We held our book reading/signing event last week, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. Our guests consisted mainly of The Ladies Explorer Club. I believe there were anywhere from 15-20 people present at any time.
The back room we were in was really cool—it was this intimate black box with long, bronze tables. And the decor on the walls consisted of a pirate cupcake, a glittery octopus and a horned skull hanging right behind us. We sat on stools, Kim introduced the project, then I talked a little about it. The four of us then took turns reading our stories. Kim, Lauren and Chad did one hell of a job, and their stories seemed to intrigue the audience enough to the point where they wanted more.
I went last, and right before I read Them, I presented the audience with 5 tomatoes. The idea for our contest was to have these adventure-seeking women do something they’ve never done before, but also tie it to The Memory Eater. The 5 women who accepted the napkin-wrapped tomatoes with inch-long slits along the sides had no idea what they had volunteered for. But this was an adventure.
I dismissed explaining further and read my story. Then, when I was done, I broke out a special story on 3 pieces of printer paper called Whales are Awesome. I announced that it was time for the contest, and that I had written the best story known to man. It would blow them away, and it would, without a doubt, be the best thing they ever heard through their mortal ears. I asked someone what their favorite novel was, and they said, “Gosh, you put me on the spot. Something by Shakespeare.” I said, “Shakespeare sucks. Wait until you hear this story.”
I told the audience I was so confident in my story being the best in existence, that if anyone at any time didn’t like what they were hearing, they should throw their tomato at me. I held up my story and said, “This story is called Whales are Awesome.”
Thud. The first fist-sized tomato hit me in the chest and dropped to the ground. The problem was, it didn’t explode as intended. There was only a little juice on my shirt from where the inch-long slit was made. I picked the tomato up while the audience laughed and split it open so the juicy insides were revealed. Then I politely handed the tomato back to the smiling woman and said, “I know you didn’t mean to throw that.”
Not even two paragraph into the story, and all of the tomatoes were thrown at least twice each. Not to mention when I looked down at the seed-covered, tomato juice puddle around my feet, there, mixed in with the halves of tomatoes, was a triangle piece of a quesadilla.
Needless to say, we had a lot of fun, 5 people won free books, bookmarks and the story Whales are Awesome, and even though the event was supposed to end at 7, I got out of there well after 8.
I’ll include the story Whales are Awesome, which is an intentionally bad story I wrote based on the Memory Eater, below. Since it didn’t get read in its entirety at the event, maybe it will now:)
A special thanks to Kim and Michele who put this event together. The two sides came together extremely well, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’d also like to thank Lauren and Chad for coming out and reading their awesome stories!
On September 15th, The Memory Eater will be on sale at Independents’ Day in Columbus, OH, so if you’re in the area, drop by and chat with myself and some of the authors from the book!
Whales are Awesome
Whales are well-mannered, gentle creatures. Contrary to popular belief, they are peaceful, fun-loving and are always willing to help when they can. People think whales are mean and love killing, but that is ridiculous. People are scared into these thoughts just because whales are really big. Chances are, if a human sees a whale, it’s in the deep sea, and the deep sea itself is a very scary place, so that probably doesn’t help things much. Truth is, whales don’t want to hurt anything. They are awesome.
George, like every other whale, was a peaceful animal. He would high-five fellow fish in his community with his fin, and he was always kind and courteous, even to the negative Nancys of the sea. But one day, when it was time to eat lunch, George opened his one-car-garage-sized mouth to get some yum-yums and accidentally swallowed two scuba divers named Ted and Cynthia.
Whales are mammals, calves grow inside their mothers.
George was really bummed out about eating the humans. Deep down, he knew he wasn’t a bad mammal. He was a proud supporter of the community. He was even a member of the block watch. But he had just brought shame upon the badge of honor and justice by eating two humans, and they were now living in his stomach. Since he was so big, he couldn’t even get them out, so they were stuck there, and they would most likely die on one of his organs. That ridiculous rumor about whales loving to kill would come true, and George couldn’t live with that. He couldn’t live with allowing humans to actually use facts in the future to back up those horrible lies. They would say, “Whales are angry and mean and will kill you. Look in the book George the Literal Killer Whale. It’s nonfiction, and it talks about a real life whale who maliciously ate two innocent scuba divers who were just trying to have fun.”
Whales swim as fast as 30 miles-per-hour. Whales are awesome.
One night, George, who’s biological name was Steven, because a long story short, the two names caused his parent’s to divorce, his mother wanting George, his father wanting Steven. I guess in the end, it’s obvious who got custody. But even when the two whale parents were going through the divorce, it was a peaceful divorce, because whales are always calm and collective. They meditate several hours a day and are able to accept unfavorable situations. They are highly adaptable, and their stinky smell is only a result of a misconstrued perspective.
Anyway, George could hear Ted and Cynthia talking inside his stomach, because whales have superior hearing. Ted said, “Did you hear about the Memory Eater? Yeah, it can erase your past to save your future. That is if you weren’t going to starve and die inside a whale.” And Cynthia said, “You’re going to die, too butthead.”
A whale’s brain sleeps one half at a time.
George knew that most of the products in the world were made in China. Luckily, he was in a sea around the China area, so he swam until he saw a boat carrying a bunch of crates with the Memory Eater name on the sides. Then he stole like a master thief, but this was George’s first theft. Pretty good for a noob, huh?
There are two groups of whales, but I forget what they’re called.
George remembered not to open the crate inside water or the device would electrocute him, so he dragged it all the way to a deserted island in the shape of a triangle. Or so he thought. Not about it being a triangle—about it being deserted. Because a skinny man named Ruben came running out of the coconut woods, over to George.
The human said, “Wow, I am so excited, it is unbearable! You are a whale, and I hear you guys are nice, so you must rescue me! I was shipwrecked 9 months ago. It has been hard.”
George nodded. “Ruben, we can help each other out.”
“Please, go on, kind whale,” said Ruben.
“I need to delete something insane. Will you help?”
Whales live a long time.
“I will help you, George, if you make a vow to carry me to safety once the deed is done.”
Whales are always true to their word.
Ruben got right down to business, fitting the tiny helmet onto George’s head like a removable pimple. He pressed one green button, and then it was done.
“Do you remember?” said Ruben, “what you wanted to forget?”
But George looked at Ruben suspiciously and said, “Who are you?”
“Oh no, I operated the Memory Eater wrongly, and now your entire memory is gone.”
And like that, George had forgotten the values his parents instilled in him as a child. That eating people was wrong, and any whale that ate a human would damn the rest of whale-manity.
Feeling hungry because he had been stressing so much and not eating, George opened his mouth, and Ruben thought he was going to reply, but George ate the unsuspecting human in one gulp.
Whale watching is a popular pastime, but no one would want to watch what just happened.
But the thing is, George completely forgot about the first two humans he swallowed, Ted and Cynthia, who were still alive in his stomach, tearing up his internal organs like a newspaper shredder with their frantic attempts to escape. He felt as though he has a lot of bad gas. He only knew about Ruben, and he didn’t much care because the Memory Eater erased all of his memories of being an awesome mammal. Though he had no way of knowing it, his eating Ted and Cynthia screwed humanity because they were on vacation after finally discovering cures for the top six deadliest diseases and hadn’t told a soul about them before their trip. He also screwed whale-manity because it became all “whales be damned” since Ted and Cynthia went missing. And he screwed himself since the two humans in his organs were interfering with his reproductive abilities, and he could no longer screw. So all the awesome whales died out after that, when all George wanted to do in the beginning was love his neighbors. Because of a simple mistake, the world will never be the same.