Today we welcome Lucy Woodhull to Romancing the Book. She’s celebrating today’s release of 667 WAYS TO F*CK UP MY LIFE with a playlist and contest. Lucy, welcome to the blog.
I have always loved le steamy romance. And laughing. And both things at the same time, although that can get awkward. My motto is “Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you’ll short-circuit your Kindle.” That’s why I write funny books, because goodness knows we all need to escape the real world once in a while. I believe in red lipstick, equality, and the interrobang. Hailing from Southern California, I daydream with my husband and the ghost of a very fat cat who doesn’t like you.
My name is Lucy Woodhull, I write romantic comedies, and I’m a f*ck up. You might think being a f*ck up is bad or wrong, but into every life a little %$#@ must fall. The question is—what will you do when the %$#@ hits the fan, and the urge to give up overtakes you? Because we’ve all been there, just like the heroine of my latest novel, 667 WAYS TO F*CK UP MY LIFE. Her name is Dagmar and, as the book opens, she experiences the worst day of her life. She loses her dream job because she won’t let the boss feel her up, gets dumped by her boyfriend for a gaggle of L.A. models, and is left, broken and sobbing, on the floor.
Like so many of us, Dagmar worked incredibly hard to achieve…and her whole life comes crashing down around her anyway. When you’ve striven for years to be the “perfect” woman, and it didn’t add up to a hill of beans, what’s left? The glorious act of giving up. Of not caring what anyone thinks. Of finally living an adventurous life on your own terms. Of leaning into your inner f*ck up.
Dag’s 667 f*ck ups improve her life gloriously because she decided to set the terms of her own life for the very first time. It’s an amazing lesson to learn, especially for women, because society expects us to be a perfect ideal that can never exist. Part of loving yourself is loving who you are exactly as you are–boob sweat and all.
So it is in the spirit of my heroine that I present to you a soundtrack for f*cking up!
- “Loser” by Beck — Hey, everyone has to start f*cking up somewhere…and that place is not usually the winner’s circle.
- “Smile” by Lily Allen — Lily’s been there! Kick that turd to the curb with this mellow, gleeful song about smiling in the face of your ex’s misery.
- “Hit ‘Em Up Style” by Blu Cantrell — This song is medium-level getting back at your ex. Not for the faint of heart, yet very satisfying.
- “Goodbye Earl” by Dixie Chicks — Kicking a turd to the curb goes to the ultimate level with “Goodbye Earl.” Ahem.
- “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” by Nancy Sinatra — Ultimate revenge is a path perhaps best not taken–instead, do as Nancy says and just walk away.
- “Spice Up Your Life” by Spice Girls — I dare you to still feel like a loser while this song screams through the radio! You can’t do it.
- “Brave” by Sara Bareilles — I want to see you be brave like the countless women throughout history who’ve changed the world with their badassery. As Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”
- “Bad Girls” by M.I.A. — Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well. Bad girls do everything well.
- “Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfeld — I command you to dance and love yourself when you blast this one!
- “Flawless” by Beyoncé — Society wants women to constantly be overcoming our “flaws.” To hell with that Barbie-doll ideal! You’re already flawless, my ladies.
- “Golden” by Jill Scott — You’re not bronze, you’re not silver–you’re golden.
Here’s a short excerpt from 667 WAYS TO F*CK UP MY LIFE:
The setup: Dagmar is pretending to be a flight attendant named Giselle for very good, er, bad reasons. She’s trying to adopt a cat, and her BFF, Mel, is there as “Giselle’s roommate” to impress the two intense ladies of the cat rescue, Brooklyn and McKatee. I actually wrote this scene as an homage to the wild interview my husband and I had to endure to adopt our dearly departed cat, Paprika.
* * *
I turned to Mel. Mel blinked, started an eye roll, aborted the eye roll when I kicked her, and said, “Yes. I’ll be home to spend lots and lots of time with the cat.”
“The cat?” McKatee sneered. “This ‘cat,’ as you so snidely put it, will be your child!” She punched the table and we both jumped. “Now…how many hours a day will you two spend with the cat—nurturing her, teaching her, ensuring that she has high self-esteem in her pouncing and hunting?”
Mel put her hand over her mouth and I knew she struggled not to laugh.
“We will devote every day and night to the ca—our new child’s developmental goals,” I said. I kicked Mel for good measure.
“You won’t!” Brooklyn yelled. “You have a job outside the home! You might as well feed the cat meat!”
“Cats are carnivorous,” Mel said.
The two interrogators stood as one. I kicked out to find Mel’s legs, but she quickly moved away with a snotty glare.
McKatee huffed and puffed. “They are not meat killers! Cats are gentle, loving creatures who would never hurt a living being unless they had to, because some trampy air whore neglected them!”
My mouth dropped, and I, shocked, clutched my bosom, and the gentle, loving cat scratches located thereon.
I closed my eyes and pictured the little Scottish fold’s mournful face—sad, no doubt, because of a protein deficiency. Biting my tongue was one-hundred percent against my new oeuvre, but I’d never rescue that cat unless I played nice with the Feline Fanatics here.
I opened my air whore mouth. “Brooklyn. McKatee. I will quit my job to take care of our new daughter. I haven’t named her yet because I believe that children should name themselves when they’ve developed their own personalities and…and feline dreams.”
Mel piped up, “And I’m magic with salmon-flavored tofu.” I reached out to her and squeezed her knee. She grunted. I suspected I would receive a great deal of kicking in my future.
Brooklyn sat back down. “Quitting your job would be a good start. You swear you won’t feed the cat meat?”
“Of course,” I lied. Those poor cats…maybe I could adopt them all? But how would I feed them once I quit my fake job with Lufthansa?
Brooklyn and McKatee retired to the corner to whisper.
Mel leaned over to me and whispered, “You are cleaning my bathroom four times for dragging me here to listen to the rantings of Dumb and Dumber. In addition, we need to figure out a way to rescue every cat in this building. Maybe a midnight raid.”
“There’s no way that illegally herding cats could go wrong,” I said.
Brooklyn returned to the table. “We have decided to give you a trial run. You may have the cat for a month during which time we will make random home visits. I’ll just need both of your driver’s licenses, Giselle and Mel.”
Mel whipped her head to me.
My mouth fell open, unable to concoct a story…anything…oh, hell, the cat of my dreams was slipping from my grasp!
I stood. “Okay, look. You remember that guy out there I came in with?”
“The super hot one?” McKatee asked.
“That’s the one. When I met him, I was at a club, and I was just having fun for the night pretending to be a flight attendant named Giselle. In reality, I’m a barista named Dagmar, and I know the truth will come out eventually, but he is seriously the best lay of my life, and I was recently dumped by my family, my boyfriend, and got fired all in the same day. My boyfriend cheated on me and got a job in L.A. without telling me.”
McKatee gasped. “That piece of crap.”
“I need to climb Yash like a tree, okay? And I need a cat to love. I will take such amazing care of her, I swear it. I’m going to be a crazy cat lady!”
McKatee placed a hand on my arm. “You won’t regret it. It’s really working for me.”
F*ck Up 305. Not the recommendation I wanted to hear
“I’ll help too, of course,” Mel piped up. I figured there was no reason for her to stop pretending. She had come all the way down here.
“So…” Brooklyn said, “you’re not out of town forty percent of the time?”
I shook my head no.
“And you’re just pretending on the name thing to keep that dude in your bed?”
I nodded yes.
Brooklyn looked at McKatee. McKatee looked at Brooklyn.
“You can have the cat,” McKatee said. “I’d eat meat to eat that man.”
We shook on it.