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Coming to bookstores (in 2010?) – Chocolate and Vicodin: And Other Failed Cures for the Headache that Wouldn’t Go Away

The first person I told about the book deal was the HR lady. It was during my exit interview.

“So, why are you leaving us?” she asked.

“Well, I just got an offer on my book proposal!” This was also the point at which I expected to ride home on a unicorn via a rainbow, because that is another thing that only happens in dreams. I was probably the happiest exit interview the HR lady ever had the pleasure of conducting. I smiled and laughed and bounced around happily in my seat before dancing back down to my desk to reread the email I had just gotten. Then I told my boss and my coworkers about the offer and they were happy for me, and slightly stunned, but I’m sure the “I’m quitting to pursue writing!” speech I’d given last week suddenly seemed a lot less flimsy.

So yes, I have been all sneaky-like and wrote a book proposal, which I sent to agents, and one of them liked it, so we joined forces and she suggested revisions, and I made them, and then the other agents at her agency suggested more revisions, so I made those too, and then she sent it out to publishers, and I waited, and then one of those editors liked it and offered me money to sit at home and write it, which means I can afford to buy food, which will make the experience all the better because writing is easier with chocolate pudding on hand.

I do not have a release date yet, but I would guess my book will come out in 2010, perhaps 2011. It’s tentatively called Chocolate and Vicodin: And Other Failed Cures for the Headache that Wouldn’t Go Away and you can pretty much guess what it is about. As the announcement in Publisher’s Lunch said yesterday, “[Jennette Fulda] humorously explores the twisted maze of eastern and western medicine as she visits doctors, acupuncturists, and chiropractors, and ingests pills, pot, and obscene amounts of ice cream, all in search of the elusive cure for her chronic pain.” It’ll be released by Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. Look! They have a cute little kangaroo for a logo:

Big thanks to everyone who helped make this possible with their advice and support, especially the fabulous Miss Holly, Rachel, Jen, Erin, Wendy and Jennifer (who I don’t have a link for). I did not simply skip into the lobby of the publishing house and pick up a book contract at the receptionist’s desk. I’m truly grateful this deal happened and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to write another memoir. Just because you write one book does not mean you necessarily get to write another. But really, if you’re going to have a headache for over a year, you may as well get a book deal out of it. There was a TON of work that went into making this happen, and the process only reminded me of how much toil and trouble goes into putting out those bound sets of pages.

I also wanted to thank you, my readers, for sending me crazy emails. They really made the proposal pop. Don’t worry, I won’t include your email addresses.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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Kate • July 10, 2009 at 9:39 am

Congratulations! This is huge news and I’m thrilled for you.


Annie • July 10, 2009 at 9:45 am


I’m so happy for you!


JEM • July 10, 2009 at 9:49 am

Wow! Thats wonderful news! You lost a bunch of weight and gained some amazing opportunities! Yay!


Soorya • July 10, 2009 at 9:51 am

Yay! I can’t wait to read it. I had a headache for 10 months. Turns out my stressed and knot-forming muscles in my neck was the culprit not my brain chemistry. Ugh! I tried it all too – one time even landing the Emergency Room just trying any hocus pocus for some darn relief.

Good luck!!


Kimberly • July 10, 2009 at 10:03 am

How exciting! I just started reading your first book, and I’m loving it. Oooh – How cool is it that you can now refer to it as your first book?!


asdf • July 10, 2009 at 10:03 am



Elizabeth • July 10, 2009 at 10:09 am

Augh! Hurrah! Congrats! Can’t wait to read it!


tina • July 10, 2009 at 10:10 am

Ha ha… I remember some of the comments you were getting. You’re full of surpises these days, lady! What’s next? You’re marrying a neurosurgeon and preggo with triplets?


Kelly • July 10, 2009 at 10:10 am

Awesome! Congratulations! Can’t wait to read it!


Nicky • July 10, 2009 at 10:14 am

Congratulations! Now I have a favor to ask you….do you have any recommendations for resources for writing book proposals, contacting agents, etc? Any advice you can provide is most appreciated.

