; I like to think that elves did it.  I certainly never saw anyone come pick up the trash, which is just fine with me.  My explanations are always better anyway.  I remember when I first started working here, the IT guy tried to explain to me how the network functioned, but what would you rather believe:  some technical gibberish being explained by a 50-year-old guy with penny loafers and teeth that look like  a bunch of crooked fence posts, or that itís magic?  Iíll stick with magic, thanks very much.


The reason I was happy the trash was gone was that I no longer had to think about Candy Boyís letter, sitting in there, mocking me.  It was so like Candy Boy to break up with me in a letter.  He had a certain retro charm, itís true, but the ëcharmí part only extended to his wearing gray flannel suits and driving that old Cadillac Fleetwood.  It certainly did not extend to his fancy handwriting and disdain for the intimacy of a cell phone,  nor did it excuse his thinking that big words made him sound smart.  I was better off without him; I knew that intellectually.  But it was still nice to know the letter was whisked away to the faerie kingdom where trash goes.


Nine grueling hours of reading copy later, I was at Sandovalís having margaritas with Martika and Cynthia.  Sandovalís is a great place to talk about all the chumps who have broken up with you, because from 5:00 to 7:00, the margaritas are half off, so by the time you hit your third, you canít even remember all the stupid stuff they said about you in the first place.  Somehow the conversation shifted to Kelli, who was this girl who used to have lunch with us when she worked for Diamond Press.  Iím not sure how we got to talking about her; probably because we were discussing people we were better off without.


ìRemember how she was dating that guy, the Batboy?  The one who liked baseball?î said Cyn.


ìRight,î Martika recollected.  ìOnly she insisted that we call him Alan.î


ìAnd she always insisted on reading the book club book ahead of time,î I noted.  ìAnd talking about it at the meetings.î  Trying to get the conversation back on me, I pointed out that she and Candy Boy would make a good couple, seeing as they both thought they were so smart.  We laughed about it over martinis, did my wicked stepsisters and I, but in my mind, a plan was formingÖ  

From Dee Dee Peel:

Chick lit novel starts. Blah. [the author thinks: I am a strong woman who is getting paid.  That's not really selling out.  I'm not really like Cathy from the comics, though I write about getting fat or worrying about getting fat.  I am getting paid for doing that.  Why is it my place to write about strong women.  Oprah can be the strong spokeswoman for everybody.  I wish she still had her book club open to good fiction like this, and not that "classics" tripe.  Oprah could recommend my book to millions of women readers who gobble up everything she says and then they would love what I had to say to them.  It is just a story, right?  I don't have to prove anything to anybody.  I'm making it in this world!  Thank you editor for helping me take out any and all feminist references.  Thank you major bookchains for helping forward this dumb chick lit agenda so I could have this opportunity to sell out.  Wait, I said I wasn't selling out.  Right.  I gotta keep believing that.  I'm making money.  These novels go out to all those stupid women who can't read good fiction anyway, not that I can write it, hehe!  These novels go out to all those ironic
women who like to say how dumb they are, but buy them so that I can get paid! Woot!  Chick lit is inherently feminist because, what, is there a male form of THIS genre?  Hell no!  Besides, dick lit is what we've all been humped by for
the past 300 years.  It's time for strong women to make weak, predictable characters so that we can prove that it can be done and we can get paid!  Yay! I am getting paid!] Blah blah. Novel ends.

Amy Shearn:

Things were fabulous!  The club was fabulous!  Fabulous!

"Ooooh!" squealed Natasha, "Hi-yeee!"

Yes, there was Veronica, slurping a fabulous mojito bleu.  She drummed her French tips on the bar's brushed steel countertop.  Her baby-blue eyes squinted in recognition.

"Natash," she slurred.  "Ohmigod."

"Ha ha!" shrieked Natasha, tossing her shiny black hair over her shoulder.  Arnold had scampered off to electric slide along the dance floor, just as sassy as could be. 

"Ha ha!" agreed Veronica.

"Thump thump!" cried the music.  "Tchaka tchaka!"

Veronica unconsciously plumped at her botoxy lips.  "Lissen," she hissed. Natasha's eyes widened.  "Maddy's driving me crazy.  She, like, cries all night." 

"Omigod," Natasha cooed sympathetically.  She carefully placed her whimsical ice-cream flavor Kate Spade bag next to Veronica's fabulous new hot pink Louis Vuitton and waved a hand for the bartender.  Little Madison
Ella Dakota Rose had just turned two, and out-of-wedlock babies were sooo 2001!  How unfabulous, she thought sadly, looking at her friend.  Luckily Veronica had only gained three pounds throughout the pregnancy.  But really, babies were so out, and a new accessory was definitely in order. Natasha downed her chocolate-apple martini and then suddenly smiled.

"Ronnie! I know!"

They looked at each other and said in unison: "Kidskin gloves!"  They both began to giggle.  What a totally fabulous idea!