Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hell Hath No Fury

I wear a size 7 ½ shoe. Now, let’s say that Johnny Depp announced that he was searching for a bride and vowed to marry the woman whose foot perfectly fit into a size 6 glass slipper (designed by Tim Burton, of course). Would I simply curse my genetic makeup and get on with my life?

Hell no! I’d scrape some bone off the first metatarsal. I’d definitely ditch the distal phalanx of the second toe.  I’d get rid of the pinky toe completely and file down my heel. Then I would paint my remaining toenails black because in 1985 I read in Teen Beat that black was Johnny’s favorite color. 

Manipulating one’s foot to make it a perfect fit for Johnny Depp is a metaphor for what it’s like to go through the query process. Many of you are writers and therefore fully understand the hellishness of querying. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the process, allow me to quickly explain. 

In order to get an agent to represent your book, you must query. First, you must research to find which agents represent the kind of work you do; then you must take hundreds of pages of work and painstakingly whittle them down into a few measly paragraphs that must convince the agent that your work is amazing and a perfect fit for him or her. 

Then, you sit back as rejection after rejection after rejection after rejection roll in. 

One agency that rejected me was the one who represented the diet book Skinny Bitch. I thought we would be a perfect fit because Skinny Bitch, like my book, incorporates a sassy, humorous approach to relatively dry material. And, frankly, I was surprised that they rejected me because people in the United States are much more concerned about their grammatical correctness than their weight, right?

On the one hand, I am glad they rejected me because my agent is rad. On the other hand, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. 

So here’s the thing: yesterday, I read that Skinny Bitch is being turned into a movie. 

Here’s the premise as described in Publishers Weekly:

“A vegan chef loses her job and her boyfriend in quick succession, then finds a new beginning after launching a vegan cooking school and falling for a meat-eating man.”

Now, I feel like I simply must turn my Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares book into a movie. A better movie! A movie that will make that agency regret the day that they tossed my query letter into the recycle bin.

Any ideas for a premise? This is all I’ve come up with so far:

An English teacher loses her job and her boyfriend in quick succession, then she opens up a grammar school and falls for The Situation.

23 comments:

Alesa Warcan said...

Overcome by missed periods and flawed grammar, one woman was pushed over the edge.
They thought they had gotten rid of her, but she came back... Riding a flaming return carriage.

Follow her adventures as she and her sidekick Noah Webster battle against the forces of illiteracy.

Mark said...

Don't fall for The Situation! I'm glad you found yourself a good agent after all :) You did better without the losers who rejected you. It sounds like it's not very hard to top that movie. Twilight could top that movie. I would much rather fund a book based on grammatical errors, but I'm not too sure how to turn it in to a movie. I got it. You work in an inner city school full of kids who have lost their passion for learning, and especially English. You teach them the joys of spelling and grammar, and they go on to win a huge spelling bee that their school has always lost in because no one really cared. You teach them to love, through language.

Infinity Oscars and Academy Awards.

Janette Dolores said...

She opens up a grammar school in an area where English is a second language, teaching those already-bright students how to effectively communicate their groundbreaking ideas. In the process, she falls for a taciturn Ryan Gosling look-alike but is A-OK with his lack of communication skills or any grammar issues...

How's that? :-)

Shelly said...

I am not a writer, but your imagery of whittling down your foot was revelatory!

And movie? Yes, I absolutely think this would make a GREAT movie- and would probably be drop dead funny, too!

Crystal Pistol said...

The Situation?! BRILLIANT!!! GENIUS, EVEN! I would watch it and suggest it to all my friends.

I'm sorry those people rejected you. They are obviously hungry skinny bitches not in their right minds. Feed them a snickers bar and they may arrive at a different conclusion. :)

Kristi said...

HA! The Situation? I agree with Crystal...genius!

Revenge can often be the best kind of motivation!

Also, I'd do just about anything for Johnny. :)

Dylan Fitzgerald said...

