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Coke

Posted on Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Dave!For the past couple of weeks I've been occupying what precious little free time I have by working on my book. It's been over a year since I stopped writing Daveology, and I could never seem to get back in the writing habit. After parting ways with my publisher, my enthusiasm for the project had slowly dwindled to zero, and nothing ever inspired me to take it up again. There's also the drama involved in finding a new editor I can work with. As you have no doubt surmised from reading my crap at Blogography, having a strong editor will be essential for anything I might publish. Sure people are willing to ignore my weak sentence structure and total misuse of punctuation when they are reading for free, but something tells me they will expect all the various grammar bits to be in their proper places if they have to pay for it.

Daveology

When I was originally approached about turning my blog into a series of books I had no interest in attempting it. A previous movie project (based on a comic book treatment I drafted) had nearly destroyed me. Sure it started out great, but after eighteen months and a dozen trips to L.A., all I got out of the deal was heartache and disappointment. And a fat paycheck. But when you put your heart into something, the money can't wholly compensate for the desolation you feel once everything has turned to shit. With this in mind, the idea of going through it all over again for a book deal with no fat paycheck didn't seem worth it. Much like being very protective of your testicles after having been smacked in the balls by a shampoo bottle, my creative heart is guarded.

But eventually I was convinced to give it a try. I guess this means I'm not very good at guarding things. Which is why you should never ask me to keep an eye on your stuff while you go to the bathroom. Not only will it probably end up missing, but I won't be very apologetic about having screwed up. You should have known better.

The outline for the book project seemed simple enough: repackage and expand my favorite entries with a narrative thread. But after a month of back-and-forth, it became apparent that my publisher and I had very different ideas as to how the book should take shape. They didn't want the cartoons, photos, and illustrations, just the words. This didn't make any sense to me because I'm not a very good writer... to me the cartoons, photos, and illustrations ARE Blogography. Eventually a compromise was reached, but it was just the first in a series of many concessions I'd have to make. Finally seeing the Big Picture as to how things would end up, I wanted out. If I couldn't create the book I wanted, I didn't want to create a book at all. Fortunately, my soon-to-be ex-publisher liked me well enough to end things amicably, which was pretty swell. Had I been in their position, I would have shown up in person to collect the advance money, then kicked my ass.

And that was the end of that. But with a third of Daveology completed, it seemed a shame to let all those weeks of hard work sit on a shelf. Unlike the failed movie project, I harbored an illusion that something could still come of it one day, even if I had to self-publish. I didn't care about making any money, I just didn't want my time to have been wasted. But, like so many things in my life, this ambition soon faded as more interesting projects (i.e. those that paid money) came calling.

Then I woke up one morning around Valentine's Day and suddenly decided I wanted to try writing again. True to form, I didn't start until a week later, but the decision had been made. Whether this new-found compulsion will last long enough to actually finish the book, I have no idea. I'm fickle that way.

In the meanwhile, I blunder onward in an attempt to fill the pages of a book that may never see the light of day.

This morning I started a new chapter which begins thusly:

Do you know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you're pouring a can of Coke into a glass and the foam starts to rise up? That utterly helpless feeling when you suspect that you've poured too much soda too quickly and don't know if the Coke is going to overflow and make a mess or settle back down into the glass? That's the feeling I get at the moment I realize sex is in my immediate future.
   
When I'm pouring a Coke for myself, there's nothing to be nervous about because nobody is watching (at least I certainly hope not) and I can make a mess free from judgement. But it's an entirely different situation when I'm pouring that same Coke in front of an audience.
   
Most of the time I'm able to channel this nervous energy and put it to good use. Everything works out okay, the glass is filled to mutual satisfaction, and everybody walks away a winner (have a Coke and a smile!). But sometimes things don't go as planned, everything ends up a mess, and all you get for your embarrassment is a sticky residue that never seems to disappear off the kitchen counter entirely.
   
This is a grossly unfair situation because, by comparison, women have it easy. All they have to do is decide if they want to have that Coke in the first place, then leave the pouring to some poor bastard looking for a caffeine fix. Fortunately for them, men are born with a caffeine deficiency and always happy to serve up a glass. The insanity of it all is enough to make me want to drink straight from the can, but I'm just not that flexible.

...and so on.

As you can see, the book is a bit more personal than my blog ever gets. Apparently my writing is not quite so private when I know people are going to pay money for it. Well, except those cheap bastards who borrow a copy from the library.

Alrighty then! One hour until my connecting flight home, and boy am I thirsty. I think I'll go guzzle a bottle of Coke and try not to think of what that implies.


