Ever since my memoir Ketchup is My Favorite Vegetable: A Family Grows Up With Autism was published, formerly pleasurable social gatherings feel like death by a thousand paper cuts. (Yes, that’s the title. You don’t like it? Oh, because tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable? Thanks, that’s helpful.) Next question?
A writer! What have you written that I’ve read?
Beats me. What do you read?
Can you make any money doing that?
How’s that lawyering thing working out for you?
Is your book selling?
I’ll show you my tax returns if you show me yours.
Well, have you tried writing a bestseller? You should go on Oprah.
Hmm, hadn’t thought of that.
Can you send me a copy?
Right after the plumber fixes my sink for free.
My friend’s brother’s great aunt just finished a book and needs an agent. Can you give her yours?
Sure. While we’re at it, would you ask your boss to give a job to my cousin you’ve never met?
I’ve always wanted to write, but I’m too busy. Maybe when I retire.
Me, too. I’m going to take up brain surgery.
Hey, you can’t believe the life I’ve led, you should write your next book about me!
Are you Steve Jobs? Amelia Earhart? Moses? Then I don’t think so.
Could you read my manuscript and let me know what you think?
Doc, I’ve got a swollen tendon, could you take a look?
I’d love you to write for me! I can’t pay you, but it’ll be great exposure!
Writers die of exposure.
I don’t have time to read.
Too busy keeping up with the Kardashians?
I didn’t buy your book, I’m just going to borrow my friend’s copy.
I’m not ordering in your restaurant; I’ll just nibble something off my friend’s plate.
Haven’t read your book yet. I’ll have to let you know what I think.
As my Aunt Helen said when I told her I’d sold my second story to a national magazine: “I hope I like this one better than the first.”
I read your book. It’s well-written for a memoir.
As opposed to what? A ransom note?
Is your memoir based on your own life?
Why, no. It’s about my evil twin Lilith.
Do you ever write romances?
I bet you wouldn’t ask that if I were a man.
Are all writers alcoholic?
Yes. That’s why you’re meeting me at a cocktail party.
Aren’t most writers crazy?
Of course. Why any sane person would willingly closet herself for years at a time doing lonely, vein‑opening work with no guarantee of professional recognition or recompense is beyond me.
— Liane Kupferberg Carter
Liane Kupferberg Carter is the author of the memoir, Ketchup is My Favorite Vegetable: A Family Grows Up With Autism, (yes, she knows tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable but that’s still the title) from Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Parents Magazine, PBS’s Next Avenue, Brain, Child, Scary Mommy and Purple Clover.