Crashing Oprah’s Book Club

20 May

By Jeff Flodin

I like to think I turn chaos into order.  So when Oprah disrupted half the Chicago Loop by taking her show onto Michigan Avenue, I devised a strategy to navigate the mean streets.  I am adaptable. 

I like to think I turn resentment into opportunity.  So when Oprah raised my ire by hogging the sidewalks, I devised a plan to turn disarray in my favor.  I am opportunistic.

I like to think I’m a good writer.  Literary agents and publishers may disagree, but I think the title alone piques interest.  It’s called “Cats Don’t Like Fish (People Just Think They Do.”  I think my book deserves a life outside my computer hard drive.  I am optimistic.

Oprah has a book club.  If she chooses your book, you’re in Fat City.  It’s like she hands you a five dollar bill and sets you loose in the penny candy store.  It’s that sweet.  A promising writer like me wants to get his book onto Oprah’s book club, and first I’ve got to get my book into Oprah’s hands.

Now, to seize the day.  My book weighs a ton.  But I carry my burden with hope as I approach Oprah’s perimeter.  With my seeing eye dog as guide and accomplice, I cruise up the alley only I know about.  This alley leads me to the heart of Oprahland.  To tell you the location of this alley would be to forfeit my strategic advantage.

I stumble, literally, into the midst of Oprah’s set.  “Where am I?” I ask, all innocent and guileless.

Oprah becomes the gracious host.  Like me, she creates order from chaos and opportunity from resentment.  Plus, she loves dogs.  Oprah invites me to the place of honor.  When I’m comfy in her guest chair, I tell Oprah, “I just happen to have a copy of my manuscript with me.  Carrying it around keeps me fit.  It’s called ‘Cats Don’t Like Fish (People Just Think They Do) and it’s a memoir and I think it’s good.  It might need a little editing, but you know lots of editors, I’m sure.  It took me years to write and, when it’s published, I’ll write another memoir about writing this one.  Here, I’d like you to read it.  The title’s pretty funny, don’t you think?”

You see how I’ve got it all planned out.  Some writers get their break by accident.  Look at Marilyn Monroe — OK, she’s not exactly a writer, but you get the picture.  Anyway, I don’t rely on accidents.  I’ve got my big break all planned out already.  I like to think I’ve got all the angles covered.  I am confident.


4 Responses to “Crashing Oprah’s Book Club”

  1. Aldo May 23, 2011 at 8:21 PM #

    Great start! Enjoyed the essay. Good luck with this new blog (and website). I think it is a wonderful new opportunity for writers who “see” the world a little differently.

  2. Dana C. May 26, 2011 at 3:48 PM #

    I really liked this story and can’t wait to read more.

  3. bethfinke May 27, 2011 at 9:50 AM #

    Love this story and so glad you all have started this blog. Sure hope you’ll contact Susie, Andra and Hanna to see if they might submit some of their work here. I know a couple young writers who might want to submit, too. Check out this blog, I bet if you leave a comment there Sandra might submit something or other here
    Keep up the good work —

  4. Kathy Austin May 27, 2011 at 9:33 PM #

    Great plan! Will you be going to California or wherever Oprah lives now to implement?

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