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Meme Me.

Internet Ronin has tagged me with a meme. Which is odd in itself, because no one ever tags me. I'm wondering if it's that people think I'm cranky. I am, I'm just not sure I like everyone knowing it.

Hmm. Should be easy enough. Although I see there's math involved.

1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

Okay. Nearest book. Well. By what system? Nearest I can reach without moving? Or nearest I can reach if I actually sit up? I think the latter is closer in terms of actual inches. But to hell with that, I'm comfortable, I'm taking the line of least resistance.

The Billion-Dollar Kiss. Subtitled, "The kiss that saved Dawson's creek and other adventures in TV writing." By Jeffrey Stepakoff.

I never watched Dawson's Creek. But I have this irrational jealousy of Hollywood writers. On the one hand we book authors get far more control over our work than they do. On the other hand those guys can fail, and fail, and fail, and still get work. You know what happens if my books flop? Barnes and Noble and Borders write me off. No one will touch me. I'll be ignored, blacklisted, eventually dragged into an alley and beaten with world atlases. A TV writer whose show tanks gets another show. A screenwriter whose movie bombs actually sees his market value rise.

Hollywood weasels. Their failures go on to earn DVD money. My failures end up confronting me from the remainder table. The table of shame. They go to Hollywood parties with starlets. I don't go to parties, I go to noisy family restaurants with my kids. In North Carolina.

Those lucky bastards.

Anyway. I read the book as a way to feed my resentment.

It was called Pet Rock Productions, because when I was a kid I always carried a rock with me. My friends thought I was, you know, quirky, eccentric, because they didn't have terms like OCD in the mid-seventies in Georgia. At a party thrown by a Carnegie alum, I met a very nice girl who was working as a researcher on China Beach.

See? At a party. Do I get invited to parties? Well, yes, occasionally, but I don't go. I don't really, you know, like to be around people. Which does nothing to lessen my resentment.

Now to tag five suckers. Pastor Jeff at Conblogeration. (If he doesn't have a bible in the top spot he's going to have some 'splainin' to do.) Alan Stewart Carl at MaverickViews. (I'm guessing he has an Iron Man comic close by, but will fake us out with one of his "grown up" books.) Michael Van der Galien at Poligazette. (Please, please let it be something Dutch. Yes, of course Dutch is a real language. Kind of.) Simon at StubbornFacts. (Could be a brain-numbing law book, could be Simon's draft of a Newt Gingrich manga.) And Icepick at The Kitchen Drawer. (He was recently burgled, so I'm going to guess it's a copy of Guns and Ammo.)

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“Meme Me.”

  1. Blogger Randy (Internet Ronin) Says:

    For some reason, I thought you were one of those who didn't like being tagged, so I almost didn't, but then I figured, lets see what happens. And, boy, I sure did enjoy enjoy the result. (Almost as much as I enjoyed your tags. ;-) Anyway, know what you mean about the parties. Growing up in that general area, I knew many people who ended up in that party circuit. Only one made it big-time. Quite a few died horribly young. I have a good story or two about personal experiences of my own but I'm not about repeat them in print in public. Perhaps another day, over scotch, far from the in crowd.

  2. Blogger Pastor_Jeff Says:

    Thanks for the interesting and humorous read, and the tag. What about the guys who crank out books for TV and movie franchises? That seems like a pretty sweet deal, too.

    Closest in physical proximity? Webster's New Dictionary of the English Language. Page 123 is ferric to field; no complete sentences in sight.

    One I read the most? The Bible, sure.

    One I'm reading right now? The Price of Glory: Verdun, 1916

    Anyway, it will have to wait a little. I'm finishing up prep for a funeral tomorrow. Maybe there will be a Bible handy at the office.

  3. Blogger Transplanted Lawyer Says:

    Oh, so it's Hollywood writers to think about now? I just heard a joke from a friend who works at a studio:

    The screenwriter was fresh out of ideas. He sat in his lonely Malibu bungalow, and stared at his word processor, devoid of all inspiration.

