I have this great idea for my next book. I guess all great authors say that. Trouble is, I’m not a great author so my great idea is just not belching itself right out onto my computer monitor. I wish it would. Then, maybe I could look at it and see how really great it is. It is times like these that I wish I had an imaginary friend. I thought I saw a walrus in the fridge the other day. I thought, holy crap, God has sent me a walrus to help me with my greatness…and maybe even with my great idea. But when I opened the door a second time, the walrus was gone. Damn.
I don’t know how great my story idea is. Maybe it’s already been conceived and I just haven’t come across it. It’s about a dead letter. A dead letter is a letter that has somehow become indiscernible in that the address on the envelope is simply unreadable. For years letters like these have been sent to a dark far away room in the postal service call the “dead letter office.” Once there, it is the only rare time when a little hunched over hermit is permitted to open the letter and try to determine from its contents to whom it was destined or from whom it was sent. If neither of those are discovered, it becomes a dead dead letter.
Now I won’t disclose any more details of my story (I did say it was great, didn’t I?) but I began doing due diligence on it a few months back. I discovered three books with “dead letter” in the title. I bought them, read them, threw up over one of them it was so bad, but eventually I was able to dismiss all three. None of the books had anything remotely to do with my story idea. Whew! I’m safe to proceed.
I walk the dog most nights. It gives us a time to bond. Well, maybe I’m bonding; he’s doing other things for which I keep a supply of plastic bags in my pocket so the neighbors with the AK-47s don’t blow us away. Our walks are not long, just once around the block. I spend most of the time zoned out on my story. Maybe I should say “zonked out on my story.” I’m getting nowhere with developing it beyond its initial concept…which I must say is great. I got the beginning, the middle and a real wham bam holy sh*t end…but I don’t have must flesh to hang on all this. It’s the details, as they say, that’ll kill you and that is exactly where I am stuck.
I’m thinking now it may have been better if I had had a mediocre story idea which I could have easily fattened up to make great. But I have a great, skinny story idea instead. Don’t you hate when that happens? Tomorrow I must go to the supermarket and buy a few bottles of those drinks that bulk you up. You know, the kind that muscle guys chug by the gallon just to keep their toes buff. Then too, if I get a few shots of Botox that might puff me out a bit more. I need to enlarge my greatness. It needs to be bursting at the seams. Then maybe, all at once, it will explode out of me in some grand harmony of brilliant twists and turns and swirls and curls. Greatness shall gush from every pixel and gigabyte on my desktop. Yeah, that’s what will happen.
This has been good. I’ve let it all out. Sometimes a good mental wash is worth the embarrassment of exposing your failings before the entire blogging world. “There there,” you are telling me, “it will all be better, just you wait and see.” Actually, I think I do feel better already. Yeah, I feel refreshed. I feel rejuvenated. I feel cleansed. In fact, I feel…I feel….great!
Marc Kuhn is the author of three books. Recently published is an adult historical novel, THE POPE’S STONE. The other two books are for children: NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE…And a bunch of other things you should never do!; and ABOUT A FARM, lessons for life regardless of where you live.
All three books are available at amazon.com and each has its own .com website under its title.