When some event shakes us out of our usual comfortable rutted path, it can be scary as hell. It can cause us to fall down, go boom, hit our head on a rock, discover the rock is a geode which, (when our head splits it open), begins to reveal its multi-colored, shiny wonders.
During the past week, I have been on a Slip and Slide, a magic carpet ride to far corners of my known world and beyond.
No, I’m not drunk. Not even tranquilized. Actually, Buck and I just finished a bowl of red with saltine crackers and pepper Jack cheese.
All of this stock market craziness has caused me to watch Bloomberg and CNBC on tv, to download the Wall Street Journal onto my shiny new Blackberry, and to generally get my head into a channel of the culture that doesn’t normally sully my enchanted Longleaf pine forest.
One result is a nutty epiphany, spawned by the weird rain of flotsam and jetsam I’ve been swimming in this past week.
All of a sudden, I have hatched a plot for a novel. Ha!
It will be, naturally, a sprawling, multi-generational tale populated by an adorable couple, Sam and Robin, and their even more adorable dog, Mo. Sam has an ex-wife who lives full-time on cruise ships. She instant mails Sam from various ports of call. Robin has a mother who channels the late Tammy Faye Baker, takes Ambien every night and has to be bailed out of jail once a month like clockwork after sleep-driving to a local bar and raising a ruckus.
Oh, and there is Sam’s mother, the very old, venerable Louise. She is old enough to be beyond ambition in every sense of the word, a truly dangerous grand dame.
And finally, Tracy, the adopted daughter of Sam and Robin: brilliant, tattooed, pierced, bitter and bored.
A crisis brings this disparate group (with many hangers-on entering and leaving the scene) together, with scripts shredded and roles up-ended.
Some might call it a family catharsis.
. . . can you tell I’m gearing up for National Novel Writing Month?
Oh, and did I mention that the name of the novel will be Game Changer?