SH! I’m Writing!

by Marinka on January 7, 2013

Last year I wrote that I planned to blog less because I wanted to write more (or something like that, I wasn’t really reading it.) Which seems like an oxymoron, except it isn’t. Because I gave myself until the end of last year to finish my book. In case you are one of the few people that I’ve spared discussing my book with, your luck has run out.

I’ve been writing a book about my childhood in Leningrad and our immigration process to the United States. I’m not sure there has ever been a time when I didn’t want to write this book. As my parents were putting extra layers of clothes on me during the Soviet winters and wrapping the scarf over my mouth and nose, I must have been thinking ONE DAY THE WORLD WILL KNOW MY STORY, AND YOU INFIDELS WILL BE SORRY! What? Infidels is Russian for parents who overdress children.

And the good news is that I finished my book proposal and most of my manuscript. The bad news is that I am now rewriting parts of it. And because I’m no longer on vacation, I don’t have a lot of time for it. I’m trying to be better about carving time out for writing, about protecting that time, but as I’m sure you know, life gets in the way. Appointments, and laundry, and please don’t tell me that I have to remind you that The Bachelor is back on today.

But I’m trying. I’m trying to make my manuscript a priority, even though I know that memoirs are a tough sell and that the Cold War is long over. (BUT IT MAY BE BACK! READ MY BOOK AND FIND OUT HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF!)

I also recommitted to reading more in 2013. I think it makes me a better writer, and not just because there’s more to plagiarize. In case you missed it, my 2013 book list is up and I’ll be adding mini-reviews of the books as I finish them. Please check it out, if you are into that sort of thing.

One year ago ...

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan January 7, 2013 at 11:35 am

Good for you! And now I’m singing that song by Billy Joel from when he went to Russia that one time. Anyway, I’m thrilled for you!

I’m going to take a peek at your booklist; I’m always looking for a good read.


Loukia January 7, 2013 at 11:52 am

The Bachelor is back on today??? THANK YOU!
And, oh, yeah… congrats on writing your book. Ha.
Seriously, seriously, though. Congratulations. Having finished that must be such an incredible feeling. Even if you’re re-writing some of it. I can’t wait to read it.


Nicole January 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Congratulations on completing (most) of your book! Even if it never went any further than that, that alone is a HUGE accomplishment, and something most people will never manage! You should be tremendously proud of yourself.


deb January 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm

i remember when you made this commitment. I’m so impressed that you stuck to it and met your deadline! writing takes soooo much discipline–so don’t quit now! get that proposal out there so you will feel obligated to write!


anna see January 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm

i am greatly looking forward to reading your book! you are far more disciplined than i am, i believe. i may not watch the bachelor, but i do watch downton abbey and breaking bad and mad men and…


Roshni January 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I’ll definitely be in line to buy your book!! <3


January 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I’ll be the very first person in line for that book.


Deb January 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm

I’d read your book, too, I love autobiographies and memoirs. BTW, you started a story, here, a few months ago, and more was promised–did I miss the conclusion? What you had written was so intriguing–


January 7, 2013 at 6:49 pm

You’re awesome! Good for you! What a huge accomplishment. I wish you the best of the best of all of the luck for getting it published. I’d buy it in a heartbeat!


christy January 7, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Yay for you! I really want to read your book and I hope you’re able to find an agent and publisher THIS YEAR!!!


Jonathan January 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm

I can’t wait to read it! You can also try to market it as “a prequel to wanted: cat”!


tracy@sellabitmum January 7, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Congrats!!! I want to buy a signed copy!!! xo


January 8, 2013 at 12:20 am

Another memoir fan here!


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes January 8, 2013 at 7:26 am

*gives standing ovation* *gets curious looks from coworkers*


Anna Lefler
January 8, 2013 at 8:49 am

Fantastic! I TOTALLY support your doing this and I am cheering for you!

Go, Marinka!




awesome dude January 8, 2013 at 9:10 am

You are still missing one or two layers of cloth….may be even a scarf.


joeinvegas January 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

Not sure if I want it back, I tried digging a bomb shelter in my back yard but the ground out here in the desert is baked so hard I couldn’t get down very far. Do you know if Vegas is on the target list, and should I start digging again?


Lady Jennie January 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I will TOTALLY buy your book as soon as it comes out, and not just because I think it will be interesting (hilarious?) – I’ve always been interested in Russia. So get to work! I’m running out of things to read and will have to place another Amazon order. 😉


January 9, 2013 at 7:20 am

Super-exciting! Have you thought about self-publishing? I think you have a large enough audience that even if an agent can’t sell it, you can sell it on your own.


Karen January 9, 2013 at 10:23 am

Can’t wait to read your memoir. Would love to discuss it in person at Happy Hour this Friday! 🙂


Heather January 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I will totally read it. I majored in Soviet Studies, which as you can imagine has been *super useful* in the last 20 years 🙂

Also, will Mama and Papa write the forward?


the mama bird diaries
January 9, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I will read your book! Especially if it’s more like a pamphlet than a book.


January 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Can’t wait. Yours is a blogger’s book I would actually buy.


Varda (SquashedMom)
January 11, 2013 at 9:16 am

Cannot wait to read your book, my friend! And Happy 2013.


January 11, 2013 at 11:57 am

I’ve found that I tend to unconsciously plagiarize (not words, but scenarios/ideas) when I read while I’m trying to write (not read/write simlutaneously because that’d be silly, silly.) And yup, I’ma read your book when you’re done and I agree with Vicki; screw agents if they don’t jump on it and do it yourself, show ’em how it’s done. And now let’s giggle that I used screw and jump on it and do it yourself in one sentence that wasn’t remotely related to porn.


Holly January 17, 2013 at 1:03 am

I’m pre-ordering it.


deborah l quinn
January 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Just keep banging your head on the keyboard till your head bleeds. Then you’re getting somewhere. YAY you’re writing a book — no, wait, strike that. You WROTE a book and now you’re REVISING a book. Revising is the fun part because it’s not quite as scary: there are already words on the page the second time through…
Remember what Yoda said, damn his little green ass: there is no try. DO only.
So don’t “try” to make room for writing. Just…make room for writing. Who says your kids need to eat. Faugh. You fed them in 2012.


January 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm

O.k., get writing, because I am ALSO writing my memoir, and I think we could have a two-for-one sale, although mine is not about growing up in Leningrad, but is instead about growing up Muslim and being engaged at age 14. But I’m sure a savvy publicist could get us on the good talk shows.

Keep writing.


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