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Forty-two years and five books into her life, Charlotte Dearborn abandons her noncommittal boyfriend and her sinking-ship writing career, and becomes an elementary school teacher. Sure, she's giving up her dream of being a famous novelist, but in exchange she'll find a stable income, job satisfaction, and maybe even love. At least that's how it'd work if she were a character in one of her novels. In real life, she's busy coping with twenty yelling first-graders, a teacher's lounge full of nasty coworkers, and a series of romantic misadventures that fall far, far short of the real thing.
Charlotte's struggle to navigate the waters of a new career, a new single life, and the loss of her identity as a writer make Second Draft of My Life a funny, compulsively readable gem. From an author The Boston Globe applauded as "very, very good on the business of falling in and out of love," it is part romantic comedy, part manual for living, and wholly triumphant.
Witty and bittersweet....Lewis writes with a companionable ease....Flashes of humor shine throughout the novel, at times reaching drop-the-book-while-laughing brilliance. -Houston Chronicle
There is something honest and sweet that just works here, something so straightforward and hopeful and true that it cancels out any criticism. -San Diego Union-Tribune
From the book
My old life ended at the South Coast Book Awards. I was the author of five critically acclaimed novels that no one had ever heard of. I was attending the awards ceremony because I was nominated in the Mainstream Fiction category for my most recent novel, My Self-Portrait of Someone Else. Sometimes people's lives change forever when they win something huge; mine changed because I lost something small.
It wasn't just this awards ceremony that made me want to chuck everything and start over from scratch. If my life had been a novel, readers would have seen the foreshadowing in any number of incidents that led up to that evening. What happened at the South Coast Book Awards wasn't the worst moment of my writing career; it was simply the last, the event that jerked my former existence to a final, screeching halt.
At the ceremony, I was sitting at a table with a group of writers of how-to computer books. They all knew each other. The event took place in a hotel meeting room. You may not think of southern California as a place where a lot of writers live. Most of the time, it seemed to me that I was living in a land of software engineers and biotech specialists. But once a year, I found myself in a room packed with writers of every physical description, ethnic group, interest area, and income level. Of course, many of them wrote about computers and biotechnology, but still, the room was so filled with writers that the waiters could hardly squeeze between the tables. Small talk nearly drowned out the Easy Classics tape. I didn't have a date for the evening. My boyfriend, Andrew, a software engineer, never came with me to these events. He said he wouldn't know what to talk about in a roomful of writers. I tried to explain that he would have more in common with most of the attendees than I would, but he was unconvinced. He asked me, "Why would I want to pay thirty dollars to eat a bad dinner, make polite conversation with people I don't care about, and listen to a bunch of boring speeches?" I didn't have a good answer for him, so I went alone.
"Who are you again?" a woman asked me, shouting over the noise of the crowd, as we waited for our drinks to arrive. I had already introduced myself a few minutes earlier.
"Charlotte Dearborn," I said again. "I'm a novelist."
"A novice?" a man across the table shouted, cupping a hand behind one ear. "We've all got to start somewhere!" He smiled magnanimously. Everyone nodded in agreement.
"Starting out is the hardest part," a young woman across from me said. "When I first started -- "
"No," I said, shaking my head. "I said I write novels. The one I'm nominated for is my fifth, and it's called My Self-Portrait of -- "
"Self-published first novel!" said a heavy man with a frizzy gray pony tail. "More power to ya!"
I shook my head. "It's published by Collard & Stanton. You know, in New York? It's about a portrait artist who -- "
I didn't continue because just then a waiter brought rolls, and everyone leaned forward to peer into the basket and see what kind.
I participated in this kind of event in the hope that the press coverage it generated might sell a few more copies of my books. However, there had been no media at all at last year's event. After winning the highest honor of the evening, I hadn't even ended up with my name in the San Diego newspaper. I was hoping that this year there would be some press. Now I put dressing on my salad and stayed out of the conversation at my table, which was about...
|Title:||Second Draft of My Life||Publisher:||Simon & Schuster, Inc.|
|Edition:||Ebook , PDF|
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