Elevate Difference

Pretty Little Mistakes

Apparently back in the day, there was such a thing as a chose your own ending book. Until I picked up Heather McElhatton’s Pretty Little Mistakes, I had never read one. After reading the book, I am glad I hadn’t. I am fairly certain there was never the option to become a drug dealer in Europe or marry the abusive crystal meth addict doctor in Berkeley. I know there were none that gave the option of sleeping with the wealthy, lesbian, Dean of an art school or living with the Indian transsexual in New York City.

Pretty Little Mistakes was born of the choices of author Heather McElhatton. The self-taught, multitalented McElhatton had sacrificed six years of her life to write the Great American Novel only to have it fail. From that failure came anger, which she describes as one of the greatest emotions. She took her anger and frustration about her life choices and started writing. Utilizing a 10 x 10 canvas and a marker, she took the choices and the situations in her life and wrote every possible ending she could think of. What came out of it is an intricate, racy and very well written novel that is ready to take the literary world by storm.

The novel intertwines GLBT issues, sex, abortion, love, life and choice into every page. Do you join the burlesque circus or become a phone sex operator? Take a job at the youth hostel in Greece or study volcanoes in Italy? The choices in McElhatton’s novel are limitless, but the point remains the same: Life is about choice. “Decisions,” she told me, “are not run by an external locust of control. You can do everything right and still end up with a pile of dog shit.” The novel’s publication has perfect timing in light of recent Supreme Court rulings.

As in every life, all the threads end in death. Your choices up until that point determine the matter in which you die and where you end up in the afterlife. Sometimes you meet God and She is an angry Black woman. Your perfect life may end in your death by a terrorist attack or .38 millimeter to the face. Either way, it is up to you to decide how to arrive at your ultimate fate.

Written by: Nina J. Davidson, May 8th 2007