Monday, October 29, 2007

january 1, 2000

I find it a little ironic that now that I have almost 12 readers, I haven't been inspired to write anything. But I know I can't let you down. So, I decided to pull out an old journal. It's from January 1st, 2000. I was living in Chicago and I quit my job and was wondering if I was insane for doing it. The entry is below:

January 1, 2000

Oh geez. I quit my job. I can’t believe I quit my job. I’m in a café called the Kopi Café right now. I have a horrible headache. Last night was New Year’s Eve. We were so freaked out that the world was going to end when it hit midnight. So we all got really drunk just in case. I think that’s why my head hurts. I can’t believe I quit my job. I’m writing this in a notebook with a picture of Bambi on the cover. All the other journals were like $20 and I didn’t think I needed to spend that kind of money considering I don’t have a job. When I bought the journal, the cashier gave me this pitiful look like he thought I was freak-show or something. I don’t care. It was $3. So I think I’m moving to New York. I can either do that or go back to work and tell my boss that I changed my mind and then I can beg for my job back. Oh geez, this girl I can’t stand just walked in the cafe. She works for this advertising agency we do business with. I’m going to put my head down and pretend like I don’t see her. I know she’s going to ask what’s going on and I’m going to have to either lie to her or tell her the truth. I think I’m still too freaked right now to talk about it. Anyway, I quit my job because I hate it. I just hate it. It can be kind of cool sometimes but the thought of doing this in 5 years makes me sick. Oh good, that girl left without seeing me. I’m sure I’ll be able to find a job in New York that pays a lot more than this one. I might have made a mistake. Everybody keeps telling me how expensive it is in New York and how hard it is to find an apartment. I just know I’m going to have to live in an apartment without a dishwasher. I promised myself I would never do that again. What the hell was I thinking? I can’t go back to that uniform company. Everybody is going to know about it and they’re going to think I’m so dramatic. But I love Chicago so much. I don’t want to leave it. But I know I’m going to hate it if I go back to that place. I have to go now. I think I’m going to throw up.

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Review of This Week's Office

Last night's office had some funny parts but it was not one of their best. I think my favorite lines were from Meredith. "I've done some videos. I'm just not used to having so many people around."

I want to see more Meredith, Phyllis and Angela. I think the writers aren't sure what to do with Jim and Pam now that they're a couple. Nobody wants to sit down each week and watch cute interaction between the perfect couple each week. It will remind us of how many relationships we've messed up over the years.

I'm not sure I like the new Ryan yet. It seemed like a good transition at the time because his character was such a smart alec know it all. I'd like to see him fail soon to knock him down a notch. Maybe it's the beard that's bothering me. And he obviously knows Michael is an idiot. Why hasn't he tried to get rid of him yet?

Please provide feedback on this week's office and give me your favorite lines. That's what she said.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Menstrual Cycle Lesson

This past Saturday (October 20th) was election day in Louisiana. My brother was up for re-election as Sheriff and won and will get to serve Vermilion Parish for four more years. Congratulations, Mike! But this isn't about him.

While I was at the election party, a friend, who happens to be a teacher, walked up to me and told me that I needed to go to her class and give a lesson on menstrual cycles. My friend, let's call her Mary, said that because of a chapter in my book, The Chicken Dance, I have all the boys at her school asking what a menstrual cycle is. One boy raised his hand in class and asked out loud. Mary told him to come up to her and she'd whisper it in his ear. But about half way there, he realized what it was and asked, "Is it what I think it is?" Mary said, "Yes."

Well, I think that story is hilarious and is one of the things that makes life so great. But to avoid future embarrassment for young boys everywhere, I am going to give you a few hints. If you don't understand what a menstrual cycle is after these hints, then ask your parents. One, it doesn't happen to boys. Two, it happens every 28 days. Three, some people call it the same word that is at the end of a sentence.

Those are all of the hints I'm going to give. For more hints, read The Chicken Dance.

Much Love,


Friday, October 19, 2007

The Chicken Dance Commercials

Hey Everyone, (and by everyone, I mean the six people who read this blog)

Go to my website, and look for links to the three new Chicken Dance commercials. Enjoy and then pass around to your friends.



Shout Out to Erath Middle School

I spoke at Erath Middle School today and I want to thank them for being a cool group. Some of you said you liked The Office, so read below and leave comments about your favorite characters. When I get the pictures that were taken, I'll post them here or on my website

Also, need to thank Weston from Arkansas for making the banner on my blog. That's what she said.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Office Discussion

I just finished watching The Office which is becoming one of my favorite shows. If you've ever worked in an office before, you'll appreciate how realistic it is in a lot of ways. I thought I would check in with my viewers to see how many fans of the show there are. My favorite two quotes are:

When Toby says that all employees should disclose interoffice relationships to HR and Phyllis says, "Even one night stands?"

