The Cookie Monster Puts on Makeup

For my author photo, I wore makeup. Just enough to cover blemishes and touch up those dark circles. I also got dressed up and went through three wardrobe changes.  Two things I dislike: dressing up, getting my picture taken. I’m okay with makeup, but I imagine if I had to wear it more frequently, I’d dislike that too.

But hey, at least I’m not this guy.

Pull my hair and see what comes out!

Pull my hair and see what comes out!

Yes, Tara’s post Monday immediately made me think of Bozo the Clown. You think the cat beneath the ghost makeup and red-winged hair enjoyed this outfit? Smile, Mr. Clown! Smile! Juggle, Mr. Clown! Juggle!

I am no doubt projecting. (I don’t think Bozo juggled.) I’m sure the dozens of Bozo incarnations through the years and markets loved everything they were told to do. Okay, maybe not, but you never saw the parts they didn’t enjoy.

Pat’s post on village people 😉 and Tara’s post both reference the idea of community. In a community, unless you’re supreme dictator (Pinky, we’re going to try to take over the world), sometimes you gotta wear makeup and smile for the camera even when the last thing you want to do is cut out another sentence.

But that was my favorite one. That’s a sentence that makes me actually want to smile. Hell, I’ll wear eyeliner for that sentence (note: I did not wear eyeliner).

But I thought I was supreme dictator.

But I thought I was supreme dictator.

Yes, I’m going through line edits. Lots of cutting. And I’d thought I’d already trimmed the fat

Wait, editor is telling me to cut something that I only added because my agent thought it was needed. Maybe that’s what Bozo’s red-wings are for, so people can pull his head both ways and see if it explodes. If Bozo’s head explodes, does confetti come out?

But Holy Hell, I’m an artist and I’m supposed to be true to myself!!! Cue maniacal laughter. Or queue it, because there are a lot of other authors lined up, maniacally laughing.

Honestly, compromise blows. I want to eat twenty cookies, but mom’s only allowing me ten. But I really like cookies. That butter frosting, that chewy texture. I start eating them and the world disappears. It’s nothing but me and my cookies (note: if anybody needs a cookie monster for a child’s party, I will happily put on the outfit and grumble my way between mouthfuls).

Sandwich cookies. The word sandwich is in there. Must be healthy.

Sandwich cookies. The word sandwich is in there. Must be healthy.

Admittedly, I get obsessed with my cookies (and cupcakes (and parentheses)).

I will even dress to the 9s for my cookies.

I will even dress to the 9s for my cookies.

Editors, agents, etc. are amazing people. Sometimes they frustrate us because they keep taking away our cookies, sometimes different cookies, sometimes our favoritest ones (insert your favorite pejorative), but if we can take a step back, we realize all that cookie manipulation is not meant to make our brains confetti-explode. They’re trying to keep us in tip-top shape for our makeup and pretty outfits and book tours.

Definitely don’t want a bunch of crumbs in those books.

Metaphor out. Now I’m gonna go get a cookie and figure out how to take over the world.

This time it's for real!

This time it’s for real!


JM AP Close_StraightJoshua McCune is the author of the Talker 25 trilogy (Greenwillow). Dragons, war, romance (though not with dragons – I don’t do bestiality). First one drops in early 2014.



Filed under Editing and Revising

10 responses to “The Cookie Monster Puts on Makeup

  1. Makeup and cookies. Interesting post. 😉
    But I get what you’re saying. It can be frustrating when agent says you need A and then editor says you need to cut A and put B. And then someone else says A and B are not the way to go. Have you thought of C?
    Aaargh. And being someone who is always willing to process and implement critique it can sometimes leave me frazzled and my novel in shambles. So then I have to remind myself it’s a subjective business and I’ve had to learn how much to compromise on my cookies. LOL.


  2. Like you, I love cookies and I’m planning on taking over the world. Good luck with your editing!


  3. Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

    I think so, Brain, but how are we going to get Joshua McCune to wear eye-liner?


  4. Joshua McCune

    Kristin, if I were in a band like the talented musicians of EMD, I would definitely wear eye-liner. Fortunately for everybody with good hearing, I am not in a band.


  5. This made me lol.
    I have nothing insightful to add.
    Wait, yes I do. Cookies are awesome.


  6. Zorbojan

    There’s an old Peanuts cartoon I kept to remind me that even the editor/agent viewpoints are subject to scrutiny. In the first panel, Marcie is asking the following of Charlie Brown, with Snoopy staring aptly:
    “Explain this, if you can, Chuck..Everyone in our class had to write an essay on what we did during Christmas Vacation.”
    NEXT PANEL: “When I got mine back, the teacher had given me a ‘D’ Minus…Well, I’m used to that, Right, Chuck? Right!”
    THIRD PANEL: “Now, guess what..All those essays went into a city essay contest, and I won! Explain that, Chuck!”
    LAST PANEL (Snoopy alone atop his dog house): “Never listen to the reviewers.”

    So, remember, reviewers don’t wear makeup for author pics. And they definitely don’t get to eat as many cookies as you do! Even if they do get to tug on your red clown wings once in a while.


  7. Pingback: Flumbling Toward the Wild Air | EMU's Debuts

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