Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thievery is a Gentleman's Game

I recently finished a novel with my friend Andrew (Yes! It's the same guy who helps me out of those pesky wells I keep falling into). People say it's quite an accomplishment, but after your fifth finished novel you stop really thinking it's that great and start thinking that actual publication is the big accomplishment. Anyways, with this new novel I was able to utilize several stories from various friends and family for the book.

This got me thinking.

Everyday people are going around with all of these unused stories from their own lives. Stories that are just ripe for the picking.

I say it's about time that someone went around picking up these unused bits of novelty and put them to good use.  What's funnier than something hilarious that actually happened to someone else, or at least something that you could assume was possible? Prime example: a straight guy's dating profile which leads to IMs from gay men. A true story which made its way into the book.

Clearly though, since A. J. Raffles and I believe that thievery is a gentleman's game, you must ask and get permission before using a friend or family member's personal story. While it is true that you can have the traditional disclaimer "Any resemblance to real people is mere coincidence..." at the beginning of your novel, you don't want to ruin a friendship for the chance at an interesting plot point or funny side story.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Year of the Unicorn (January)

So I keep hearing that 2012 is the year of the dragon, and I wondered why can't it be the year of the Unicorn? If nothing else, the year of the Unicorn will prove to be less scary than the year of the Dragon. Don't believe me, consider the new year of the Dragon stamp:

According to this yahoo article, the Dragon stamp scared at least one person "to death" (okay, so she blogged about that deadly fear, so maybe she was exaggerating). My idea of a unicorn stamp probably wouldn't scare anyone: 

Then again, unicorns are the most ruthless creatures in the supernatural realm. But perhaps that is something we can learn from the unicorn in this, the Jenny declared Year of the Unicorn. Frankly, there's a lot we can learn from unicorns and each month we'll dedicate one post to how to honor and learn from the unicorn this year.