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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
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    Like all print journalists, I aspire to write The Great American Novel.


    I thought I would let you in on the writer’s creative process by allowing you to see some notes for my 600 page masterpiece-in-progress....

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  •   Like all print journalists, I aspire to write The Great American Novel. I thought I would let you in on the writer’s creative process by allowing you to see some notes for my 600 page masterpiece-in-progress. Then, when you buy the book off Amazon, or at Barnes and Noble, you can compare it to my notes to see how my mind reworked the basic material. Ahem. • Idea for a scene: Oogie Pringle meets the woman of his dreams walking out of a porta-potty at Farmfest. • The scene where the walrus eats the coconut — will the readers be able to discern the subtle political commentary? • It would help the flow of the narrative if Gladys suddenly developed psychic powers for a couple pages? • Check with the publishers about the expense of adding scratch-and-sniff patches to the pages with key scenes. • Nellie’s asthmatic cough — rework into a broken leg? • Note: the first 355 pages drag a little. Condense down to four paragraphs on page 3. • Alvin’s murder by hockey stick is too self-referential. • Rework the carpentry scene. How can Dave hit his thumb with a hammer if he goes hitchhiking with an unharmed thumb just two paragraphs later? • Check to see if the lyrics to “Born in the U.S.A.” are in the public domain, or if I’ll have to pay a royalty fee. Possible titles: • Prairie’s Paper Cut • Winds of Time, and Stuff • Echos of a Confused Guy Eating a Taco • The Power of Uff-da • Drinking Beer on Icy Roads . . . . . Suing other people because of your own stupidity is fashionable, so I’ve decided to sue everyone in sight every time I screw up. On at least half a dozen occasions I’ve been caught driving above the speed limit, and gotten ticketed. My response? Sue the car manufacturer! It’s obviously their fault I got a speeding ticket because they didn’t put anything in the car to prevent it. I demand that all car companies install optical sensors that can read speed limit signs, and gas pedals that respond appropriately. If that adds a few thousand dollars to the cost of every new car, I figure that’s a small price for the rest of you to pay for my stupidity. Until then, I figure $40,000,000 in punitive damages is sufficient to compensate me for the pain and humiliation I’ve gotten for driving too fast. Years ago, my brother got a paper cut. He ran to the bathroom cupboard to get a bandage, and got another paper cut opening the little paper wrapper. That’s gotta be worth about $8,000,000 for sure. In high school, I never wore a jacket no how chilly it got. Everyone knew only nerd wore jackets. As a result, I got a lot of colds. My response: sue the jacket company for not working harder to make me buy their products. Think of the possibilities: suing companies for the fact I didn’t use their products! Think of the possibilities! 
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