Candy Candy Candy

Many of you know that before I had novels published, I was a frequent contributor to the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader series of books — those books filled with informative, fun trivia articles just long enough to take care of one’s business, as it were. What you may not know is that I still write for the series on occasion. I do it because it’s interesting work, it fits easily in to my writing schedule, the UJ folks pay well, and because it conforms with my writing business philosophy of having multiple revenue streams, so that when one goes under — say, oh, the TV series you’ve been working on gets canceled — you still have income from other places.

Yea, even now, when I am bestselling novelist who lies upon pillows filled with caviar and fluffy ocelot kittens, I am not so proud that I won’t write an article meant to be read while people poop. Mayhaps this will be an instructional moment to you aspiring writers. Mayhaps this will indicate to you what novelists really make. Mayhaps I sleep on regular pillows, unfilled with ocelots and caviar, which would be smelly and claw-y in any event. Mayhaps I should stop using the word “mayhaps.”

Anyway, if you’re curious as to what sort of material I write for an Uncle John’s book, well, Neatorama has an article up today about the origin stories of various candies, taken from the recent UJ’s “History’s Lists” title. That’s right! Origin stories are not just for superheroes! And while Uncle John’s doesn’t typically break out which of their contributors contributed what, I can say that if I were to have written a piece for them recently, it would be not unlike this one. Not unlike it at all.

Mmmm… candy.

37 Comments on “Candy Candy Candy”

  1. I am envisioning the ocelot kittens getting a bit restless after a while, and becoming much less comfortable.

    Plus, what happens when they become full grown ocelots?

  2. Griffin, please don’t affix your URL as a signature to every comment. This isn’t e-mail. Your name already links to your URL; that’s sufficient.

  3. Is that what happened to the flying unicorn kitten? The species were turned into candies? They went the way of the do-do…is so sad…

    But, I know the kids appreciate it.

    As for you writing in UJ,,,Awesome! While I don’t let books go into bathrooms cause I try to teach the kids to respect books and cherish them a bit more than that, UJ is a set of unique books that bring humor and a bit of almost Brittish wit to what should be every day common courtesy and knowledge. Good for you Dude!

  4. To go back to the ocelots, which fascinate me: do they ever tear out of their pillows? And what do the Scalzi compound animals think of ocelots?

  5. Oh, and is the caviar limited, or is there a magical caviar generator in there to keep the ocelots fed?

  6. Mayhaps this will be an instructional moment to you aspiring writers.

    Am I weird for having read that as “…an instructional movement…”?

  7. I thought all your stuff was meant to be read in the bathroom. Man, this is going to free it up for the other people in my house…

  8. Kitty @ 6.

    Yes, and so does everybody else in the U.S. Officially, Halls is candy, not medicine.

    In October, 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit wrote (in Warner-Lambert Company v. U.S.)–

    The issue is the validity of the reclassification by the United States Customs Service (“Customs”) of imported Vitamin C supplement drops from their previous duty-free status as “medicaments” to dutiable status as “sugar confectionery.” The Court of International Trade upheld the reclassification, and we affirm.

  9. Since there’s seems to be both confusion about ocelot/caviar pillows and interest in them, I think you have the topic for your next UJ article. Just remember, real moguls encase the ocelots and caviar in silk. Raw silk.

  10. Nick @ #14

    I never thought of Hall’s as medicine, but candy? OTOH, I was appalled when I learned kids used to chug Robitussin for a cheap buzz.

  11. Are those Canadian ocelots, or the cheap Mexican ones? Incidentally, you were not kind enough to specify which candy is most popular in Canada. I am trying not to be offended and start playing loud music just to annoy you as the downstairs neighbor.

    I’m wondering, how those this type of collaboration work, do they provide you with a subject and you then dig up facts about it to write about, or are you left on your own to find something fun to add to the volume?

  12. I work steadfastly towards the day when I’ll be capable of writing something worth pooping to. You have my respect, sir.

  13. I Second #17 (Swampmaster). It’d be great to have a bit of author-insight as to how UJBR assigns topics for their writers…. if that won’t sour your relationship with them. I think I own all of the UJBR books. Will need to dig this one out again.

  14. Did you just put thought into how your pillows could remain properly-sized once the ocelot began to grow? That’s just . . . that’s fantastic.

    Also, you KNOW someone is going to make you an ocelot/caviar pillow one day. You’ve put it out there.

  15. Well I did not know you wrote for Uncle John’s, how cool. Those have been great gifts for my mother-in-law for many years. She has extended sittings as a result of those books.

  16. NECO wafers were used as stand ins for bugs in doing research on bat radar. They couldn’t find enough depressed/suicidal bugs to last through the study.

  17. So, the John Scalzi who’s noted as the author of Uncle John’s Book of Dumb 1 and 2 actually is you? I had just noticed this yesterday and was wondering.

  18. what are they doing in Thailand that makes them need so many cough sweets, they can’t all have sore throats..?

    On second thoughts, I don’t want to know.

  19. John, terribly sorry for my superfluous linking. I am a bit of a luddite, and only realized after clicking on someone else’s name, that it wasn’t an email link.

    I gladly submit to a public data flogging, so long as I might continue to participate…

  20. I’m still overcome by the idea you could read Whatever while not pooping.

    Not that i’m pooping as I reply here. I’m totally not, really.

  21. What, the ocelot kittens LET you lie on top of them? I am *seriously* impressed by your mastery of beasts.

  22. Mr. Scalzi, as much as I am fan of your writings, I feel you’ve crossed a line today. Oh, the bacon “incident” was reckless, possibly dangerous, but in all it appears Ghlaghghee emerged unharmed. But what you’re doing to these poor fluffy ocelot kittens is unconscionable!

    So you know, I’ve already notified the People for the Ethical Treatment of Fluffy Ocelot Kittens, and let me tell you, the PETFOKers are going to…
    …are going…

    Excuse me, I think I need to call them back and have a brief word with them about acronyms.

  23. Hey, I have written for them! And I had no idea it was actually cool! Maybe now I should bother to buy the book I contributed to?

    Also, I am bummed to learn that bestselling novelists get pillows filled with ocelot kittens. If it’s not baby sloths I may just stop trying.

  24. It’s nice to know we were Scalzi fans before we knew who Scalzi was. The UJ books are exactly where they should be, waiting for library reading.

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