So I’ve always heard that the summer between senior year and college is supposed to be amazing. No summer homework, no high school to dread in the fall, and you and all your friends have licenses. However, mine has seriously sucked. My boyfriend of six months dumped me because he just stopped liking me I guess, I have to pay a $700 ticket (more on that in a bit), and the road trip I’m taking with two of my best friends almost got canceled two days before we left because they got in a fight. The road trip is going to happen after all (I leave today), but I’m worried it will be an awkward mess.
Now time to explain the ticket. Feel free to skip this (I promise I start talking about book-related things in a moment). I just wanted to rant.
In March, I was driving to school a little earlier than usual, and I got stuck behind a school bus. I followed it all the way down a road, stopping and waiting for it every time it stopped to pick up kids. I used to take the bus to school, so I know the law. You are really not allowed to pass a bus no matter what.
Then the bus and I both turned right onto a new road. The first road had only one lane going each direction, but this new road had two lanes going both direction. I got in the left lane like usual, and the bus got in the right. We both pulled up to an intersection where there was a red light. The bus was still in the right line but, unbeknowst to me, it was now picking up kids. Just as I had pulled up next to it, it had turned on its flashing lights and pulled out its stop sign. I could see these, because when I’m at an intersection I’m not looking at the car to my right; I’m looking at the light to make sure I don’t miss it when it turns. The light did eventually turned green, and so I continued driving. The next thing I know, I’m being pulled over for passing a school bus.
I was super confused when the officer pulled me over, because I really had no idea what I’d done wrong. He explained that I should have stopped, even in my other lane, parallel to the back of the bus. He didn’t seem to care that the lights didn’t turn on until I was next to the bus. After I saw that the ticket was $700, I decided to protest the ticket in court. On Wednesday, I went to court at my assigned time and explained my case to the judge. The officer was there, and he told a totally different story. He said the bus was already at its pick up stop, not in the right lane, but forty feet ahead of that lane. Apparently, the light was green and I just went right on past the bus with lights. After I told my story, the officer changed his to say I stopped with the red light, but he insisted that even if the lights came on after I stopped, I would still be able to see them because the bus was forty feet ahead of me. The thing is, if the bus was forty feet ahead, instead of stopping along a curb, it would’ve been stopping on a crosswalk, completely blocking another road.
The judge didn’t care. He believed the officer’s story, and I now have to pay $700. I think at the very least, he should’ve reduced the fine. $700 is a lot of money for anyone, but while an adult with a career might pretty easily be able to pay it, it’s a lot harder for 18-year-old. People in court were readily admitting to going 85+ in a 65 mph zone, and they were fined $244. I was fined $700 for really not doing anything wrong.
Okay, my rant is done. I just had to get that out. On to books…
A lot of people in my last post wanted to hear more about the crazy submissions Ulysses Press gets. Here are a few examples:
– A children’s illustrated book about the benefits of marijuana, called “The Magical Seed.”
– A book about the life of an evil mastermind, told entirely through first-person haikus
– A NONFICTION book about how humans were created. Apparently aliens visited the earth not that long ago, blended their DNA with that of apes in order to create a super race, visited this race in Egyptian times, and was generally disappointed with how we turned out.
– A fantasy novel (a genre Ulysses never publishes) written by an 18-year-old about a witch. But as far as I can tell based on the plot summary, the entire plot consisted of her wanting to buy a broom strap, a goblin not willing to sell it to her, her killing the goblin, and then her sort of falling for a friend. There was no real conflict whatsoever. How freaking boring.
– A scanned copy of a handwritten version of a book. The best part is that the query letter was typed, but the manuscript wasn’t.
– Letters from inmates. We get a lot of these, again with hand-written manuscripts (though in this case I understand why)
– I got one manuscript that still confuses me to this day. I think the author may have had that disorder where you write a ton of nonsense stuff. I forget what it’s called, but people with it fill up journals and journals of nonsense. Basically it was completely impossible to read, with nonsense words, random things capitalized, and incomplete sentences. The whole thing was, as far as I can tell, a giant conspiracy theory.
Those are the best examples I can think of right now. Basically, people are insane.