Monday, January 31, 2011

Does this make him a smart cookie?

It seems a writer has come up with a new idea for a book.

Matt Kelsey is a writer, so it's natural to think he cooked up his fortune-cookie blog with visions of "Julie & Julia" dancing in his head. You know: blog begets book begets movie.

But that's not the way it happened.

Having been laid off from the Kansas City Kansan in early 2009 - the paper went online-only - Kelsey spent nine months last year working for the Census Bureau. But that gig was over by September, and Kelsey, 31, found himself once again unemployed and pounding the pavement.

One Saturday afternoon in November, as he and his wife, Jamie, were enjoying Chinese takeout in their Kansas City, Kan., home, Kelsey glanced down from his General Tso's chicken and noticed a cellophane-wrapped fortune cookie.

"It just kind of hit me," he says. "We really needed some good fortune right then."

It was getting tough to make the mortgage payment. And how were they going to pay a $3,000 hospital bill?

But back to the fortune cookies. The couple came up with the idea of Kelsey opening one fortune every day for a year and doing whatever the little slips of paper commanded. And, of course, he'd write about his adventures.

. . .

At a Chinese restaurant he bought a case of fortune cookies - 350 - plus a bag of extras, all for $13. He was now ready to launch his "fun little blog".

He opened his first fortune a few minutes after midnight on New Year's Day: Investigate new possibilities with friends. Now is the time!

. . .

Beyond compelling him to write every day, the fortune cookie project is almost guaranteed to make him a better person, Kelsey figures.

"You never find a fortune that says 'Crush somebody's spirit tomorrow' or 'Stop following your dreams,'" he says. "I'll be doing something good for myself or someone else."

Perhaps the blog will even become a "Julie & Julia"-type sensation. You know, minus the froufrou French cuisine.

"Maybe I can get Meryl Streep to play me in the movie," he says.

There's more at the link.

I'm not sure I'd trust fortune cookies as a prescription for life. I've been disappointed so often to read a fortune cookie telling me that I was going to meet a tall, dark, handsome stranger . . . but the only one who showed up was myself, in the mirror!



Wraith said...

So, what happens when he gets to the one that says, Help, I'm trapped in a Chinese Fortune Cookie Factory?

Guffaw in AZ said...

The only fortune of note I remember was EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY, BUT PAY THE TAB.