Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Still here! The blog was silenced to make room for actual writing amid a frenzy of creativity and a flurry of real world obligations.

I caught a bit of public radio this morning that got me thinking once again about an idea that teased me last summer. Have you seen the Seinfeld where..... Well, essentially on the sitcom Seinfeld they pitch an idea to NBC for a show "about nothing." And that is my novel idea. A terrible one, but it has tapped me on the shoulder repeatedly for almost a year. Maybe I should give it a second thought, though I can't imagine how it would work out.

Let me explain.

It's a joke, really, poking fun at this fad of writing experiential books... Surely you know the type.

Accountant quits job to build boat in his backyard and attempts to sail it around the world,
then sells wildly popular book on the trials and tribulations of that (failed) experience.

Or nurse creates urban farm in backyard, including chickens, pigs, a goat and a large garden, in an effort to raise food independently... then sells wildly popular book on living off the land in the city while raising children.

The experiences, some extremely bizarre others increasingly commonplace, seem to be entirely manufactured for the sake of the books.

My fictionalized treatment of this might be titled "Almost," and the main character would feature a bright, energetic, well-meaning person who never quite takes things far enough. Not the sort of person that can't finish things. More like the person that begins something with a slurry of commitment and completes the project in the land of mediocrity. You know, like most people you have ever met.

The problem is, of course, that it would be terribly dull. But I chuckle every time I hear a new interview on NPR with an author that has just attempted to live off of apples and crab grass for three months to lighten her carbon footprint, and now is jet-setting all over the country to push her new bestselling book on the experience.

We could all be doing that... Almost.


Anna said...

I love it!!

when you go jet-setting, can I have a lift? :)))

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I LOVE Seinfeld.

And if you write this novel in the same vein and it works, it's guaranteed to succeed because Seinfeld is the perfect example of Absurdist Comedy. It may be about nothing, but it's also about everything. It's often the small and the mediocre that attract an audience - if it's done right, like Seinfeld is.

Anonymous said...

wow. dude. that's like my biography.


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