Monday, April 4, 2011

Beth Revis Tried to Kill Me

1. The above picture was originally going to be in honor of Beth Revis (explanation coming), but now it's for Blogger as well.

2. Thank you SO MUCH, Blogger, thou unholy fiend, for losing the post I'd typed up for today, thus forcing me to perform any number of difficult mental gymnastics in a losing effort to remember everything I'd typed.

3. It was a fabulous post.

4. Really.

5. But you'll never know that, will you? Because Blogger got hungry and my post looked like a tasty snack.

6. *wonders if Blogger is really a zombie*

7. I can't recall all the hilarious little anecdotes I shared (It's been a few days. Don't judge me.), but I can assure you it was a blog post that would rank right up there with such fabulous literary works as Chicken Soup for the Idiot's Soul or the classic Green Eggs & Ham.

8. They don't actually publish a Chicken Soup for the Idiot's Soul, but I think that's a mistake. Look how well the __Fill in the blank__ for Dummies is going! Those Chicken Soup folks are missing a (from my personal observations) rather large demographic.

9. Anyway, I can't remember the entertaining little anecdotes that littered my blogging masterpiece, but I can remember this: Beth Revis, author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, tried to kill me.

10. She was sneaky about it too.

11. She disguised her attack as a friendly email full of lovely support and shining promises of opening the secret inner sanctum to a secret few writers know.

12. I was sucked in!

13. I read through the email, wondering what deep, juicy, life-changing secret she was about to share with me ...

14. She did an excellent job of stringing me along, building up the hype, making me WANT TO KNOW...

15. And then she shared the secret.

16. It involved Nutella. And some coffee. But that's not the important part of this story.

17. The important part is this: She took me by surprise, and I half-laughed, half-snerked.

18. It was the snerk that proved to be my undoing.

19. A proper snerk is all about shooting air through one's nostrils like mini oxygenated torpedoes.

20. I do a mean snerk.

21. Sadly, this particular snerk had two overwhelming problems.

22. One, I was in public.

23. Two, I was chewing a fresh piece of Trident cinnamon gum.

24. Cinnamon gum, as I'm sure you're aware, does not shoot through one's nostrils like a mini oxygenated torpedo.

25. It does, however, lodge firmly in the nasal cavities and threaten to cause imminent, immediate, and yes, even instant cinnamon-scented DEATH.

26. Anyone know the universal signal for "Help! Beth Revis caused me to snerk cinnamon gum up my nose and now I can't dislodge it without an act of God?"

27. Neither do I.

28. And you know what is true about fresh cinnamon gum?

29. It burns the tender tissues inside one's nose.

30. So, I had a lot of motivation to get it out.

31. I had nostrils to save. Air to breathe.

32. A best-selling author to kill.

33. I was sitting at my corner table in Books A Million writing. I began contorting my face into expressions designed to scare young children and drop old ladies where they stand.

34. I tried using air to force the gum to complete its journey through my nose.

35. This was a mistake.

36. Now, I was a woman contorting her face, wheezing pathetic amounts of air through her obstructed nostrils, catching the full attention of the barista (who apparently doesn't recognize a gum-arrested snerk when she sees one because she did NOTHING but stare like maybe I was the next Charlie Sheen), and realizing I might need professional help to get myself right again.

37. I could see it. Paramedics called to the scene. Everyone scrambling around for a pair of extra long tweezers. Someone filming it on their iPhone. Another commenting that whatever cinnamon air freshener the bookstore was using smelled quite nice. And everyone wondering why the dying woman on the coffee shop floor kept muttering "Beth Revis" with what little air she had left.

38. I finally scrunched up my face at just the right angle, gathered air like a ninja, and shot that cinnamon-scented projectile right down the back of my throat where, if my grandmother is to be believed, it will reside in my stomach for the next year.

39. Which is fine.

40. It might take me that long to craft the perfect revenge for Beth Revis. Don't worry, Beth. It's coming. And it will smell just as lovely as your initial shot across the bow did for me.

41. I drew my first real breath and that is apparently the universal signal for "Check on the crazy woman in the corner because she might actually die on you" because the barista came over and asked if I was okay.