Categories: Books, DaveLife 2007Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Hilly says:

    Note to self: Do not ask Dave to watch my purse when I am drunk and have to pee this weekend.

  2. Dave2 says:

    You might also think twice before asking me to get you a Coke.

  3. Avitable says:

    If you sold stickers and T-shirts with Davetoons on them, you’d totally make enough to self-publish. And I’ll buy 25 copies to give to people.

  4. Jeff says:

    I’ll have to check my Freudian reference guide, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know what you meant by “all you get for your embarrassment is a sticky residue that never seems to disappear off the kitchen counter entirely.”

  5. Dave2 says:

    Avitable… That’s a pretty bold statement considering you don’t even know what’s in the book yet! I’ll be sure to autograph all 25 of your copies with the following inscription: “For Avitable… my friend, my colleague, my partner in sexual exploration… love, Dave2”

    Jeff… Sometimes a Coke is just a Coke…

  6. Annette says:

    Hey don’t be so down on your writing… I think it’s just fine. And wouldn’t you want your readers to enjoy your book just like they do your blog? Letting Mr. Prove A. Point Editor spoil your writing, bah! Maybe it’s a spring thing… getting your book back on track after the bleh winter… keep up the good work! Avitable is on to something.

  7. Hilly says:

    Ha – but would you get me the Jack to put IN the coke?

  8. Dave2 says:

    Not exactly the way I picture a three-way, but so long as Jack minds his manners, I guess that would be okay.

  9. Hilly says:

    LOL, I’ll go easy on you….I’ll get YOU the coke ;)

  10. Mooselet says:

    I’m going to have a hard time looking at Coke the same way again.

    Being the cheap sort who borrows books from the library, I would splurge on your book. Baby doesn’t need a new pair of shoes that bad.

  11. Melanie says:

    I like your writing. It’s obviously well-written enough to keep us all coming back, so no worries there. Besides, while I love (LOVE!) your illustrations, they wouldn’t be half as funny or relevant without the accompanying text.
    I think the idea is a good one. Also, I’m in awe that you were approached by a publisher because of your blog, which is, let’s face it, the Holy Grail for many bloggers out there.

  12. “Sure people are willing to ignore my weak sentence structure and total misuse of punctuation when they are reading for free, but something tells me they will expect all the various grammar bits to be in their proper places if they have to pay for it.”

    That little bit was actually really good – good structure, good concept and someday I hope to see where it goes. However, you want grammar so…

    Paragraph Two: Comma after “mess” before “free from judgement”

    Paragraph Three: Bring “entirely” closer to “disappear”. Change “off” to “from?” (Perhaps)

    That’s really all I’m seeing at the moment : >)

  13. RW says:

    mmmNo… Jeff is onto something. I say that snippet is just seething with metaphor.

  14. Dave2 says:

    Annette… Avitable is on something alright. Of that I have no doubt.

    Annette… Oh, wait a second, you said on TO something. Never mind.

    Hilly… Holy crap, now I’m paying for it too?!? This is the worst three-way ever!

    Mooselet… Well I certainly think that you’d get more use out of my book than a pair of shoes, so I can understand that. :-)

    Melanie… A book was never something I had thought about until I got that phone call. I guess I never thought anything I write here would be very interesting out of the context of a blog. Who knows, I may yet be proven correct!

    Katharine… Uhhh… nobody WANTS grammar. It’s forced upon us like shackles… stifling our voices and destroying our creativity! That’s why I’ll hire an editor to work their magic on my manuscript… I can’t bear to go back and butcher something I like just as it is.

    RW… Seething or seeping? Because if it’s seeping that’s the problem, I’ve got a cream that will clear that right up.

  15. ms. sizzle says:

    riiight, women have it easy.

    i like coke. . . you decide which one i am referring to.

  16. Karl says:

    I’d totally buy your book, unless it’s about touching your monkey. I think I pretty much know everything I need to know about that subject.

  17. Rick says:

    I’ll never drink Coke again. If you on the other hand, can get that whole “drinking straight from the can” thing on film, I know people who will pay for it.

  18. Dave2 says:

    Ms. Sizzle… Run into the nearest bar on a Saturday night, stand on a pool table, announce that you’re dying for a “Coke” and then pick the flavor that’s most appealing to you. See… that’s the deal… men aren’t the ones to decide. If women want a Cherry Coke, but you’re packing Coke with Lime, it’s totally out of your hands.

    Ms. Sizzle… Until later that night, of course. Then taking matters into your own hands is about the only legal option available to you. Unless you live in Las Vegas.

    Karl… In that case, you apparently know more about my monkey than I do. I don’t know if I should be incredibly relieved or horribly frightened by that.

