July 11, 2017


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc.) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

I started doing IDEAS ON TUESDAY in February of 2011. This was the eighth idea I posted – the first seven aren’t part of any document anywhere, they’re just “here” on the blog. I’ve been going back and poking around in my past, wondering what motivated me “then” and what motivates me “now”.

Some of you may know that I spent eight months in Africa as the guest of the Nigerian, Cameroonian, and Liberian Lutheran Churches. If people aren’t impressed with my time there as a tool of the Church, they’re appalled by my white supremacist intention of crushing African traditions beneath my white supremacist assumptions of Africans who needed to be saved from savagery…

Both responses make me feel ill and neither one grants the people of the Continent any power of self-determination – and are equally white supreme-ist.

OK – rant over. (I’m sure this little essay may possibly irritate some people…) So, I recently read THE BETRAYAL OF AFRICA (for a brief review, go here:  (http://www.africafiles.org/article.asp?ID=17923)

Follow this with an apparent non-sequitur: a few years ago, I read and recommended for an ANDRE NORTON Award, Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu’s second book, THE SHADOW SPEAKER (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow_Speaker). If you’ve never read it, do.

Once you’ve done that, try and build a story on this foundation: a Library to rival the one at Alexandria is nearly done in the center of the Sahara in the Erg of Bilmah – and the dark forces of America: Jersey Devils, Yuma Skeletons, Wampus Cats, Bigfeet, Headless Horsemen, Mosquitoes, Trickster Coyotes, Maids in the Mist and Pecos Bill and his legions take on the legends of the Sahara: mummies, scorpions, Desert Rattlers, raging sandstorms, desert wolves and tigers…who wins and how…

I started a series of stories using this idea, though I left out the “monster” parts and made is purely science fiction, I think it has possibilities. I’m going to post it in my WORK AND WORKSHEETS section soon. I’ll add the link here when I do.

Until then, do with this what you would!

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