Sunday, February 3, 2013

Scrapped Novel Title: "Does This Rag Smell Like Chloroform?"

Yesterday morning, bleary eyed from the night before, I took a long walk. I do most of my best thinking walking around the neighborhood, headphones in, cigarette lit. I sometimes come up with character names from cross-streets and childhood histories from the weathered plastic jungle gyms in the backyard. Conversations heard from patios and bus stops often give me fuel for possible plot devices and dialogue. Graffiti provides relevance to this world. And for some reason, I never think to bring a journal, so I'm always feverishly typing these notes into the notepad of my iPhone. But the thing is, yesterday's notes were filled with horrible, horrible ideas.

Here are a few of those ideas:

1. After snapping a photo of a soiled, beaten teddy bear lying on the porch of an even more soiled and beaten home in deep SE Portland, a notion came to mind. I should write a young adult novel about a, wait for it, TEDDY BEAR who makes his living as a hit-man. But hold on, he's got back story—Charlie (yeah, that was the name I also came up with) is a recovering addict who botched his last hit without his snow, and is both on the run from his employers and his own demons. Bestseller?

2. I also came up with a title for another novel, not the content, characters nor the plot, just the title. And for some time, I was sure that title was the best thing I'd ever come up with. This was, until my wife just shook her head at me and repeated the title slowly back to me. "Does This Rag Smell Like Chloroform?"

3. For a good ten minutes, I convinced myself I should write romance novels. Enough said.

What did I glean from these amazing ideas? I should be spending more time in front of my keyboard, banging away at my current projects. So here's to following through (::raises coffee mug to laptop screen::), and getting the work done.


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