"Need inspiration? I’m putting all these ideas for books out there. Let the chips fall where they may"
My first novel was never shared or published. It’s called “Dragon-boats”. In that one, a dissolute solar energy salesman has his own wonder product. Slice-icles, the frozen pizza treat on a stick. I own him, so I own Slice-icles. Yet having no patent, the law would beg to differ.
Oh… Slice-icles… I lose sleep at night over Slice-cles. Some hot summer, when Slice-icles goes super-fad ultra-viral, and I don’t see a penny, I fear madness. I will go mad.
However, PLEASE steal Dragon-boats. Please, go through the hard work of marketing and publishing it. It just might be the best thing that could happen. Only, I pray that you let some fraction of the light reflect on me.
So I’m putting all these other ideas for books out there. Let the chips fall where they may.
1) Cold Fusion - Good title for a coming of age in a cross-cultural Minnesotan family. (Helps if you came of age in a cross-cultural Minnesotan family)
2) Occam’s Needle- A window cleaner loses his equipment, and all contact with outside world. He must learn to survive on the icy peak of the Woolworth Building. Plenty of asides about architectural history. Features raw pigeon scene that nobody can forget
3) East Egg- Great American novel about a Midwesterner who observes what happens when a noveau-riche bouchie type of person tries to infiltrate the circle of old-money bouchie types. Ambition and careless pretension will destroy lives
4) E-Green Digital Revolution - All I got is a killer name for this one here. Non-fiction?
5) Blue Diamond- Story of what happens after an enormous uncut diamond is discovered in Nigeria. Desperate smugglers who would kill for a dollar. A brave laborer who dreams of rescuing a village from poverty. Ambition and careless pretension will destroy lives. Also, the name of a brand of almonds I saw in 7-11. Can we still use it?
6) Degenerate Triangle- Love triangle in Hollywood between a powerful producer, a beautiful starlet, and her hometown beau. A forties-style screenplay with a facelift. A lot of cell-phone and social media references
7) My Gretel, My Hansel- Mother guards children’s lives through a refugee camp, but learns to let them go as they come-to-age in freedom (if you can write like a bastard and know the human heart like a suma-bitch, you can pull this off)
8) The Electioneer- Electoral fantasy about an insurgent presidential candidate who is a puppet of larger forces, but turns the table on them and becomes a hero for the common-man
9) The Postman Always Rings Twice - just change the name. Its already been stolen more than Romeo and Juliet
10) Old, Noisy and Hot- the right memoir title for somebody out there
11) The City that Refused to Die- this is the motto of Sanford, Maine. Run with it
12) Habeas Corpus, Produce the Body… or Absque Hoc, Without This… or Amicus Curiae, Friend of the Court… or Corpus Delicti, The Body of the Crime… or Fructus Naturales, The Natural Fruits… or Jus Sanguinis, The Right of Blood… or Vinculum Juris, The Chains of Law… or Fiat Justitia, Let Justice Be Done- All names for the same Legal Thriller. I think the Latin and English translation sound boss together. A bright young lawyer realizes HER BOSS DID IT AND IS TRYING TO COVER IT UP (helps if you know about law and junk)
13) In the Land of Dust (just a title)
14) Easter Eggs- Just a title. I thought of it after I wrote title 4) East Egg and filched the plot of the Great Gatsby
15) Seen and Believed (title again) Seems inspiring. Or ironic
16) Diaper Derby Palisades… 17) Walkathon St. Louis… 18) Chess Champ… 19) Miss Appetite… 20) Miss Fluidless Contact Lens… 21) Yeast Raised Donut Queen- OK. These are all items from the great photographer Diane Arbus’s appointment book, may she rest in peace. Bit hazy on the legalities of including them here, but what the heck. They’re too gosh-darned good
22) Attack of the 50 Foot Puppy – Pretty self-explanatory. A slam dunk. (Must be able to write for kids)
23) Hood Science- When a family loses one son to gang violence, the other discovers escape through math and science
24) A Jewel in Velvet - Unstable bohemian playboy goes off the deep-end while pursuing a woman who doesn’t see money. Like literally. She can’t make change. She never pays anybody back even when her car was fixed months ago. She never goes Dutch though it’s like the 8th date and she knows his situation isn’t what it used to be. Because she’s a free spirit who lives life by a different set of rules. Reverse the genders, or make both characters the same gender, and you’ll blow this thing out of the water
25) Unguibus, With Teeth- Another winning title in the Latin (Comma) English translation category. I guess it’s a horror book. Or something with ‘adult’ themes. Or both. But I can’t go there
26) Cryptococcus, The Hidden Sphere- And Latin/English again. That’s all I got. I think this one is a sci-fi/fantasy. I love fantasy and world-building, but when I try to write a summary, I sound ridiculous
27) A Scandal of Magnates- a modern farce along the lines of the classic, A Confederacy of Dunces, but it couldn’t possibly be as funny. Or as racist. Or as homophobic. Thank goodness. Come to think of it, maybe all parts of that classic aren’t equally excellent
28) Drink Money- Hack writer and ne’er-do-well kicks around the couches and dreamscapes of Central London/Lower East Side NYC/other fantasy-land where almost no artist can afford to live anymore
29) Zendik- Epic novel following a family home through the generations. The writer on the porch, interrupted by a vision of a rawer time. A distaff uncle who comes to the weather beaten house by the sea, reeking of cologne and promises. A grand-father who spends half the book in the basement worrying about the ‘cracks in the foundation’ and doesn’t get any other good lines. A house that will see time heal all wounds. 500 pages, minimum.
30) Quantum Entanglement- A techno-thriller. Brilliant young scientist fights for his/her life to protect a secret technical development. The tech in question? ‘Muons’. When one is flipped, another flips, irrespective of distance. This will allow information from the commodities market in Chicago to get to New York in under 8 nanosecs. Add a super-fit and super-fine Secret Agent as a love interest. Someone who the hero (or heroine) must learn to trust. Then shake the manuscript vigorously. Be prepared to google a lot of the science stuff
31) A Dry Foot- Young man from Perth-Amboy who has never known his father travels to Cuba to discover his roots
32) Alien Big Cats Disruption- Firstly, not at all what you think, OK? Features no aliens, and no big cats, OK? After that, you are on your own. Might be a non-fiction about how unique individuals can go and ‘Steve Jobs’ it up to take over some industry. Or you can go with the mutant tiger thing
33) Duet for One- Eat, Pray, Love, without all the traveling. Finding love and unlikely beauty in Stamford, CT… or Scranton, PA. Unfortunately, I just googled the title, and it looks like it’s been used already. So… before I get tempted to look up the rest…
I’m out. Phew.
Can’t complain, really. 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. The hard work is ahead. I only hope that these will be used for good, and not for evil.
But inventors and writers can’t be sure about the future of any of their ideas. We must learn to let go.
Take the 3d printer, which almost right away was used to make guns, instead of heart valves.
Or consider the electric automobile window. Those of us who can remember its inception, probably remember trying to cutting off a sibling’s finger with it, rather than closing the window before a psycho killer got inside while grandma was in the Wawa, as it was designed for.
I went to the library, then the bookstore yesterday. Both were chock full, but not with people. I’ll never do that again. My state of mind and emotional equilibrium are too fragile. That many books in one place is enough to make a body look up, stop writing, and play with their natural-born offspring or something.
In any case, I’m throwing these ideas out there. Unlike what grandma told us about the electric window, they were made to be played with. On the off-chance one of them catches fire… God Bless you, my friend! You made it happen! But don’t go forgetting your old buddy, good old selfless old Ted, ‘K?