Sunday, November 21, 2010

Everyday I Don't Write The Book

A random blog topic I stumbled across tonight is "Books I Want To Write."

So what books do I want to write? I could have answered this question more easily when I was a senior in high school. I had a whole page full of ideas, most of which I don't remember, and most of which are not worth remembering.

Elvis Costello once said that his prime motivators for making music were "revenge and guilt." So it was with me back when I first had the crazy idea of becoming a writer. Write about all the horrible crap that's happened to you and you'll become famous. It doesn't work that way. Nobody cares that I wasn't popular in high school (which I now consider a blessing) or that I spent seven years in college to become an office drone or that...well...I can't get published.

I have written a young-adult novel with a pagan theme, but I can't seem to blackmail anybody into reading it. It probably won't get published, but I'm still proud of it because it showed that I have the patience to take an idea and follow through on it.

An idea that keeps coming back to me is a memoir of sorts about the years I spent writing for Daily Racing Form--sort of a stream-of-consciousness, On The Road type of novel about traveling to and from the various tracks. Think of it as "Racetrack Kerouac."

It has been suggested to me that I could use my racing background and write Dick Francis-type mysteries. The Brie-eating artiste in me protests that this is not hip and that it's been done to death, but hip won't fix the holes in the bathroom wall. My mind doesn't seem linear enough to write a good mystery, though. There would probably be gaping holes in it and it would go off in different directions, like my wife's phone just rang and it plays Herbie Hancock's "Headhunters" and there are two miniature Buddha statues on my desk sitting on a postcard from someone who wants me to refi my mortgage and my dog's legs drag the ground but he still gets around OK in his wheelchair and the Steelers kicked Oakland's ass today and the refs called all sorts of bullshit penalties although it's great that they kicked Richard Seymour out of the game for pushing Ben...see what I mean?

I have thought of writing non-fiction, maybe children's biographies about sports heroes or entertainers. It would be easy research--just find a bunch of news articles on the web, bring it down to a fourth-grade level, fill in with pictures, and presto! Might have to be a little creative with some people. ("OK...and Roethlisberger didn't play at the start of this season because...?")

I also thought it would be really cool to write a new kind of religious text. Put a bunch of proverbs in archaic-sounding language, claim I found the text in a cave somewhere, and see if people follow the teachings. Who knows? I might actually convince people to be nice to each other. What a concept!