Getting It: The Proposal!

by Rachel on March 25, 2010

Goooood Thursday evening! Honestly, I had to check the calendar to be sure it was, in fact, Thursday evening. The past two weeks have been a blur for me and this week was particularly intense since I’ve been throwing myself into my proposal!

I was chatting with my agent today because I realized that I’ve been talking so much about this book and the journey to making it a reality, but I haven’t actually said much of what the book is all about! I feel bad about this — everyone has been so supportive and enthusiastic, and I want you to know exactly what it is exactly that you’re supporting. I also wanted to be up front about the subject because this book definitely contains details from the time in my life when I was a COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS HUMAN BEING, and I’d prefer not to blindside you (although anyone who has watched my videos should know what to expect). Anyway, I’m really excited because today I got the green light today to share some details with you!

As I’ve said before, the book is not a Shedding It book or anything; it’s actually a straight up memoir based on my time at Michigan State. (Do not think “memoir” = “Debbie Downer.” I don’t even like using the “m” word because it just implies sadness!) While it’s based on my old blog, The Spartanette, I’ve really reworked the material. See, when I was blogging, there were a lot of things I couldn’t write about. So many of my blog posts were influenced by what was going on my life at the time, but I couldn’t come out and say that. It would have made me like “Gossip Girl”…except everyone knew who I was. Yeah…no.

So I wrote a ton of new material that includes the real stories and secrets that I couldn’t make public at the time. The blog was very “column-y,” but the book is a narrative. (I have to share my favorite line from the whole thing: “I briefly wondered why I was in the cab going home alone, but then I realized, I wasn’t alone. I had Jose Cuervo with me, and he was enough.”) I’ve never written an entire story like this before, so going from blog to book has been an incredibly exciting, thrilling, and rewarding process!

So, here is the summary of the book I can share:

The book covers the three years I spent as a sorority girl. During my first year as a pledge, I learned the ways of Greek life: what my new “sisters” were really like, how to make a Walk of Shame less shameful, and why sorority girls are really always reading Cosmo. After a Guinness-soaked summer studying abroad in the U.K., I moved into the sorority house and threw myself into Greek life, which meant more responsibility in my chapter and sometimes spiking my latte with Bailey’s to deal with Greek drama in my classes. The year was marked by endless theme parties, an intense Greek Week, and Spring Break in Europe, where I decided to “do as the Romans do” (if Romans snort Xanax and have one-night stands). After earning a top internship at a fashion magazine in New York, I came back to school for senior year thin, popular, and a full-fledged sorostitute, loving everything Greek life had to offer. Mostly, I loved the frat guys, but the fact was, I couldn’t get serious with any of them until I broke up with my true love, Jose Cuervo.

There’s a lot more to it than that, including the dirty details on some very fratty relationships and all the major girl drama, but unfortch, that has to stay under wraps for now!

The other really fun thing about the proposal is that it includes a lot of pictures, which means I got to have some fun with Photoshop. This is the picture from my author bio page.

I wish I could share more, but I can’t just yet! It’s hard because I am SO incredibly proud of the work I’ve done on the proposal and am dying to just share it with the world, but that’s the most I can give for the time being!

[Oh and to answer the question everyone always asks first — yes, my mom has read it. Not in its entirety, but she knows. I’ve been this way since I was three years old. She knows.]

Next up, though, my agents came up with a way to market the book and the brand (so to speak) before anyone has read a single page, so besides doing this proposal, I’ve also been making a new Web site! We sort of see it like an FML for Greeks where they are invited to anonymously share their most outrageous stories.

I invite you to check it out and if you are or were Greek, definitely share some of your stories! I just started getting content this morning, so it will be more fully launched in a few days. But if you want to show your support, you can follow @SoFratty on Twitter! Oh and for anyone who is completely in the dark about Greek life, there are some definitions from the book to help you along.

Fratty (adj.): 1. The quality of enjoying relaxing activities like football tailgate, shacking, shopping for new polo shirts, golf, tennis, skiing, texting, bronzing at the beach or lake, day drinking, and exuding unmistakable confidence at all times while denouncing sketchiness and douchebaggery. 2. Wild, insane, or otherwise completely over-the-top behavior induced by the consumption of alcoholic beverages and carried out by Greeks.

My goal was to have the proposal finished by April 1, and it looks like that’s definitely going to be a reality. It hasn’t been easy — it’s about 70 pages long and it’s a pretty complex and detailed overview of the book — but it’s worth it. The proposal is how you sell it, so it has to be insanely good. And it’s actually as done as it needs to be for the next few days, so I’m actually going to have — I’m afraid to say it because I don’t want to jinx it — down time. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS ANYMORE! Still, as exhausted as I am, I’ve never felt more passionate or, for lack of a better word, turned on.

But when passion comes in, other things go out. I’m really excited to um…leave my desk for more than 30 minutes each day and actually wash my hair again.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet March 25, 2010 at 6:58 pm

This is freakin’ awesome. I want to read the proposal now! More so, I wish I went to Michigan State now…hahah. I actually visited there, but only because I really wanted to go to U of M and checked out M State too. You are giving me so much inspiration!

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2 Dori March 25, 2010 at 7:05 pm

I cannot wait to read your book! I hope I’m on the special list for an early copy or else I will have to camp out at Barnes & Noble the night before it comes out. Rach, this sounds hilarious and honest and I just can’t wait. Thank you for sharing this and I am amazed by how how hard you work.
.-= Dori´s last blog ..See You After The Half! For Now, a Twitter Contest. =-.

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3 Shari B. March 25, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Congratulations!! That’s SO exciting! I’m very happy for you and can’t wait to read your book someday soon! (Especially since I’m FROM Michigan!) Your dedication is very inspiring! Thanks for sharing!
.-= Shari B.´s last blog ..Summoning Summer with Salmon Cakes =-.

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4 Caitlin@TheTwentyFifthYear March 25, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I am pumped beyond belief for this girl!! I agree with Jess, you are so inspiring. I didn’t even HAVE Greek life at my college, so this fascinates me!!!
.-= Caitlin@TheTwentyFifthYear´s last blog ..Innocence Inspirations =-.

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5 Melissa (It's a Veggieful Life) March 25, 2010 at 7:14 pm

It’s amazing your book is about everything I’ve never experienced: sorority house, walks of shame, studying abroad, vomiting on myself, Greeks…and yet I can’t wait to read it! I am so happy for you, Rachel. (insert emoticon here)
.-= Melissa (It’s a Veggieful Life)´s last blog ..Frustrated With Reality =-.

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6 Rachel March 25, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Ha Melissa, I assure you, missing out on vomiting on yourself is not a big loss. PS Emoticons in comments are totally okay! :-D <-- Fuck yeah!

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7 Christie (http://rollerkoesterrun.wordpress.com/) March 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm

So excited for you girl! Can’t wait to read this- am sure it is going to be such a great read!

~Christie http://rollerkoesterrun.wordpress.com/
.-= Christie (http://rollerkoesterrun.wordpress.com/)´s last blog ..INFO POST: Bicornuate Uterus =-.

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8 Emily March 25, 2010 at 9:16 pm

This is going to be awesome, good luck with everything. Rutgers is a state school and they’re basically all the same. I bet I have a lot of similar stories, but instead of formals I went to basement punk shows. However, I think we probably have a lot in common, like inconvenient vomiting, tequila, poor “romantic” (i.e. fucking) choices, and so on. I basically majored in day drinking, but it was PBR instead of Natty.

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9 Cathy March 25, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Can’t wait to read it! We don’t have Sororities & Fraternities here in Australia so I’m really curious about the whole thing.
.-= Cathy´s last blog ..Weight Update No. 2 =-.

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10 Britt @ Runnerbelle March 25, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Oh my sounds like a good one! Congrats!!! After going to college in New Orleans sometimes I wish I had written down some of my adventures….. cause years later they are a bit foggy. But I know they were DAMN good. ;-)

So how do your parents feel about this? My mom freaks out when she thinks I drink too much…. now and I’m 31. Oy!

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11 Rachel March 25, 2010 at 9:46 pm

My mom just usually rolls her eyes. She knows I’m ridiculous, but that I seem to have a talent for telling people how ridiculous I am. Like I said, I’ve always been this way…she always accepts it, but must roll her eyes at least.

Although we both LOLd for a good few minutes when I read her my fave line from the book.

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12 Rachel's Mom March 25, 2010 at 10:35 pm

As long as Senor Cuervo pays for the wedding, it’s all good. At least he can provide the liquor!

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13 Caitie March 26, 2010 at 7:09 am

I cannnnnnot wait to read your book!!! I know if your blog cracks me up as much as it does, I will be in tears at your book!! So excited!!

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14 Leslie March 26, 2010 at 8:29 am

Your book sounds hilarious! I am from Michigan too and I love your blog…you seem more normal and relatable than a lot of other food bloggers.

