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Tweetbook Ideas for the Eight Nights of Chanukah

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Tweetbooks are the latest avenue to self-publishing made easy. And best of all, you don’t actually have to be a writer, just one of the millions who dash off witticisms at 140 characters per.

Columns, Daniel Kilian, Gift Guide, Homepage Sub  •  Dec 11, 2012

Tweetbooks are the latest avenue to self-publishing made easy. And best of all, you don’t actually have to be a writer, just one of the millions who dash off witticisms at 140 characters per.

Just one click, and your last 2,000 tweets can be bound and shipped. All your Chanukah and Christmas shopping is taken care of, and finally your words are given the weight they deserve.

Authors take umbrage at this latest breakthrough in vanity publishing, but aren’t they mostly stringing together their last 2,000 thoughts into a semi-coherent string of words (or let’s face it, their one good thought over and over a few hundred times) and calling that a book?

I say bring on the tweetbooks, and let’s speculate as to what vanity books are to come.

1.  Turn Your Tweets into Haikus: Haikus are hot these days. Many people are posting daily haikus, and the Eastern traditions of juxtaposition and seasonal references to nature have given way to a Western sense of “anything goes.” If you can string together seventeen syllables, you’ve got yourself a poem! Never mind 140 characters, that’s about three haikus. You’re a published poet! Now if only the limerick weren’t such a restrictive format. Hey! That’s a haiku! Take that, Basho Matsuo!

2. Superman Your Tweets: Why just publish your tweets when you could illustrate them in comic book form? Imagine your witticisms as word bubbles pronounced by the Man of Steel! People will hang on to your last year’s LOL-ings about cat videos when they are mouthed by the man from Krypton as he leaps a tall building in a single bound. The dude can fly, though, so doesn’t that detract from the feat of his building leaping? How do we know he’s not just flying over the building and calling it a leap? And how come he’s got so many powers? He’s the strongest guy in the world; isn’t X-ray vision overkill? ’Nuff said. Oh, and I do know “’Nuff said” is Marvel, so stop typing that angry letter. Messing with your head, dwerk!**

3. Marbleize Your Tweets: Isn’t a book of your tweets too impermanent? Shouldn’t they be chiseled into rock? Don’t skimp.

4. Tweets in Space: The ancient Egyptians and Greeks left us cautionary tales as to the transient nature of stone. Don’t waste your time tweeting in stone. Carve it into some space-age polymer and blast it on a rocket to the outer regions of the universe. Millennia hence, when this world is just ash, aliens on a distant world will want to know how you quipped about Kristen Stewart’s shoes.

5. Scrolls: Why settle for turning your inane postings into a book? You spend a lot of time scrolling through Facebook, creatively liking numerous children’s pictures and political beliefs. Wouldn’t that scan nicely into a series of coffee table books? While the coffee table book would likely be the preferred format, your Facebook scrolling could also be available as actual scrolls.

6. Sneeze Books: Global warming is disrupting our lives in all kinds of ways, not least of which is an increase in allergy suffering. You can’t just stop blessing people, even though they honk like flocks of geese, because if you did, the demons would enter their nasal passages. So why not get an app that records your blessings, which you can later bestow upon a waiting public? People need to know how you vary the monotony in a day filled with sneezes. How often do you Gesundheit? (And why is it that German is the most popular alternative to English for sneeze blessing? Do Germans know more about sneezing than other peoples of the world? Oh, and a quick joke here: How tall is a sneeze? Gesundheit!) Are you an atheist who has to make a point every time someone’s nose bothers them? Do you eventually stop saying “bless you” and tell people to stop sneezing? I like to say “I’m not the Pope!” on the third sneeze. Surely these variations merit a book.

7. Phone-Sex Transcripts: We’re all getting more frank with our sex lives. What we used to do in hidden shame we now do with public celebration. Now a transcript from your 1-900 line phone call could be the next 50 Shades of Grey. (There, I’ve made the obligatory reference to 50 Shades of Grey. At least that’s done.) It’s unlikely that your phone-sex operator isn’t already working on a book or screenplay of his or her own, but just one side of the conversation is book-worthy. I turn mine into haikus.

8. Navel, The Novel: Why just stare into your belly button when with the latest nanotechnology you can film it as your lint balls form in real time? The resulting film can be sent immediately to a ghostwriter who will produce the novelization. Don’t worry about the level of talent. Plenty of competent authors are looking for work, especially now that tweetbook and its spawn are spreading our genius around.

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* “Really?” you ask. “Is this guy making a Martin Luther King Jr. reference in a piece on Tweetbooks?” Yes, I keep hearing that phrase whenever I read about 140 characters, and I’ve got to get it out of my system.

** Dwerk: Someone who combines the characteristics of both a dweeb and a dork. Trademark pending.

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Dan Kilian
Dan Kilian writes songs, essays, fictions and lies in Sunnyside New York. He is the creative director for The Consumers*, a musical act, and the lead singer of Dan Kilian and The Million Man Band. He is the host of A Couple Nights A Week, an online interview program, and the Editor and a contributor to Klog, a literary blog.