After the heartache and cursing had subsided, I de-Pee-Wee-ized the script to get it back to my original story. I didn’t just revert to the old version, I incorporated some parts and notes that had worked during the massive rewriting process. For instance, I had an A-List of elves and a second team of one-joke Pun-ny Named elves. The whole B-Team got promoted while the nondescript elves of the first draft got lost. The original elves were all bland and interchangeable. The One-Joke Punny Elves developed distinct personalities and patterns of speech that grew out of the joke that created them. It's funny how that happens. Anyway, the parts and set-pieces of the Pee-Wee script that worked but didn't fit "Claus" got grafted unto another idea I had and I turned that into “Peking Duck,” a comedy/mystery featuring a female lead instead of a Pee-Wee lead. But “The Kringle Project” or “Jingle Bell Blues” (as “Kevin” the producer-in-waiting had re-dubbed it) was back in the query and submission rotation.
That rotation failed to rotate mostly. Conversing amongst friends and online folks, I made the decision to “novelize” the script. I had played around with the format in the past to little avail, but what was there to lose? Not a thing, as it turned out. No one wanted to see it in book form either. I got a nibble once from a small publisher in Baltimore that a friend of mine had some success with. It was during my waning years with “The Prairie Home Companion” when Garrison Keillor had stopped using my material and had stopped responding to my emails. That seems an odd point of reference but it came into play.
You see, the small publisher saw that PHC credit on my resume and assumed that I could just go on the radio show and plug my book and make it a best seller for him. Unfortunately, I told him the truth about my standing with GK and his Minnesota Mafia. Oddly, I never heard from the publisher again.
So there we were. A story in script and book form just sitting on my hard drive. It would take some kind of new technology to get them off of there---