East of Bizarro

My brother Tod just returned from speaking at  the East of Eden writers conference in Salinas, California where he had some hilarious encounters with aspiring writers. He lists a few of them on his blog. Here’s a sampling:

3. Number of writers who attempted to present me with velobound manuscripts: 9

4. Number of writers who asked me to write their ideas: 4

5. A conversation with a very nice woman who wanted some advice on her short story:

Woman: I think my short story would make a great musical.

Me: Uh, okay.

Woman: I’ve already written all the lyrics and am adapting it for a movie musical.

Me: What was the last musical you saw?

Woman: Oh, I can’t remember the last time I saw a great musical. They don’t make great musicals anymore.

Me: Then why do you think a movie studio would want to make a musical out of your short story?

Woman: It’s a universal story, I write wonderful songs, it would be
just a great musical. My screenwriting teacher at the junior college
thinks so, too.

Me: What kind of movies does your screenwriting teacher make?

Woman: Documentaries and technical films for businesses.

I was a keynote speaker at the same conference a few years ago, shortly after one of the surgeries on my arm. Just before I went on stage, I spilled an entire slice of chocolate cake in my lap. I tried to wash it off and only made myself look like someone with both a severe bladder control problem and irritable bowels. Nothing earns you respect and admiration when you’re standing in front of hundreds of people like a pair of soiled pants.

1 thought on “East of Bizarro”

  1. The conversation between Christopher Reich and Mr. Self Published is nothing but hilarious.
    Adrienne Barbeau soothed the restless spirit of my youth, as well. I’m thinking she helped to pull a lot of teenaged boys out of the torment that is puberty.


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