But my favorite is Angela: "I can be very fun. I like to play games. I dangle things in front of my cats."

I have to say my least favorite character is Michael Scott. I know this is going to cause some controversy but if someone would like to convince me to change my mind, I am willing to listen to them.

So viewers, let's hear your favorite characters and quotes from The Office.

Journal of My First Book Tour

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

After I picked my mom’s dog, Buster, up from the vet because he got mauled but a large animal (either my brother’s dog, Hercules, or a cow), my sister in law Jessica drove me to pick up my rental car. Then I drove to Birmingham. I’m alone in a hotel room right now. Tomorrow I am going to drive to Nashville for the Southern Festival of Books. I guess you can say it’s my first official day of my first official book tour. Some days I wake up wondering if someone has figured it out. I wonder if they’ve realized that I’m a fake. That I’m not really a writer but a Cajun farm boy who managed to throw a few sentences together and fool enough people to get a book published. I just can’t believe it’s happening.

Thursday, October 11th

Drove to Nashville today. Seems like a nice city. I went for a 3 mile run. I walked most of the way. This summer I was running 4 miles a day without breaking a sweat. But I stopped for about 6 weeks because I hurt my knee and got lazy. My body is in so much pain right now. I’m getting old. Ordered room service and watched The Office and ironed my clothes for the next couple of days.

Friday, October 12th

Went for a longer run. Well, a longer walk. My body is really in pain now. My key didn’t work when I got back to my room. I didn’t have an ID so the front desk was reluctant to let me into my room. Thankfully I had a t-shirt on that said, “I support Mike Couvillon for Sheriff.” So they accepted that as proof that I was Jacques Couvillon. I think it freaked them out that my brother was a Sheriff.

Got a goody bag with a moon pie and a little bottle of Jack Daniels. A Mormon writer gave me her bottle because she doesn’t drink liquor. I was on a panel with Jack Gantos, who nominated for a National Book Award and Jeff Kinney, who was a New York Times Best Seller. It was so intimidating while I was waiting to speak. I thought about excusing myself and then going to the bathroom to drink the little bottles of Jack Daniels. There were about 25 people in the room including two nuns. Jack spoke first. He admitted that he used to be a drug mule and went to jail for it. Kind of made me uncomfortable because of the nuns. But I think everyone knew about it because he wrote a book called, “Hole in My Life” about the experience. Bravo to him for having the guts to admit it and write about it. He’s a really interesting guy. Jeff Kinney spoke next. I think he’s the nicest person I’ve ever met in my life. I read his book Diary of a Wimpy Kid a couple of days ago. It was awesome. I couldn’t believe I was on a panel with those two guys. Afterwards, we had a book signing. (Thanks to Karen Purdy for pictures) Jack had a long line. Jeff and I only had a few. It was cool to have Jeff there because I would have felt like an idiot.

That night I went to dinner with my publicist and some other writers. This one woman lost 170 pounds in one year. That’s how much I weigh. I couldn’t believe it. She did it with diet and exercise. She’s kind of a cool lady because she writes children’s books, romantic novels and works part time as a neurological scientist. Kind of makes me feel like I need to get on the ball. I think people think I’m crazy when I tell them that I’m trying to be a full time writer. I just need to keep reminding myself that it’s what I really want to do.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Couldn’t sleep last night. Look bad today. Almost didn’t check out in time. My clothes were wrinkled. I forgot my facial cleanser so I’ve been using soap. It made me break out. I look like a pimply teenager with a receding hairline and crow’s feet. Went to the wrong place for my panel. By the time I got there, Jeff Kinney had won them over. He had them laughing. When I spoke it felt like the quietest place on earth. But then I read a little and people seemed more interested. During the question session, everyone asked Jeff questions. He is so cool. When he finished answering, he asked what my experience was. When it was time for the book signing, a line of kids went up to Jeff. I went to the section where we were supposed to sign books. I only signed two. One was for a couple who was waiting for Jeff to show up. I convinced them to buy The Chicken Dance. They were from Louisiana and were in Nashville because the woman had a special antibody in her blood and was there to donate it because it cured other people. The other book was for a guy named Ed Sullivan who wrote a book for children about the Atomic bomb.

