#22 Jim the Bunny Learns to Knit

Jim hopped through the forest with a giant grin on his face. He’d just grabbed a bunch of files from Jabberpaw, and had covered his internet tracks by paying off Sylvester the snake. Now he just needed to get home and load up his found files.

On the way, he tripped, since he wasn’t the most coordinated bunny in the world. In doing so, his Lucky Rabbit’s Foot USB drive fell off of the tuft of fur he’d attached it to, and it fell into the mud puddle. For the next 3 days he spent most of his time trying to remove all of the mud from the contacts so that he could read the drive once more. This was annoying, so he decided he needed to buy a cover for his drive.

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t sell covers for Lucky Rabbit’s Foot USB drives. Jim was in a proverbial, thankfully not actual, pickle. His only solution was to make one. So that’s how it came to be that he hopped over to the sheep flock, and found Kay the sheep.

Kay was well known throughout the Woods as the premier knitting expert of all of the Animals. She used only the best yarn, which she stole off of her husband, Jay the Sheep. Jay had the best wool in the Woods, when he had a chance to grow it before Kay shore it off.

Kay was impressed to see Jim hop up.

“Here to learn to Knit”? She asked.

“No, I just want a cover for my USB drive”, he responded. Kay always wanted to teach people to knit.

“OK, that’ll be $400”, Kay responded without batting a sheep eyelash.

“WHAT?!?”, Jim’s bunny jaw dropped. Prices had gone up considerably since the last time he’d worked with Kay.

“Well, Jay’s charging more for the raw materials, but really the bulk of the price increase is that I’m just too busy to help you these days, Jim”, she said with a grin, “You see, I’ve become a world famous knitting sheep”.

Jim was incredulous. He’d been a customer of Kay’s for years. She’d knitted his tail cozy, his carrot-shaped shopping bag, and his winter coat.

“Can’t you cut me a break?”, he asked.

“Well, I might have a solution”, she responded.

So it happened that Jim the Bunny was compelled to learn to knit, to become Kay’s assistant, in exchange for a custom lucky rabbit foot’s USB cover. Initially reluctant, Jim was at least consoled by the regular pay. Plus he was able to trade his knitted work for access to Jabberpaw’s extensive media library. The bear might have been a loaner, but he did enjoy custom sweaters.


Mandate: Jon’s Interactive Book Project

So for awhile I’ve been thinking of writing a novel, and tonight an idea came to me. 2 ideas actually, and I’m going to tell you 1% of the first idea, and 100% of the second. Confused? OK, let’s go…

The 1% of the first idea? The title of the book will be “Mandate”. That’s all you’ll know about it until it’s done. And I think you’ll be interested in it, because you have the chance to be a part of it. Remember those “Choose your own adventure” books you may have read as a kid (or bored adult)? Well the idea here is sorta like that. I have an idea for how the book is going to go – the characters that will be written about, the general plot, the point of conflict, and even a bit of a twist. But the details are missing – the little events that make a story interesting to read. And here is where I think my friends and twitter followers may be able to help me out – by simply answering a few tweets or facebook posts with how you would react in a certain situation. I’ll take the best (or worst, or funniest) responses and incorporate them into the book (and I’ll even include the original question and answer, along with your name, in a footnote*). So in a way, we’ll be writing the book together.

So Starting soon, You’ll see Twitter & Facebook posts from me that start “Mandate:” and have a question attached. If you have a good (or even not so good) answer, feel free to let me know however you’d like. I may hint from time to time which answers are in the “running”, or I may not. And along the way I plan to let a few details drop on the actual plot – but not enough to ruin the surprise. If you’re ready to jump in, I’m ready to write!

* I should note that by submitting an idea to me, you agree to grant me a non-revocable license to use your idea (with attribution) and give up any claim to authorship/copyright/royalties of the book. After all, these may be your small details, but it’s my zany creative streak making them come to life within my book!

Book: Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent by Anthony Rapp

OK, so since I read a fair bit on the train to and from work, I’ve decided to start publishing reviews on JonWestfall.Com for a variety of reasons. First, so I remember later what I thought of a book. Second, so perhaps others get a sense of books they might want to read. And Third, it’s a cheap source of material to keep new content flowing. So here’s the first review, of a book I finished this morning.

Title: Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent
Author: Anthony Rapp
Started: 11/3/09
Finished: 11/11/09
Jon’s Summary:
The author examines a period in his life between 1994-1998 which found him staring in a Broadway production and simultaneously dealing with the prolonged illness and death of his mother. The book follows a progressive path from showing the author’s general numbness to the concepts of grief and shared sorrow to an understanding and acceptance. A running sub-plot is the author’s romantic relationships during this time and the effects the relationships had on the central story.

This book was another Kindle recommendation that turned out to be pretty good. I enjoyed reading it, found it engaging, funny, and a unique perspective into the soul of someone dealing with quite a lot at one time. As a fan of Rent and generally intrigued by the self-analysis provided by anyone (Why do you think I have a degree in psychology?), I found it to be a good and quick read. In a few spots it did seem to drag, especially in the late stages of his mother’s illness – however thankfully those “dragging” moments were few. If you’re somewhat empathetic, be prepared to be moved by some of the content in the last quarter of the book. Also knowing the music of Rent will help understand the connections the author makes to it (Although limited lyric excerpts are provided). Overall a good book, 4 out of 5 stars.

Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent