I wrote the other day about the fact that my writing is music in my head. Now, I realize there are probably a number of things wrong with my head, and Lord knows, it may truly need a good cleaning… er, well, not a brainwashing if that’s what you had in mind. No, what I need is to clarify the meaning of what I said, to restate in a less metaphorical and obscure way.
I have this insane notion that I am a good writer. Believe me, I am aware of the fact that every Indie author with a self-published novel has the same crazy fantasy right now. I imagine that my humor is like Mark Twain’s, my characterizations like Charles Dickens (Boz), my themes and insights like William Shakespeare (the Bard), and my creativity akin to that of Walt Disney (Diz).
I plan to write about it in a novel that used to be called The Little Boy Crooner, and now labors on under the title Sing Sad Songs… with Clowns. Don’t be fooled by the fact that I call this idea-thing a novel. It is not complete. There is no flesh on the bare bones. If it were one of the walking dead, it would not even qualify as a zombie. It is an animated skeleton. It is a notion about how words and ideas become and are transmitted by musical means.
The main character is a young boy named Francois Martin, the singing clown-boy in the Paffooney above. He is orphaned by a terrible car wreck in France, then sent to the only living relatives he has, who happen to live in Norwall, Iowa. Yes, that same goofy little farm town where I grew up and far too many of my novels are set. The Norwall Martins own the town tavern, where the bachelor head of the family, Victor (also known as the Vicar), is trying to make a go of it by putting in his bar a new-fangled bar-thing called karaoke.
As you’ve probably guessed, Francois, though he is awkward and unable to communicate in English, is a natural at singing karaoke. He puts on the clown paint and sings for his supper, and brings people into the bar from all across the State, and eventually the whole Midwest.
The clown images come through his connections to the Dreamlands… the same fantasy world of dreams alluded to in the novels of H.P. Lovecraft. Three clowns, Mr. Disney (Diz), Mr. Dickens (Boz), and Mr. Shakespeare (the Bard) help the boy and his American cousin Billy travel back and forth to the Dreamlands and learn to understand each other in ways that family members should. I should warn you, the new title reveals the fact that all dreams are not happy dreams and all endings are not happy endings. But we shall try… Diz, Boz, the Bard, and I.