Band mom publishes tell-all
Homework, carpooling, band practices, room mothers and hernias.
Writer Stacy Dymalski knows all about these things.
She also knows about comedy, being a parent and lobbying for sex education in public schools.
That’s why she self-published her book "Confessions of a Band Geek Mom," which, she says, is a "love letter to Park City," although she doesn’t mention anyone by name.
"I don’t mention specific names, not even my sons whom I call Son No. 1 and Son No. 2," Dymalski said during an interview with The Park Record. "It’s not even all about them, either. The book is an eclectic collection of stories about what it’s like to grow up in a resort town in the Wasatch Mountains, which is much different than growing up anywhere else."
Dymalski, who will be signing her book at Dolly’s Bookstore, 510 Main St., on Saturday, May 7, started the project more than a year ago.
"I had a book come out a year ago January called the ‘Vixen Chronicles,’ of which I was the ghost writer," said Dymalski, who has written scripts for TV and film. "(The book) was about a woman’s dating catastrophes. As a ghost writer, I took her journals and conducted some interviews with her and wrote the book."
Since Dymalski had written articles for a Los Angeles, Calif.-based online magazine called Parentainment and another column called Mom-orabilia, she thought she could create a book by following the same method with her own stories like she did with "Vixen Chronicles."
"I mistakenly thought that I would take my essays and put them all together into a book by Mother’s Day 2010," she said with a laugh. "I’m off a year because, not only did I have to go through the stories, but I also had to find cover art once I got the stories together. So it was a bigger undertaking that I had originally planned for."
She did follow her initial idea and took her blogs and columns, which ranged between 250 and 500 words each, and expanded them into an essay format for the book.
"To have it all laid out on the computer was overwhelming, though," Dymalski said. "I didn’t know where to begin because the blogs were all self-contained essays with a theme, beginning, middle and end. I had to figure out how to put all those together into one big book that has it’s own beginning, middle and end."
Dymalski also wanted the book to focus on personal themes, because they tend to be more poignant and funny.
"I had people who read my blogs tell me that I needed to put them in a book, so I did," she said. "There are 30-something essays in here."
Sometimes Dymalski would find a gap in the timeline as she organized the chapters.
"I wrote additional stories, some that have never been published, to fill those gaps," she said. "They’re all just small things like that and I think they’re all funny."
On more than one occasion, Dymalski found herself waxing nostalgic as she pored over her past blogs and articles, she said.
"I sort of forgot about a lot of the events I wrote about, at least the details of them," she said. "They brought back a lot of fun memories."
With a name like "Confessions of a Band Geek Mom," the book features a lot of essays about band practice and carpooling.
"My sons are a part of the Crescent Super Band which practices in Orem," Dymalski said. "So there is a whole chapter of carpooling to practice called ‘Carpool 32 on Driveway 6, All Clear for Take Off.’"
The goal was to keep the book around 230 pages so it would not overwhelm readers.
"It’s an airport reading book, like Tina Fey’s ‘Bossypants,’" she said.
Still, the page limit left a lot of material unmined, Dymalski said.
"I’m actually working on a second volume right now," she said.
Although she’s published books through bigger companies, Dymalski wanted to try her hand at self-publishing with "Confessions of a Band Geek Mom."
"I thought it would be a good trial for me," she said. "I have a production company (Saffire Productions) and created an arm of it for publishing," she said. "While I published the book myself, I did subcontract the cover art, editing and printing, which worked out fine."
The book is available at Amazon.com, Dolly’s Bookstore and Barnes and Noble.
Dolly’s Bookstore, 510 Main St., will hold a book signing for Stacy Dymalski on Saturday, May 7, at 2 p.m.
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