Friday, March 29, 2013

The Rattlesnake Challenge: Making a deal with the universe

When I was a kid, my dad was a pastor of a church in Sweetwater, TX. Sweetwater, in case you didn't know (which, let's all admit it, you didn't) is the Rattlesnake Capital of the World. Yup, that's what runs through my veins. Rattlesnake venom. (And you think I'm kidding)

So, my dad, in keeping with the culture in which we lived, presented a challenge to our church. If they were able to do...something (I don't really remember what. Get a specific number of attendees on a Sunday morning? Give a certain amount to missions? All come on time for once? Who knows.) he would handle a baby rattler on a Sunday morning.

Well, all these fine Texans who loved their pastor went crazy over the idea of seeing him potentially get bitten by a deadly viper, and they responded beyond his wildest expectations. So my dad had to keep up his end of the bargain.

He brought in a baby rattle to church. He's lucky this was the days before Twitter.

Eventually he did consent and handled an actual rattlesnake, which, as best as I can recall, looked something like this.

Now, I was thinking about this story and also about this story from my friend Shannon Messenger, author of Keeper of Lost Cities and Let The Sky Fall (not the line from the Adele song, but the much longer novel). She made a deal with the universe that, if her book sold, she would post a rather embarrassing video of herself from a game show.

Unfortunately, (and I mean that. I'm attention hungry. Heck, I'm half-way to Histrionic-ville.) I made no such deals before my book sold to Simon & Schuster. Which means I have no good reason to post anything about myself.

And I'd be remiss if I ever let that happen again.

So, here it is, my list of DEALS WITH THE UNIVERSE!!!!!!!

If The Troubles of Johnny Cannon gets...

A starred review...I will release a video of the 10-year-old me dancing like an absolute fool.
Hits a bestseller list...I will release a video of myself dancing in a dress to "Respect" by Aretha Franklin.
Gets a movie deal...I will release a video of me diving into a pool of chocolate sauce.

If my twitter feed gets...
500 followers...I will release a video of me singing "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story.
1,000 followers...I will release a video of me singing "I'm Every Woman."
5,000 followers...I will release a video of me singing "It's Raining Men."
10,000 followers...I will release a video of me singing "Born This Way."
(Yes, I realize all these are songs that will put me in touch with my feminine side. I like my feminine side.)

And, finally, for every subsequent book that my agent sells, I will release a video of me singing the logline for it.

So there you go, universe! The ball is in your court.


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