In My Library

Written By: Timothy Fish Published: 9/12/2007

In my library… Before I go on, I would like to say that every house should have a library. We should amend the Constitution and make it a requirement. Okay, that is enough about that. In my library is a folder. I do not mean the type of folder that is an electronic subdivision of a hard drive. I mean a real, honest to goodness, folder. It is a very simple manila folder. It is located behind a folder that is labeled fan mail, which is located behind a folder labeled, Searching for Mom. The folder is labeled “ideas” and nothing more.

There is nothing special about the folder, but it keeps growing. Just last night I added a couple of sheets of hand written notes. I typed several of the papers it contains on the computer and printed them so that I could store them in the folder. Some of the papers are nothing more than a Post-It note when some brief statement scribbled on it. Some are sheets of paper that I tore from the notepad I store in my nightstand.

I am currently working on the second draft of the second book in a series of five books. Even though I am working on that book, there are several books that are floating around in my head. Occasionally, I will think of something that I want to go into a future book and rather than trusting that I will remember it when the time comes I put these ideas into my folder. Last night I was watching a television show and I was thinking about the final book in the current series. That book is a secret identity story, like Superman or Cinderella, but the problem with these types of plots is that the storyline that produces the secret identity must be believable. As I watched the show I began to think about some of the elements in the show and how they could be tied into my plot and produce the secret identity that I need. My biggest problem was not so much the motivation for the secret identity but the means of that secret identity. Since the book is not intended for the fantasy genre, I could not have a fairy wave her magic wand or have a character that could change at the speed of light in a phone booth. Maintaining a very public secret identity requires resources that most of us do not have. A rich person, like Bruce Wayne, might be believable, but taking a character from near rags to riches while maintaining a secret identity raises legal questions among other things.

While watching the rest of the show, I wrote my ideas on two large sheets of paper before I filed them away. I have three books to finish before I can begin writing that book, but when the time comes, I will go to my library, take out the folder and recall what it was that I intended to write. I have found it to be very helpful to have the ideas folder. One never knows when inspiration will strike or how long a great idea can be held in one’s head, but my simple little folder keeps those ideas until I need them.