What I am endlessly burbling about today in purple paisley prose is a raw novel idea. I have not started to cook it, bake it, or even burn it at all yet. It is not ready for the writing oven. It is still that mass of daydreams, nonsense, and foofy-foofram that we former English teachers like to call Pre-Writing. (Note the capitol letters… teachers make this goop high on the writing-process, lies-the-teacher-has-to-tell list, because, otherwise students will glop out some words on paper and call it a final draft without even re-reading or thinking about the dang thing.) (Note too the use of the parenthetic expression that breaks up and uglifies the paragraph and identifies this writing as less-than-serious purple paisley prose.) This goofy post is obviously, then, not only about Pre-Writing, that’s exactly what it is… gloppy, sloppy word mash that I hope to one day boil into something stunningly beautiful.
So here’s what I actually have. I have a character. His name is François Martin (not pronounced the Iowegian way, Frank-oyce Mahr-tinn, but the French way, Fran-swah Mahr-tah… because the character is actually from France… duh!) (I will have to post an explanation of Iowegian and the foreign language the people of Iowa actually speak another day.) François is a recently orphaned young boy whose father, Rejean, was a masterful and loving parent who made the mistake of relying on relatives to take care of his children in the case of something bad happening to him and his wife. Car accidents are bad and tend to happen too fast to correct this sort of mistake. François Is sent to live with the family of his father’s American half-brothers and half-sister in Norwall, Iowa. Here’s where the trouble starts. Victor Martin, the eldest brother, is the only one of the three who even has a job. He owns and operates a seedy Midwestern bar in the middle of the tiny town and is universally disliked and berated by local church ladies (the heart and soul of any Midwestern town in the 1980’s. The other uncle and the aunt are even worse. They are lazy, detestable, foul-mouthed… and those are their good points. The other uncle, Richard, has a son named Billy dropped off one day by the hated ex-wife and made to live in the basement of the old house they bought when Ona White’s relatives actually decided to sell her house after her untimely death by werewolf. Okay, you see by now that this is a tragic story full of emotional heart-ache and pain… and bursting with humorous potential.
This nebulous family drama idea has a name. Originally I called it Little Boy Crooner because François can paint his face with sad-clown paint and sing karaoke like an angel… an angel who can potentially save his horrible half-uncle’s business and horrible-er family. I have re-titled it Sing Sad Songs… with Clowns because I added to this novel-notion the idea that François also loses himself in dreams and finds his way to H.P. Lovecraft’s Dreamlands via the magic ways of the three clowns from the Dreamlands, Mr. Disney, Mr. Dickens, and Mr. Shakespeare. What a mess of an idea! but I am betting that if I live long enough to get to it, it will be among the best things I have ever written.