Greater Expectations

Can't say I expected this when I started book #2 back in February...

Every so often through some aberration of coincidence, two completely unrelated things become permanently linked together as an eventual result of an interesting similarity or two. While that is a pretty good explanation of where babies come from and thus on topic for both works we'll discuss today, it's also a description of the situation I find myself in while writing this second book of mine.

...aaaaand in this corner, your challeng-ah...
See, as umf'ers may know, I'm working on this newest anthology of asshollectualisms I call "What to Expect When You're Expecting (The Worst)" and, in 10 words or less, explores unplanned pregnancies and the dawn of a new error. As way more people probably know (because I can barely afford to print the book I have out now, let alone buy TV time as part of a national multimedia ad campaign), Hollywood has been working on a flick by the name of "What to Expect When You're Expecting."

Now, I wouldn't even feel right without giving you full disclosure: the title of my book is kinda borrowed from that old pregnancy book that I'm pretty sure was out back when my grandparents were expecting. That book is by the same name as the upcoming movie, and unsurprisingly the film is based on it. It discusses "the happiest time in life" in the most glowing and reverent of tones, saying all the right things and assures  mother, child, and that other guy that as long as they go by the book, everybody will live happily every after.

At the very least, I had the dice to roll in a different direction. See, I'm a person that isn't afraid of the inconvenient truth, and that includes the fact that pregnancy ain't always a celebration, bitches. Just as a quick example: you know those pregnancy test commercials where future mommy sits excitedly in future daddy's arms, waiting for the machine to show them the jackpot?

You have to know that's not the way it usually goes down. Usually one or both of them is crying, pissed, scared half to birth, praying to any available gods for a positive result (by their standards, not the test's) or not doing any of the above because they're absent and plan on staying that way...and if you don't know that, you should really check this shit out. It discusses the craziest time in life in the most authentic way I know how, saying all the real things and not promising that baby, mama, and the man in the jam will all escape with their lives reasonably intact, but assuring you that as long as you go buy the book you should at least get a laugh out of it.

Me? I don't think they're anything alike. You just can't put sugarcoated Hollywood bullshit up against the 100-proof truth...you know what they say about candy and liqour. The comparison's only skin-deep, but that's the only layer everyone gets to see, right? (That's why aesthetically challenged people have such a hard run at life.) Kinda leaves me in a sticky spot though...no matter how good my book is and how well it eventually does, because of the accidental timing of both releases, they'll sorta be together forever (which is another pretty good description of where babies come from).

It's cool. Okay, I'm the little guy in this situation, but so is the random nail on the highway. Nobody knows about me before I'm sticking out of their tire, but I'm sharp enough to be a threat in the right position. I'm not changing the name. I'm not shelving the project. I'm damn sure not going to be known as anybody's knockoff...but there's the problem with the name similarity. At first glance, people may think I'm some kind of plagiarwriter. (Of course, y'all know the truth and I'd appreciate you correcting anyone who thinks otherwise.)

As mentioned earlier, I don't think they're too much alike, but then I'm not trying to sell my book to myself...therefore, something must change. It will, too...my attitude changed. In my eyes, the key to this situation is to invite the comparison and be on the long end of it. Before, I was writing a book, now I'm proving a point...and I've been doing the second way longer than the first. Wish me luck, umf'ers.

1 comment:

Janene said...

Doh! Don't you hate it when that happens? Think twice about not changing the name, though. Could get you into trouble. Ask yourself which would cause you more grief: thinking up a new name or defending yourself in a lawsuit.