Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Signing Things

I signed my book contract last week!  It was kind of surreal.  I sign my name all day long, but it’s usually just giving Mastercard permission to come take my firstborn child if I don’t pay 19% or 56% or who knows, maybe  83% interest on whatever I’m buying.   But a real contract with a real publisher! Yikes!!!
I’ve only signed a handful of important things in my life.  I guess my marriage certificate was probably fairly important.  The deed to my house.  Maybe my kids’ birth certificates, but after that, I’m drawing a blank.  Unless of course the waiver at that bouncy house place was really as crucial as they pretended it was, which I don’t believe for one second.  (And as if I’m not suing if I break my collarbone anyway…)
Here's what it looks like.

Looking at it, I realize:
1.        I have the signature of a 15-year old.  I want it to be messy and artsy and worldly, but it’s not.  You can read all the letters, and if I intentionally scribble in the middle it just looks like I had a mini seizure.  Note the second signature.
2.       My name is confusing.  Am I Hispanic?  I wish.  I only know four or five words in Spanish and they can all be found on the Taco Bell menu.   I just married well.  (Side note on the confusing—I had my first child in Miami and every single doctor or nurse coming through the delivery room door did so talking to me in Spanish.  I was ready to throw a cup of ice chips at the next person who said Senora Martinez, como esta?  As it turns out, me+pain=shocking intolerance.)
VIRTUOSITY’s tentative release date is for October 2011, which means I have about 13 months to get a cool signature, on the off chance I get asked to sign a book.  Maybe a tube of red lipstick would be a better idea and I can just kiss every book I see, whether I wrote it or not.  Wait, I just pictured myself getting kicked out of Barnes and Noble for making out with all the books.  Beautiful.

Speaking of signatures, I found this the other day.  It was stuffed into an old book.

I can’t believe I’m posting this.  No, that’s not my maiden name—Wilson is the last name of a guy I really liked, and no, I’m not saying when.  Fine.  It was in COLLEGE, and I didn’t even date the guy!  We hung out for about a month one summer, and from that I extrapolated my new name, our wedding colors, the names of four children, and the decorating scheme for our house.   So again, WHY AM I POSTING THIS?  Because apparently, I have no shame.  And also, finding it slammed me back into my teenage years, which for a YA writer is a good.   I like to think I haven’t really matured much beyond 19 anyway, but occasionally I get a good reminder of the crazy optimism that I love about this age, which makes me want to go work on my next novel. 
Random and Unrelated Portion of This Post:
Who wants naked stick figures?  I know, you’re thinking I’m a liar.  In the manifesto (a few posts back) I said no nudity, but actually what I said was limited nudity.  I found this on the back of a shopping list while looking for my son’s social security number this week.  I thought, “Why is this shopping list from forever ago in my son’s file folder?” and I almost threw it out.  Then I saw it.
His first stick figure.  He was the kid who would rather eat a crayon than put it to paper, so I remember being amazed when he actually did this.  And then I looked closer.  Are all the vital parts there?  Sort of.  A head, no arms, but 2 legs, and what’s that?  Oh yes.  Everything is accounted for.  The fundamental man.


  1. You better start practicing that signature because I expect to have a signed copy of your book!

  2. Use that stick figure as your new signature. Problem solved.

  3. I seriously pity whoever bought that first signed copy of P&P. My signature was like 1/4" tall! WTH, I had a whole page to write it on and it would have fit in the signature strip on the back of a credit card.

  4. When I was working I had to write my name all the time, some days I was signing a 100 letters to student and time cards and who knows what else. In the end I just started only writing the first letter of my first name, the first letter of my last name and then some squiggles that made it look like Anders. Not only did this save me time but it made my signature look a little more adult/doctorish and not so childish. Trust me once you start signing lots of books your signature will change and develop (just as you will) into something which you feel will more appropriately fit this time in your life :)

  5. I've quite enjoyed your blog to this point. Self-deprecating revelations, literary madness, bathroom humor...what's not to love? Any chance we may see in increase in your production rate? I know that you have a life and all, but sometimes you have to sacrifice for the greater good (namely your readers).

    On a more serious note (although I am serious about being able to read blog entries by you more than once a week), I would really like to sit down with you at some point and have a discussion about the writing process and how you, as an author, perceive the act of literary production. Years of literary analysis/literary theory and time spent in the classroom explaining literary effects as products of the text (rather than strict authorial intent) would be interesting to balance against your perception of the decision-making process while writing (among other things).

    If not, at least give me another entry per week...

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  7. Get up a followers widget, because you're obviously an author worth following!

    The violin in your pic, and the title of your book, Virtuosity is enough for me to deduce that your book is music-related. Doesn't matter that I know nothing about it!

    Being 17 y/o, I am among the only in my year (all-girls school) who don't have an actual signature. I don't know how people seem to just conjure up these signatures, and they all look so pretty and professional. *sigh*

  8. So, do you really think it's true that Annie Oakley signed her checks with X's and they cashed them just the same? Maybe it's time to consider a stylized letter of your own? Think of the time you could save for more important activities like hmm, well, eating Dove chocolates for instance. Love your blog!

  9. My favorite part is that you owned up to penning a little Jessica Wilson signature. That goes a long way with me. :)

  10. LOL that is So funny about the boy in college! I was looking through one of my journals and I had signed my name a few time with one of my room mates and we had our names as the boys we liked then.. but what was funny.. I had the colors figured out for our wedding and I even found a wedding dress I liked a lot :=) SO funny what we do in college!

  11. I remember that stick figure from when you posted it on your family blog. so funny all over again. haha

    I don't have any reason to practice my signature and yet when I am waiting for my internet to keep up with intense blog surfing I usually have a little piece of paper and a pen in my hand practicing. I think it would be great to write a book some day - but thats about as far as I've gotten - thinking. Well no actually I have written one very short chapter - but I think thats as far as that 'book' will ever go. Love reading your blog. It makes me feel normal. I read many blogs about mothers who just seem like they are at such a level of (for me) unobtainable perfection that it makes me depressed and I quit reading blogs. I am glad there is a Mom our there who is a bit more like me. :) Thanks for keeping it real! (How's that for something we say in college?

  12. That's such a nice compliment, Jessica. Thank you! I have the same feelings about a lot of blogs, so I'm glad this one doesn't want to make you kick a wall (or maybe it's just me with the violent tendencies?)