Friday, August 1

With some good old fashioned finagling, I just might make something of myself

I have grandiose dreams for my future. Most of them involve Oprah. Because let’s face it, a surefire way to rapid fame and fortune is by getting on Oprah’s good side.

For instance, instead of being determined that years and years of hard work and saving will get us that little mountain cabin, that little beachside getaway, that yacht we’ve always wanted — instead of thinking like that, I think, “I need to get my novel to Maya Angelou (who I was once TEN FEET from at a weird Pentecostal conversion experience disguised as Christmas concert — she nearly ran me down as we both bolted for the door while everyone else had their eyes closed and hands up, waiting for Jesus to enter their hearts), then she can pass it on to Oprah, who will put it on her book club list, and then we’ll be rich and I’ll have untold notoriety.”

It all started in college, this weird obsession with Oprah-fame. I came into direct contact with It during my junior year, and Its nearness yet elusiveness tantalized and ensnared me. You see, I spent an evening with a few friends and Bret Lott, author of Jewel, and he told the story of The Day Oprah Called. He was very discrete about exactly how many bushels of hard cash were delivered to his new mansion, but we could guess just by hearing how quickly his book rocketed from like 134,038th on the amazon.com purchase list to number one. NUMERO UNO.

So anyway, whenever I tell people my plan, they’re always asking, “Oh, what’s your book about?” And then I watch their faces turn from interest to skepticism when I confess that I haven’t … actually … written … a book yet. Which is one of many reasons why I should probably stop divulging my plan.

Before you roll your eyes, just stop right there. But if you’ve already started rolling them, go ahead and finish, then read on and feel bad about yourself for doing it, because I’m about to share some deep emotional truths. My theory is the whole not-writing-the-book thing may be a subconscious way of preserving my fantasy. If I don’t have a book to try and sneak to Maya, then my plan can’t fall apart, timber by timber, into a rubble of broken log-cabin dreams.

So the other day I got to fantasizing about fame and fortune again, and this time a light bulb went on: bypass the middleman and go directly to the source. Actually, be the source. I can become The Oprah of the Internet! With this blog! Following in the footsteps and building on the successes of some awesome bloggers that I really enjoy.

Before long, though, I was rudely snatched from the Bath & Body Works Sparkling Peach-induced reverie (because my scheming often takes place in the shower, where I should really be concentrating more on personal hygiene than world media domination). I realized a truth that has probably crushed many a dream before my own: Oprah is The Oprah of the Internet. And of magazines… and TV… and radio… There’s nothing in this world that Oprah is not already The Oprah of. Except maybe cooperage. I hear that’s still lucrative.

So I guess fame and fortune will just have to come the old-fashioned way.

I will let you know what Maya says.

1 comment:

Tony said...

Maybe it's just because I'm a product of the MTV generation and my attention span is too short, but... hey, a nickel!!! Wait what was I saying? Oh yeah - I think the short story is a superior genre. And it may well be your ticket to the Oprah fame you're looking for. It's a win-win situation, really: if you write enough stories, then you can compile them into a collection and become famous that way; but if you don't, then you can at least get a couple of them published and, as a bona fide fiction writer, you can go to pretentious cocktail parties where everyone dresses in minimalist, pseudo-bohemian clothing and they play Portishead as background music. It's not quite as good as being on Oprah, but your chances of being stomped by an overstimulated Tom Cruise will be decreased exponentially.

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