Life, the Universe & a Couple of Kittens
Things have been pretty tough around here. Jeff is buried under an avalanche of interviews and fan mail about his soon-to-be national bestseller. (Stinks to be him, huh? I know my heart is bleeding.) Rob was marooned in Billings, Montana while Amy was out of town, and Julie. . . well I’m afraid to say anything to or about Julie lest I become the writer after whom she fashions the nastiest of all villains. Now it’s my turn to whine and, quite frankly, I’m having a harder time blogging than any of them -- possibly all three of them put together. Every first-draft sentence I attempt looks like this:
It’n3333QQQ`` ?kkkk?/~```XXXX your Y TTQQED1
Have you ever tried to create with a couple of catastrophically cute five-week-old kittens capering across your keyboard? It’s not as poetic as it sounds. And, by the way, that loud gasp/swish/thud you just heard was my husband taking a last ragged breath before falling from his office chair in a dead faith. I haven’t exactly told him about the foster kitties. Until now. Surprise, dear!
So, while I play with Cleo and Bruce (not that I've named them) and my husband Googles divorce attorneys, I thought maybe the rest of you could play a game about Life, the Universe & Everything.
As most of you already know, it took Deep Thought seven-and-a-half million years to formulate the answer to the Ultimate Question. The answer is forty-two. Unfortunately, it may take another ten million years to uncover the question, which is hidden somewhere here on Earth. (This is assuming, of course, that the Vogons build their bypass elsewhere.) As you may or may not know, one of our readers, Michael Cleverly, is hard at work finding the answer. I mean question. His website, Wisdom from the 42nd Page, theorizes that the Ultimate Question might just be found on the forty-second page of a random book published somewhere, sometime on our little third rock from the sun. His mission: Searching for answers to life’s big (scratch that) random questions on the forty-second page. Join us in taste-testing three books per day, forty-two per fortnight, and 1,095 per year.
Okay . . . wow! You probably have to spend a week or so at that site to believe it. Similarly, I suspect you might also have to meet the man in person to believe him, but from what I’ve observed thus far, Michael is not only a possibly-deranged bibliophile, but a creative genius with a wide streak of humanity and deeply embedded spirituality. As his newest fan, I thought we could band together this week to help him out a little. If we each ferret out the nuggets of wisdom from our own forty-second pages, we can hopefully lighten the load on his sagging bookshelves by a dozen tomes or better.
Here’s how we’re going to play. If you’re a writer—and most of you are, published or not, LDS or not—scan the forty-second page of any work you have on your shelf, in a drawer, or somewhere within the bowels of your computer. Although Michael puts up the whole page with the “good stuff” highlighted, in the interest of space in our comments trail we’ll only put up the gems themselves – preferably just a few lines or a couple of paragraphs at most.
If you’re not a writer—or won’t admit it yet in public—you can choose any work of LDS fiction. (Fiction because General Authorities are "cheaters" in this case, what with inside information on life, the universe and all, and LDS because that’s in the name of our blog. Hmm. I guess I’m going to have to modify that to keep the boss happy. You may use any fiction work by an LDS author or a frog. As for the frog’s religion, you don’t tell and we won’t ask.) Besides the nugget of truth, include the title of the book and the name of the author if, in fact, you did not write it yourself. You can enter up to three times a day through next Thursday. Each separate entry will be placed in a box with one to be drawn at random next Friday. Winner gets a kitten!
Warning: this can be highly addictive. (See: Michael Cleverly, above.) Before I was distracted by kittens, I was combing the pages of books by authors and frequent comment-ers on this blog, planning to blog from what I discovered in their pages. I came upon words possibly profound in works by Julie Bellon and Tristi Pinkston, and laughed out loud when the first two of Jeff's books I picked up had forty-second pages that were totally blank. Apparently Jeff is a write-your-own-profundity-here sort of guy.