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The Books I Didn’t Write

November 5, 2021

In my previous post, I mentioned I was setting hand to keyboard again as part of #NaNoWriMo, an annual virtual, asynchronous event where people set time aside each day in November to write. The traditional intent of the event is to help spur authors to start or finish a book they’ve been postponing. I, however, really just wanted to habituate myself to the practice of blogging.

When I posted a link to the blog on Facebook and mentioned that it was “my first for NaNoWriMo,” my younger sister (an aspiring children’s book author herself), excitedly responded by inferring that I meant I was in the process of writing a book. I assured her that was not the case, but I thought you would also like to see a bit more detail about the books I am definitely not writing. To wit:

The Trolley Problem

What’s this? A modern take on the philosophical conundrum of whether to spare many lives in lieu of taking just one? No, not that at all. This is the tale of two 60-something trolleys facing down the dissolution of their decades-long marriage due to issues related to erectile dysfunction.

A Symmetry of Nouns

Told from the perspective of a newspaper crossword puzzle editor who finds herself in a rut after crafting the perfect puzzle, Lizzabelle is mentally stuck on using the same words over and over while designing ever more cryptic clues to avoid having to come up with a new design. It is at once both an allegory for people who refuse to upgrade their smartphones and a (heavy-handed) metaphor for the devaluation of newspapers in contemporary society, as no one complains about this lack of novelty.

The Fire that Feeds

Wow, sexy title, huh? Maybe it’s even been used before for an actual book. I can’t be bothered to look that up, especially for a fake novel that’s never going to be written. Anyway, it’s a parable of our times and the scarcity of resources as we follow a man struggling to convert his gas fireplace to a wood burning one that also has a built-in rotisserie capable of spinning a 25-pound turkey.

Maime, the Reverse Cat Burglar

A psychological thriller following the titular character as she breaks into homes in order to place cats from the shelter at which she volunteers.

The Storytelling Biscuit

This one is straightforward: it’s about Wendell, a sentient biscuit with ESP. Capable of telling the future, he communicates telepathically only with Genk, a clumsy 10-year old to whom Wendell owes his existence after the lad accidentally knocked him off a kitchen counter and he landed behind the stove, thus escaping consumption. Unfortunately, as a disciple of Noam Chomsky, Wendell communicates to Genk only in minimalist riddles and the boy is not exactly a sharp knife. Will Wendell succeed in doing the minimum while watching the world fall to anarchy, or will Genk save the day in spite of himself? Featuring a denouement everyone can root against.

Look for none of these at a bookstore near you.

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