Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Seen on the Purple Line to Linden at about 8:45 a.m.

Elmer hated being called Elmer, but he undeniably looked like one. His close-set eyes, baby face, turned-up nose, thin lips, and his lump of a chin all desperately shouted “Hi! My name’s Elmer!” He tried to cover it up with wide tortoise-shell glasses and long brown hair, but to no avail.

Elmer scrolled through his first novel, “The Determined Hunter,” on his iPod. He had used a pen name when he had it published: E.A. Francis. It was the only time he had ever managed to hide his identity from the world. For a few glorious months, book reviewers, publishers, and his fans (he had a decent amount) referred to him as E.A. Francis. It was a noble name, a serious name, a literary name. It was the type of name you could respect.

That all ended when the person running his fansite (he still couldn’t believe he had a fansite) ferreted out his real name. Suddenly discussion forums started popping up filled with people debating why he would use an alias when his real name was so unique. Magazines and newspapers now called him Elmer when they interviewed him. At book signings, people demanded that he write out his full name. Since the discovery, Elmer’s face had taken on a sour aspect. Unfortunately, that made him look even more like an Elmer—helpless, hopeless, ever-frustrated Elmer. 

Drivel & Wit Chicago went really well last night! There were just five of us, but I think it will grow into an amazing, super-helpful group for all sorts of writers in Chicago. Tonight my roommate and I are finally getting back to trivia at the Burwood Tap! I haven't been in forever, so I am extremely excited about that. Time to show off all my useless knowledge. 

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