    *POOF!* A leprechaun appears. "I kin' help ye," he says. "I kin' give ye three miracles, and then you'll have to pay my price."

    "Okay, Mr. Leprechaun," the writer says, "Here's the thing. Tomorrow I have to go pitch the biggest producer and the biggest director in all of Hollywood, and I don't even have a clue. Write a pitch for me."

    "Here you go!" The leprechaun gets to work on a pitch, and five minutes later, there it is.

    The next day, the writer goes to his power lunch and makes the pitch. He comes back to his Malibu bungalow, and says to the leprechaun, "They loved it! They gave me a $25,000 advance and they want a treatment by next Thursday! I need a treatment!"

    "Aye!" says the leprechaun, and he gets right to work. In the meantime, the writer uses the money as a down payment on his new sports car.

    The next Thursday, the writer takes the treatment back to the producer and the director. Again, he comes back. "They loved it! They gave it the green light on the spot and advanced me another hundred grand! We've got to have a full script in three weeks and they're doing casting right now!"

    "Ach, laddie, you'll be wanting the full script for your third miracle, then?" After the writer agrees, the leprechaun gets to work, putting out page after extraordinary page.

    Months later, the writer comes home, with his brand new Academy Award statue in hand, to a house full of beautiful women lounging in the hot tub. "Mr. Leprechaun," he says, "I've made it big. The residuals from that movie have me set for life, I just earned the highest award in my profession, and I've been inked for two sequels. I owe it all to you. What can I do to thank you?"

    "Well, laddie, I've been thinking," the leprechaun says back. "What I'd really like is some on-screen credit."

    "Fuck you."

  4. Blogger Randy (Internet Ronin) Says:


  5. Blogger amba Says:

    Cool! You tagged a bunch of the people I would've tagged if I could've tagged a bunch more.

    I thought that writer was going to claim he invented the pet rock.

  6. Blogger kreiz1 Says:

    Michael Van der Galien at Poligazette. (Please, please let it be something Dutch. Yes, of course Dutch is a real language. Kind of.) Simon at StubbornFacts. (Could be a brain-numbing law book, could be Simon's draft of a Newt Gingrich manga.)

    A brain-numbing law book? I'm laughing out loud. Jesus, Reynolds. You slay me.

  7. Blogger Alan Stewart Carl Says:

    Iron Man? Why, 'cause my boyish good looks somehow indicate a love for boyish tales of adventure? Please. I'm much more of a Batman guy. And The Flash.

    Thanks for the tag, btw ... like I really needed another incentive to procrastinate.

  8. Blogger Icepick Says:

    Guns & Ammo? No chance. Firearms are too impersonal. At the moment I'm still deciding between use of an edged implement, a blunt implement, or just using my hands. (Hands would best suite my rage, but aren't that effective unless one spends years getting training. Blunt implements are CLEARLY the most fun, as they are the most nasty, but one needs enough space to swing them properly. Edged instruments can be used in all kinds of quarters if they're small enough and also have a good point.)

    Anyway, I can't do this at work. I have mountains of paper work but very few books in my office, and those are all propietary. (Unfortunately I forgot to put the paperback I'm reading back into my briefcase/man-bag thing, or I could use that.)

    At home I can give a one hundred percent guarantee that it will be a chess book. I think the one on top of the pile on the backup computer desk is Alexander Kotov's Grandmaster at Work. You'll be begging for one of Simon's brain-numbing law books by the time I'm through! (Also, you'll have lucked out that I've got the Kasparov books that I'm using in another room. That could REALLY kill all the non-players.)

  9. Blogger Icepick Says:

    Sorry, still haven't been able to post my response. It turns out that the Kotov book was actually the second book, though, with Euwe and Timman's book about the Fischer Spassky '72 match taking first. Maybe I'll get to post that tonight.

  10. Blogger 宮保雞丁Alex Says: