Are you fascinating beyond compare? Do you own a monkey? Do you put pants on your parakeet? Do you amaze yourself with your own charm, acumen, or shoe collection? Or are you dull as a kitchen knife? Are you unable to find any adjectives to describe yourself in any way? Is “nice” too strong a word to describe you?
Snazzy or nearly invisible, anyone can get themselves written into a novel. Everyone can be a character, whether you are fantastically fantastic or earth-shatteringly boring or somewhere in between. You can even be considered once you are dead. Don’t let a missing pulse keep you from trying.
Here is your guide to getting you – wonderful or zzzzzz’y you – into the closest novel.
1. Know an author (or be one).
2. Think about yourself. Think some more. Write a list of descriptors about yourself (if you are reaching for words and coming up with a blank, please note that words such as “the” do not count as descriptive). Tell yourself all about yourself.
3. Embellish. Whichever direction you lean, make yourself more – much, much more – than you already are. If you are chubby, give yourself about 105 extra pounds. If you are selfish, tell the story of your most self-indulgent moment and make it worse than ever. If you are simply fabulous, just because, then crank up the fabulous. Flat and nearly invisible? Dull it up!
4. Ask your friends or monkey what qualities about you they adore, or abhor, or wish you had, or can’t even come up with. Memorize these desperately or dispense with them entirely depending on whether they please you (unless you are incapable of pleasure, in which case, hang on to them until step 8).
5. Record a few of the things you love/hate/tolerate doing. Perhaps you are a shockingly old champion ice skater, having won every gold medal since the Olympics began. Or maybe you are an excellent cannibal, with the additional skill of eluding police at every turn. Or perhaps you can carve fruit into tiny animals, or bowl badly. Or you may be one of only 10 human beings alive who neither understand, create, nor generate humor, like that guy Michael I dated (briefly).
6. Whatever it is, record, record, RECORD. Write each element on a sticky note or expensive Japanese handmade paper, depending on your character. Finally, once completed, write the manner in which you fascinatingly/weirdly/mind-numbingly dully accomplished this.
7. Compile the list into one paragraph on another sticky/Japanese piece of paper. Put the words together into one run-on sentence of utter amazement/chilling nothingness.
Congratulations! Now you know the entirety (or brevity) of your “character” for someone’s novel!
8. Now is the time to “become” that character you’ve always wanted to be or regretted that you are. It’s time to act! That’s right. Act like you.
9. Practice, practice, practice being yourself for seven days without ceasing. Remember, sleep is no excuse! Sleep like yourself.
10. Once you have accomplished this, record yourself acting like yourself, only more so, and send immeditately to the closest novelist. Be sure to include a loving or threatening or bland explanatory note. Alternately, write yourself as a (the only?) character in your own horrifying/thrilling/sleepifying novel or Frequently Asked Questions section of a hand-vac user’s manual.
Boom! That’s it! You are now on your way to becoming truly entrenched in the twists and turns of a splendiferous work of art (or 2000 page instructional manual on the correct method for parting your hair).
Way to go!
My mother is a fiend for naughty, sugary cereals. Truth be told, Cap’n Crunch is my own vice. Maaaaybe once a year I can have some. But as my mother is also a very silly, goofy person, I decided to combine cereal + book to make the Oops! Cereal Box Book, made from an actual box of Oops! cereal – as in, oops, it’s all berries. Yum! My favorite part of this book is the binding. Oh, and eating the Oops.
This book is available for commission – each one completely unique. I can make these from cake or cookie or muffin or cereal boxes or any other sort of box! If you’ve got somebody with a thing for something in a box, give me a holler! It’s a fun gift.
“Oops! It’s Cereal Box Book” Available Now at my WonderAndQuirk Etsy Store
Blinds of New York waving in the city wind from a corner trash can. I felt kinda sad for the thing. ©Copyright 2014 Anjani Millet
It was 430 a.m. and I’d wandered out of my hotel, 30 minutes late, asleep on my feet and seriously thrilled to be in the dark at zero dark thirty catching a cab, to catch a train, to catch a plane, to fly to Seattle, to catch a ride, to get to my car, to drive to my house, to fall on my couch. Then I remembered I didn’t have a couch in Seattle anymore and would have to fall on the couch of my son-in-law until I could drive another 3 hours to my cottage on the beach, which is too small for a couch. So much transportation.
The biting wind was rattling along the sidewalk, screeching up the pavement behind me, skittering up my pants and slipping in for the winter somewhere between my coat and my internal organs. While I stood wandering how I got there, since I was surely in bed two or three minutes before, marveling that I was not, in fact, still there (where I had landed only 3 hours before), I heard it: an eggshell white, screechy, dancey sound.
The wrinkled bones of broken window blinds were waving to me from the corner, “look at my slats, look at my slats!” They were upright and dancing (more than I could do at that hour) with their little sneaky friend, Mr. Icy Wind. The Little Blind Jig, I named the dance moves, right on the spot. The clapping metals fingers wiggled and shimmied, despite being folded in half and shoved into a trash can, and worse, left outside alone to entertain cab-waiters and sleep-forgetters. What-do-they-call-that-when-people-think-home-furnishings-are-people, I wondered, as I rubbed my red eyes, which felt bald. “Nut-jobs,” was how I, The Logical Commentator, answered myself, the Bleeding-Heart-Window-Coverings-Empathizer.
Then, before I could stop it, right out loud my mouth said to the blinds, “Ah geez, I’m sooooo sorry you got shoved into that trash can…”
The part of me that had no part in saying such drivel, the Commentator, was instantly seeping in embarrassment, more instantly than instant pudding sets up in January, more instantly than a driver in New York honks at the person in front of them when the light has barely turned green. Luckily, just before my dorky mind starting to spin around in circles from the half-awake argument between my ears, and before the dancing window blinds could answer me out loud, I remembered I was in New York. Here, God Bless America, talking to oneself, or window blinds, barely even registers on the Interesting Scale.
By the time I fell out of the cab (snoring?) at Penn Station I discovered all the trains were cancelled anyway, and that I was, in fact, a whole hour early – it was now only 430 am, not 530 – and I’d fallen out of bed to catch my flight a whole hour early, not late. While I piled into a cab with three stranded strangers, I wondered if my blind friend would also be carted away, to catch a ride to a faraway land without couches. I stopped myself before I could fall asleep on my cab-partner’s shoulders, doomed to mutter, “Goodbye, Window Coverings!”