42. No, I was not okay. I'd nearly had to have a pair of extra-long tweezers stuck up my nose while some stranger made a viral video of me and all because I read an email from Beth Revis.

43. I smelled cinnamon every time I breathed for the next two hours.

44. I recovered my equilibrium and focused on finishing my manuscript. I'm able to completely shut out everyone around me in the bookstore by using my headphones, my playlist, and a single-minded attention on what is going on in my character's heads. So, it was with a great deal of surprise that I looked up to see the barista in front of me an hour later offering me a sample of cheesecake.

45. But it was nice of her, so I accepted.

46. And then got right back to writing.

47. I was nearing the climax of the book. Stuff was happening. Some of it was beautiful, heart-wrenching, and I'd known it was coming for weeks now and was so moved to finally get there with my characters that as they cried, I joined in.

48. Not giant, WHAT IS THAT CRAZY WOMAN DOING NOW? sobs, of course. Just a few tears as I opened a vein and let it bleed across the page.

49. Next thing I know, I'm being offered more cheesecake.

50. I mean, I know it was pretty deserted in the book store at that point (I'd been there for hours and it was getting close to closing time), but really?

51. I finished the scene, wiped my eyes, got up to stretch my legs, used the restroom, bought a coffee, and stared in complete confusion as the barista offered me yet another sample of cheesecake.

52. "I'm fine," I said.

53. "But dear, cheesecake makes everything better," she said.

54. And because she seemed to really need to give it to me, I accepted.

55. Moments later, I packed up, went home, walked in and caught sight of myself in the mirror. (Keep in mind that YES I'd used the restroom at the book store and YES they have a mirror, but I was so focused on being inside my characters' heads, I hadn't bothered to process what I was seeing.).

56. I need to back up this story to the point in the evening where I rushed out of work determined to get to the bookstore as fast as possible so I could finish my book on time.

57. If you're in a hurry, do you grab your change of clothes and go back inside your place of business so you can be stopped by every employee who now wonders what you're doing back in the building so soon just so you can use the restroom to change out of your uniform?

58. Okay, maybe you would. But I wouldn't. I have tinted windows in the back of my Explorer and was deliberately parked in the back, far away from other vehicles.

59. I changed clothes in the cramped backseat of the Explorer.

60. Fast.

61. Because the story was burning inside me and needed out.

62. Now, hours later, I'm staring at myself in the mirror and realizing all those offers for cheesecake? Were because I look like a homeless person.

63. My hair was a little wild, no doubt from the cinnamon-scented choking fit I had courtesy of Beth Revis. My eyes were tear-stained. Any semblance of make-up gave up and fled for easier subjects long ago.

64. But the worst? Oh, the worst was the fact that my sweater was buttoned all wrong.

65. Wrong.

66. Wrong as in the bottom button was in the top button hole.

67. And every subsequent button in between was pigeon-holed wherever I apparently felt there was an appropriate place to stick it.

68. I'm thankful I had a shirt on underneath it or I might have had that choking fit in the back of a police car.

69. I was a wildly disheveled mess who looked like she couldn't even dress herself.

70. No wonder the barista waited until it was obvious I was going to live before approaching me.

71. I wouldn't have wanted to give me mouth to mouth either.

72. I suppose I should blame my own foolishness for the sweater.

73. And my connection to my characters for the tears and lack of make-up.

74. But I'm not.

75. I'm blaming the entire thing on Beth Revis.


  1. This is hilarious! Thank you for sharing this near death experience with us.

  2. LMAO.

    You really need your own tv show.

  3. whew. good thing I wasn't chewing gum while reading this!

  4. Phew! Is a swithc over to Wordpress coming.... ? :O)

  5. LMAO.

    Luckily I know my baristas and they know what I do for a living. So things like laughing out loud (in a potentially hysterical manner) or sobbing (equally hysterical) don't phase them any more.

    Can't say the same for the customers, but when they point and whisper someone inevitably comes to my rescue. "Don't mind her, she's a writer."

    Get to know your baristas, CJ. :P It'll keep the cops off your back!