Thanks, looking forward to your second book!


Donna • July 10, 2009 at 10:25 am

Congratulations – I feel like the endless headache is finally earning its keep.


Katharine • July 10, 2009 at 10:26 am

You’re in the groove! Major congrats!


MB • July 10, 2009 at 10:28 am

CONGRATULATIONS! At least something good is coming out of all the headache pain you’ve suffered with. I can’t wait to read all about the pot and ice cream parts. ;)


dietgirl • July 10, 2009 at 10:28 am

well done comrade :)


PastaQueen • July 10, 2009 at 10:29 am

@Nicky – I mentioned some resources on book proposals in my blogs about going from Blog to Book on my book site in this entry. As for agents, Publisher’s Marketplace is a good resource for finding someone in your genre.


Jen, a priorfatgirl • July 10, 2009 at 10:50 am

WAHOO!!!!! That is awesome!

Not that it makes it any easier to go through, but…just further proof that everything happens for a reason! I love that your sharing your experience with others!


Danielle • July 10, 2009 at 10:52 am

Congratulations on your book deal and being able to shake the 9-5 chains!

I felt so bad for you when you couldn’t shake that damn headache. At least you’re making that good-for-nothing, staying-past-its-expiry-date loser pay!


jennywenny • July 10, 2009 at 10:52 am

Awesome! I dont think it makes the headache worth it, but it sounds like a great idea!


Candice • July 10, 2009 at 10:57 am

Wow, what a week you’re having! Congrats! I’m still trying to figure out how to get one book contract. LOL I think you have great things ahead of you. :)


emi s • July 10, 2009 at 10:59 am

oh yay, i’m looking forwards to buying the book

unsolicited feedback: there’s something about the title that scans funny to me, the colon with “and” afterwards. i have some ideas, but in the interests of not giving TOO much unsolicited feedback, will refrain from sharing unless request. (i LOVE the chocolate and vicodin / headache cures that didn’t work basic idea for the book title though. love love!)


PastaQueen • July 10, 2009 at 11:03 am

@emi s – I doubt there will be a colon on the actual book cover, as there wasn’t one on my first book. It does look odd, I agree, but it seems to be standard to insert a colon to separate the title from the subtitle when referring to it in print.


Erin • July 10, 2009 at 11:10 am

I love you. But you already know that! See you in two weeks maybe? I’ll e-mail back with some ideas to see if we can make it happen!


Kimmi • July 10, 2009 at 11:20 am

Oh Congrats! I’m so happy for you and only like…99% jealous! Be sure to let us know when we can pre-order it! I can’t wait to buy it!


Nicky • July 10, 2009 at 11:24 am

@PastaQueen -Thank you! I appreciate your help.


Lisa • July 10, 2009 at 11:37 am

Congratulations PQ!

I have enjoyed reading everything you’ve written and look forward to reading your new venture even though I do not have headaches!


Dana • July 10, 2009 at 11:44 am

Who do you want to play you in the movie?

Congrats! Loved Half-Assed…I sure this will good as well.

Does it have a happy ending? lol


Quix • July 10, 2009 at 11:58 am

I am so excited for you! This is GREAT! And writing does go much better with chocolate on hand. :)


Shelley B • July 10, 2009 at 12:12 pm

I’m so glad you are getting something out of your headache ordeal!!! Congratulations, and yes, I will be buying that book!!!


Julie • July 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm

What wonderful confirmation on your decision to leave you job!!! Congrats!!


Nancy • July 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm

So you didn’t quit to freelance (jumping of a ledge and hoping it all works out, with planning that responsible people do of course).. you are a published author working on your next book with a book deal in place!



Karen • July 10, 2009 at 12:25 pm

You are full of surprises, but this isn’t one of them as I was sure there would be another book. Now that I know the title I can pre-order! I’ll be sure to read it!

