A Ticket To The Mind Of Lemony Snicket
Start writing a post
Entertainment

A Ticket To The Mind Of Lemony Snicket

"What is happening is like being struck by lightning."

243
A Ticket To The Mind Of Lemony Snicket
Miami University / Facebook

Let me preface this by saying that if you ever get the chance to meet Daniel Handler:

He's incredibly witty, personable, and downright hilarious, and it's impossible not to laugh while talking with him. I got the opportunity to sit in on his press conference at Miami University on February 19th, and I was able to see him again that evening for his lecture.

When asked about the inspiration for "A Series of Unfortunate Events," he said it comes both from books he's read and from life experiences.

"I spend a great deal of time reading strange things," he said. Handler also takes long walks around his hometown, San Francisco, and he draws inspiration from the moody weather and aesthetic of the city.

Handler's decision to begin writing began with his consistently curious way of life.

"I was always curious when something happened. That's when I knew I wanted to be a writer — I wanted to make things happen."

As for his hit series? "I wanted a series of unfortunate events and unanswered questions."

On aspiring authors starting out, he had this to say: "It's lonely when you're writing to feel that no one is paying attention... I have sympathy for those trying to get into literature." He never expected any of his books to become the phenomenon they have, and he most definitely never expected to have any of his books made into films or a TV show.

"What is happening is like being struck by lightning," he said. He never expected to end up in Oxford, Ohio surrounded by tons of strangers who wanted to meet him.

Why choose Lemony Snicket as his pen name? The story is much more fascinating than you may think. While it was intentional to publish under a name other than his own, this particular pseudonym was a spur of the moment decision.

While researching conservative political stances for his writing, he wanted to have campaign materials such as stickers and pamphlets sent to him, but he didn't want his name on any mailing lists. A woman from one far-right group asked for a name for the materials to be sent to, and he responded with "Lemony Snicket." There was no reason for the name; it was just the first thing that came to mind.

She paused and asked if it was spelled how it sounded, and he said yes. He then asked her to repeat it because he had already forgotten what he said. The rest is history.

Before making his final remarks, he had a funny story to tell that he would remember his Oxford adventure by. Not far from our university, we have a little coffee shop called Kofenya. Based on the name, Handler apparently expected it to have a Kenyan vibe. Kofenya actually means "café" in Russian, and the shop, therefore, has nothing to do with Kenya. He was incredibly confused when it did not, and he had one thing to say about the place, the "great nation of Kofenya's" tragic flaw. The "tiny paper plates — what are they doing? It's either plates or no plates."

Whether or not you go into writing as a profession, you should still write out your thoughts and read great literature.

"As our planet has progressed, more and more people join that conversation," Handler said. This is "encouragement not only to be a writer, but to be a human being."

His one last general piece of advice? Don't travel with an accordion because it apparently gets you strange looks at the airport.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

6428
Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

9181
Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

6567
We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less
Sports

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

5342
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments