Thursday, April 30, 2009

Idea 28 - Parallax Interuptus

Sci Fi. We're going there:

The hologram women didn't care that Eugene had bacne and whole-body carpal tunnel. Their highly evolved understanding of real human attractiveness prized his intellect and high gaming scores above all else. Even now, after all the cyber cuddling, they began laser-jousting over who would service him next. What a fracas!

Just then, the re-animated clone of Gwen Stefani uncloaked herself in the midst of Eugene's waterless showercube. She looked flummoxed.

"Gene," she breathed. "There's a new time parallax on planet Sagan-Z. If you don't plug it with your perfectly round Pepsi-gut, our universe could pull itself into another dimension, like when you reverse a gym sock so you can wear it after the outside gets crusty."

The theme is inclusiveness, basically. Just because this guy has quarter-sized dandruff doesn't mean he can't save the world and get virtually porked by some hot e-ladies. This book is for everyone, see?

I think there's a little "Gene" in all of you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Idea 27 - Stains Of Greatness

Fawning, gushing band retrospectives. People eat those things up. They look cool on your shelf, and you'll always have an obscure fact you can drop on casual fans to make them feel like the children they truly are.

The problem is that securing the rights to a successful band is hugely prohibitive for today's floundering publishing companies, which have been replacing the food served in their cafeterias with pictures of food from unsold cookbooks.

But an unsigned high school band will come excitingly cheap, and their unknown-ness has to be a selling point for music nerds, right? Look:

Fusing nu metal with a distinct Staind influence throughout their catalog of seven and a half Staind covers, Exeter New Hampshire's Power Face electrified audiences at illicit Exeter High parties from early 2003 to mid 2003, when they graduated.

Frontman Derek McNally employed his trademark stoic panache when asked the unanswerable: define the mission of Power Face. "We were just trying to do cool covers of Staind songs. We all really like Staind. What is this for again?"

What, you've never heard of Power Face? Exactly.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Idea 26 - The Game of Lies

I heard recently that Neil Strauss's The Game, an interesting memoir/sadly effective guide to picking up women, is still a best-seller almost 5 years after its release.

Newsflash, assholes: I've got the facts to prove that the Game doesn't work. Namely my noble but failed attempts to put it to use for almost 5 years:

After I got home, I checked the book to see if getting thrown out of a menopause support group was covered in The Game. Not even close.

Yet again, I had found an inhospitable hole in Strauss's infantile fantasy. Yet again, I had proven that many real women have both curves and standards. Yet again, I joyfully cried myself to sleep, secure in the fact that my failure was his, not mine. Not mine.

Tomorrow, it's on to the knicknack fair.

I figure that I can probably get some support/free advertising for this from some of those nutso women's groups, and they'll probably give up some tail as well. Bingo.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Idea 25 - The Year In Novelty Pet Clothes

Research shows that pet owners spend more on animal accessories than they do on personal medications and home heating costs combined. But they've never had a yearly recap of the cutest, quirkiest, most show-off-able pet duds. Until, that is, some thoughtful publisher makes this horrifically sweet dream a reality:

This year's dachshund hot dog costumes showed more flexibility and breathability than ever before, with many manufacturers converting the "meat" component to a mesh or Gore-tex fabric. This notable innovation also made it easier to clean their faux frankfurter's interior (less dog sweat means less mold).

Look for next year's designs to add more neoprene and mustard.

I feel like this book is the literary equivalent of a question in need of an answer in the shape of a book. Also, pet owners will seriously buy anything pet-related and unnecessary, especially if they're childless.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Idea 24 - An Autobiography Kind Of, by Me

Problem: my memoirs would be boring, but I really like talking about myself. And it's no longer cool to fabricate memoirs to the extent that I'd have to in order to make my story worth flipping through on the john.

Solution: this book.

See, I'll be pioneering a new genre. It's called alternate memoiring, or autobiographical fiction or something like that, and it's not a lie, it's a re-imagining. Look:

As the neighborhood kids lightly mocked me about my girlish pre-pubescent voice, I DIDN'T suddenly bolt toward home, unnecessary tears streaming sideways across my cheeks. No. That didn't happen.

Instead I punched two of them in the face, and the others ran in fear of the man they would soon know as The Coiled Snake. (Me.)

