I dedicate this book to...

As I skip down the road to getting published, I keep getting ahead of myself and my proverbial feet tangle up while I think of all the little things I need to do. Who do I dedicate the book to? Who should I thank in my acknowledgements? And how do I want to fill out the cover request form? All three of these questions had me paralyzed in fear. What if I chose wrong? What if I forgot someone? What if I don't put in enough information and I hate the cover, or worse, what if I over explain and kill the artist's creative process? The cover is important, after all, and in my opinion (with no marketing background whatsoever) directly impacts sales.

But the cover information aside, the acknowledgement and dedication questions got me thinking...and as it often happens, said thinking lead to Googling. What do other people do? I went on a search to find out.

Here are some funny ones I found along my researching journey:

1. The Heart of a Goof (1926), P.G Wodehouse
"To my daughter Leonora without whose never-failing sympathy and encouragement this book would have been finished in half the time" 

2. Algebraic Topology by Joseph J. Rotman
"To my wife Margarit
and my children Ella Rose and Daniel Adam
without whom this book would have
been completed two years earlier"

3. Tobias Wolff, ‘This Boy’s Life’
"My first stepfather used to say that what I didn’t know would fill a book. Well, here it is."

4.  E.E. Cummings, 'No Thanks'

5. Pedram Amini, ‘Fuzzing: Brute Force Vulnerability Discovery’
"I dedicate this book to George W. Bush, my Commander-in-Chief, whose impressive career advancement despite remedial language skills inspired me to believe that I was capable of authoring a book"

6. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. There were 13 books, and each book was dedicated to the author's deceased girlfriend, Beatrice.
To Beatrice –
darling, dearest, dead. 
For Beatrice –
My love for you shall live forever.
You, however, did not. 
For Beatrice –
I would much prefer it if you were alive and well. 
To Beatrice –
My love flew like a butterfly
Until death swooped down like a bat
As the poet Emma Montana McElroy said:
"That's the end of that." 
For Beatrice –
You will always be in my heart,
In my mind,
And in your grave. 
For Beatrice –
When we met my life began,
Soon afterwards, yours ended. 
For Beatrice –
When we were together I felt breathless.
Now you are. 
For Beatrice –
Summer without you is as cold as winter.
Winter without you is even colder. 
For Beatrice –
Our love broke my heart,
and stopped yours. 
For Beatrice –
When we first met, you were pretty, and I was lonely.
Now I am pretty lonely. 
For Beatrice –
Dead women tell no tales.
Sad men write them down. 
For Beatrice -
No one could extinguish my love,
or your house. 
For Beatrice -
I cherished, you perished.
The world's been nightmarished.

7. Scheme Shell Reference Manual. Olin Shivers, Cambridge, September 4, 1994
Who should I thank? My so-called "colleagues," who laugh at me behind my back, all the while becoming famous on my work? My worthless graduate students, whose computer skills appear to be limited to downloading bitmaps off of netnews? My parents, who are still waiting for me to quit "fooling around with computers," go to med school, and become a radiologist? My department chairman, a manager who gives one new insight into and sympathy for disgruntled postal workers?
My God, no one could blame me---no one!---if I went off the edge and just lost it completely one day. I couldn't get through the day as it is without the Prozac and Jack Daniels I keep on the shelf, behind my Tops-20 JSYS manuals. I start getting the shakes real bad around 10am, right before my advisor meetings. A 10 oz. Jack 'n Zac helps me get through the meetings without one of my students winding up with his severed head in a bowling-ball bag. They look at me funny; they think I twitch a lot. I'm not twitching. I'm controlling my impulse to snag my 9mm Sig-Sauer out from my day-pack and make a few strong points about the quality of undergraduate education in Amerika. 
If I thought anyone cared, if I thought anyone would even be reading this, I'd probably make an effort to keep up appearances until the last possible moment. But no one does, and no one will. So I can pretty much say exactly what I think.
Oh yes, the acknowledgements. I think not. I did it. I did it all, by myself.

What about you? 
Do you have a favorite dedication or acknowledgement?


  1. Love this post. I cracked up at the Lemony Snicket's dedications. Too funny. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm glad you liked it! There were actually a lot to choose from, but Lemony Snicket's my favorite as well. I find it morbidly hilarious! Thanks for stopping by. :-)


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