People keep telling me I should quit my day job and write a book. Or maybe they mean write a book, become a gazillionaire, and then quit the day job. I have trouble keeping that all straight.
Anyway, sometimes that idea sounds pretty appealing, but then I gaze into the soulful and hungry eyes of my children, and think of how they’re already eating us out of house and home. If I quit my day job I had better have a lucrative contract lined up, or they’re going to hit me over the head with my laptop one day and barbecue me out in the backyard to fend off starvation.
Just kidding. The kids are vegetarians. More likely the neighborhood will be quickly stripped of all gardens, fruit trees, and decorative shrubbery before the chilluns eat Dad. But I’m not quite ready to quit the day job just yet. For one thing, I have no idea what I’d write. An important rule of creative writing is that the author ought to actually know a thing or two about his subject– About all I know for sure about my favorite subject (not THAT favorite subject. Jeesh) is that it’s a miracle I haven’t managed to crash my boat into an IRS building or something. The full extent of my nautical klutziness has yet to be revealed, but I’m sure I have at least a couple more years of silly blog posts to write before disgorging a Magnum Opus. A book might be expecting too much, unless I can discover some captivating twist involving nose hairs and varnish, or something along those lines that Wooden Boat readers might enjoy.
We have a local author, a lady who wrote some book about vampires (named Eddie or something) who fly about doing supernatural vampire things and making out with nubile young women wearing corsets. The book (now a Major Motion Picture or two or five) is causing major hormone malfunctions all over this corner of the galaxy. Obviously, the teenage-girl-and-bloodsucking-vampire angle is hot; I keep thinking that I need to write a book like that so I can buy 16 Lexuses for my cat. But I know very little about hunky vampires. (And even less about nubile women in corsets, now that I think about it). What I need to do is work in some kind of sailing angle.
I suggested to my teenage daughter that we should go up to the boat, where she would lounge around on the focs’le acting like Vampire Bait while I jotted down ideas about how to work the angle into some spine-tingling nautical Nosferatu story worthy of being picked up by Hollywood:
The sailboat was on a broad reach across the still waters of Creepy Key, the full moon shimmering off the quicksilver like surface. Belladonna was chilled, but had nothing to cover her bountiful cleavage but a Type III PFD, which would not do at all when her forbidden vampire love, Hector, managed to gnaw his way out of the chain locker. Belladonna sighed with irritation; Captain Dad was so unreasonable! “Father,” she said petulantly, “can we let Hector out now? I promise I won’t let him play with my tiller tamer anymore”
“Dammit, nubile daughter, mind your heading! The main is luffing! Sheet it in post haste. And no we will not let that demon spawn out of his prison until we land on Forbidden Isle and buy you some clothes! And did you finish your Language Arts homework like your mother told you to? Forsooth!”
I thought that was a pretty good beginning, but the glare I received from the daughter suggested otherwise. And having her younger brother ask what “nubile” meant kind of put the kibosh on that train of thought.
OK, regroup. There’s that lady in the UK who was penniless when she wrote that book about a teenage wizard (and her children might have been eyeing her for supper, for all I know). Now she has more money than God. If I could work out some piggyback thing, I’d be golden– After all, my boat is a West Wight Potter, and Harry Potter is serious juju capable of generating barges full of money for old whats-her-face out in England. Harry West Wight Potter– It’s perfect. This time it was the twin boys who received the invitation to go on location for inspiration. They were not sure about the offer:
#1 Son: Can we bring the Wii?
Future Gazillionaire Author Dad: Uh, I guess so. No, wait a second, there’s no power–
#2 Son: Will there be vampires at the boat?
FGAD: No. This is just a way to get inspired for the book.
#2 Son. What book?
FGAD: A book I’m going to write and make all of us filthy rich.
#1 Son: I want to be a vampire. That would be cool!
#2 Son: You can’t be a vampire. You’re a vegetarian.
#1 Son: You can too be a vegetarian vampire!
#2 Son: Can Not!
#1 Son: Dad, can vampires be vegetarian?
FGAD: Uh… Go ask your mother.
So maybe the concept needs some more work. But at least I have a catchy title: Harry West Wight Potter And the Hunky Vampires Of Teenage Lust. In the Caribbean. Now with Werewolves!
I think I’m on to something. What do you think?