A few years back when I was working in a real office and enjoying the perks of the cubicle life, I had a particularly prolific creative season during which I came up with lots of ideas for books that I was going to write someday. (Note to former boss: All these ideas occurred during my lunch hour.) So I compiled a list. (Um, during my lunch hour, of course.) When the season of idea abbondanza was finally over, my list had grown to 150 titles.
Last night, after accidentally looking in the mirror and remembering how old I am (don’t ask), I realized I might not live long enough to write all those books. In fact, based on my writing pace for the current w.i.p. (50,000 words in the past four years), it appears that I’m going to end up about 1000 years short.
So, rather than let these C-list…I mean quasi-brilliant ideas go to waste, I’m going to give them to you. Go ahead, take one. Don’t be shy. All I ask is that you mention my name during the tearful speech you give while accepting the Pulitzer. Or the Hugo. Or the coveted top prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.
This Isn’t the End of the World (But You Can See It From Here) – A former best-selling author who is suffering from a 20-year case of writer’s block turns suicidal and plans a dramatic demise by jumping out of a plane without a parachute. But just as he leaps into the sky, he has a brilliant idea for a book that could change the world. He writes the whole thing in his head on the way down.
Out of Ideas – What happens when there are no more original ideas? The world ends. This is a story of the last dozen original ideas in the history of mankind. And the end of the world. (This is not a sequel to the previous book about the author who runs out of ideas. But it could be the “book within a book” that he writes in his head. If you like that sort of thing.)
Sending Picasso to His Room Without Supper – This is the story of a young boy named Jeremy Picasso (no relation to that other guy) who is always getting in trouble for playing with his food until quite by accident it is discovered that he’s not playing at all, he’s creating perfect reproductions of famous sculptures he’s never seen in real life. Eventually, he gets his own show on the Food Network. (Just a suggestion.)
Crossed (S)words – In this novel, a small band of post-modern Catholics stepping into a subway car are suddenly sent back in time to 1200 AD when the words “transubstantiation” and “train substation” unexpectedly switch definitions on Wikipedia. This puts them smack dab in the path of Pope Innocent III’s Fourth Crusade and provides them with an opportunity to change history. (Based on a true story.)
Do-Over – This is two books in one: the first tells the story of a man who makes a series of horrible decisions and ends up homeless and destitute; the second tells the story of the same man making a series of really good decisions and still ending up homeless and destitute. (I see it as a funny book. Nick Hornby funny.)
Expectant Leigh – This is a parable for adults disguised as a children’s picture book. It’s about a young girl, Leigh, who, against all odds, is hopelessly optimistic in the midst of the most horrific of circumstances. SPOILER ALERT: She dies in the end. But we all learn Something. Really. Important.
Dividing Time – Some guy who probably looks like Nicolas Cage finds himself sent backward and forward in time at the very same time in a race against time to stop the detonation of an atomic bomb that is the very reason he is sent backward and forward in time. (Alternate title: Brain Whiplash.)
White Space – This is the literary equivalent of John Cage’s musical opus, 4’33”.
Have fun kids. I’ll send more ideas your way soon!
Okay, so they’re not the top-drawer ideas you were hoping for. What did you expect? They’re free.
[Three or four of you might think you recognize some of these ideas from a post you’re reasonably certain I wrote for a different blog more than two years ago but you’re sadly mistaken and suffering from some sort of mass delusion. Hey, this sort of thing happens all the time. I read about it in a book once.]