Saturday, February 23, 2008

Moo! -- Jay

Stuck at home, recuperating after last week’s surgery, I decided to go through my desk and throw away things I’d been saving for way too long. But in the end, nothing got thrown away. Why? Cuz it’s all too valuable!

For example, look at this:

This is a laminated bookmark for a humorous middle grade novel I wrote about eight years ago. I made dozens of these for my trip to the first annual Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators conference in NYC. I hadn’t even finished writing the book, but I was passing these out like candy. Now, why would I do that if the book wasn’t finished yet?

I have no idea. So let’s move on...

Later that year, when I did finish the book, it won SCBWI’s Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award, which got me a free flight back to New York to meet with a bunch of cool editors. One of those editors even wanted to buy the manuscript, but his bosses at Simon & Schuster didn’t share in his excitement. I revised The ChocoBarn Cow for a year or so, changed the title to My Udder Life, but it still never sold…even though it’s really funny!

Here’s the deal. I only have two of these bookmarks left, but I’m willing to give one to you. Whatcha gotta do to get it? Just leave a comment on this post by midnight on Tuesday, telling me what you think the story’s about. If you’re the first person to guess correctly, it’s yours! If no one guesses correctly, the most creative answer wins.

Oh, and thanks for helping me clean out my desk.

- Jay

P.S. I'll even autograph it if you want me to!


Sarah Michele said...

Some kid... and a farm... and the kid runs into a lot of problems?
Haha. I suck.

seaheidi said...

Why not try and sell it now? I hear they need more funny, boy, middle-grades. (And who doesn't like jokes about udders?)

I'm serious!

Yee-Lum said...

@ Sarah: But you'll probably be the closest. =]

So. I think the book is about a guy named Adam who lives on a farm with cows that don't make milk... they make chocolate! But then along comes a cow that refuses to give any chocolate. Adam hasn't even heard of a cow that doesn't give chocolate, but when his boss/father/person in charge finds out that he has an abnormal cow on his farm, he blames it on Adam. And it goes downhill from there.

I have no idea. I'm just writing this as it comes into my head. Whatever. =]

Don Tate II said...

I had that same operation in high school, and it was awful! Ak! But the good thing, I was excused from gym for six months! I hated gym, so the operation was worth it in the end.

Colorado Writer said...

Um, a boy who lives on a farm, finds a cow that makes chocolate milk and the plan backfires?


I will assume your agent has already passed on this one?

Sounds genious.

Dot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jbertman said...

Okay, I love a guessing game. This is what I think ChocoBarn Cow is about:

Adam is trying to win the heart of a certain girl and needs to earn money to impress her but the only job he can find is at the Choco Barn, a candy store at the local mall. Adam’s job involves wearing a cow costume, which is udderly humiliating, but Adam takes it because he can’t win the girl without earning some cash and besides—he’ll be in a cow costume so who will ever know it’s him, right? Wrong. Photos are leaked at school of him on break with his cow head in his lap and he becomes the laughing(live)stock of the whole school. This is a serious blow to impressing his dream girl. And it’s only the first in a series of problems and mishaps that Adam has to endure. In the end, Adam learns that a girl who you need a lot of cash to impress isn’t really his type of girl, and he falls for his co-worker who wears the rooster costume and runs the cash register.

How close am I? I'm a mind reader aren't I?

Disco Mermaids said...

I'm almost embarrassed to give the bookmark to Jenn, but she absolutely deserves it.

Why am I embarrassed? Because her idea is very close to the actual premise...but better! Adam does indeed work at The ChocoBarn, a candy store in the mall. And he's terrified people will find out it's him behind the udder.

The reason he's doing that job would take too long to explain here (you'll have to read the book?), but it's totally missing Jenn's idea of wanting to impress a girl...which would make it SO much better.

So, Jenn, congratulations! Let me know your mailing address by writing to to RobinJayEve[at] and I'll send the bookmark your way.

- Jay

~Mrs. Stu said...

since Jenn stole the show, I won't even begin to insert my two cents.
However, there is something quite entertaining (I actually giggled for lack of a better word, which if I were to choose another word, it probably be would be "snorted") regarding the bookmark and the way the speech bubble reading "Moo!" is appearing to come from your name, Jay.

Ahhh, the places I could go with this one. ;)

Oh, and thanks for cleaning out your "drawers"...

jbertman said...

Oh how cool! I really didn't think I was a mind reader. I was just trying to be creative. And as I was writing that summary I was hoping I was wrong because I liked the story premise. I agree with seaheidi--you should try to sell the book now!

Thanks, Jay! I will email you with my mailing address. And if you could sign it that would be wonderful. I will keep it with my copy of 13 Reasons Why.

HMS Blogger : Lindsey said...

Hey Jay!
Or should I say MOOOOOOO!!! LOL Sorry that felt so appropriate for this comment!!! Have you finished Project 17??? Well if you haven't........start reading!!! It is an awsome book!!!!!! But NOTHiNG can be better than Th1rteen R3asons Why!!!
I mean the author of that book ROCKS!!!! Especially to Holtville Middle School Book Club!!!!! Well hope your recovery goes smoothly!!! Can't wait for you to come to Alabama!!!

Yours Truly,

Disco Mermaids said...

I'm about halfway through Project 17. And I must say, the HMS iRead Club sure knows how to pick 'em!

And it's funny because, the very day I started reading it, Laurie Faria Stolarz e-mailed me to say she'd just finished Thirteen Reasons Why.

Small world!

- Jay