Advice to a young writer, part IV

If the writing thing doesn’t work out

Advice to a young writer, part IV

On spitballing complex media proposals

Your career as a writer of novels, traditional journalism, poetry, deep investigations into the nature of consciousness and free will, catchy titles of articles on Slate and Twitter, could have a very short life-span. Will it ever pay the bills?

Perhaps you could become a scriptwriter in Hollywood, although this did not work out particularly well for F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathaniel West (who conveniently conspired to die the day after F. Scott Fitzgerald). William Faulkner (Mixed results?).

First of all, I could have taken the easy path and given you a lame bullet-point, power-point, bullshit-a-thon presentation.

Yet instead — because of my immense respect for, and gut sense of your imminent, supernova talent — I will give you a privileged, William James/Virginia Woolf stream of consciousness listicle!

Example: The Kitten with its Eye Sewn Shut

Seriously. This is a heinous vivisectionist nightmare experiment.

University sewed kittens eyes shut in taxpayer funded brain experiment just two years ago
The kittens had their eyelids stitched up as part of trials carried out at Cardiff University and the results were published in the European Journal of Neuroscience.

But then again, we must look at this from the scientist point of view (Possible word play irony?)

Granted, in no way could anyone justify this. Yet, to appreciate the Conservative point of view, this is the most diabolical kitten ever! In a little known court, the Court of Kittens (The Kitten’s Moot?) this was the only kitten in history condemned to death.

Yet, like La femme Nikita (Or perhaps, La Femme NiKitty? Could we secure Luc Besson as the director for the inevitable cinematic version? Must get people working on it) She was given another chance. Yet, after the experiment she escaped, sporting a cool piratical patch upon her eye.

See photo below (only a quick mock-up) and tremble!

The original, Swedish title of the novel/movie is Men who Hate Kittens. Thank you, Stieg Larsson.

Must do more work on Dust-Jacket Blurb: Kitten with its Eye Sewn Shut. "A cross between the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Death Wish part 5"? Or Perhaps “Taken Part 4”? (Sorry, they already have Taken Part 4 in the hopper, or maybe not, so I will go ahead and assume they don't do any more then 7 of these movies).

Taken Part 7: Various Terrorists by now have killed the entire family and pets of Bryan Mills, former CIA operative. So, in plot driven desperation, they kidnap him and force him to adopt 12 babies, 4 puppies, 6 kittens and one really hot young 22 year old asian woman. They patiently wait 6 years until he falls in love with every one of them, then they release them, re-kidnap them, and hold them hostage. Those bastards!

She must be paired up with a sympathetic male journalist who at first she does not trust. But eventually he earns her trust. Mostly with Greenies and tuna.


  • 8–14 year old girls with a fierce sense of animal rights.
  • Vicious, male, psychopathic killers whose only empathy extends to small, helpless animals.

This could go on and on. Action figures? A tie in with “Itty Bitty Book of Kitties”

Fuck! Just googled it and Captain Kangaroo cornered the market on this. How much to buy the rights? Must get lawyers to work.

Itty Bitty Kitty (The Adventures of Itty Bitty Kitty)

Itty Bitty Kitty by Robert Keeshan, Bob Keeshan
With this familiar-seeming paper-over-board book, Keeshan, better known as Captain Kangaroo, launches a new series starring a ca…

The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee: The Ultimate Guide to All Things Kitten

The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee
The skinny on itty bitty kitties, from a real-life Kitten Wrangler! What do kittens eat? Why do they love to play? How should you hold a kitten? Can you trai…

Give it up. The lawyer fees and court costs would kill you. Unless you could persuade the author of the The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee to sign off on a radical change of theme: The Itty Bitty Kitty Star Chamber Committee. This committee would be a star chamber of powerful, vengeful kitties done wrong: judge, jury and executioner.

Be sure to keep the the scraps, pictures, eye patch etc, so you can create a documentary called “The Making of The Kitty with Its Eye Sewn Shut”. Or you could consciously sabotage the entire project, then make a fantastically satirical documentary about your failure concerning your attempt to make this movie:

“Kitty with its Eye Sewn Shut: Paw of Darkness”.

Worst case scenario: If the writing thing does not work out, at least you can write copy for internet porn scenes.

Here is an example to get you started:

“Creamy Polenta has just graduated from the CIA in the Valley. She cums back to her apartment and is confronted by her roommate’s boyfriend, Logan Meatloaf. Little that she knows, her favorite teacher at the CIA, Saffron Drizzle, is hiding underneath the waterbed …”

Starring Logan Meatloaf and Creamy Polenta, with a special appearance by Pixie Pleasures.

Or, like the poet Rimbaud, you could give up poetry and become a gun-runner and a white slaver.

Or you could write porn star obituaries.

Maximilius Sledgehammercus. (1995–2013). One part of the Roman/Amish pornstar duo including Jebediah Stoltzfus. Died from a tragic addiction to 19th century German idealist philosophy. Award winning producer and director of the documentary, “Laying Down the Hammer”. He is survived by his children, Logan Meatloaf and Pixie Trixie.