Never assume that getting published makes a writer a good writer.
As evidence, sample this gem from The Ghost Downstairs, a novel by author Molly Ringle, inexplicably selected for publication by The Wild Rose Press:
(A) lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicitys mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the worlds thirstiest gerbil.
Thats one passage chosen by Heather Narwid, owner of the Sideshow Emporium & Gallery in Dolores, for Say Whaaat?!? an evening of comedic readings of some of the worst prose and poetry that organizers Narwid and her friend JoAnne Folkestad could dig up. And theyve invited the public to join in.
We wanted to make it broad so people can bring their own writing if they can take the heat. The idea is to laugh at bad writing, so its probably easier to read someone elses, Narwid said.
The idea is that each contributor shes got loose confirmations from about 10 or 12 friends will read five minutes or less from their selected tomes. But she and Folkestad intend to have enough of their own material to carry the evening, if necessary.
If it turns into the JoAnne and Heather Say What show, were ready, Narwid said.
Recommended sources for potential contributors include celebrity autobiographies, pulp fiction, smutty romances, fantasy and self-help books, which Narwid described as especially rich in rottenness.
They also will draw from film screenplays/teleplays (shes got a great sequence picked out from the 1980 Olivia Newton-John bomb Xanadu), TV show synopses, advertising and catalog verbiage, poetry and song lyrics.
Theres so much bad stuff out there, I think were going to do this like twice a year, Narwid said.
Children are welcome to attend Say Whaaat?!? but Narwid warned that the content has the potential to exceed PG-13 standards; bad romance is some of the prime fodder, and bad romance can lead quickly to bad sex.
Its pretty all-inclusive, and Im interested to see what people come up with, Narwid said.