Wednesday, February 06, 2008

don't steal my idea or I'll cut you

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Jennie. Jennie took a writing class in high school and the teacher was all, "write a children's book," and Jennie was like, "I can do this, I work at a library and spend the majority of my time there reading picture books," and then the teacher was like, "also, illustrate it," and Jennie was all, "fuck!" and then, "I will make the pictures out of construction paper!" And then a bunch of years passed and Abigail told Jennie to find this book. So Jennie found this book. (Abigail is bossy, but she gets results.)

I have provided the words under each picture in case you can't make them out. I'd hate for you to miss them. My comments are at the very end.

page 1
A long time ago, before humans were in charge, colors ruled the earth. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. They were all very powerful, but each Color thought he was more powerful than the others were.

page 2
"I am the best," said Blue. "I am the ocean and the sky. I am the calm that is carried on the gentle breeze. That is why I am the best."

page 3
"How boring!" Red cried. "I am Christmas and the smell of cinnamon. I am welcome anger that comes like a quick storm."

page 4
"That's nothing," Violet said. "I am the slurpy taste of grape juice on a hot day. I am the best, because I am the sharing that comes after the anger."

page 5
"You are all wrong," Indigo chimed in. "I am the best. I am the first flower that appears when the winter snow melts. I am clarity that spreads after a season of confusion."

page 6
"Well, I am spring!" shouted Green. "I am a frog that takes shape out of a floating lily pad and the miles upon miles of grass covered fields. So I am the best."

page 7
"I am definitely better than all of you," Orange said. "I am the sunrise and a Halloween pumpkin. I am autumn, so I am the best."

page 9
"Ha!" Yellow cried. "I am the sun and the moon and the stars. I am happiness. None of you can beat that! I am the greatest."

page 10
"Excuse me, please," a gentle voice said from the sky. "I am trying to sleep. Please try to be a little quieter."

"Why should we?" Red shouted. "We are Colors! We don't HAVE to be quiet! Who do you think you are, anyway?"

page 10
"Well," the voice began. "I am Cloud. I have always been here and will always be here. You may think you are the greatest, just because you are a Color, but I am the only one who can bring all of you together."

page 11
With that said, Cloud turned black and fierce. White lightning made up her hair and she began to weep. Her tears covered the earth until everything sparkled.

page 12
Cloud finished crying and became white again. The Colors shot out of her middle, all working together to create a rainbow. Puddles of her tears on the ground turned red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.


Wow. Just . . . wow. I'm pretty sure, at the time, I thought I was being really deep, which . . . no. The Colors are all assholes and why is the Cloud all up in their business? Also, Indigo is full of shit. That sure looks like pink to me. But what I think happened is THEY DON'T MAKE INDIGO CONSTRUCTION PAPER AND I DIDN'T KNOW THAT UNTIL AFTER I WROTE THE STORY AND CUT OUT HALF OF THE PICTURES AND BY THEN IT WAS TOO LATE BLAAAAAAARGH.

And no one threw a knife at anyone? LAME.


Today on The Collective, Kat outs herself as a bit of a stalker.


  1. Ha! I think this is awesome. My literary masterpiece in elementary school included a main character who wore a pink dress with blue polka dots, a ruffled skirt, a pink hair bow and pink shoes with a blue bow on them. And her boyfriend, who was often mistaken for Jordan Knight, brought her a Golden Retriever puppy on a pink leash. So compared to me, your little book is the Tao of fucking Pooh.

  2. 1. I think your book is false because red is clearly the best color.
    2. This sentence made me laugh out loud: "The Colors shot out of her middle, all working together to create a rainbow."
    3. Don't you just love all the embarrassing shit you used to write as a kid? I wish I could find half the crap that I wrote, but it's all buried in boxes at my mom's house.

  3. I have analyzed this story on grad school (reject/drop out) levels and these are the hidden meanings that I have discerned:

    Religious Studies - This story is a metaphor for the creation of the Baha'i faith.

    Queer Theory - All of the colors (and the cloud) are gay.

    Gender Studies - The positioning of a female cloud to be in charge of the world is a bold step in modern literature. Suck it Phil Roth.

    No need to thank me.

    p.s. - If you want to hear Will Ferrell promise you a pirate eye patch and a big foam hand dial 1-800-TROPICS

  4. SD and Ashley, the thing is, I was not some kid in elementary school, I was in HIGH SCHOOL and should have known better. Heh.

    GSR, what do I owe you for that analysis? Also, I can't wait to get my pirate eye patch.

  5. I love this story with all my heart.

  6. Are you really going to cut me if I steal your idea? I'm just saying cause there's a Children's Book contest only for residents of my state and the deadline is Wednesday next week and I still haven't written anything. I don't think I'm meant to be a children's writer.

    (P.S. I won't really steal your idea.)

  7. Jennie I love your big gay book, I think it reveals much more about you than you even know. It also tells me you've been f'ed up in the head for a very long time.

    I thought indigo and violet were the same, purple.

  8. Also I agree with Ashley, Red is best. I have red hair AND
    The colors are arranged in the order of decreasing wavelengths, with red being about 700 nanometers and violet being about 400 nm.
    Red wins.

  9. h!a! you have no idea how much that means to me, coming from the greatest writer of our generation.

    S, you can steal my idea as long as you share the prize money if you win. There's prize money, right?

    Tam, shit, I hate revealing myself. Also, wtf . . . nanometers? You are talking crazy talk.

  10. Anonymous12:57 PM

    This is beautiful. I liked it when "The Colors shot out of her middle."

  11. Fergie2:03 PM

    All I can do is shake my head and laugh. And you say I'm fucked up.

  12. Don't be jealous just because I've obviously been a creative genius for a very, very long time.

  13. Construction paper illustrations? Brilliant!!

    Hey listen, I just read this to Carter, our 5-year old resident kids' book expert, and he REALLY LIKED it -- especially when the cloud got all "grouchy and lightning-ey."

  14. It's no "The Evil Summer" but it's still pretty awesome. Who knew the Colors were such assholes?

  15. Shari, that's awesome, because 5 year olds are the harshest critics.

    Fraulein, I know! I expected it of red, but purple? Never.

  16. Now I want grape juice. And actual indigo construction paper.

  17. your book is great blah blah blah, but come on. i couldn't kidnap michael showalter last weekend so i have to stalk! what else is there to do?

  18. ok, maybe it's the preschool teacher in me, but i really loved your story! i bet my kiddos would too! lily would probably say something like "my mommy said rainbows are queer." But you know, since mommy said it...

  19. mg! I love grape juice.

    kat! I don't blame you, I'm a total fan of internet stalking.

    Katie, if Lily ever says that, can you tape record it and send it to me? Please?

  20. That indigo thing kind of freaked me out, but otherwise I kind of liked it. I'd like to print it for my kids if that's all right.

  21. Peefer, as long as I'm not held responsible if it does any lasting damage to your children (like they never learn what color Indigo really is.)

  22. Wow, I love this. Lots.