A few days ago, I had the memorable and joyful experience of actually holding my book, my memoir, for the first time! I loved it. It looked great, the cover — playful, cheerful and adorable thanks to my wonderful illustrator, Joey Heiberg who did a caricature of a photo of me…from the TV Guide article, “The Writer Wore Hotpants.” Yeah I did. And now, my memoir with a play on words was out.
Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets & Sitcoms, as it’s titled, the book has more about sitcoms, then sex. It told the story of my growing up a scared little virgin from Milwaukee, who escaped the MidWest with all it’s values and constrictions and made it to Hollywood with all that implies.
It relates how, like Zelig, or Ms. Zelig I have met and known most of the icons of my generation and lifetime. It shares hopefully inspirational secrets of how to become successful in a heretofore “man’s world,” how to reinvent yourself continuously, and how to find love in all the right places. Okay and some wrong places…a lot of wrong places. But, moving on.
There are laughs, tears, familial anecdotes that we all have gone through and hopefully are identifiable. It had been two years in the making, remaking, rewriting, and now I was thrilled to see it alive and actual. I cried, I’ll admit it.
I posted about it on Facebook, and Twitter, and all my lovely friends reposted and promised to buy it and promote it, which was just great until…and I mean UNTIL…I realized that now all my friends, in addition to the strangers (who I didn’t mind at all learning,) all my friends and their spouses would learn about my sex life. A lot about it.
Yeah, I had no problem writing about it, but the idea of others I know reading about it suddenly…and rather too late crossed my mind and freaked it out! The rest of me, too.
The Prologue, entitled, “Vibrator Girl,” comes to said mind immediately! Yes, a strange, sexual, but ultimately funny experience would be the first taste, “so to speak” of my memoir. And, I can guarantee that no one had ever written or read anything like this before, as I’m told it never happened to anyone else before. Par for the course for me of course. One in a series of strange health experiences revealed in the book.
And then, there were chapters about love affairs and details about one person’s anatomy that seemed so crucial to write about but to read about…hmmmm.
I’m doing various book store events to which my god daughter and her family will be attending. At the age of five, perhaps she won’t understand things, and yet she is one smart little kid. And maybe the family will rethink naming me honorary God Mother at all! And one of the elderly gentlemen friends I recently ran into and gave the card with book cover on reacted rather strongly to the title…Hot Pants. He probably didn’t know they were a wardrobe item, and not a description of the owner’s sexual proclivities.
So, now what? Well, what’s done is done, right? I can always concentrate on the chapters like “How To Write A Sitcom” or “First Script for The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” or “Clint Eastwood,” who has his very own chapter.
I had avoided doing what some publishers and even a good friend had advised, okay, okay, begged me to do. “Name names.” Be more “salacious!” Ick!
No! That was not the book I wanted to write…and did not! Yet…there is a bonus chapter called “Vibrator Two”…but it’s not in the book! It’s only a Bonus so to speak, for those press who do reviews and interviews and, they wouldn’t refer to it anyway…would they?
But then there are the ones called “Famous People I Did Not Have Sex With” or “What Not To Do in the Hospital.” And the admirable chapters about taking care of one’s parents and how meaningful that can be. And those tips on “How To Write a Sitcom” — oh I already said that. But they are valuable to young writers. And lots of other helpful stuff. Honest. Those should be PG rated and perfectly fine.
Wait…I better check.
Too late! Oh oh.
Excerpted from Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets & Sitcoms.