While I’m stuck in this stockholder meeting, please enjoy this story from my good friend, world-famous romance novelist and Contributing Editor, Jarvis Firmrod.
Good friends, hear me true: I’m stuck.
After 30+ years of writing, nay, crafting romance and romantic novels (there is a difference), I have run out of ideas. The proverbial well has run dry, as the proverbs (unwritten) oft say! What am I to do?
What am I to do?
When I published my first novel, “Torrid Ramifications,” for the now-defunct publisher, Spring Drizzle Books, I thought, “There is no way on earth I can keep this up. It’s e’er so exhausting!” I thought maybe, maybe, I had two or three novels in me and then I would be forced to retire to the country, to comb and groom my long, silver ponytail, drink my 2014 Robert Mondavi Winery Reserve to Kalon Vineyard Fumé Blanc (on the rocks, trust me on this one), and watch my horses, Hermes and Professor Patches, as they pranced about the meadow and made sweet love under the shade of whatever that tree is in the rear corner of the yard.
But the third book, “Blistering Negotiations,” came and went and the ideas continued to flow. This is miraculous, I remember thinking. Surely, I will run out of stories or plots. Or at the very least, I will run out of ideas for scenes and scenarios, you know? I mean, how many ways could I get a princess into a castle tower? How many machinations could I concoct to get a farmer’s daughter and a stable lad into a barn? And nude, no less? How many synonyms are there for “bosoms”?
It seemed for a while there were was an endless supply.
But just last week, I wrote the last line of my most recent novel, “Human Conflagrations,” a line that will forever more linger in my heart and other areas (“Bertram sat at the edge of the bed as Gwendoleria slept behind him, content that his sabre had satisfied its intentions, and he said to himself, ‘Hell, yeah.’”), and I thought, “That’s it. I’ve got nothing.”
After much deliberation and contemplation and a trip to a “writing advisor” in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I’ve reached rock bottom and am about to embark on a journey I never thought I’d take.
I’m going to rely on writing prompts I find online.
I have to say, I have thus far been pleasantly surprised. There are millions of them! So many good ideas. But in the interest of letting the old muse do her work, I’ve decided I’m going to randomly select the first one I find and write a novel based on that prompt.
After all, I am the man who brought the world “Belligerent Desires” and “Glaring Indecencies.” Surely I can take a simple online prompt and make it something delicious, yes?
Here’s the prompt I have randomly selected:
You’re is digging in the garden and find a fist-sized nugget of gold. There’s more where that came from in this hilarious story of sudden wealth.
I like this! First, something about the word “fist.” It’s probably the most verb-like noun in the English language. Second, gold. Why? Because gold attracts all sorts of things, like greed, jealousy, desire, other precious metals… The list goes on! Also, “garden” is a nice thought. Because it could also be a “farm.” A farm what harvests lust, perhaps? Will work on that.
However, I do have a problem with the word “hilarious.” Never, in any of my books, has anything “hilarious” ever happened. Unless, of course, you believe the scene in “Royal Yearnings” where Tippy the Jester misquotes the punchline to the joke he’s just told the Viscount (“I meant to say ‘Two in the bush!’”) is hilarious, then I am, at best, a serious author.
Still, I must work with what I’m given. And if I am to successfully commandeer this challenge, I must work with “hilarious.”
Wish me luck, dear readers! More details as they emerge! And, to quote Duchess Marionette from “Harmonious Swellings”:
Okay, sure, bye now!