Birds Do It, Bees Do It, So Why Can't An Author On Her Knees Do It?
by ovulating debut author and guest blogger, Kathy Miller Haines
Ever since THE WAR AGAINST MISS WINTER came out, I wake up each morning with two questions on my mind: How are my book sales and am I ovulating?
I know I have no control over the former, much as it pains me. So I'm obsessing over the latter.
See, the husband and I forgot to have kids. We've both always wanted them, but life intervened and now that we're finally ready to proceed with Operation Get Knocked Up, our biology isn't cooperating. I've always had the ability to show up on time wherever I go, yet I can't seem to figure out how to have sex at the precise moment that will allow sperm to meet egg. I blame Catholicism. I spent so many years being afraid of getting pregnant and becoming a blight on my family that I think my cervix has become hostile toward any potential insurgency.
As sex has gone from recreation to failed procreation, I've developed what my friends call infertility rage, even though by all accounts I'm not infertile and the husband's swimmers are just fine, thank you very much. The anger stems from failing to accomplish something that, judging from the people I see every time I go to Wal-Mart, is easy for the rest of the population. Millions of people have had babies for millions of years. How can it thwart us? We can do anything! I wrote a book, damn it! For a brief period last weekend, my Amazon ranking was higher than THE DAVINCI CODE's. That's got to count for something!
Sorry. That's the rage talking.
I've started to think about each month's . . . er . . . cycle like Amazon rankings. Right now my fertility is in the high six figures, with the books that haven't been released yet. But in another week? I'm going to rocket to HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS numbers and that's when we know it's time to boogie. I just hope the husband's ready for business before we dip toward classic American literature reprints. I hate THE SCARLET LETTER.
I've invested in kits designed to predict the glorious moment when the egg descends the fallopian tube. I monitor my fertility like a kid with a chemistry set and have developed the impressive ability to aim my urine at a very tiny target. And through all this I've learned that while I have quite a few years under my belt being a woman, I know nothing about my body. I mean seriously: where have I been? When did they teach us this stuff? I can tell you anything you want to know about the World War II home front, but until a month ago I assumed that the appendicitis-like pinching I felt each month was ovulation. It's not. That mystery pain has no explanation, aside from the various phantom diseases I've diagnosed myself with courtesy of WebMD.
Speaking of which: there's a very good chance I have cirrhosis of the liver.
Where once I eagerly devoured another author's stories of how they got published, now I've become obsessed with other women's tales of conception. Which are surprisingly dull (for the love of Mike, people: at the very least tell me what wine you drank.) The parents I know got pregnant by:
1. Not wanting to
2. Having a lot of sex.
So hit me with your best advice: Did you just relax and let it happen, or did the obsession and micromanaging pay off?
And for the record: I'm talking about both conception and sales.
Kathryn Miller Haines is a playwright, actor and writer. Her first novel, THE WAR AGAINST MISS WINTER begins a series set in the theater community of WWII New York. Says Kirkus, Kathy "knowingly describes thespian combativeness and audition politics . . . But her real success is her pitch-perfect rending of the early '40s, from rationing to java stops at the automat."