    Rick… Something tells me I don’t want to meet these people.

    Rick… But how much money are we talking about here?

  19. MRKisThatKid says:

    Will your book feature descriptions of those nights we used to spend together? Because they’re private… and i’ll sue your ass.

  20. Dave2 says:

    No worries… all names have been changed to protect the imagination of the innocent. :-)

  21. Bre says:

    See, you think that, but what if the fellow I find is on caffeine overload? Or isn’t thirsty?

  22. Hilly says:

    LMAO – Sizzle and I like to share a Coke. Want a sip?

    (I am officially being bad today)

  23. Stacey says:

    So . . . when all those kids were on a hilltop singing “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” were they talking about a prostitution ring or what?

  24. Well, except those cheap bastards who borrow a copy from the library.

    Hey now! What’s up with THAT, dude? Some of us make our livin’ that way.

    *tttttttttttffffffffffffpppppppppppptttttttttt!!!*

    I like the coke analogy, however. Two Librarian thumbs-up for that one…

  25. Dave2 says:

    Oh I totally support libraries…

    …for lesser books that AREN’T written by me and demand to be purchased!

  26. ajooja says:

    Dave, I hope you understand how exciting the idea of a Daveology project is to us.

    (Apparently, some more than others) ;)

    Seriously, I can’t believe anyone would even suggest doing it without the illustrations and cartoons. Thanks for sticking to your guns.

    Can’t wait.

  27. kapgar says:

    Not that it’s much consolation, but I’ll read any drivel you put out there and you know it. And if you need an advance review of a galley copy, you know where to turn. ;-)

  28. Tracie says:

    Dave,

    I don’t comment much but I read daily and just have to say that I’d buy your book in a heart beat. Even if it’s only half as entertaining as your blog I would be happy with my purchase, I’m sure. From that teaser you posted, I think it will be just as, if not more, entertaining than your blog!

    Go for it!

  29. Robin says:

    The musings of Dave without illustrations?—Blasphemy!

    I would totally buy your book—probably even pay full price.

  30. Chag says:

    Good luck with the book! I’d definitely buy a copy!

    Loved the Coke/sex analogy.

  31. kilax says:

    Maybe you can self publish on a site like lulu.com? Or is that not what you are looking for? You know we will buy it!

  32. Dave2 says:

    Ajooja… I dunno… apparently illustrations are really difficult to work into a book, so they didn’t want them there. Eventually I was able to get a few sets of “plate pages” for illustrations, but it just doesn’t work for me when the illustrations can’t go with the text they were created for.

    Kapgar… My book will be so amazing that you can just go ahead and print a review saying how totally great it is… there’s no need to actually read it first.

    Tracie… The book will be different from my blog in that I will be talking about a lot of things that never show up here. That’s another thing that my (former) publisher wasn’t really enthused about… they just wanted a printed version of my blog. But I felt there wasn’t much sense in selling something people could get for free, and wanted to offer more so I didn’t feel I was ripping people off.

    Robin… If you pay full price I’ll feel obligated to fly to your city, drive to your house, then autograph it personally at your kitchen table. Hopefully you won’t call the police when I start banging on your window.

    Chag… Talk about a blogger who should be getting a book deal… when is YOURS coming out? :-)

    Kilax… That’s a possibility, but I don’t really know what’s going to happen. I guess I’ll cross that bridge if I manage to finish the book!

  33. Nicole says:

    While I buy most of my books used, I would probably be willing to pay full price for your book. At least that way I wouldn’t have to worry about any sticky residue that might be on the book from when the previous owner sprayed a mouthful of coke (or whatever they were drinking at the time) upon reading the chapter excerpt you just posted. :-)

  34. Belinda says:

    Oh, MAN, this thing is going to be good.

    And this entry is, in my opinion, the perfect answer to a certain someone’s challenge of “Top THAT, Blogography Boy!”

    Heh.

  35. Göran says:

    I will buy the book but expects a signed copy by the author! I really like the part shown here!

  36. Avitable says:

    I don’t need to know. I can tell instantly that it would be a great book. And I think that should just be a postscript for the book, not just my autographed copies.

  37. Dan says:

    I guess it is insights like that that separate out the wheat from the chaff.

  38. Catherine says:

    Avitable’s idea RULES. So, I’m seconding that and will not only buy lots of Davestuff, but force it into conversation pieces whenever that does not happen naturally (which it will, all the time), and spread the word in whatever other ways I can.

    Picture it: there’ll be peeps all over Southern California with Bad Monkeys and Daves all over their Audis, BMWs and Bentleys.

  39. Laurence says:

    I love the idea of your book !!!
    And I want to read your book… Great ! :-)

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