Mixing my metaphors here, but I love the way you take adversity and make lemonade with it! I wish I could do the same, but alas I am just your average divorced, returning adult student, college grad at 40, single mother of teenagers!


Zoey • July 10, 2009 at 12:27 pm

First, a big congratulations! I’m totally excited for you! Jeannette you really inspire me, and it’s given me more ideas to fuel my own creativity. I can’t wait to hear how the process goes. In fact, I wish I could find out how the process goes, as I’d love to write a book proposal. I’m thinking there are books about that, LOL.

Second, and I’m betting that you’ve thought of this, but the neurotic part of me has to mention it: have you figured a way to maintain some type of health insurance? You really cannot be without it, and with a recent medical history…well, I’m getting worried for you. If you recall, I’ve been in a similar boat (long term health issues), and I had insurance, and I nearly lost my house after two years…so I just wanted to check in on that. Can you get COBRA or something like it for a year?


PastaQueen • July 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm

@Nancy – True, but I can’t live off of my advance forever. I still intend to work on my freelancing and build up a business and career that can sustain me long term :)


PastaQueen • July 10, 2009 at 1:19 pm

@Zoey – Thanks for your concern, Zoey! I am covered until the end of July and then I can get COBRA for 18 months. So, no huge worries until January 2011.


Jessica • July 10, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Congratulations! I wonder if you can now write off all the money you spent on trying to cure your headache as a business expense?! May be worth looking into to get a refund from the last few years on your taxes! I think authors and reality TV stars do it all the time.

Your bravery and careful planning in order to go freelance is inspiring. Best of luck!


Rachael • July 10, 2009 at 1:47 pm

You’ve been holding out on us! Such big news! Congrats on your new career journey and upcoming book!

Happy “put your pants on day”!


gfe--gluten free easily • July 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Wow, big congrats!! You obviously have a way with words and we want to read what you have to say–always! And, to be able to quit your day job totally rocks! But, I hope you won’t take offense by me saying that I am more excited about the sequel … the book that tells what caused the headaches to begin with and how they are resolved and you enter a new phase of your life. Still hoping you’ll get tested for celiac AND gluten sensitivity. Some of us with those issues literally went for years with daily headaches (some minor, some major) and were amazed to see them completely go away when we went gluten free.

I’ll lift a glass to your latest entrepreneurial success this evening! ;-)



Cindy • July 10, 2009 at 2:04 pm

That’s awesome! Congrats! I wonder if I can get a movie deal since I’ve had a headache for over 3 years? Hmm…..


HugeMD • July 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Woo-hoo! Who ever thought having a headache for a year could pay off in the long run? I don’t know that it’s worth it, exactly, but, as long as you had no choice in the matter, you might as well make fun of the ordeal for cash! Congrats!


boots • July 10, 2009 at 2:58 pm

@PastaQueen – There was a recent article in the Wall St. Journal about buying your own health insurance–


I’ve only skimmed it (don’t need it just now), but I thought it might help you in the future!


Kyle • July 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm

AWESOME! That is amazing, congrats Jennette!!!


Lisa • July 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Congratulations! Love to hear great such happy news! Looking forward to the book!


Nancy • July 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm

@PastaQueen – True, but still very impressive…Does it ever weird you out that all these people who you don’t actually know are concerned that you make sure you have adequate health insurance? (Cobra is expensive, but a very good thing -we are on it now…I still have another 10 months or so before we have to figure out whats next, hopefully full employment with benefits for a while – so we can keep covering pre-existing conditions without breaking the bank) Congratulations again.


PastaQueen • July 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm

@Nancy – Actually, it was weirder when so many people were worried that I might not have a bar on my sliding glass door.


Rochelle • July 10, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Congrats!! I am sure you hear it a lot, but you really are an inspiration. Your ability to pay off your debts, save up 6 months worth of living expenses, and to go off on your own is amazing and it is a huge goal of mine too. A year into cutting out credit cards and paying it all down and I still have another year or two to go, but I know it is possible.

You go girl!!


