Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Young Adult Novel Pitch

Pitch #1: Sixteen-year-old Kira Belle couldn't be more bored when she moves to a remote Irish fishing village to live with her estranged mother. But then she meets Seamus, a brooding young man with a dark secret . . .

. . . he's a leprechaun.

Wait. Not that kind of leprechaun.

There we go. Much better.

When Kira first resists his attentions, Seamus plies her with her one weakness: shoes, each pair lovingly cobbled with his own hands. She falls for Seamus -- hard. But can Seamus resist the urge to trick her? Will he jealously guard his pot o' gold? Or will he finally offer his treasure up to Kira . . . in more ways than one?

Verdict: Intriguing premise. However, Irish demographic too narrow. Additionally, leprechauns same as pixies, which have been done.

Pitch #2: Sixteen-year-old Anna Lovely couldn't be more bored when she moves to Cornhusk, Nebraska to live with her estranged father. But then she meets Demetrios, a brooding young exchange student with a dark secret . . .

. . . he's a satyr.

Oh, for God's sake, not that kind of satyr.

Yes. Thank you.

When Anna first resists his attentions, Demetrios plies her with her one weakness: gyros, each one lovingly rolled with his own hands. She falls for Demetrios -- hard. But can Anna love Demetrios without succumbing to his lusty satyr nature? Or will he seduce Anna into a drunken, violent, bacchanalian frenzy?

Verdict: I like the bestiality overtones. Edgy! But could be problematic with Middle America, not to mention PETA, ASPCA, etc.

Pitch #3: Sixteen-year-old Serena Babe couldn't be more bored when she moves to a truck stop out in the middle of nowhere to live with her estranged grandmother. But then she meets Beelzebub, a brooding young truck driver with a dark secret . . .

. . . he's Satan.

&^%$@!, people. Do we never learn???? Think Satan as in gorgeous fallen angel, okay?

Yes! Finally. Sheesh.

When Serena first resists his attentions, Beelzebub plies her with her one weakness: an insatiable lust for money, fame and power. She falls for Beelzebub -- hard. But will Beelzebub drag Anna to Hell and slow-roast her over a spit for all eternity? Or will their scorching love survive temptation?

Verdict: Love it! This one's a go! Look for Damned If I Do to hit bookshelves in late 2010!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Killer Buns

Satan's minion is living in my basement until the weather warms. Yes, you heard me. Satan's Minion, also known as Katy the Bunny.

She's my daughter's rabbit. Actually, he's my daughter's rabbit. We thought he was a she. He was sold to us as a she. But when I dropped him off at the vet's to get fixed, prepared for an overnight stay, the nursing staff called me within the hour, saying Katy was ready and waiting.

"That was fast!" I said.

"Castrations usually are," said the nurse.

My daughter is none the wiser, and continues to address him as Katy. Fine by me: trannies are hip now, are they not? But maybe not so fine by Katy - er, Kevin. Maybe that's why the rabbit is the most evil small mammal I've ever encountered.

Seriously. To paraphrase Tim the Enchanter, he's no ordinary rabbit. He's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you've ever set eyes on.

In a nutshell: he charges. He grunts. He bites. You barely set foot in the basement and he bullets out of nowhere and nips your ankle.

I have made sincere efforts to rehabilitate him. Truly. Just the other day, I spent a good ten minutes stroking his head, which he loves.

You're not so bad, little rabbit, I thought to myself. You're soft, at least. And there's no denying you're cute.

"Who's a good bunny?" I asked Katy. "Who's the best bunny in the whole wide world?"

I stopped stroking him. He lunged at my face and nipped me on the nose.

Ever since then, when I visit a French restaurant, I order rabbit. I'm a nice person, but once you break skin, all bets are off.

I compiled the following footage in Katy's honor. Take a gander. If you dare.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Offensive Hand Gestures

My 8-year-old son recently brought home his latest selection from the school library:

I could dedicate an entire post to the unconventional, inscrutable being that is my son. But not today.

Today, I'll share a few gems I discovered when I paged through this sign language treatise. Signing is tricky business. To express yourself clearly and quickly, using a minimum of manual effort, you sometimes rely a bit on stereotypes. It's like cultural shorthand, you see.

For instance, the sign for IRISH is also the sign for POTATO since, as we all know, that humble vegetable is the foundation of all Irish cuisine.

Likewise, the sign for ARGENTINA is the same as the sign for GUITAR, because . . .

. . . because?

Huh. Just because.

Moving on, the sign for JEWISH or HEBREW requires the speaker to run his fingers over his chin as if stroking an imaginary beard. Which I guess makes sense, as many Jewish men are bearded and quite . . . uhh . . . contemplative, studying the Torah and all. I guess.

See how this works? Cultural shorthand! Which is why the sign for JAPANESE or ASIAN requires the speaker to pull his eyelids lengthwise and -

Wait. That can't be right. Really - THAT. CAN'T. BE. RIGHT. Let's take another example.

To sign the word HOMOSEXUAL, you simply pinch your fingers together into "ballet hands" and mince your shoulders back and forth as you emulate an effeminate walk . . .

Oh, COME ON, deaf people. That's just not nice. Can't you substitute another word for 'homosexual'? Like "Broadway", for example? Or "Barry Manilow?"

Wait. Hold the phone. It appears that there IS a sign-language substitute for "homosexual". Based on this definition, the sign for "homosexual" is nearly identical and virtually indistinguishable from the sign for . . .


Oy vey, as my gay, potato-eating, guitar-strumming, squinty-eyed, Jewish friend Herschel might say.

I give up, deaf people. I give up.