In my younger days, while working through kitchens in the Deep South to become a chef, I shucked a lot of oysters. Probably thousands. Honestly, it was a crazy shucking time in my life. But while I used plenty of oysters for cooking, I also flung my share onto people during fake sneezes, or while pretending to cough up something.
Often they would ask, “What are you, a shucking comedian?”
Looking back now, I guess it’s no surprise I eventually traded my chef’s knives for a humor columnist’s keyboard.
So the irony wasn’t lost on me when, nearly 20 years after becoming a columnist, I found myself standing in front of a camera posing with a freshly shucked oyster. Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows that stranger things have happened to me. In this case, however, it wasn’t on a security tape or just a really bad attempt at a sexy selfie for my wife. It was for the cover of my new book coming out in September:
Pearls of Writing Wisdom: (From 16 years as a shucking columnist).
Obviously, the title demanded an oyster be on the cover. Mostly because of the Oysters Union. In fact, the only reason I’m on the cover at all is because someone had to hold the demanding little crustacean in the proper light. I had no idea the photographer, Joshua Greene, was shooting us both. In fact, the only input I had was on deciding whether to have it open or closed. After debating the merits of both, I finally just said, “shuck it” and popped it open.
What follows is a series of photos from that shoot which, like that first one, are being considered for the cover. My apologies in advance to any of you with a weak stomach or who are currently suffering from seafood poisoning. I know this may seem a little shellfish, but as members of my blogging family I would really appreciate your input on this. I’ve numbered the photos so you can let me know which one you think would
make you freak out catch your attention if you saw it on a book shelf…
If you made it through this post, thank you for your dedication! Or maybe it’s just a morbid curiosity. Whatever the reason, I’d appreciate your input on which photo you’d pick for the book cover, keeping in mind that No. 6 has already been chosen for the “Drinking and Duning Don’t Mix” campaign.
In all seriousness, this book has been a longtime coming, written specifically to help writers find their voice, direction and inspiration when they need it — a writer’s survival guide of sorts. My thanks to all of YOU for your constant support and inspiration, and for being a part of my writer’s survival kit.
By the way, I still have that oyster if anyone wants it…