Posted by on Jun 22, 2010 in Conway Sax, Purgatory Chasm, Writing | 4 comments

Time to hose out the Blackberry by dumping notebook ideas here.

Fun fact: I can look back through old notebook dump posts (here, here and here, for example) and find ideas that have made it into books – including the title Purgatory Chasm. Kinda kool! (Well, I think so, anyway.)

Here’s the new batch:

  • Title: Western Star
  • Man facing firing squad in Utah. 4 live rounds, 1 wax bullet. The idea is that there’s lifelong doubt as to whether you killed a man, but in practice the experienced marksmen know immediately if they fired wax.
  • Black cherry.
  • Good time to meet a character: first day on a new job he’s overqualified for. His business failed, he’s embarrassed, he’s working with a bunch of kids.
  • Title: Surface Rust (like that one – Conway?)
  • Eudora Spoon [a character in some Conway Sax books]: painter?
  • Character who manages a perpetually-about-to-go-out-of-business clothing store at a mall.
  • Conway subplot: biological father of Jesse or Sophie [whose mother, Charlene Bollinger, is Conway’s girlfriend] comes sniffing around. Says he wants a relationship, actually wants a payday.
  • Woman’s first name: McLaren, named for the F1 team.
  • Proximity crush: the half-hearted crush a girl has on a boy because he’s the only game in town.
  • Title & book idea: Flat Black Truth: Godspeed Travis McGee
  • Name a character Gretel Killian (McGee homage)
  • Surname: Torok (Russian?)
  • Blowtorch orange (blowtorch blue?)
  • Her overgrown pageboy looked like it had sneaked up on her head.
  • He had the feeling if a nickel fell from his pocket today, he’d find a dollar bill growing tomorrow (rich soil – put this line in Black Cat Arkansas).
  • Junior Mance: actual jazz musician
  • Character who’s so lonely he sees 3 dentists because it’s the only time women touch him.
  • Title: Petty Blue (Conway)
  • Character who dealt with midlife crisis by running unsuccessfully for town selectman. We meet her the day after the election, as she drives around clearing out her signs.
  • Protag (Conway?) notices a tough guy’s wearing flip-flops, promptly stomps his foot with workboot.
  • Woman driving a GMC van around picking up rental tuxes. She owns the rental shop. She wears black slacks (too tight) and a leopard-print blouse. Her assistant is Brazilian, maybe Columbian.
  • Surname: Warfield
  • Title: Blunt Force Trauma
  • Mitchell, SD, is home of the Corn Palace.
  • Character who owns a small, regional moving company – constantly coming into contact with people in transition. Blue-collar shrink. (Protag of American Freight & Storage?)
  • “Bright Mississippi,” Thelonious Monk tune.
  • Joe Ely’s version of “West Texas Waltz.”