The Secret to My Success

Often times, I will be walking down the street when random passers-by will approach me and inquire, “Barry, how is it that you are so successful? What is the secret that makes women weep and men tremble at your approach?”1

I usually modestly brush them off, but I’ve thought recently that perhaps I should share the secret of my success with you, my closest friends on the Internet.

How did I become such a towering figure of renown and fame? How did I come to bestride the world like unto a Colossus? I shall tell you, and the telling you shall be now.


That’s right: Oatmeal.

Since the very earliest days of my career, I have eaten oatmeal for breakfast pretty much every single day. Exceptions are made when I’m at a breakfast meeting or when my wife gives me that look that says, I cannot abide watching you eat oatmeal again, so we are going out for brunch.

But easily 300+ days a year, I eat oatmeal for breakfast. I’m a creature of habit and routine.2

And you’re thinking Oatmeal, and I say, Have you been listening? Yes. Oatmeal.

Perhaps you are skeptical. Perhaps you scoff. Perhaps you think there can be no connection between oatmeal and success. But I can tell you this: I’ve breakfasted3 with M.T. Anderson and do you want to know what he ordered?

That’s right, punk: Oatmeal.

If it’s good enough for YA’s own personal Jesus, why isn’t it good enough for you?

Now, realize that when I say I eat oatmeal, I speak not of a simple grayish bowl of mush, as you might see in a production of Oliver! or on a small child’s high-chair tray. Oh, no. I have an elite, special recipe that I will now bequeath unto you, so that you, too, may achieve your dreams. Here we go:

Uncle Barry’s Success! Oatmeal Recipe

  • 1/2 cup Quaker Quick Oats
  • 1/2 cup H2O (“water”)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 palmful blueberries, rinsed
  • 1/2 banana, sliced evenly
  • 1 handful chopped walnuts
  1. Combine the oats, “water,” and milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Nuke the combination for one minute and forty-five seconds. No longer, no shorter. Tamper not with the timing.
  2. Add the honey and stir until evenly distributed.
  3. In the following order and only in the following order, add the remaining ingredients: First blueberries, then banana, and finally walnuts.
  4. Stir.
  5. Enjoy your oatmeal and your success. They are both delicious.

You may be tempted to substitute blueberries with, say, blackberries, or a similar fruit. You may be tempted to use the whole banana, or even to replace the walnuts with almonds. DO NOT DO THIS! STRAY NOT FROM THE RECIPE, OR ONLY DOOM AWAITS YOU!


There you go: Now just do that every day for several years in a row and you, too, will walk on water.

  1. Sometimes the women tremble and the men weep instead. I’m not sure why.
  2. Someday, I will tell you about the lunch I eat every single day. But you aren’t ready for that yet. Patience. The time will come.
  3. “Brokefast?” “Brokefasted?”


  1. Barry Lyga,
    Your recipe for success is hilarious! I never thought that the secret to your writing was oatmeal!!! Lol!
    On a serious note, thank you for writing your I Hunt Killers series. I work with a non-reader who struggled through the vocabulary just so he could turn the page. Thank you! What a gift!

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