I wrote an article for xojane.com for their Worst Roommate Ever column. It was published. The gist was: I had a roommate who could see auras. She talked to the cat. In a past life, the cat was a warrior. She kicked my boyfriend out in the middle of the night, then after some back and forth and changed stories, she kicked me out. We’d lived together 6 weeks.
I sent a draft of it to J for him to review. This is the feedback I received:
J: I emailed you a rewrite of the story. Spiffed it up a bit. Your roommate was actually an alien bounty hunter and your boyfriend was a quadriplegic who you beat when he talked back to you. Sheba is no longer a cat, but the ghost of a great warrior who, spoiler alert, reveals your roommate to be an alien, possesses your boyfriend’s wheelchair and crashes into bounty hunter alien roommate, knocking her out the window where she crashes, loses her memory, and you convince a doctor to keep her medicated and isolated in a correctional facility for the criminally insane. You’re welcome.
C: That’s fine. Except I’m not sold on the bounty hunter thing. I think alien antique seeker? Snake oil saleswoman?
J: The sequel is about the “ghost chair” where Sheba goes riding around fighting aliens with unwitting quadriplegics.
C: Yes, that’s totally the sequel! Can you flesh it out more?
J: Since you’re a feminist, I was thinking the aliens could be trying to collect vagina lips as trophies. And the ghost chair is stuck in impound. So you, the protagonist, must bribe or manipulate the security guard but then you end up falling in love with him because he’s sensitive and respects your authoritah as a woman.
Most of the story can be lame conversations about how you feel about each other, instead of explosions. Then the relationship doesn’t work because you have goals and he lets you go, reluctantly. The story closes with you eating chocolate ice cream and saying something like “I’ve earned this,” or “Who would have known those alien bastards were sitting on decade’s worth of weight-reducing ice cream?!”
C: They were? Bastards!
J: The third movie is about evil ice cream makers trying to silence everyone who knows about the alien ice cream so they can continue their evil plot of making ladies feel bad about themselves do they’d say yes to the dates with evil ice cream owners.
C: Making all of us fat!
J: …only, they forgot one thing: A wheelchair possessed by a warrior ghost. “Wheel you marry me?” “Oh yes, a thousand times yes! During the downhills and the uphills!”
C: Does ’til death do we part apply?
J: It’s a ghost chair.
C: I know. How’d it die?
J: That’s the prequel!
C: Oh man. Are we Star Wars-ing this?
J: Star Wars wasn’t a prequel. They skipped the first trilogy initially.
C: You’re still not saying how the chair died.
J: The chair didn’t die. It’s possessed by a ghost warrior. A ghost warrior who died while protecting the throne. Part of the story will explain the secret origins of Musical Chairs. It’s actually how we chose kings and is far bloodier than our childhoods would have us believe.
If Hollywood gets a hold of this story, they’ll ruin it, calling it “Ghosts vs. Aliens,” but it will break box office records, to my great angst, as crowds will remember someone screaming during the movie “The book was better!” And then I can write a piece “It Happened to Me.” (full circle)