And that's when I first had the idea for my first invention: Sex Glasses. And our crazy mixed-up world would never be the same.

So there you go, you've got emotion, action, violence, a cool nickname, and a sex-related invention, and it's all true, except that it's not.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Idea 23 - Bladequest - The Lady In Blading

Fantasy books are HUGE these days. Everybody's looking for the next Lord of The Rings or Thundersphere franchise. Well try this thing on:

The glistening nymphs were offended, but no matter -- Glarham could only think of Jillnia, the half-woman/half-magical sword. As the Ancient Scroll Paintings declared, he would soon wield her in the ultimate battle with Glimtron, and also sire a new race of sword-people who would rule with their sharpened torsos forever.

Jesus, this is huge. I need to sketch out some key characters, especially Jillnia. The tough part will be getting decent-sized breasts to work with her half-inch thin sharp metal torso.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Idea 22 - The Modern Manservant's Guide To Manservanting

In older days, it was quite common for rich dudes to employ life-long all-purpose male assistants, or "manservants". And nobody thought it was weird. My thinking is that these days, lots of males are unemployed, but there are still a lot of male rich people, so a resurgence in manservantery is right around the corner. Obviously. And where will the new generation learn their trade? That's where my book comes in:

What tasks are beneath you? The rule of thumb is nothing. But if it's truly humiliating, just pretend it didn't happen afterwards.

Regarding insults: it's likely that your master will mock and berate you on occasion or constantly. Consider this a compliment--if he didn't bother, it would mean that you weren't worth the effort!

Sex? Probably not, but the ground rules are fuzzy, especially in this day and age. Definitely don't initiate, unless he orders you to initiate.

In life, business, and the book business, success is 100% inspiration and another 100% foresight. The heady times of the manservant are coming back fast, and when they do, this genius book will be there waiting, like a manservant.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Idea 21 - Even More Corrections

The Corrections was a big deal, right? I know the author rejected Oprah's endorsement, which is cool, although I don't know why I think it's cool.

If I could only come up with a similarly medium-paced novel about upper-middle-class siblings with middle-class problems... wait a second...

A sequel. Even More Corrections.

When we rejoin Gary, the Type A older brother, he's now struggling to diversify his investment portfolio to take advantage of emerging economies. But he can't because his dad wasn't affectionate enough...

The talented-but-snakebit sister, Denise, is struggling to make her profile more appealing, but she can't because her mom wasn't affectionate enough...

Brother Chip, the failed English professor, is struggling to overcome chronic migraines, but he can't, because he has a severe pollen allergy...

I'd just like to say up front that I officially accept Oprah's impending endorsement.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Idea 20 - Lose Weight, Then Eat It To Save Money!

Haven't hit the self-help genre yet. Well the fact that people are broke as hell won't change the fact that they're pretty fat. So basically the idea is that when you lose weight, it has to go somewhere. It might well go back on your plate, considering the global financial shitstorm and all.

It's not your fault that you're overweight. It could be your glands, or genetics, or maybe it's too cold where you live to exercise or eat well. Regardless, the problem isn't about eating -- it's about math:

Eat Food
+ Eat More Food

But what if this happened:

Eat Food
+ Eat That Same Food You Just Ate
= Fullness & $avings

I'll need to work with a doctor to figure out how this can be done without lipo or eating shit, but that'll be great because the doc will add some extra credibility to the book. So that's two birds with one thing right there.

This is one of those ideas where you slap yourself on the forehead because it hasn't been done before, and it fits the weight-loss self-help category because it does everything except encourage people to eat less and exercise more.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Idea 19 - Just One Of The Guys Who Sells Great Pools

One burgeoning book-deal-getting category is the F-list celebrity memoir. Kind of a head-scratcher, but then again I suppose they do mix the outsized with the attainable. And it's also a relief to read about people who are more desperate than you. Let's give it a whirl:

For Joyce Hyser, star of the gender-bending fish-out-of-water-in-high-school John Hughes knockoff/mainstay of 90s pay cable flick "Just One Of The Guys", I'll ghostwrite a stirring account of her brief moment in the sun followed by her rewarding career in above-ground pool sales.

Sure, J-Hys spent a few years signing autographs and auditioning for local jewelry store commercials. But for the purposes of the book, we'll focus on how much she enjoys providing attractive solutions for fun-loving homeowners who just can't handle the headaches or hassles that come with all in-ground pools.

