Jesus Christ, Tidy Cats & The Technicolor Dream Plot

For no reason at all I was gifted the Next Big Thing Award, labeled a blogger/ author on the rise. It’s exactly the same as winning the Miss America title which is to say there are rules for such a prestigious win: I’m not supposed to make sex tapes, but  I am supposed to tell my readers about my book concept via a post on my blog. Pivot turn. Pageant Wave. And the good Lord sayst, “O.M. Dad! You’s a self-indulgent little sucker, eh?”. To which the bloggy choir answers, “A-to-the-men!”. Sexually suggestive wink to the judges table.

  Per the Next Big Thing powers that be, I’ll interview myself about myself:

What is the title of your Work In Progress? It’s aptly titled Shitty First Draft 1st Edition, Vol. I for now. Also contemplating other options: This Book Is Stupid, Why Does Writing Require So Many Snack Breaks?, or Crap. Crap. Shit. Crap. Forgot To Hit ‘Save File’.

Where did the idea for your book come from? I like writing ordinary things. Dragon wizards and werewolves and vampire love is all too creative for this little old brain of mine. Naturally, the idea for the book came from a tiny observation, a noticing that a whole lot of people live very complacent lives. They go with the flow even if that flow takes them around the bend and down a wrong path. It is the teacher who mostly hates kids, a health-preaching doctor who chain-smokes right outside hospital’s doors, or- as is the “off” life of my main character, Donald- a therapist who heals everyone’s wounds but his own. I find the irony of living a life that doesn’t fit interesting, and wanted to see what happens when Donald first sees how silly his life is and is forced to stop fixing others and fix himself.

What genre does your book fall into? Is Mid-Life Crisis/ Hope For Old Men/ Dark Dude Humor a thing? Is there a shelf for that? Ok, fair enough. My book will mostly be found in the Bargain Bin section. Yes. Bargain Bin is this book’s genre home.

Which actors would you choose to play characters in the movie rendition of your work? I might not have a title or a chapter or really anything more than some notes on Post-its and this little blog post introducing Donald to the world, but of course I have stared in the bathroom mirror rehearsing for an interview from Oprah and compiled  a detailed chart of acceptable actors to bring my little story to the big screen. You know, once I get around to writing it.

The movie would certainly need a homeless cat. Those elegant Hollywood cat’s from Tidy Cat commercials are far too regal and flea-free to play the desperate feline inexplicably occupying Donald’s dingy apartment. I need a cat with crack habits, a cat who’s made that dark journey through red light districts and come out barely clinging to three lives tops. I need a Lindsay Lohan cat.

I could see Jim Caviezel playing the perpetually pissy Donald. He’s incredibly good at not smiling. Also, if he can handle being Christ, Donald’s boring little life should be a piece of cake. Also, too,  the idea of sharing lunch with Christ over at Kraft Services is completely thrilling.

Other characters could be played by mostly anyone who’s brunette and mildly obnoxious. We would also need one African kid, a lady with mommy issues, and someone who doesn’t have to talk but must sport an impressive beard.

Give us a one-sentence synopsis of the book. It’s a coming of age tale of a person who should be way past the coming of age phase,  a guy who doesn’t even see how badly he’s begging for a mid-life crisis. Sentence fragment cheat!

Will you be self-published or represented by an agent? Slow it down, now. I should probably write some words on pages and call Jim Caviezel first.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript? Ask me in twelve years. Okay. Okay. Thirteen.

What other books would compare to yours? Into the Wild meets The Little Engine That Could with a splash of misinterpretation of the Bible.

What inspired you to write this story? I have a snippet from the book in which an old lady notices Donald perched uncomfortably next to her on the bus. Without reservations of concern she turns to him and states, “You don’t like you’re seat then move your happy white ass”. Not exactly poetic, but that is really the whole purpose for the book. We are sometimes dealt shitty cards, placed in bad places, but more often we are the ones choosing to accept the worst seat on the bus, the worst lot in life. It’s a subtle reminder that change is an option. It’s the cliché notion that life is what you make of it. Carpe the hell out of that diem!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Well nothing much. Just that this tiny book of one-syllable words, this work of literary gold will make you instantly shed 10 pounds, find the man of your dreams (who will be of royal blood), come into immediate and overwhelming fortune, and clear your chin acne right up. Oh ha! I’m a liar. I think this book is an opportunity for any person (a housewife, an army vet, a chef, a homeless beggar, you) to identify with Donald, to understand that this life of theirs is malleable and moving. As Mary Oliver says, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”.