    <3 K

  6. Oh, my god, I can't stop laughing! You actually got me crying a little.

    I hope your revenge on Beth Revis is sweet. She did such a horrible thing...XD

  7. I don't see what you're complaining about CJ. Can I just point out that

    (a) I gave you a pleasant-smelling appearance for hours after the "incident"? IT WAS AROMATHERAPY, you ungrateful!

    (b) As a side effect to my gracious and kind (if somewhat forceful approach) aromatherapy offer, YOU GOT FREE CHEESECAKE.

    (c) Anything that ends with free cheesecake is clearly a win.

    (d) I am being maliciously slandered here.

    (e) OBVIOUSLY I am like Robin Hood in this scenario--giving freely of myself to the destitute (and quasi-homeless appearing).

    (f) I think I deserve a medal.

    (g) AND I use letters to numerate my thoughts--not numbers. Clearly a writerly thing to do.

    (h) SEE? That was some more helpful advice.

    (i) Use letters, accept the aromatherapy, nom free cheesecake.

    (j) And the Nutella thing. Don't forget about that.

    (k) Confession: It's gotten to the point now where I have to sing the alphabet in my head every time in order to know which letter comes next.

    (l) Seriously.

    (m) Which is kind of sad, I suppose. BUT! I do not have the advantage of graciously offered aromatherapy, free cheesecake, and Nutella-flavored advice.

    (n) What's your excuse?

    (o) I was only going to make a few points here, but if I'm already at "o" I should just complete the alphabet, no?

    (p) That's what a real writer would do.

    (q) *sigh* Just another example of how I'm always giving. I'M OFFERING YOU THE WHOLE ALPHABET HERE, REDWINE.

    (r) Speaking of: my favorite part of the post was that throughout the whole thing, you used my whole name.

    (s) Not "Beth." The whole thing: "Beth Revis." Made me feel a little bit like a rockstar.

    (t) This point left intentionally blank. _______________

    (u) I think I'm running out of things to fill in for the letters!

    (v) But since I'm such a gracious, giving author, I feel the need to continue all the way through the alphabet.

    (w) Or not.

    (x) It would probably drive some OCD writer MAD if I just left a few of these letters blank.

    (y) Or maybe just one. That's it. I'm kicking (z) out of the game. *evil laugh*


  8. Katy - I know the baristas on my regular writing days, but this was my first Thursday night there. Possibly my last ...

    Beth Revis - Couldn't come up with ONE MORE THING to say, eh? Let me show you my shocked face: 0o0 And I don't know why your name sounds better like that. Maybe for the same reason I call Rachel nothing but Hawkins. It fits.

    Also? I laughed so hard when I started reading your comment. I'm thankful I wasn't CHEWING GUM.

  9. I agree with Beth Revis. I think this is totally slanderous. I'm glad I've never made you snerk or snort or snertle anything. Who knows what malicious things you'd say?

    Also, nutella coffee is AMAZING. But when I tell people about it, their question is always, "Does it melt right?" I bet Beth Revis doesn't get this question. I bet people just believe her.

  10. You are right. People just believe Beth Revis. EXCEPT PEOPLE LIKE CJ REDWINE. People like CJ Redwine are just libelous. <--Lawyers on Twitter have told me the proper terminology.

  11. Mandy - Et tu, Brute? And I'd like to point out that now I have YOU referring to Beth as Beth Revis.

    It's catching on!

    Beth - This has nothing to do with belief and everything to do with you being a Ruiner of Snerks. (I think, given the kind of trouble you and I concoct, it's probably best we leave the lawyers out of it.)

  12. CJ - you should admit that you and chewing gum never seems to end well. *grins*

    Not that I'm suggesting this was anything other than Beth Revis' fault. I am, after all, always on your side. (dead bodies in the closet and all that :D )

  13. Thank you, Katy. I knew I could count on you. Don't be surprised if one of these days the body in the closet is that of Beth Revis.

    Her tombstone will read: Here lies Beth Revis. Nutella Fanatic. Z Hater. Ruiner of Snerks.