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15 Rachel March 26, 2010 at 8:33 am

Thanks, Leslie! I like to think I’m pretty relatable, although sometimes this books makes me question “normal” haha. I try.

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16 LindsayH March 26, 2010 at 9:33 am

i think it sounds awesome, i cant wait to read. it sounds pretty scandalous! i have to know – are you worried about backlash from any of the “characters”??

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17 Rachel March 26, 2010 at 9:42 am

Ha Lindsay “scandalous” is the perfect word for it!!

In response to your second question…yes and no. Certain people will probably not like how they come across, but the thing is, everything in the book is true. And not like “reality tv true”…like really true. I’m not out to get revenge on anyone who screwed me over or anything. It’s just that certain things are part of the story and to know WHY I felt the need to spike my Starbucks, you need to know what the guy drama was, ya know? But the book isn’t about them; it’s about me and my reaction to things, so I hope they can see that.

There are a few people who I am concerned about, not because they are portrayed badly, but because they may not want personal details of our relationships out there. (And, to be honest, because when I wasn’t getting screwed over by guys, I was screwing them over, which wasn’t very nice of me.) But I definitely plan to have conversations with each of them when the time comes so we can kind of talk about it and hopefully be cool about it. It will be uncharted waters for all of us though and I have no idea really what to expect.

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18 Laura Georgina March 26, 2010 at 10:11 am

You are a brave and crazy girl–and quite possibly my livin’ it up role model (except I’d have to go back and relive my good-girl college days the Rachel way and, at thirty, I don’t think it’d be cute). I can’t wait to read it and cackle and snort and probably cry–because I’m a sap like that–at what an accomplishment this book will be.
.-= Laura Georgina´s last blog ..Sewing School: Picking Your First Sewing Pattern (Or, I Want THAT One!) =-.

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19 Becca March 26, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Omg Rachel I am so excited for this to come out! I loved The Spartanette and I can’t wait to hear more about what really went on!

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20 Isha March 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I’m way too excited about this considering 1) the book won’t be out for a while, and 2) I really only know you from the interwebs. Can’t wait to read it! :-)

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21 Alicia March 27, 2010 at 9:03 am

I’m a new reader to your blog and have enjoyed your other posts, but I have to ask you a question. I am an alum of a national sorority: pledge my freshman year of school and probably had a lot of the same “scandalous” experiences you did in college. However, I believe my sorority did the most to improve my leadership skills and allowed me to get to the point in my life that I am at today. Do you worry about giving Greek Life a negative perception to those who haven’t participated in the system by writing this book?

Not trying to stir the pot, just interested to learn more about your point of view. Either way, congrats on the progress so far: that’s fantastic that your agent/publisher is utilizing social media to get the word out.
.-= Alicia´s last blog ..restaurant review: Banana Bean Cafe =-.

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22 Rachel March 27, 2010 at 9:55 am

Hey Alicia —

Some of my sorority friends have asked the same thing, so I don’t mind the question! I think it’s more evident in the full manuscript how there’s more to sororities than just the scandalous stuff…part of the reason I was so fratty is because I was SO involved, and got more involved each year. My agent even said to me she doesn’t know how sorority girls do it. I mean, when I wasn’t shooting tequila, I was running recruitment and Greek Week. So I think that the more positive stuff is definitely in there!

That said, I think that there comes a point when someone needs to OWN the scandalous stuff and say yes I did it and yes it was fun…but that doesn’t make me or any other sorority girls bad! (And given the fact that even non-Greeks can relate to a somewhat outrageous college experience, I think that they recognize that too.) My experience, while ridiculous, wasn’t particularly unusual. I LOVE Greek life so I would never say don’t rush and I don’t intend this as a cautionary tale…I loved every scandalous minute! The book is fun and lighthearted and I hope people can see that and get that it’s very tongue-in-cheek.

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23 Rachel March 28, 2010 at 2:13 am

Oh gosh… I’m so excited, jealous, in awe – you are amazing! Thank you for sharing this info, because I was thirsting for more, hehe. I was going to apologize for my dorky comment since I’ve had a glass of wine or five, but then I realized, that’s totally appropriate under these circumstances, don’t you think?!
.-= Rachel´s last blog ..Back to Blogging =-.

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24 Rachel March 28, 2010 at 8:21 am

Ummm Rachel I actually love the fact that you drink five glasses of wine and read my blog!!

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