Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A new year = new (and old) ideas

Reviewing my 2007 notebook in order to compile all the list of writing notes and bright ideas I've collected over the year, I unearth the following:
  • "Kites and chatterboxes"
    Am I commenting on something I saw? Overheard? Or simply two words that sounded good together? Beats me.

  • "I hope there are taste buds in heaven".
    This was the Canadian poet (just in case you've never heard of him - shame on you...) bill bissett commenting on a delicious array of Thai food we treated him too prior to a library reading.

  • Strange law - in France it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon.
    This immediately led me to start a page of notes for a children's story about a peasant in France who starts raising pigs, calls them all Napoleon, and thereby runs afoul of the law recently being upheld by a new and completely incompetent country gendarme... not quite sure where to take that yet.

    Also led me to research whether there are already lots of kids books that list/illustrate strange laws... there are plenty.
  • Resting Place
    A title, came to me like a visitation from...? From which I drafted an opening para for something...
    Mom and I live in a little house with a big yard. Grandpa lives in a condo high in the air with a view of the water. Dad lives in a jar on the windowsill in Grandpa’s study, overlooking the view of the water and the mountains and my house way way over on Clarke Drive.I’m looking at it now while Grandpa does his work. It’s a blue jar that you can’t see through, with a lid that folds over the top. I don’t even have to pick it up to feel the jar is rough like a stone, or that if I rattle or shake it I can feel the stuff inside.
    Heaven knows where that's headed.

  • The Knitting Boy
    A title that came to me after I started jotting down ideas for a kids' book about a boy who is not academically-included, but who comes up with the idea of doing a project on knitting for his annual school science fair. Or maybe it will end up being called Knit One, Purl One as his mentor is the punky librarian Ruby Purl who intervenes when the boy's trucker father complains that knitting is not for boys.

    I'm having fun with Ruby who posts a daily 'Read me if You Dare' recommended book sign over her desk, along with a new one of 'Ruby's Righteous Facts'. Which led me on a very enjoyable goose chase tracking down books and websites which list trivia. (I bet you don't know how many muscles are in a goldfish's eye!). Trouble is, Ruby is threatening to become more interesting than the books' protagonist Dylan...
  • "When the sky rattles and rages"
    May become the first line for kids picture book about a child who is afraid of storms.

  • Website url
    I came across this site about a museum of miniatures in Istanbul, when I was researching info. on which to base the recently deceased miniaturist husband of the protagonist in my adult novel in progress Shrinking Viola.

  • Night shift / bakery
    Two words jotted down at random one day that combined to become the subject of the picture book now in progress When Papa Works the Night Shift.

  • Solitary bear in a zoo
    Mentioned in a couple of paras in Jan Morris' book 'Cities' in the chapter about New York. A germ for a kids' book? Perhaps about an old man who regularly takes his grandson to visit the solitary bear over the years, and the bear's gradual decline mirrors the old man's decline - a meditation on death and impermanence... oooh, very
    deep, Lois!
  • Note to self to track down Diane Ackerman's new book 'The Zookeeper's Wife' about how Jews were hidden in the Warsaw zoo by Antonina Zabinska, a Polish Catholic and her husband, with code names given them according to the animal's cages in which they were hidden. Is there a kids' book in this? I have to wonder. More to the point, who has already thought of it....

This is less than a dozen of the fifty three notes I've just transcribed into the desktop writer's journal where every day I make a note of what I've written, and notes for ideas for works in progress. This should keep me busy for a full year, while I start a new notebook to carry with me so I catch ideas on the fly in 2008.

My goal is to see at least four of the 2007 'germs' developed into a story project of some kind in 2008. And with only 364 days left, I better get cracking.