Kari • July 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Congratulations! :) Now hurry up and write it so we can all read it. ;)


Laska Golden • July 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm

As a loyal FatAss fan (pun intended) you have one pre-sale here! Awesome!


Kate Prizer • July 10, 2009 at 6:39 pm


So happy for you!!! That is great news, loved book #1, will love this one, I’m sure.


Frances Dinkelspiel • July 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm

I’d like to know now how you got rid of your headache because my 17 year old daughter has had a chronic headache for 4 years! We have tried so many things …. Help!


Becca • July 10, 2009 at 7:31 pm

wow awesome!


Minda • July 10, 2009 at 9:01 pm


Did I see pot listed as one of your experimental cures?! Sweet!


emi s • July 10, 2009 at 10:30 pm

@PastaQueen – oh, okay – that totally makes sense. i think it’ll look really good on the cover without the colon.


christen • July 10, 2009 at 11:24 pm

my hero!

you are so inspiring. I’ll be looking for choc and vic when it comes out. LOVED half assed!

*toasts pastaqueen*


Lyrehca • July 11, 2009 at 12:33 am



Myriam • July 11, 2009 at 12:35 am

Dear PQ,

I read your entire blog (in one night) and book and have this link saved, and I check it frequently!

I am so thrilled that you get to be a freelancer and write another book! This is just fantastic :)

Keep up the good work, and have fun while you’re at it!


psychsarah • July 11, 2009 at 6:30 am

I’m so happy for you! Congrats! I’m also very happy for us readers, who get to enjoy another volume of PQ writing!


annie b • July 11, 2009 at 8:34 am

Congratulations!! I really admire you for undertaking these major career moves. Looking forward to the book!


Stephanie O'Dea • July 11, 2009 at 12:01 pm

YAY! What fantastic and wonderful news, but I’m not surprised in the slightest.

congratulations! xoxo steph


Andrea • July 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm



victoria • July 11, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Oh, Jennette, I couldn’t be more happy and proud than if this had happened to my daughter! You really are living the dream. I am so thrilled that you take life’s challenges, like chronic pain or weight, and turn them into narrative gold. So many of us are defeated by these things, or merely sirvive them. iYou not only overcome the difficulties that life throws your way, you transform them into shapely memoirs that entertan and help others. And you’re still in your twenties! You inspire me. (Also, I just got back from Paris, where I ate nutella and croissants at every single opportunity. While I lack your youthful metabolism and did not actually lose weight on this crazy diet, I didn’t gain it either. You were right, it’s all the walking. Either that, or some magical calorie-blocker in the Paris air.) Congratulations again on your brilliant and glamorous news! I am so, so happy for you. -victoria


Cathie • July 11, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Congratulations! I loved reading your first book, and will of course buy a copy of the new one!


Lydia • July 12, 2009 at 12:18 am

Jennette: will be looking forward to reading it; good luck with the process. You are truly deserving of your success.


bobbie • July 12, 2009 at 8:57 am

How exciting. I just finished reading Julie/Julia. My sister sent it to me for my birthday and on the inside cover she wrote, “from blog to book to movie”, may this be your fortune too. I send that wish to you too. Congratulations! Bobbie


Rachel • July 12, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it.


BrightAngel • July 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm


I’m happy to hear your good news.

I enjoyed your last book,

and I will look forward to buying and reading your new book.


Kathy W. • July 12, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Great news!

I love that the horrible headache has produced a lovely book deal. As Nora Ephron’s (screenwriter) mother told her when anything upsetting happened, “Just remember, it’s all material.”


PurpleGirl • July 12, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Wow, congratulations! You continue to be a source of inspiration and jealousy for me. :) Can’t wait to read!


Fledible Army Wife • July 13, 2009 at 4:20 am

@Donna – No kidding. It’s about time that headache started paying rent for it’s occupation of the premises.