One quick note: due to the impending collapse of the publishing industry, this book will be made possible by a generous grant from Joyce's employers, Nationwide EZ Poolz.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Idea 18 - Operation Scarfwatch

File this one under "Thriller Books".

In a forgotten Pentagon walk-in closet, a young FBI agent is briefed on an assignment that will change men's fashion forever.

He's told that there's a shadowy organization of questionable intention known only as The Panderjacks. Their all-male membership is nearly invisible in society, other than that they often wear scarves indoors. Now that the look has become stylish, it's become nearly impossible for FBI agents to spot the bastards. Nearly.

Our young agent, Nick Dovetail, is tasked with infiltrating cocktail lounges, ad agencies, love-ins, and other fashion-forward enclaves. When he encounters a "scarfer", he's legally empowered to detain and fiercely mock them until they confess about the Panderjack agenda, or at least remove the scarf to help expedite the search.

Okay -- you've got intrigue, action, and Gawker-worthy aesthetic criticism. And my "Operation (Blank)" structure is ready-made to be a Clancy/Grisham/"(Letter) Is For (Noun)" series. People love those things.

Get ready to fall in love with Nick Dovetail, America. But don't get too close--he's dangerous.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Idea 17 - Silky Embraces

Holy Hell, I've been at this for months and haven't thought to crank out a single bodice-ripper! The best-seller lists are lousy with those damn things! It's amazing, but I guess we should never underestimate the need for uninventive escapism and timid sexual daydreaming.

Burt held her shoulders tenderly as they stared out at the tall sailboats floating like fancy napkin sculptures on the the azure bay.

"Why can't we just stay here," she breathed, exhausted from her inner struggles and their spirited-but-inoffensive canoodling. "You could sell the horse rescue company and I could finally leave Geoffrey and the yarn store." She couldn't help but shed a politely angry tear. "He'd hardly even notice."

He raised her chin with one tanned and hairless forefinger. "That darn S.O.B. doesn't deserve you, Linda. But your children do, and they need your incredible mothering. Let's just enjoy the time we have before I die tomorrow afternoon."

"What?!" she exclaimed, but he answered only with his capable yet non-threatening love. And he was also cool with going down on her.

I feel like I sorta lost the thread on that one toward the end. I should probably do more research but it would be really hard to explain if anybody saw me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Idea 16 - One Voice Speaks Alone: The Case Against The Somali Pirates Who Captured That American Ship

You want serious topical non-fiction? Sunday morning talk show stuff? Get this: two days ago, Somali pirates seized an American ship. You probably saw it all over the news. Well I think it's time somebody noticed.

While rest of Duh-merica sits on their ivory couches, I'll be lighting a book-shaped firecracker and stuffing under their medium-sized asses. Kaboom goes your pirate-coddling agenda.

In this searing political screed, I'll brazenly postulate that the crimes these thieves committed were illegal.

I'll courageously refute the claim that they create flourishing undersea habitats by sinking so many ships full of so many meaty bodies. You have my word as a grandstanding zealot -- No stone will be left un-attacked.

Sure, you can turn a blind eye if you like. But you can't deny that this book must happen. Actually I suppose you can, but you shouldn't.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Idea 15 - Magical Little Faces

Non-fiction. Real elves.

I'll research and interview the actual magical small folks who have inspired all those legends over the years. I may have to pay them in hard candies and exotic flowers, but they'll talk.

I'll slowly win their trust by skipping around their trees and singing their praises while strumming a peppy tune on my lyre. I won't crack any jokes about Keebler or making shoes in the night for old cobblers -- they hate that shit.

When they think they're my friends, I'll trap them in one of those nets made out of olive vines that's been blessed by a wizard, and then it's interview time, baby.

And listen, if anyone out there's offended, let's just say that I happen to know that my quest was foretold in The Glerkin Prophesies. So shut the fuck up.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Idea 14 - Babypocalypse

Everybody loves babies. Lil' cerubic scamps. And everybody loves to speculate about the apocalypse. You say you liked Blindness, the award-winning Jose Saramago masterpiece-turned-feature-film? Compared to this one, that thing reads like Goodnight Moon. Look:

At first, there's widespread joy. Babies spring up en masse out of odd places like car mufflers and sink drains. They're playful and abundant, and we all rejoice in this time of infant plenty. Then they stop aging, feeling pain, needing food, cooing, and being susceptable to physical harm of any kind. And their numbers quadruple every day. The planet is lousy with newborns.

