Every now and then I get a big idea--or three. For some mysterious reason, big ideas usually arrive here in colorful trios. Three hot peppers sizzling in my brain.
Once the peppers take over, I go around ranting and raving to random strangers about how I just had the most amazing idea ever. Sometimes they even believe me. If they know me well, however, they just smile and tell me to have a nice day. I try to comply.
My agent already knows that if she gets an e-mail with "my most brilliant idea ever" in the subject line, the best thing to do is delete it immediately.
Within a few days, one of three things usually happens:
1. I realize that my most brilliant idea ever has already been thought, tried and done a million times before.
2. I realize that it's never been done in the history of the world--and for a very good reason: it's totally impracticable.
3. I still think it's a great idea, but alas, I don't do anything about it. See, I'm really good at idea generation (aka dreaming), but I'm an absolute failure at follow through--or what some people quaintly call action.
Anyway, yesterday was a big idea day. The first one I unveiled on an on-line forum. At first, it was met with vigorous debate--and not a little disdain. Then when people realized that it doesn't pay to argue with someone who has hot peppers frying in her brain, the thread grew silent.
I talked myself out of the second big idea before it had time to start much trouble.
But the third, which involves this blog, is still cooking. What spurred it was a book. (Doesn't that spur everything in my life?) In this case, HALF OF A YELLOW SUN, which I blogged about the other day. Well, I started it last night and I loved it. From the very first paragraph, I loved it.
And I thought, wouldn't it be wonderful if a group of us read the same book, and then committed to blogging about it on the same day?
It would be the first ever blog book club! (Okay, not the first; in fact, it's probably been done countless times. But I don't care! I still love the idea of a group of us--okay, even two--reading the same book and sharing our thoughts.
It wouldn't be a forum, because I know there are a ton of those.
In fact, one of the rules would be that you wrote your post before reading anyone else's. That way all the views would be totally fresh. Of course, after you posted, you could bust out in the comment sections all over blogland. It would be like those old Parisian salons. Maybe we could even call it...No, forget it, I think that name's already taken.
So here it is, my most brilliant idea ever: THE THIRD DAY BOOK CLUB!
On the third day of every month, we choose a book; then exactly a month later, we blog it. It's that simple.
If anyone wants to join me in reading HALF OF A YELLOW SUN and writing about it on November 3rd, jump in and I'll post your link.
Now if only I could figure out how to get the THIRD DAY BOOK CLUB onto the sidebar before the idea fizzles...
In other LIT NEWS, Marcus Sakey, another member of the Killer Year team, had himself a great day. His novel, The Blade Itself, won't be in the stores until January, but Marcus is already being compared to classic crime writers like Dennis Lehane and Elmore Leonard. Today Publishers Weekly upped the excitement around this book with a starred review, calling it "brilliant" and a "must read".
And over at Lit Park, Susan Henderson (who always comes up with the best questions) asks her readers to name their obsessions, and generates a lively discussion.
And a writer's first day in an MFA program requires meditating to a bell. Will it work to get the creative juices flowing? Is it something you and I need to know about?