Thursday, September 15, 2011

Billy’s Weird Life, (Also dubbed “the most uninspired piece of writing to come out of Brian’s fingers.”)

Sometimes I feel like half of me is Timid & Shy Little Brian, and the other part is his boisterous uncle who is always trying to embarrass him. Timid & Shy Little Brian just wants to stay under the radar and live in anonymous peace, but the boisterous uncle is always yanking him out of it and reminding everyone of the time he got stuck in a his girlfriend’s parents’ bathroom. It is because of this conflict that I write this post.

The problem is that I promised I’d do this in my previous post. About a year ago I posted The Fraidy-Cat Lion, which is an endearing and Young Authors Award-winning story written by me in third grade. Yes, third grade, my rebellious year. Between episodes of playing drums with my pencil and playing High-Five Spin The Bottle with a glove, I was writing the damn cutest thing you could ever imagine.  That’s right, Mrs. White and that Meatloaf-doppelganger recess aide, I used the pain from your oppressive fists to foster my creativity! Who’s laughing now?

Then fifth grade came along, and with the entrance of scant traces of puberty, more and more of my adorable creativity took its leave. That year it was announced that we would all be writing books to be entered again into the Young Authors contest. Being a veteran of this kind of contest, I was sure that my story would be a shoe-in for the award. But I wouldn’t let the fame make me sloppy; I wanted my new story to have the same artistic integrity and grounded panache as The Fraidy-Cat Lion. So I started brainstorming.

This was the year that I had started reading the Harry Potter books and I wanted nothing more than to be him. Each chapter of the books filled me with such giddy excitement accompanied by the mournful sigh, Oh my sweet goodness, I wish someone would tell ME that I’m a wizard! It permeated my every thought, and clearly affected my dreams as well. So when it came time for me to choose a story to write, I undoubtedly had one choice and one choice only: to use this passion to write a story about a boy who finds out he’s a wizard and is invited to Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


Even more creative, though, is the title. Ladies and gentlemen, Billy’s Weird Life.

  ["I dedicate this book to my family"...because they don't know that I played High-Five Spin The Bottle yet and I have to rack up all the points I can before conferences.]

[Billy's dad and grandparents are dead ringers for my dad and grandparents. Really, I did a horrible job concealing the fact that Billy is me.]

 [My Calvin & Hobbes influence started early. See?]

 [My sister drew Billy for me on this page. That is clearly 8th grade artistry.]

 [This is one of my favorite pages, because (1) Again, Billy's dad looks just like my dad, (2) I used colored pencil, crayons, AND gel pens to illustrate this, and (3) I thought that people wouldn't recognize the golden starlike shapes as "sparks."]

[I owned a shirt just like that at the time. Billy = me.]
 [I amazed even myself with my mountain-drawing abilities. WATCH YOUR BACK, BOB ROSS.]

[I'm not fully sure what is going on here between Billy's mom and dad, but it seems as though I was hinting at some sort of deeper problems in that relationship.]

[The Chair-Moving Spell: A favorite among weary-legged wizards.]

[Billy ends up being HOMESCHOOLED? What the HELL?]

 [Probably not the best idea to end the book with a fragment sentence.]

I did not win the Young Authors Award that year. During the assembly during which the award winner would be announced, I sat confidently cross-legged, ready to stand up and accept the prize. But it never happened. I was crushed. 

How could I not have won? Comments written by my classmates on the back cover of the book included such praise, as:

Cool! - Hans

Cool book! It was really GOOD! I liked the idea about "Harry Potter" ~Alyssa~

Very good book! I loved the not very many mistakes. Cool(written with eyes in the O's and a silly, tongue-wagging smile underneath)! - James

I guess that's that. You've now read my embarrassing fifth grade novel. And it's all because of that embarrassment-fixated second half of myself. There aren't any more on this subject, thank God. (Well, except for my seventh grade autobiography.)



  1. fine, so it was MUCH funnier than I thought it would be :).

    Frank is totally Dumbledore... you must admit it. Actually every single part of the plot can be related to HP! Except the wizard cold, that comes from Sabrina the Teenage Witch of course. (Aren't you glad you're dating a wizard expert?)

    I really like how the dad looks like your dad. Too bad the mom is never drawn in the story, you sexist. :)

  2. Very true. I think the Mom would have been such a good character to establish, compared to that dad at least. "He had a very forgetful mom, and he also had a dad." And yet she forgot NOTHING the whole story!

  3. AFter reading and scanning this entiiiiiire book for you, I really didn't know how you would write an entertaining post about it! (It was a little on the boring side.) But your post is hilarious!

    Yeah, you really should have developed the Mom character! Not because it was me, :-) but just because moms are usually the coolest people to write about. Hey, I really doubt that I EVER 'made a mad look' at your dad.

    I wonder what I forgot the week that you wrote this book to get the title 'very forgetful mom.'

    Thanks for not posting another disturbing picture of the naked Harry Potter guy with a horse! Eeeeeuuuuu!

  4. I vaguely remember that I had planned for the mom to be the comedic relief of the book, but it clearly never took off. Probably because everything else in the story resembled my life so much, and the mom's personality was too much of a stretch for me.

  5. Haahahahaaaaaaa. This book was EPIC. I especially loved your commentary after every page.
    Your mountains were FANTASTIC. Seriously, I wish I could draw mountains that good NOW. Too bad you didn't do any 'happy trees' to go with it. :)
    Your imaginative spell names were quite hilarious, also. Koopa Troopa? Gold. Chicken McNuggets? Genius. Achuiepooie? Winning.
    You should write a sequel.