One person’s road kill is Jenny Lawson’s idea of a good time.
“As I’m driving past, I’m thinking, ‘Is that a weasel? That would make a really fascinating taxidermy! Maybe we should turn around!’” Lawson said. “And then I realize, ‘No. That would be crazy.’”
It’s that fine line Lawson has drawn in her blog and in her new book, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.” The Hill Country writer first started working on the book ten years ago, then turned to blogging (The Bloggess) to find her voice.
Along the way, she wrote about her life growing up with her father (a taxidermist who liked to entertain with freshly killed wildlife). She did not shy away from some very real (and not always funny) issues: depression, miscarriages, infertility, rheumatoid arthritis and anxiety disorder.
“Simply because I wrote about what it feels like to have an anxiety attack and it brought on an anxiety attack and so every time I would go back to write again, really when I’d get into the whole process, I would have that same anxiety,” Lawson said. “I’m really proud of it because I think you can read it and it’s still really funny.”
Lawson has some of Hollywood’s funny people taking notice. Neil Gaimon, Wil Wheaton, Amanda Palmer and Felicia Day are just some of the famous names who have been won over by Lawson’s truths and funny flaws – not that she’s dropping names to impress anyone.
“It doesn’t really matter who’s famous and not famous – everybody’s opinion is just as equal. If I have somebody who says, ‘This book changed my life,’ then that makes such a difference to me,” Lawson said.
Lawson is currently on a book tour, which makes a stop in San Antonio Monday. She hopes people who have followed her blog and read her book don’t expect her to be funny.
“After the fact, if I’m going to write down something, it’s going to be funny. But in real life, really my husband is the funny one,” Lawson said.
Lawson said there has been some discussion about turning her book into a television pilot (she’d like an animated series) or a movie. So who would play the part of Jenny Lawson? She’d like to see Mindy Kaling.
“She’s got my voice and she’s hysterical and I love her,” Lawson said. “Seth Rogen would play my husband.”
That’s the possible future. For now, Lawson’s world is this book. She calls it a love story to her family.
“When people read it, I think that they can tell the love that’s behind it. Even though I’m writing about all the things that I wanted to pretend never happened, those were the things that made me me,” Lawson said. “You don’t remember the things like, you know, dressing alike with every other girl in school. You remember that your dad made sock puppets out of road kill. Those are the moments that you remember.”