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The Greatest Phoebe Potts Story Ever Told

Everyone knows who Phoebe Potts is, correct?  She wrote the book, Good Eggs, which has gotten rave reviews.  It’s a memoir, told in comic book form, about her experience with family building and infertility.  But more than that, it’s a love story — one between a husband and wife, between a woman and her parents, between friends and family and community.

You might not think that the comic book form naturally lends itself to emotional material, and you would be wrong.  Because it’s one thing for someone to describe their depression with words — many can do a fine job placing you right inside their head by stringing together sentences — but it’s another to read about depression while seeing the droop of the line, the expression on the person’s face.

The book is also a case of the bitter and the sweet because there were plenty of times that amid the enormous topics of infertility and depression and love, I also found myself laughing — at things her mother said, at her clever use of the physical elephant in the room (who, you know, is raiding the refrigerator to give them a little time and space to mourn).

Good Eggs doesn’t come to a neat ending.  It comes — again — to the bitter and the sweet; or, as Potts says, the hope and heartbreak (because aren’t those two things the bricks that line life’s road?).  Which is to say that you will sigh and smile as you close the last page, all the while wiping away tears.

(Page 152 in the book: explaining what it takes for Jeff and Phoebe to try to make a baby)

So, my Phoebe Potts story.  I had to go up to New York this week to do a presentation of my book, Life from Scratch. (What?  You haven’t read it yet?  What are you waiting for?  Greatest chicklit book of all times…)

I got to the place early and went to the bathroom to spiffy myself up.  As I stood there, wondering whether or not I had a soul since the automatic paper towel dispenser didn’t seem to register my existence, a voice said, “Melissa Ford?”

I turned around and Phoebe Potts was standing in the same, random New York bathroom, about to speak on her book, Good Eggs, at the same presentation.  My first words to her were about what an asshole I am because her book has been by my bedside for months, 3/4ths of the way done, un-reviewed, all because I got distracted by vampire smut novels.

I literally had no excuse; no grand story about how I had been using that time not reviewing her book to scale Mount Everest or save thousands of whales.  I was not reviewing her book because there were vampires — somewhere — having sex.  And there were writers — somewhere — writing about said vampire sex.  And my G-d, if there was vampire sex,  I had to hear about it.  And I was stressed and had turned to being a vampire sex voyeur as a stress reliever.  And in doing so, had not reviewed her amazing, emotional, funny, heartbreaking book.


But this chance meeting gave me the kick in the ass I needed to come home, put down the vampires, eat chocolate as a stress reliever instead, finish the incredible Good Eggs, and tell you about it, complete with pictures of Phoebe Potts, who is just as funny and warm and down-to-earth as you imagine she would be based on her drawings and writing.

Sometimes, she even comes out of hiding to hug her book:

Our books even appeared on the table side-by-side, as if we were destined to meet:

Okay, so perhaps this isn’t the greatest Phoebe Potts story ever.  I mean, I could have told you about the time she saved that bus filled with candy-baring Grandmas from alligators.  Or the time when she freakin’ swam across the Atlantic Ocean — on a goof. (She didn’t mean to do it.  She just felt like a swim and ended up in England — crazy!)  Or the time Phoebe Potts was President of the United States for 37 hours due to a glitch in the voting system.  But meeting her in a random New York bathroom is one of my greatest Phoebe Potts stories ever.


1 HereWeGoAJen { 05.26.11 at 9:04 am }

Is she writing a blog post about you right now? 🙂

That is pretty awesome.

2 Delenn { 05.26.11 at 9:11 am }

I agree that the comic book form is actually very good at expression of emotions and can be used to tell amazing narratives. (Maus I & II and Fun Home are some examples that spring to my mind)

I have not heard of this book…and now its on my list! 🙂

Glad you got to meet her (and she you)!

3 Isa { 05.26.11 at 10:31 am }

I’m reading vampire smut right now! But it’s for work, so I have a good excuse. Not that it helps when I’m on the train and strangers are reading gay vampire erotica over my shoulder. But Good Eggs is so much better than vampire porn! I think of her all the time and the sweet little symbol she had for when she and her husband thought about how much they love each other. How nice to be able to meet!

4 Julie { 05.26.11 at 11:27 am }

Isa, me, too! The little musical note: Hn!

I love Phoebe Potts and I’m so glad others know how excellent she is.

5 Prairie Anonymous { 05.26.11 at 12:01 pm }

A couple months ago I asked DH to read Good Eggs. Despite the easy (and awesome) graphic novel format, he actually found it difficult to read. He said it was “too real”. To me, that’s a great review.

6 Rebecca { 05.26.11 at 1:53 pm }

Love, love, love Good Eggs and Phoebe Potts!!

7 Heather { 05.26.11 at 2:13 pm }

Great story! I love it when worlds interconnect!!! And of course I love the name Phoebe so much, I gave it to my first child.

8 JustHeather { 05.26.11 at 3:10 pm }

I have not heard of Good Eggs or Phoebe Potts. (I’ll go hide in a corner now..) I actually haven’t read much/any IF related books. The only thing I’ve read is Taking Charge of Your Fertility and not even that from cover to cover. (I really think I should go hide in a corner, or at least in bed with a good IF book…)

I am interested in hearing more about those Vampires (and yes, their having sex too)! I love vampire stories!!

9 Anna { 05.26.11 at 3:22 pm }

I hadn’t heard about the ‘Good Eggs’ either but sounds like something to try. Phoebe looks like she’s probably lovely and I think the story is charming (sounds patronising but I mean that it made me smile at the end of a long day, thank you). I suspect I’d be won over by your honesty if I was her, the terms ‘vampire smut’ do encapsulate well the amusement and shame I’m familiar with, reading similar things that I feel I shouldn’t want to, nicely put.

10 Kim @ The Ladies in Waiting Book Club { 05.26.11 at 10:21 pm }

We’re reading her book right now in our book club and loving it!

11 Missy { 05.27.11 at 12:53 am }

The hand dryer thing made me laugh. I can never get those to register me so I too must be soulless… a title of a vampire smut book I just read. Because lately I just cannot get enough. But I would love to read Phoebe’s book too. And now I know about it, so now I can 🙂

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