That evening I drove to Memphis with a writer, her three-year old son, her nine month old daughter and her mom. We stopped at a restaurant called The Log Cabin on the way. I picked the boy up and carried him on my shoulders. When we walked in the mother (writer’s mother) looked at us and said we made a handsome family. I wondered what it would be like if I had a family. I thought it could be nice and kind of felt a little sad that I was missing out on the experience. But then the son, Cal, poured milk all over the floor and cried because he didn’t have any more milk. Then the little girl started screaming. Everyone in the restaurant was looking at us. Especially a big, shaved head man who looked like that X wrestler who is now a governor of I think, Minnesota. That’s when I decided that maybe I wasn’t really the family type. Maybe I’m more of a loner. Is there anything wrong with that?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I went to TGI Fridays for breakfast. As soon as I sat down I noticed a woman and a little boy about the same age as Cal. He was wearing the same shoes (crocs) as Cal but a different color. He bit into an orange slice and made a strange face and his mother laughed. It was really sweet but really weird because last night, Cal did the same thing but with a lemon wedge. He made a face and his mom laughed. When the little boy from TGI Fridays left, he turned and said, “Bye oranges.” It was really cute. Made me wonder if I could handle raising a child again.

Drove to a bookstore to sign books. It wasn’t an official signing. I just signed books for them to sell. I kept getting lost and irritated but finally found my way. I stopped in a neighborhood that some might not consider too safe. But the guy I asked for directions was super nice and got me there.

Drove into Blytheville, Arkansas. Spent the afternoon in my hotel room. Ironed my clothes and then ran to Taco Bell for dinner. Didn’t feel like eating alone in a restaurant again. Decided to let the TV keep me company. Can’t make a habit of eating fast food. I have to get up at 6 tomorrow and face 150 kids. Should be interesting. I am loving this life.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Went to a high school at 8 in the morning. It’s so weird to speak to high school students. I feel like I’m in high school again and it’s kind of scary to stand up in front of them. It was 150 students. Some of the fell asleep while I was talking. I kept wondering if they thought I was the biggest geek alive. I didn’t sell many books. I think they kind of liked it when I read to them. Some of them laughed. But I’m not sure if they were laughing at me or at the jokes. Nobody wanted to ask questions when I was finished speaking. The second group of high school students seemed more interested. No one fell asleep. I guess it’s going to depend on each group. One guy came and asked me to speak Cajun. It’s funny to think that people think it’s an entirely different language. They seem to like it though. That afternoon, I went to another high school. The drama teacher made some students dress up in chicken costumes and do the chicken dance for me. It was kind of funny. Then I went to an elementary school. They asked more questions. I think I like talking to middle school students more. They seem to be more interested. I guess I can understand. It’s hard being in high school. You’re constantly worried what people think about you. I’m not even in high school anymore and I was worried what they thought about me. Marvel from That Book Store in Blytheville drove me around to all of the schools. She was so nice. Mary Gay owns the store and she’s super nice as well. She told me that when John Grisham published his first book, he went to their store and asked them to sell his book and if he could have an event. They took a chance on him when no one else would. Now, he goes there every time he writes a book and signs all of their stock. Mary Gay said they usually sell around 2,000 copies to people all over the world because they know that the books are signed. Every time an author visits they let him/her sign a chair. It’s a really cool store. I hope I get to go back.

After the last school, I drove for 6 and a half hours in the rain to get to Monroe, Louisiana. After I ironed my clothes and ate some Wendy’s, I fell asleep. Well, I tossed and turned until morning.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I had to get up at 5:30 this morning. Betty Joe (the coolest woman in the world) from Windows, a Book Shop, picked me up at 6:30 to go to a radio interview with a guy who was kind of a shock jock. He was pretty cool but spoke so loud and I was still half asleep. I could barely speak. The next interview was with a woman and was a little more subdue. She talked about her daughter’s mid-evil themed wedding and how she was going to wear a sexy witch costume and then cackle at her son in law at the reception. Then she looked at me and told me to put on the earphones and said, “We’re on the air.” I think this interview went a little better. It’s kind of hard to speak about the book. I guess I’m just not used to people asking me so many questions. I feel like Don after he won the chicken-judging contest. I went to two middle schools to speak. The kids were very energetic and asked a lot of questions. Some of them are really cool and I feel great that they seem so interested. But then I noticed some of the cool kids and I felt like they were judging me. One of them raised his hand today to ask a question and I was a little surprised. Then he asked me to do the Chicken Dance and I knew he was kind of being smart. So I just smiled and told him that it wasn’t in my contract. Isn’t it crazy that I got intimidated by a 6th grader?

After the second school, I had a book signing at Windows. The women who own it are Pat and Elizabeth. They are really amazing. They do so much for the community. They host a radio program and write book reviews for the Sunday paper. These independent bookstores really reach out to the community and try to get kids to read. I wish there was a bookstore in Abbeville that did the same.

I was so tired after everything that I fell asleep for a few hours when I got back to my hotel room. So that means that I’ll probably be up late tonight. I’m ready to go home. I love what I’m doing but it’s hard living out of a suitcase and being moved from place to place to speak to groups. But I’m still positive that there is nothing that I’d rather do than write and encourage others to do the same.