Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oprah Ends Show, Millions of Would-be Authors Must Find New Pipedream

When Oprah Winfrey announced the end of her show this week, the fallout extended beyond the millions of inconsolable viewers who will soon be jonesing for their next ‘A-ha moment’ fix. Thousands of writers who spent their time staring out the window and dreaming about touting their wares on the Oprah show now have to find a new dream.

“It’s such a blow to my irrational expectations of immediate success,” said Arpdoodle Whipcan, author of several works-in-progress. “Without Oprah, what can I hang my hopes of instant literary stardom on? My talent? Please.”

Looralou Fishbucket also shares Whipcan’s pain. She’s the author of the unauthorized sequel to “1984” by George Orwell. Fishbucket’s epic “1999” mixes Orwell’s shades of inescapable doom with Prince’s soulful party beats, all set to a “Big Funky Sister is Watching You” theme. Or it would, rather, if she actually finished the manuscript.

“Dreaming about my book scoring a spot on Oprah’s Book Club is what made me sit down at the computer every day,” she said. “What kept me there was constant updating on Twitter and my Farmville wealth on Facebook. Without that dream, what am I supposed to do now? Actually write?”

Other authors are picking up the pieces and moving on. Some scribes have reportedly tried dreaming about an appearance on “The View,” but these dreams ultimately prove unsatisfactory, with less than stellar results for their book on the imaginary New York Times bestseller list.

“I’ve tried daydreaming about pitching my book on “The Daily Show” or “The Colbert Report,” said Dickson Dungbeetle, would-be author of “I Know I Am, But What Are You?”

“The problem is, I’m not snarky or intelligent enough to verbally spar with Stewart or Colbert, even in my mind,” he said. “I keep getting nailed by Colbert, and my book never receives the fake bump.”

While would-be authors still have many months to keep procrastinating with dreams of Oprah-sized success, many have accepted their fate and are actively searching for new pipedreams, such as being discovered by Stephen King at an elementary school book fair. A brave few have even taken the drastic step of working once again on their manuscripts, with surprising results.

“Once I started writing again, I realized this book was crap,” said Dungbeetle. “Maybe I’ll take a course on creative writing or try out for some VH1 reality shows to fill the time until the next Oprah phenomenon comes along.”