You all know about how The Secret has become a bestseller. And grossed millions and millions of dollars. And you know how baffled I am at this, as there doesn't seem to be any secret in The Secret. I think the book (featured on Oprah) just basically tells you that your life will improve if you actively do things to improve it and have, as we emo kids like to say, a little Positive Mental Attitude. So:
This is the most amusing book review I've read on Amazon. 1,385 of 1,406 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret saved my life!, December 4, 2007
By Ari Brouillette
Please allow me to share with you how "The Secret" changed my life and in a very real and substantive way allowed me to overcome a severe crisis in my personal life. It is well known that the premise of "The Secret" is the science of attracting the things in life that you desire and need and in removing from your life those things that you don't want. Before finding this book, I knew nothing of these principles, the process of positive visualization, and had actually engaged in reckless behaviors to the point of endangering my own life and wellbeing.
At age 36, I found myself in a medium security prison serving 3-5 years for destruction of government property and public intoxication. This was stiff punishment for drunkenly defecating in a mailbox but as the judge pointed out, this was my third conviction for the exact same crime. I obviously had an alcohol problem and a deep and intense disrespect for the postal system, but even more importantly I was ignoring the very fabric of our metaphysical reality and inviting destructive influences into my life.
My fourth day in prison was the first day that I was allowed in general population and while in the recreation yard I was approached by a prisoner named Marcus who calmly informed me that as a new prisoner I had been purchased by him for three packs of Winston cigarettes and 8 ounces of Pruno (prison wine). Marcus elaborated further that I could expect to be [...] raped by him on a daily basis and that I had pretty eyes.
Needless to say, I was deeply shocked that my life had sunk to this level. Although I've never been homophobic I was discovering that I was very rape phobic and dismayed by my overall personal street value of roughly $15. I returned to my cell and sat very quietly, searching myself for answers on how I could improve my life and distance myself from harmful outside influences. At that point, in what I consider to be a miraculous moment, my cell mate Jim Norton informed me that he knew about the Marcus situation and that he had something that could solve my problems. He handed me a copy of "The Secret". Normally I wouldn't have turned to a self help book to resolve such a severe and immediate threat but I literally didn't have any other available alternatives. I immediately opened the book and began to read.
The first few chapters deal with the essence of something called the "Law of Attraction" in which a primal universal force is available to us and can be harnessed for the betterment of our lives. The theoretical nature of the first few chapters wasn't exactly putting me at peace. In fact, I had never meditated and had great difficulty with closing out the chaotic noises of the prison and visualizing the positive changes that I so dearly needed. It was when I reached Chapter 6 "The Secret to Relationships" that I realized how this book could help me distance myself from Marcus and his negative intentions. Starting with chapter six there was a cavity carved into the book and in that cavity was a prison shiv. This particular shiv was a toothbrush with a handle that had been repeatedly melted and ground into a razor sharp point.
The next day in the exercise yard I carried "The Secret" with me and when Marcus approached me I opened the book and stabbed him in the neck. The next eight weeks in solitary confinement provided ample time to practice positive visualization and the 16 hours per day of absolute darkness actually made visualization about the only thing that I actually could do. I'm not sure that everybody's life will be changed in such a dramatic way by this book but I'm very thankful to have found it and will continue to recommend it heartily.
Ok, we all know that this is fake, but still, pretty good, right?
Do you write poetry? Do you write fiction? Maybe you want to win something:
Contest Submission Guidelines
CutBank is pleased to announce the Montana Prize in Fiction, the Montana Prize in Creative Nonfiction, and the Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry.
We are honored to have three talented judges participating in the second year of these contests. The Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry will be judged by Noah Eli Gordon. Joy Williams will select the winner of the Montana Prize in Fiction. The winner of the Montana Prize in Creative Nonfiction will be selected by Brian Bouldrey.
Submissions are accepted December 1 through February 29. Winners receive $500 and publication in CutBank 71. All submissions will be considered for publication in CutBank.
The contests' $13 entry fee includes a one-year, two-issue subscription to CutBank, beginning with the prize issue, CutBank 71.
Please send only your best work. With all three of these awards, we are seeking to highlight work that showcases an authentic voice, a boldness of form, and a rejection of functional fixedness.
Submissions postmarked earlier than December 1, 2008 or later than February 29, 2009 will be returned unread (along with payment).
Submissions are accepted via postal mail only. Please include SASE for reply and prepare your manuscript according to CutBank's conventional submission guidelines. The contest entry must be noted on the envelope and cover letter, i.e.:
The Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry
English Dept, LA 133
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
A $13 contest entry fee includes a one-year subscription to CutBank. The entry fee covers the reading of a single submission in a single genre. Prose writers, please send only a single work of no greater than 40 printed pages. Poets may submit up to five poems. Submissions that exceed these guidelines will be returned unread, along with payment. Please submit only once within in a genre, although writers are permitted to submit in multiple genres.
Please include a short cover letter that mentions your address, phone number, and email address, as well as the title of your work. Please include the author's name on the manuscript—names will be removed from the pool of submissions that goes before our contest judges.
Current subscribers may submit for the same $13 fee—subscriptions will be extended by one year.
Please submit entry fee by personal or cashier's check. Checks can be made out to CutBank Literary Magazine.
Entrants will be notified of their submission status no later than May 15, 2009. One winner in each genre, as chosen by our guest judges, will receive a $500 award and publication in CutBank 71, our summer 2008 issue. Winners will be required to complete a W-9 form to receive payment. All manuscripts are considered for publication in CutBank. All rights to selected manuscripts revert to the author upon publication. The author grants their permission to have their work electronically archived as part of CutBank 71 in EBSCO International's subscription-based research database.
Current University of Montana students and faculty and former CutBank staff are not eligible for the awards.