Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why I'm Writing a Fake Memoir

So, I've got this idea for a novel...

It's about a three-headed transsexual self-made cyborg with a drug problem, abusive parents and a gnostic - read "suicidal" - large intestine with a mind of its own. The intestine is the sort of rogue organ that manufactures poison gas and tries to kill its owner - herewith referred to as "the fallen world" - in the hopes of escaping the fallen world, sadly unaware of the fact that it's an organ in the body with a mind of HIR own.

But oh no, gotta get out of that fallen world, one way or the other. So it's florescent green poison gas farts all night long, and into the day, while the poor self-made cyborg toils to find a way to replace hir rogue organ, and wonders how long the filters in hir cybernetic lungs are going to hold out.

Oh, and did we mention hir parents are trying to kill hir, two of the heads hate one another, hir boyfriend's a light-skinned black man who wants to join the American Nazi Party, hir girlfriend thinks she's a tuna fish sandwich, and they're having a secret affair behind our protagonist's back... AND stealing hir f$%king heroin?

Pretty cracking stuff, if I do say so myself.

It's about halfway done as of last night, and I'm committed to about fifty pages a day, rewriting on the fly. And I am very, very confident that, once "Butternutz G. Gobsnatch: I Against My Large Intestine (or) Where The Hell Are My Replacement Lungs?" gets in print, it's going to rewrite the science fiction genre for once and for all.

But there's just one problem: I'm having a tough time getting it into print, as it seems no one wants to touch it with a ten foot pole.

I mean, I don't understand what I'm doing wrong. I've sent it out to a dozen prospective publishers, one after the other, but they kept telling me the same thing. In fact, here's their letters mashed up into a singularity:

"Dear Prospective Author:

"Thank you for sending us the first three chapters of your novel. However, we're going to have to take a pass, as our market research shows that people really aren't interested in train of thought, second person cyberpunk novels, even if they have really unique characters with interesting backgrounds, such as yours does. We wish you luck in your writing.

"Sincerely yours - Spineless Jerk-off Who Should Be Mopping Floors, Not Reading Manuscripts"

Needless to say, I'm not very happy thus far. I thought, given the usual crap that gets pushed on people via mass market editions, that someone - ANYONE - would take a chance with a new author with a, though I say it myself, unique story to tell.

So I tried something different. I changed it from second person to first person, added in some spotty flashbacks and changed the opening a little. Then I rechristened it "My Large Intestine Hates Me and My Replacement Lungs Won't Work," and sent it around to a different set of publishers... as a memoir.

I sent it off to four folks at once. I got mail back within a week from each in turn, singing its praises and wanting to talk initial contracts, publicity tours and follow-ups. One of them even wanted to get my purported boyfriend and girlfriend to come along for the ride, and was willing to put up the dough for any damage my large intestine might cause the hotel rooms!

I even got mail from Oprah. It arrived in a big, purple letter. The return address just said O and her face was all the stamp it needed to arrive.

"Dear Butternutz:

"Honey, I just read your memoir, and I feel your pain. Why, just recently my digestive system was conspiring against me! If it wasn't for the three times a week heavy-duty colonics I'd probably be dead.

"Anyway, enough about me! I WANT YOU ON MY SHOW, AND I WANT YOUR BOOK ON MY BOOK CLUB. I think you have a uniquely human and American story to tell, and my audience needs to know all about your life struggle, honey.

"Please, in the name of my ratings and my sanity, hurry up and finish this book. I'm stretching this 'New Earth' poop out as long as I can, but ten weeks is only ten weeks. And after that... I can only strip-mine the fiction and new-age sections of my local Borders for so long.

"I NEED A NEW MUSE! And you, my friend, are it.

"Yours 4-ever


"ps: you have a new car. It's parked outside. I had them put special butt-buffers in the seats so your intestines won't kill your passengers."

Sure enough, it was big and purple and parked outside, key in steering wheel.

With the Gods as my witnesses, I don't know what to do.


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