Thursday, November 01, 2007

Book Report

So below you will find the beginnings of a book that I need to finish writing someday. I started this project in college and I have not really revisited it until recently. It is a combination of fact and fiction, and it may offer you a little more insight into this dumb, white guy. I am not sure what my motives are for showing everyone one this. Maybe I am looking for positive feedback or maybe I am just hoping a publisher stumbles across my blog, reads this, and gives me a book deal. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do have any feedback I would certainly love to hear it.

"Confessions of a Dumb, White Guy"

By Matt Shifley

The lights were off but someone was definitely home. Sitting alone, he cursed God and kept asking himself, why, as a familiar voice invaded the blackness.
Beep. Hey honey, this is Janet. I just called to say hello and to let you know I will finally be home tomorrow. My long trip will be over and I can't wait to see you. It seems like it has been longer than two weeks. Oh well, I love you and I will see you soon. Bye. Beep.
He pushed the now worn-out play button again as he struggled to control his emotions. The warm whiskey was still going down smooth but it was only intensifying the anguish he was putting himself through.
Beep. Hey honey, this is Janet. I just called to say hello and to let you know I will finally be home tomorrow. My long trip will be over and I can't wait to see you. It seems like it has been longer than two weeks. Oh well, I love you and I will see you soon. Bye. Beep.
The tears finally fought their way through his closed eyes as he played back the answering machine once more.
And that was the last time he heard her voice.

"Who are you taking to the dance?" said Josh
"I do not have the faintest idea," said Cooper. "I just want to have a good time. I want to go with someone I know I will have fun with. And, if her definition of fun includes marathon sessions of sex, well I won't complain."
"So, as usual, you have narrowed the field down to fun-loving whores?"
"Yes, I believe that is exactly what I am looking for. Quick, release the hounds."
"So are you even going to the dance?"
"I don't know, it doesn't look too good. I'm fresh out of whores. I think my mission is done here. There is no longer a need for my services. Cooper has left the building."
"What about that girl you met last Saturday at the bar?"
"Who? That blonde?"
"Yea, she was cute. She seemed to be digging your lines and I don't recall seeing her doing the walk of shame with her panties in her back pocket from the house."
"She was into me. I was being, how do you say in America ... an asshole, yes an asshole and apparently the young ladies of this fine town are looking for something more. I know, I can't believe it myself, but I guess in the last few months they have developed something called standards. Anyway, she was complaining about her boobs being too small and how she wanted to get them bigger. And of course I reassured her that her boobs were perfect.'
"Of course. You are a gentleman."
"So I tell her that I read in Cosmopolitan that a new vitamin was being used in Europe that seemed to improve the size of breasts. Well, since I am unflappable and quite charming, she was hooked. She asked what was the name of the vitamin and I told her vitamin C. I get the deer in the headlights look from her and she is like you mean orange juice. So I tell her, well not exactly it is actually a relatively obscure vitamin known as vitamin Cooper. Well, the look of confusion turned into a look of damnation and she freaks out because she thought I meant throwing a load of sperm on her chest, which I did, and slaps me and leaves."
"Oh, the youth these days. They just don't understand the well-read man."
"You know it, brother. I am a genius surrounded by idiots, excluding you and a few others."
"Thanks, I think. Well since vitamin C is not selling like hotcakes these days, I'll see what I can do. I am going over to the girlfriends. Do you have anything I should tell Janna?"
"Actually, tell her I am looking for a girl who is a good thumb wrestler."
"OK, I will tell her. I'll see you in the morning."
"Alright, I'll see you later."
The conversation summed up his whole collegiate experience. He just never took anything seriously; he was more comfortable joking about it rather than actually dealing with the matters at hand. He would love to take a wonderful girl to the dance and enjoy an evening of engaging conversation. But, spending time with someone he cared about was a foreign experience. It just made things less complicated if he could get a tramp for a date and just tried talking her pants off. He could party all night and have no regrets in the morning. Unfortunately, these pep talks he gave to himself were no longer cutting it. He had a lot of regrets.
Thinking about college, he had the time of his life but soon it would be over. And what did he have to show for it? There just seemed to be something missing in his life.

14 comments:

The Duck said...

I would be willing to read more of that. That's probably as close to a compliment as you'll get out of me this morning.

And is it just me or does "The Office" somehow manage to keep getting better and better? Also, wow "My Name is Earl" has gone down the toilet. Oh, and you would be glad to know that I have started watching "30 Rock" and it's fantastic. That bit last week with Alec Baldwin doing the impressions was just plain awesome. See ya.

Jon said...

Oddly enough a publisher did find my page a few weeks ago.
That's good stuff. I'd definitely read more.

The Egg said...

The prospects of getting a publisher are very high. Funny I had dreams about high school English class last night. I actually miss papers and book reports. Call me crazy. Good luck!

Travis Erwin said...

I like the intrigue of the beginning and how it made me wonder how it fit in witht the rest.

For advice I say be carfeul of writing too passively. THe word was along with words that end in ing and ly are good indicators that a sentence is passive rahter than active.

an example :

You wrote -- The warm whiskey was still going down smooth but it was only intensifying the anguish he was putting himself through.

My suggestion -- The warm whiskey went down smooth, but the booze only intesified his mental anguish.

Keep gong until you finisthe thing. It is nearly impossible for uan unpublished writer to sell anything that is not complete.

And I wish you luck. I'm chasing the same dream of a book deal and while it is a tough road, I think it will be wortht in the end.

angel, jr. said...

" Quick, release the hounds".

Great line. Or maybe "Release The Hounds" should be the title!!

cher said...

He just never took anything seriously; he was more comfortable joking about it rather than actually dealing with the matters at hand......this is me. to a T.

I like your story Mr.Shife. Can i be your date for the dance? I'll even start things off right with my panties already in my back pocket.

Ms. Moon said...

Here's something to ponder- in real life, people use a lot of contractions.
We say "I'll be home tomorrow." Not so much "I will finally be home tomorrow."
Or
Instead of "It seems like it has been longer than two weeks. Oh well, I love you and I will see you soon," try "It seems like it's been longer than two weeks. Oh well. I love you and I'll see you soon."
Can you hear the difference? Without contractions, it starts to sound like our characters are people who speak English as a second language.
That's my two cents.

Tena said...

I would read your grocery list.

Phats said...

I'd buy it, but only if you'd autograph it and sign it LOVE SHIFE haha

I think you need your own sitcom, you'd be hysterical I am sure

cher said...

roar

the rube said...

beauty, cooper seems to be one step ahead of linus pauling on the vitamin c front.

The Phoenix said...

What an interesting premise you've got going here.

Just a couple things:

1) Use tags like "Cooper said" or "Josh asked as he shoved a potato chip into his mouth." Tags help us keep track of who is saying what, and it can show some characterization. Editors hate putting "said" first, like "said Cooper."

2) That last paragraph does a ton of telling instead of showing. The story's dialog and action should show us all of that stuff.

I've been doing a ton of writing too, so these are just two things I noticed first from being in editing mode for so long.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

I like what I'm reading. Did you base the protagonist on me?

Tina said...

I knew you were a good writer - would love to hear that you continued with this ! :)

Sorry I've been awol lately - I'm back ;)