A Parade of Novel Ideas

A Parade of Novel Ideas January 1, 2018


You know those memes that are going around: “Comment and I’ll write how I would introduce you in a novel?”

I shared one to see what would happen.

A lot of my friends wanted to play.

I think I was just supposed to write a one-sentence description and leave it at that, but it didn’t seem enough. Also, I’m a more than a bit of a science fiction geek. If you told me in undergrad that I’d someday be living on tips blogging political and religious commentary, I’d have laughed at you. All I ever wanted was to tell fairy stories. So, things got out of hand. I didn’t have plans for a New Year’s Eve party anyway, and now I was having a party online with my friends, writing beginnings to novels.

Here are a few of the results:


In retrospect, Andy admitted, dressing as the Doctor at a Rennaisance Fair was not such a creative idea. In fact, various incarnations of the Doctor outnumbered men and women in historic garb by a large margin. 
That centaur, though– that was an excellent costume. Seamless. 
Adjusting his fez, Andy stepped closer. He was sure there must be some kind of robotics involved, and not just two men in a suit. 
“Keep away from that beast!” somebody shouted.



Samantha had lived in coal country her whole life. She thought she’d seen it all– columns of smoke that might have been tornadoes if they’d ever moved away, heaps of black ash that bled into rivers, slicks of oil shimmering like unholy rainbows on the puddles, tap water the color of chocolate milk that the health department swore wasn’t dangerous, as long as you were healthy. 

She’d never seen anything quite like this, though. Not outside of a comic book. The lines of the shadow were too distinct, too crisp, too much as if they’d been drawn in with black ink. 

And then there was the fact that nothing was casting the shadow. 

And it was moving. 

And it had a voice.



Rachel picked up the cat and snuggled it to her bosom. 

Nothing like this had ever happened, not in all the years they’d lived in town, not to anyone she’d known. 

She’d dreamed about it, of course. She was pretty sure that everybody had. 

The cat leaped out of her arms and onto the table, nearly knocking over the mail; she grabbed the ticket and read it again. 

It wasn’t a mistake. 

Every number on the ticket matched exactly with the Powerball numbers on the news.



The last liquid notes of the aria hovered in the cathedral ceiling, beauty on top of beauty. 
Theresa returned to the choir stall, folding her music. She was rarely satisfied with her own performances, but she was at that moment. Everything had gone just right. 

That is, until the grouchy old Church Lady stood up in the front pew. “TOO MUCH!” she bellowed. “EEZ TOO MUCH FOR A SHURCH CANTOR! ZHEE SHURCH EEZ NOT A CONCERT PERFORMANCE! EEZ OUTRAGE!” 

This time, Father Stuffins was ready. He took out the aspergator and sprinkled the old dame with holy water.

The horrible old woman burst into flames.


Auntie-in-the-Woods stretched out her bony legs until the joints cracked. She yawned, rubbing the end of her nose which was almost out of reach. Then she turned to the door.

“How did you get in here?” she demanded.
The young woman who had just come to the doorway showed no fear. She stepped right into the house, bold as if she were a queen. But she wasn’t; anyone could tell that. Her sarafan was worn and twice-turned; the veil that covered her dark hair was threadbare.
Auntie-in-the-Woods saw some odd markings on her skin, as well, a tattoo in a language she didn’t immediately recognize.
“I’ve come to see you, Baba,” said the woman. “My name is Brooke. I’m going to ask you for a favor and you’re going to grant it– no tricks.”
“And what will you give me if I do you this favor?”
The girl held out an egg– a jet-black egg, with more of that strange writing etched all over it in gold. “Do you know what I have in here, Baba Yaga? I have the heart of Old Bones the Dread. I took it from him with my own hand. You can have it, if you give me what I ask.”

I didn’t know what time it was, what street I was on, or why people kept throwing beads around my neck. All I knew was the music was glorious and so was this drink. I’d never forget my first trip to Louisiana. 
And then I saw the infamous Matt Lafleur, king of the Mardi Gras, making his way toward us on a colorful float. 
“Throw me something, Mister!” I shouted. 
He tossed me a handful of dubloons.
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