  14. I'm so glad I wasn't eating, drinking or chewing gum while I read this post and the following comments. Maybe you should give up snerking. Laughter seems to expel things better ;)

  15. OMG the comments just as funny as the post. And I'm inclined to agree with Beth, the writerly way of listing is to go alphabetical. You call yourself an author. ;D

  16. Wow. God bless your candor, lady. ^_^ You just made my day.

    ~Angela Blount

  17. XDDD
    You weave a story yarn well, through bullet points. I enjoyed it! <3

    Yet another reason I hardly ever chew gum. I am accident prone, and now I realize it's only a matter of time before the minty fresh DEATH decides to visit me!

  18. *beams around at her friends* *just because they're funny* *and she loves them* *and maybe she's had some vodka, but she didn't number or letter ONE THING* *yet*

  19. LOL, oh my. Somewhere a bookstore security guard is spending his lunch break reviewing security footage and laughing. Possibly even enough to snerk gum through his nose :)

  20. Shannon - Really? REALLY? Two of my CPs have defected to Beth Revis, now? What does she have that I don't? She doesn't even use the entire ALAPHABET. Pfft.

    Myra - *beams back* It's a little scary to think of all of us under the same roof, isn't it? Don't worry. I won't be chewing gum. NO ONE HAS TO GIVE ME MOUTH TO MOUTH.

    Gretchen - I imagine if any of that is actually on video footage, it will hit Youtube momentarily. When I say I contorted my face, I do NOT jest.

  21. I am seriously dying of laughter here.
    Have I mentioned how awesome you all are?

  22. you are insane. honestly. and the comment above does remind me of #winning....


  23. I've just been laughing so hard *I* started to cry. My daughter thinks I'm crazy. Well, that's nothing new, but she was getting a little bit worried because I couldn't stop laughing. Thank you for this. You made me night.

  24. CJ: Mom told me about this blog post over the phone as I was driving home from work Monday night. She wanted to know if I'd read it and then, in the same breath, queried why you have anything in your mouth or around your computer when you read things from your friends.

    So, as I'm rushing from my parking lot to my place to read about your latest disastrous attempt to be smooth, I realize there is a SILVER DOLLAR SIZED WOLF SPIDER sitting in the middle of my sidewalk.

    There's no way, NO WAY, I can get around him. I tested out trying to balance on the raised curb to get around him, or trying to walk in the gravel that slopes down--okay, plummets down 4 feet into a guard rail--but I figured that was just inviting a hospital visit.

    Mom suggested I just run around him. In 3 inch heels. On my first day wearing heels after breaking my ankle 6 months ago. Visions of falling and breaking it again all while putting my face right in leaping range of the spider (which I know was his original intent) flashed through my head and I understand now why we are so accident prone. Great advice mom.

    I turned around, got back in my car, drove to CVS and picked up a can of Raid. In the meantime, mom handed dad the phone. Who gave me excellent suggestions like throw a piece of gravel to scare it. At a wolf spider. Who have nasty dispositions and LEAP SEVERAL FEET when provoked. Then again, this is the same person who chased us with spiders when we were kids.

    I wonder where my arachnophobia comes from.

    Now I'm armed with Raid and facing my nemesis again. I begin spraying and dad tells me not to use the whole can. Excuse me? It's MY can! If I feel the need to drown the wolf spider, I'll do just that. And if that doesn't work, I'll set the whole mess ablaze. At the same time, I do have more sidewalk to traverse around the corner and I don't know what's waiting there. Not to mention dad's now making spider jokes and putting himself solidly on my To-Be-Raided list.

    So, needless to say, I forgot about your post until today. And, after reading it, I have decided that incident on Monday was a further attempt on our family from the ever so alphabetically devious Beth Revis. It was implied in the z.

  25. Just what I needed after a writer's conference and a couple of days of Spring Break imposed computer silence. I laughed so hard my family came running over to see what was wrong. Fortunately my husband had just spent one evening surrounded by writers at the conference otherwise I think he may have had me committed. Once he realized it had to do with WRITERS, he nodded knowingly and quietly backed away, leaving me sitting in front of the computer still giggling. (Note to self - read CJ's blog only when alone).

  26. LOL. I learned a lesson while reading your post.

    Never drink Coke while reading CJRedwine's posts, it's dangerous for health and keyboards :D


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