Did you know everyone in Romania speaks Klingon? When they lost the Internet during the zombie uprising, two enterprising Russians decided to unload their warehouse full of Klingon for the Galactic Traveler. If you don't know Klingon, you can't travel in Romania. Coincidently, sales of The Klingon Hamlet have never been better.
Alright, that's not true yet, but it is in Dracula And Kittens. Not the book I wanted to start my career as a published author but I had no choice.
Back in September, my original ticket to the plush writer's life was floating in a toilet at the Wilton, New York's Barnes And Noble. Inside my bootleg Moleskine? The outline for Astonishing Tales Of Mediocrity. ATOM was an autobiographical novel about a questionable organization, social media, and dragging the stench of failure with you across state lines.
Drifting hopelessly, several months of notes awaited an unprintable fate, or worse, discovery.
Panic set in. I imagined an intrepid Barnes & Noble employee rolling up their sleeves and thrusting their hand into the dark depths to retrieve the watery treasure.The would then blog about their findings and make snide comments. This employee's philosophy? "If it's not my creation, it sucks and should be mocked."
This mentality also explains 99% of blog comments, fanboy reactions, and what my Dad thinks of other people's ideas.
I looked skyward to ask George Carlin why he was testing me and then reached into the bowl. People will do dumb things in their quest for a spot on the New York Times's bestseller list. My second goal in life, below keeping my promises but above sleeping with Halle Berry and appearing on The Colbert Report.
My wife begged me to stop showing everyone in the store what was left of my great American novel. Little was, and there was no one to blame but myself. Who keeps their jokes and notes entirely offline anymore?
Frustrated, I set out to write something new, this time keeping the notes online where they would be safe from bitter bookstore employees and toilet water.
During some research, I discovered Project Gutenberg through a Wiki Wormhole. A Wiki Wormhole is when you read one Wikipedia article, click a link, read another, and somehow wind up on a frighteningly detailed page about the Ultimate Warrior.
Project Gutenberg collects thousands of books online that are in the public domain, Bram Stoker's Dracula among them. Because Dracula is public domain, you could do anything you want with it, including the conversion of Count Dracula from an ancient warlord to a proprietor of a pet store that exclusively sells kittens.
Amused by my clever twist, I slapped together a blog post revising the first few pages of Dracula. John Harker went from a young, ambitious clerk to an egotistical, foul mouthed man-child who makes pop culture references and is terrified of Eastern Europe's Children's Railway.
Surprisingly, people liked this. So out of ATOM's watery grave came Dracula And Kittens. For now, barring publisher interest, there is only one surviving chapter from ATOM. I won't go anywhere near ATOM otherwise. I still convulse thinking about what I pulled the outline out of.
I learned my lesson. To avoid future bathroom-related incidents, the outlines and chapters are created entirely within Google Docs and then dropped into Wordpress. Nothing touches paper.
And the nice thing about Google Docs? If your computer takes a personal day, your work is safe. It's unlikely a Google employee will bring the server your information is on into the bathroom and drop it into the toilet. Not by accident anyway.
Now whether or not we can get Dracula And Kittens published and floating in the toilets of Barnes And Nobles nationwide, that's a story for next time. Until then, I'm going to start brushing up on my Klingon.