JEM • July 13, 2009 at 8:43 am

I am so happy for you! I can’t wait to read the new book!! Congrats!


sheila • July 13, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Jeanette – You are awesome. I think it is this grit, determination & gr8 planning that helped u lose weight in the first place & now that has changed u r life. Fantastic ! BTW – is u r headache better now ? I’ve been reading u r blog for a while but don’t recall any mention of the headache getting better.


Trenches of Mommyhood • July 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Sincere congrats lady!


Penelope • July 13, 2009 at 5:49 pm

FANTASTIC!!!!! Congratulations PQ!!! Love your blog, and loved your first book! Now I can’t wait for the next one. And the one after that! 8-)


The Crazy Woman Inside Me • July 14, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Congratulations! I’m about halfway through your first book right now and really enjoying reading your story, and your style of storytelling. I’m sure your new book, and new freelance writing career, will be fabulous! Wishing you all the best,



Deanne • July 16, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Congratulations! Haven’t been reading your blog lately and how delightful to come across such a high note. Good luck.


Amy • July 17, 2009 at 1:28 am

That is freakin’ awesome!


Kalyn • July 17, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Good for you! Congratulations.


Alecia • August 4, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Stupid headache!! But a least you have truly adorable hair with which to try and smother it…can’t wait for the new book! It’s about time a cute, geeky, CHICK actually got what she deserves!


CDH • August 9, 2009 at 6:49 am


and congrats!

I think you are now having two different audiences: one searching for dieting tips and the other one searching for pain cures.

And probably all searching for a funny, cool writer.

Myself, I am about to join the exclusive CDH club as mine headache is going for 3 weeks now. But since I am no stranger to chronic pain (I have something called Interstitial cystitis – remember your conference about pain and the second topic about pelvic pain – ok, that will be me, sort of like permanent UTI for 6 years).

Yes it sucks but here is a good news.

The IC I have is manageble, in fact, I have been in 2nd remission for over 1.5 now due to pregnanacy and brestfeeding. (so 0 pain!!) Yes I am aware it can stop anytime. But I enjoy this while it last and don’t think about it much.

Now to my headaches story..I feel that the two chronic pains are not related…although for a super healthy never sick person with no depression – it is kanna strange to hit this jackpot twice, no?

My symthoms are just like yours (I actually hated to realize that reading your blog).. mostly nose and cheeks, most days the pain level from 2 to 3. So the MOST important blog I read from you was a “Different before and after” I know that feeling to be scare to answer in fear of jinxing it – but if you can : can you tell me: Are you still around 2 pain level on most days? That would tremendously help in my research. And just one more question you did not completely explore – before Feb day 2008, were you prone to headaches/migraines? Were you already taking something? Why – did you before had daily headaches? It is not completely clear – it will help so much!.

Looking forward to more blogs and book.


PastaQueen • August 10, 2009 at 1:32 pm

@CDH – My pain is about a level 1 or 2 out of 5 most days. Some days if I’ve done a lot or haven’t taken good care of myself, it goes up to a 3.

Before February of 2008 I did have a history of headaches. When I was 21, in 2002, I got a similar headache that wouldn’t go away, but I was prescribed a beta-blocker that made it go away. I tried going off of the beta-blocker once or twice and the headache returned, so I stayed on it. In February of 2008 it stopped working, even when we increased the dosage.

I hope that helps, and good luck again finding some form of relief.


eileen • August 12, 2009 at 6:03 pm

mazel tov!

I was just thinking about you today as I had a short-lasting (maybe 8 hours) debilitating headache, and I thought, how did Pasta Queen deal with this for a whole year? Mere mortals might have offed themselves.

congrats again!


motherofbun • October 6, 2009 at 10:34 pm

How exciting! YEAY YOU. You are living my dream. I’m new to your blog but will have to check back often so I can live vicariously through you.


Pam • July 22, 2010 at 10:29 am

Now I feel so stupid (sound of me smacking myself in the forehead)! I asked you to blog about what you’ve been doing since you started free lancing. DOH! You’re writing another book!!! I should have read ahead before announcing my stupidity to the whole world. Can’t wait to read it, keep us posted on its release date.


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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