Tuesday, October 02, 2012

"Book Ideas"

c. 2012 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

If my memory serves correctly, it was British rocker Elvis Costello who once observed: "You have twenty years to write your first album and six months to write your second." This dreaded ‘sophomore slump’ has dogged musicians, artists, athletes and notable citizens of all sorts, since the beginning of recorded history.
Yet in personal terms, I felt this emotional drop differently.

For myself. writing, editing and publishing three books was compressed into what transpired as a seamless, single experience. This trio of projects sprang from a reserve of enthusiasm built up over decades of professional writing. At the time, I celebrated becoming a genuine published author.

But what followed came as a complete surprise. In the wake of achieving my lifelong goal, I felt empty. Instead of having a permanent sense of accomplishment, there was a mood much more in tune with my role as a journalist.

Finishing a manuscript was fulfilling, but… what about tomorrow? I couldn’t seem to inherit the long-lasting satisfaction of creating a book. Instead, my sense of accomplishment was short-lived. Like a pause between newspaper issues.

I began to lust after the notion of creating a fourth volume of recorded work. Soon, these new ideas filled my head with chaotic energy:

Thoughts At Large, Volume Two - The most obvious way to follow my earlier volumes. Perhaps with a package of bologna on the cover. Included would be a familiar variety of music reviews, historical tidbits, old newspaper excerpts, conspiracy theories, rambling ruminations and recipes.

Davie Allan - Something wholly or partially based on, or inspired by, the ‘King of Fuzz.’ My long-distance relationship with the California guitarist has produced dozens of columns. I also penned liner notes for one of his releases. Undeniably, a book would be the logical extension of this bond.

The Life and Times of Carrie Hamglaze - (Could also titled ‘Who Is Carrie Hamglaze?’) A collection of tales written about my famous local friend. Politically astute and school-marm cute. Hamglaze is a former schoolteacher, tennis coach, councilperson, activist and philosopher who writes for the local newspaper. Her energy is unmatched. She humbles informed citizens half her age.

Outlaw Chef - A straight-up, unapologetic collection of rebellious recipes from TAL. Or, one might correctly observe, a cookbook and lifestyle manual like no other. Directions for using pork rinds, Vienna sausages, hot peppers, leeks, Ramen noodles, fried bologna, and beef tripe would be included. A culinary adventure with cast iron pot pies, meat dripping gravies, sharp cheddar cornbread and Mexican lasagna.

Biker Lifestyle, Revisited - Motorcycle stories and poems that date back to my tour-of-duty as a professional scribe for the long-lost California chopper magazine. From 1983 – 1988, I polished my writing skills as a contributor and agitator. Editor Robert Lipkin guided me through the maze with careful attention to the discipline of slinging words for a paycheck. What I learned proved to be useful in more mainstream pursuits like contributing to the Maple Leaf.

Business Gospel - Something completely different - a volume that combines wise admonitions of capitalist conduct with theological wisdom passed down through the ages. A manual founded on positive thinking and a higher power. A road map for achieving personal goals by following spiritual and fiscal discipline.

Geaugan Splendor - A graphic novel (comic book) based on my own text observations, like those produced by the late Cleveland counter-culture hero Harvey Pekar. Entire issues could be based on working for Fisher’s Big Wheel, surviving a local winter with little more than heat from a cast-iron woodburner, and a cupboard full of marked-down groceries, or owning a Chevrolet Chevette.

Poetry Parade - A fanciful collection of stream-of-consciousness wordplay and homegrown verse, written in the Icehouse.

Trailer Park Proud - A photo-rich volume that examines the unique culture of mobile villages across our county and beyond. Included could be a foreword composed by Jerry Springer.

Geauga In Print - A collection of vintage newspaper stories about the county. Everything from the tragic Chardon fire of 1868 to Olden Moore’s UFO encounter in 1957. A special section might include ads for vintage businesses like Woolworth’s, Kresse’s Bi-Rite Supermarket, Jose’s Hacienda, and Ash Motors.

My problem when considering this variety of book projects was simple but perplexing – where should I begin?

Comments about Thoughts At Large may be sent to: icewritesforyou@gmail.com
Visit us at: www.thoughtsatlarge.com


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