Movie? Hell with that! How about kickass HBO series? English teacher loses her job and boyfriend in quick succession and starts a grammar blog in conjunction with joining a dating website. Every date has a corresponding metarphor to a grammatical problem. BOOM.

the late phoenix said...

Skinny Little Bitch is already taken, it's a great recent Hole song, it's hard to really get down to querying (that word sounds so dirty) and coming up with truly original ideas and names.

premise: Lisa Edelstein (from HOUSE) plays you as a teacher who decides to self-publish after many rejections, becomes rich, and at the end of the movie, has a giant orgy with all of her blog commenters...

Sara said...

LOL. LOL. LOL. What a FABULOUS post. The foot-whittling analogy is utterly perfect. I'm going through it now and feeling every single cut and smoosh. I've likened it to dating...exactly how much *am* I willing to change myself to attract a partner anyway?! ;)

Love the movie idea. Yes, The Situation would be the perfect love interest. HA HA HA.

MartyrMom said...

Captain! I really like Alesa's idea too....only there has to be some sort of secret romance with Webster. It's a weird enough concept and part that Johnny might actually consider being your co-star!!

DWei said...

I feel like I've fallen into a TVtropes article right now.

Jo-Ann said...

Dunno.

However, if you manage to work in the some references to the Penis Party, you might generate more interest.

James Garcia Jr. said...

Sadly, I am drawing a blank with regard to movie ideas for you, my Captain. On the other hand, I have just recently decided to make it my life's purpose to do anything that you ask of me and to make sure that you are properly equiped with life's pleasures, such as chocolate and perfectly fluffy pillows.
Hmm? Of course it has nothing to do with being afraid of drawing your anger... How could you ask such a thing? *scurries quickly away in search of chocolate*
;)

-Jimmy

anthony stemke said...

An English teacher loses her job and her boyfriend in quick succession. On the subway ride home, a masked gunman steals a book from a fellow passenger, a man named Pietlalov Basheranskif. The book they stole was "English Grammar for Poor Grammar Users". You can tell from his distress that he is totally lost and decide to help him before the train gets to his stop. Well........
to be continued

Theresa Milstein said...

That premise gives me chills. Doesn't this woman worry about the diseases that guy is carrying???

Did you see Meryl Streep play the woman obsessed with grammar in the movie A Series of Unfortunate Events? Her grammar nitpicking doesn't go to well for her.

Tean Beat 1985. That might be around the time I found out John Taylor's favorite colors were red and silver.

Terra Shield said...

Not too good with ideas for movies... otherwise, I'd probably be already pitching ideas (with hopes of at least being cast as a tree, he he)

vawriter said...

https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/392390_364386413616615_1642206614_n.jpg

I thought you'd like this magazine cover. Oh, for the love of missing commas!

Rachel Ray's family and dog are hiding under the bed.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Definitely. Definitely do the grammar school thing. Like, not an elementary school, but a school entirely for grammar and missed periods and the like.

DIE, SKINNY BITCH. She's going down. Wait til you see her face when they call your name up for the Oscar instead of hers. Priceless.

Also, querying sucks. And don't ever file a foot for Johnny Depp. That size 6 thing is just a rumor. I'm pretty sure he likes big feet. FYI, we're the same size, homie. We can trade shoes.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Who or what is The Situation? I'll go see the movie if it has a gun fight and an exploding helicopter in it.

Movies on my Mind said...

How about: An English teacher, taps into her teenage girlish past, and writes a young-adult book which starts a bidding war and sets her off on a journey of decadance, hedonism and addiction.

Moral of the story: stick to blogging... it's safer.

Lynda R Young said...

Get Johnny Depp for the lead role and it won't matter what the movie is about. I'd go see it ;)

Talli Roland said...

I'd watch it! As long as the heroine wears 7 1/2...

Holly Vance said...

I feel like I've cut off both feet metaphorically, and I still don't have an agent!