At around 7:30pm on November 3, 2015, I received an email with the subject line “HI” from a man named Jermaine Johnson in Los Angeles, letting me know he was a manager with 3 Arts Entertainment, a media/production company that happens to produce my favorite television shows in the world (The Office, Mindy Project, Brooklyn 99, and more…). He had read a blog post of mine and was curious where I was headed with my writing career.
I immediately figured it was a scam. Too good to be true and stuff.
But then I used the Google and read the email again and again and again, and realized it was indeed as real as real can be, and I went outside on the porch and read the email to Mac, and then he cried and I cried because we cry a lot, and he said, “I think our lives are about to change.”
I gave myself 24 hours to respond to Jermaine. I was terrified I would say the wrong thing and blow the whole thing up. Like he’d hear from me in email form and be like, “You know what? I was wrong. You’re an asshole. Please go away.”
But he signed me, and put me in touch with a top literary agent in New York City named Richard Abate, and together, we turned a terrible first draft I had written in 30 days in 2014 into a book proposal.
And then, in April 2016, that proposal sold, to Hachette Book Group, a top five publisher.
And then we cried again for a really long time and jumped and yelled a lot and ate 5-12 enchiladas in celebration.
From that day until now, I have been working on that book, and today, I get to share it with you.
It’s called “I’m Just Happy to Be Here,” and it’s a memoir on alcoholism and motherhood, which will be published May 1, 2018, but is available now for preorder.
If you feel so inclined, if you’ve ever wanted to drop a nod my way, these advanced purchases will go a long fucking way for the success of this book.
But more than alcoholism and recovery, this is a book about being a motherfucking outsider in this parenting world. It’s about not necessarily becoming a better version of yourself the second you find out you’re becoming a parent, and somehow finding peace in spite of that fact — or maybe because of it.
More than any other question, the one I receive from readers most is: How do you have the courage to say the things you say about motherhood?
Well, this book answers that question. It tells how I got to the place where most of my fucks were gone, my disguises stripped away, and I took the random, possibly ridiculous step of writing to you, to see if any of you felt like I did, to see myself in some other mothers, to ask other mothers to see themselves in me.
What came my way after that felt like a motherfucking miracle. And you know how I feel about words like “miracle.”
But seriously, this entire thing is surreal, and still feels vaguely unreal, though I hold the book in my very hands.
How? Whose life is this? Mine?
Because I sat down one January day in 2011 and wrote a post on free WordPress blog, and kept writing, clinging to each new comment from you, each message from you telling me to keep going, and that you related to the post, and then, six years later, I’m holding a book in my hand?
That shit ain’t real. And yet. Here we are.
I don’t know how to explain this feeling. I don’t know how to explain what it feels like to follow some weird ache in your gut, some relentless nudge to do something, even though it makes no sense, even though it will surely end in nothing – and realize it has, inch by inch, transformed your life into something you never dreamed possible.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my silly, broke-ass heart. I want to thank you for making this possible, for sticking around, for reading my rants and raves and mistakes and decency.
I truly cannot wait for you to read this, and I hope you see yourself on every page.