On dedication and writing

I read books from time to time and have always been fascinated by the acknowledgements and the dedications. The acknowledgements I get but I often read dedications and wonder if they are sincere. The ones to moms and dads probably are. The sappy ones to kids and spouses probably kind-of are. But some of those others? I’ve wondered. Mine, when I have published books, are going to be VERY SINCERE, more sincere than a pumpkin patch on Halloween. I’ve got a snarky one for an ex-boyfriend. I have a loving one for my deceased grandmother. I have a good one for two of the women who all but strung me up over a printing press and forced me to get something out there. No, I don’t actually have any finished books to put these dedications in; heck, some of my stories aren’t even started and they already have dedications. I just strongly feel it’s never too early to start dedicating.

Do the people who have things dedicated to them know about the dedications? I am sure many of them do. However, I always wonder when I read new authors and I see my name in the dedication, “Do I know this person? Is s/he writing under a pen name? Is that dedication to me?” It would seem I am pretty full of myself. This probably comes as no surprise. To anyone. But do other people do this, too? Is it common to see your name in a dedication and wonder if it’s you?

Something that frustrates me is that so many dedications are vague, the whole “To my Dibbly Wizzles. You know who you are.” Do they? Does each Dibbly Wizzle know s/ he is a Dibbly Wizzle? Are there Dibbly Wizzles who are excluded from this group? Do they know they’re excluded? My dedications won’t be like that. I am going to be as upfront and obvious as possible. Like the one to the ex-boyfriend. I won’t use his full name, but I can use his first and middle name. Or his initials and last name. Or his Social Security number. However I do it, I plan to end his dedication with: Because I KEEP MY PROMISES, Jackass. Pretty good, right? I’ve given this some thought.

That brings me to a totally different rail for my train of thought. How many people find out their exes have become writers and they read the exes’ work looking for themselves, for something familiar, or for a reason to hate their exes even more? Wouldn’t that be weird? And you know this happens, you know that some poor guy is walking down the street and he sees his horrible ex’s picture on the back of a best selling book so he has to go to the library or bookstore or Google to make sure it’s the same person and finds out this hated (or maybe still-pined-for) person has rocketed into stardom overnight. What does he do? Get a copy of the book and read it? Or burn it? Or leave malicious, one-star reviews for the book online?

I don’t keep up with my exes. Once they’re out of my life, they’re gone so I don’t know if any of them have become famous or anything. I don’t think I’d knowingly follow their stuff even if I did know. Maybe I would. I don’t know. The situation has never come up. But if my exes keep track of me, one of them will totally see the dedication to him in my really great book and will be all, “Damn. That girl DOES keep her promises. I shouldn’t have been such a jackass.”

**This post is dedicated to Gabe and Pam who pretty much made me start this blog in the first place. Also, it’s brought to you by the number 9 and the letters EKGO**

Post Script: This is an accidental post brought on by lack of sleep and the inability to find the Save Draft button. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused…me. Because it really did confuse me that this showed up when I thought I’d just put it back in the hopper. We will now return to our regularly scheduled program.


Filed under My journey to writerhood, My Opinions on STUFF, My Phenomenal Fake Life

11 responses to “On dedication and writing

  1. abrielolive

    I thought I was the only Dibbly Wizzle?
    Are there more? I’m the only one I know that acknowledges the DJ when he says, “Dibbly WIZ-ZLE in tha HIZ-ZOUS!”
    Hold on, I’m going to go Google myself a bit…

  2. See? That’s the exact type of puzzlement of which I speak! How can you ever know?

  3. Between ” Also, it’s brought to you by the number 9 and the letters EKGO” and the tags on this post, I think I just giggle-peed myself into a coma. (The medical kind. NOT the punctuation.)

    Sleep deprivation is a helluva drug. (I find it interesting that spell-check didn’t flag “helluva”. When did that become a word?! I am really scared for the future of humanity now. The new generation is going to make us the dumbest country on the planet. I blame McDonald’s. Stupid french fries…)

    I agree that dedications are confusing and should be more upfront and awesome. I don’t know “Huggly-Poo”, nor do I want to. If you want to dedicate it to your nephew Jeffrey, then just do THAT. Huggly-Poo sounds like a future serial killer. And you just gave him his future defense.

    Thanks, Aunt Laura. 13 women are dead because of you. I hope you’re happy with yourself.

  4. td Whittle

    I stumbled upon your blog via Goodreads, and I am glad that I did. This is hilarious and hits a bit close to home. I do fantasise about writing best-selling or critically-acclaimed (for it’s hard to do both with the same book) novels in which I even up the score … I mean, in which I make peace with all I have known and loved.

    • Oooh! You have hit upon a wisdom that has, up until now, escaped me! Revenge = “make peace with all I known and loved”; it’s SO much more poetic and I think people can really get behind that. That’s some brilliance right there. Mind if I swipe that?

      I KNEW there was a reason I put my blog link on Goodreads! Now I am glad I had that foresight! Thank you for stopping by AND leaving a comment! Yay!

  5. So, all of this is yes, but then ALSO, I went to school with a group of bullies, and one of them became an “artist,” and I like to Google her, and show her “art” to my friend who is a former art appraiser, so she can be like, “stop showing me this crap!” because I am bitter. But also because that girl was a bitch.
    And I never stopped to wonder if the people to whom books were dedicated actually KNEW about it. I feel like if I dedicated a book to someone, I would send them a copy. Isn’t that how it works? I feel like that’s how it works in the movies, which is the source of all my knowledge. Because I live in a bubble.

    • No, but, see, that’s why there’s this question – DO authors send their books to the people to whom said books are dedicated? I don’t know? If there are books dedicated to me, I sure don’t know it! Also, I haven’t published anything so I don’t know what the protocol is. Will a quick e-mail be enough? “Dear Hannah, I dedicated my book to you. It’s about insane women who are not Thelma and Louise. You should read it. Love, Erica” ??? How does this work?
      But I think it is SO COOL that you have answered my other question. Well, mostly answered. I mean, it’s awesome to know you stalk an evil former classmate who has some pretend fame and make sure her pretend fame is obliterated by a professional! That is SO wonderful and I love it…but not enough to find out if anyone I hate has become famous. Instead, you should just keep me updated.

      • I will! I would have posted her site on here, but I don’t want to give her any publicity because FUCK HER! FUCK HER SO HARD!

        If I ever actually write a book, I’ll send you a copy and I’ll be all, “To my squibeldigibert…. you know who you are….”

        ….and we’ll laugh, and laugh, and laugh……

        • DEAL! I’ll do the same for you!
          And I hope the asshole artist feels the pain of not having her link shared today. Ha HA! Take THAT!

  6. I love that you went out and got all literary and got your own dedication! IT REALLY HAPPENED! Maybe my next blog post should be about what I’d do if I ever met Billy Connolly…

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