All they do is eat everything that's not tied down, shit oddly cube-shaped nuggets of toxic waste, and cry like they've been left outside in a thunderstorm.

Everybody goes bonkers. Goodbye, society.

This might be the most original idea that's ever happened. Viral marketing opportunity: wrap the walls of nurseries with funhouse mirrors that make it look like there's infinite babies, like in Enter The Dragon.

People will flip out. And buy the crap out if the book. Watch out!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Idea 13 - Keep Your Running Mate Close

Political thriller. Everybody loves Obama, right? What if one man didn't... but not a typical assassin guy...

Biden laughed as he drew back the poison arrow against the catgut string of the antique crossbow.

"The Secret Service actually believed me when I told them this was a family heirloom," he said with a huge-toothed smile. "And they're also going to believe that you accidentally shot yourself while imitating a drunken Kim Jong Il. No one can resist the ol' Biden grin."

Obama leveled a steely gaze toward his Vice President. His running mate. His friend.

"Joe, I can get you prostitutes the likes of which--" Thwap!

And so the Biden regime had begun. Or, as it would soon become known -- The Reign Of The Cackle.

We've got shock value, we've got politics, we've got something for bowhunters -- you tell me how this wouldn't get me on Craig Ferguson.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Idea 12 - The Book

A novel-length tale of the macabre this time -- I think I'm definitely ready to take the reigns from Dean R. Koontz.

A lonely and embittered small town English teacher, his school beset by financial cockuppery, is unable to provide new books to his class. Desperate, he searches the school's mangy attic for something, anything to keep his pupils' attention. He finds tons of porn mags up there, but decides after about a half hour that it wouldn't be cool to hand those out.

But he's faced with a much tougher test when he discovers a mysterious tome called... Advanced Mind Control: How To Make Your Enemies' Heads Implode And How To Make Young Girls Turn Eighteen Instantaneously.

Will a good man be able to resist this ultimate power? Will he test the first part on dogs? Will it even work on dogs, or is it a humans-only thing?

If you look at the NYT best-seller wall at any bookstore or airport impulse-buy trap. half of the books are horror books by Koontz, King, and a bunch of other people no one has ever heard of. I could be one of those people!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Idea 11 - Ultimate Air

Imagine skateboarding in Heaven. Exactly.

On the night before his first Powerfuel RipNation Championship, emerging skateboard phenom Vance Zildian is cut down by a horrific bluntside bail. As soon as his unhelmeted skull splits on the spraypainted sidewalk, Vance awakes in The Cloudy Afterlife, which looks exactly like it does in cartoons. Awesome! OR IS IT?!?!

Vance soon learns that Paradise is as dull as listening to his stepdad complain about his Gulf War Syndrome.

Where are the parties? Where are the action sports? Where are the young tramps?

God tries to pursuade him that there can be no higher high than total oneness, but Vance decides that there's only one cure for this crapfest -- it's time to shred.

It's The Catcher In The Rye for Gens Y, Z, and tweens. Cross promos with Fuel TV, Vans, and Lifetime. I could sell this thing while grabbing air, and I don't even know what that means.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Idea 10 - Stand Up And Fail!

I've done some pretty amazing standup in my time. I know, you think could never do standup, you'd be terrified -- you just don't think you're funny enough, and of course you're dead on in that regard.

But what happens when standups aren't aware that they're not qualified to do standup? And shouldn't there be a docu-comedic travelogue-umentary about it? Yes.

I'll travel to comedy luke-warm spots all over the country, documenting the most horrible instances of on-stage failure that I come across. You'll see jokes like "What if the polar ice caps melt? Will hockey players wear Rollerblades?"* You'll meet nominal comics like the 55-year old mom of four from Long Island who kind of smiles and talks quietly about her life, as if it involved jokes.**

So the Facebook set is thirsting for some hip ironic detachment, huh? How about the repulsive enjoyment of things that are painfully unenjoyable? Check. Let's talk numbers.

*actually witnessed by me at an open mic in a respectable downtown NY venue. Yep.

**different venue, same failure