Authors are often asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” Once, a long time ago, I’d mentally filed away any good idea I had and wait until one spoke to me. That created a problem, however. Seems I don’t have a mind like a steel trap and would often forget those gems. So, I started a ‘book idea file’, which is literally a manilla folder in my desk drawer where I store ideas that strike me as cool. Could be an online article I print out or a scrawled note to myself or a clipping from a magazine.
Not to brag or anything, but there are probably close to forty ideas in that file and some of them are pretty darn good. I’m just waiting for the right time to use them ☺ Conversely, there are more than a few clunkers — can you hear the game show sound, “Whaa, whaa, whaa?”
I thought it might be fun to share a few of these bad ideas with you:
1) A book series featuring heroes who are construction workers call STUDS. For anyone who may not know it, studs are wooden boards used in framing homes and buildings. Okay, bad, yes? What’s the old saying, if you have to explain the joke it doesn’t work. I actually thought I might call the first book in this series Hard As Nails. I’m shaking my head and laughing as I write this.
2) I once decided it would be amusing to write an article about how my kids acted exactly like my cat. For example, I was expected to buy all their food and pay for all their entertainment. Both kids and cat ate food and behaved in ways I considered disgusting. Both walked around with their noses up in the air and napped excessively. They constantly interrupted me when I was busy. Yes, I still have my notes for this article. Why, I can’t tell you, it will never see the light of day.
3) Pet fox becomes best friends with a dog. Wait, didn’t Disney have an animated movie about this? Apparently, I need to be more original.
4) A camel farm. 5) An emu farm. 6) An ostrich farm. 7) A llama farm. 8) A goat farm. While any of these farms appeal to me, what makes them a bad idea is that I know absolutely nothing about camels and emus and ostriches and llama, and I only a very little about goats. Translation: lots, and lots of research.
The good news is I still have lots of good ideas that I may well use one of these days. Some are humorous, some touching, some intriguing, and some heartwarming. And, I’m always on the lookout for more!
Cathy, love your post. I recently cleaned out my 4-drawer file cabinet of articles and ideas I had cut out and filed away neatly in manila folders, each named and alphabetically filed. Some of the ideas were so old as to be dated and totally unusable. When people asked where I got my ideas I used to say there were idea clouds that floated past in the sky and once in a while I could reach up and grab one that turned out to make a story. Ha---no one ever believed me. Truth is that my ideas always come to me at night when I should be sleeping. They nag me until I do something to get rid of them. I have no doubt we'll see your good ideas in new books.ReplyDelete
I love your ideas that come to you in dreams!Delete
Ah, the files of notes--ideas galore. So many on little scraps of paper, too. The paperless office doesn't apply to my "brilliant" snippets that occur to me at odd, random moments. Some turned into actual books, but some are dead ends and nonsense. A few were so hastily written I can't read them now. Thanks for the post!ReplyDelete
Lol. I really would like to read that farm one, if you ever decide to go ahead with it!ReplyDelete
Cathy, I laughed out loud on your first bad idea after reading only the first line. And as I used to rehab houses in college, I got the joke! I don't know why this is so funny, it just is. Although is it just funny enough to work??? Thanks for the post!ReplyDelete
Glad you got it! I think it's an idea that might work. Maybe not for Heartwarming... :)Delete
people might get the wrong idea with Studs and Hard as Nails--books with those themes are not usually Heartwarming material. lolReplyDelete
Absolutely! Which is why I consider this one a bad idea :)Delete
Very funny Cathy! Now onto those good ideas....:)ReplyDelete
Fabulous post! I don't even want to look in my idea folder....hint...mostly bad!ReplyDelete
Personally, I like the ostrich farm idea :)ReplyDelete
I still like the Studs idea...and I mean the rafters and such. lol Thanks for brightening my day!ReplyDelete