May Jim Caviezel Christ bless you if you made it through the Me, Me, Me Interview. Hope you’ll stay tuned to see if this small observation can turn into a big statement. Please make sure to check out my choices for the Next Big Thing and read about the brilliant books these bloggers have in the works.

   Are you working on a book?

Know of another blogger who’s making the transition from web to printed words?

Share below! It’s what Jim Caviezel Christ would do.

31 thoughts on “Jesus Christ, Tidy Cats & The Technicolor Dream Plot

  1. Tori, even your not knowing writing is brilliant and hilarious!. I will not check in with you in twelve YEARS but hope that you start putting things down onto the page much, much sooner. So sit down, put the TITLE of SHITTY FIRST DRAFT on the top of a blank page and begin writing. And I would pay prices higher than the bargain bin for this work.

    I honestly love the inspiration and explanation of your work. Your one sentence synopsis (fragment or not) would make me read it.

    Although, suddenly your character’s name makes me nauseous. Are you attached to Donald as that name has been too corrupted for there to be any hope of redemption. ;)

    I’m with you on the journey!

    1. Donald’s name irks me, too. That was a little bit on purpose. There is a whole chunk in which he resents his name (from his dad) and the fact that his sister’s name is Donna (second child/ redo). She grows up to clearly love where she came from because she duplicates their upbringing as much as possible (Her husband David, Davey Jr., Darcy, and Duchess the dog). I liked that two kids could grow up in the same house with the same people and have such different feelings about it. He rather act like it never happened. She rather be right back there. I could definitely change teh Donald part and just find different coordinating names. I thought it sounded frumpy, a little boring which seems to suit him at first.

  2. In spite of all your self-deprecation, I know this book will be great. They never feel great someplace between writing a few paragraphs and getting it all out. My worst moment is always going back to the first draft and starting to revise, because on every page, I am muttering, “Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Who the hell wrote this schlock? Nobody will read this, EVER.”

    But then, I start plowing through it, and it gets better.

    (This is a totally selfish pep talk for my totally selfish self.)

    1. Well slap my butt and call me Andra because your pep talk totally worked :) For now at least, I am feeling really positive and pumped up. Check back tomorrow though and I’ll probably be drowning my first draft in the bath tub.

  3. Congratulations, Tori!!  I’m excited about your next adventure.  I have so loved the blogs that I know the books will be awesomely good.  Much love.

    1. Hahaha. Donald The Douche. Catchy huh? He is a lot less awful once the book gets going. I need everybody to hate him just a little bit, then feel sorry for him, then have that “Oh. Oh snap!” moment when they realize they’re a whole lot like him.

  4. So, your book will get me the man of my dreams? AWESOME! Just let me know how long it takes, ’cause I gotta get my electric guitar outta storage so i can jam with Mark Knopfler. 8O
    Hmm? What?!? Mark Knopfler is my favourite guitarist, and a jam session with him has ALWAYS been a dream of mine! :D

    1. Hahaha. Yes. This book’ll be magic. By magic I mean marketed as containing super secretive secrets of success and life happiness. Readers will read all the way to book’s end before they realize it’s a big trick. Just a book about a dude who needs a kick in the butt.

  5. Awesome, Tori! Your story idea sounds really interesting. I’d buy it, like hardcover and all, not just the e-book you know. :)

    Now get to work! Can’t wait to see what happens to Donald.

  6. I am glad I posted my “Bargain Bin” post BEFORE reading this:

    My book will mostly be found in the Bargain Bin section. Yes. Bargain Bin is this book’s genre home.

    If the ordering had been different, I would have had to revise the post and its title which would have just added to my workload . . . a pile which I am already too lazy to tackle.

    So, thank you , Universe, for leading me hear A.P. not B.P.

    And thanks for the laughs, Tori. I can’t wait to read your book . . . if I’m still around 13 years down the road. ;)

    1. I LOVED your bargain bin post. I totally agreed with it. When I am actually shopping my cheap side takes over. I always pay $2 for books I know are probably awful because I can’t pass up a good deal!

  7. I’m a little freaked here, causeI realize I have the same problem Donald does. I’m still coming of age–and I’m 50, for god’s sake. Is that what’s wrong with me?

    However, I’m even more freaked out that I did not get my usual emaill announcement about this post. I found it via FB.

    Can’t wait for your Oprah interview!


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