Friday, September 21, 2012

A restless, inquisitive mind

I woke up with an incredible notion. Sodom, Gomorrah & Jones is the first novel of a trilogy about CJ. And the next two came almost fully formed:

  • The Reluctant Suicide. Set several years in the future. CJ has been living on the road in his van. He had a short relationship with a woman he met in a campground, a vagabond like himself. But now the early effects of climate change are becoming more dramatic, some coastal cities flooded by rising seas. CJ decides he doesn't want to hang around to watch it. He considers himself blessed and ready to pass. But how? His notion is that he should be just as eligible for doctor assistance as someone with a terminal illness. He argues that life itself is a terminal illness. But no help is available, which means he must do the deed himself. What a drag! And how? He researches the matter, doesn't trust most methods because he could screw it up, decides on a bullet in the brain, in the woods to account for the mess. And he does the deed.
  • CJ In Heaven & Hell. Great political turmoil in heaven! The Old School Angels Party, active for centuries, has finally garnered political strength to end and reverse considerable liberalization of the rules of heaven and to return to the conservative, stringent good old days. CJ comes to the pearly gates during this struggle for power and becomes a test case. By the old rules, suicides are not allowed into heaven but progressive angels over the centuries have relaxed the rule to permit exceptions. Can CJ be admitted to heaven or not? Clarence Darrow, himself a benefactor of liberal changes, volunteers to represent CJ in the legal battle for admittance. Also on CJ's side are Neitzsche, Thomas Paine, Marx and a host of others that the Old School Angels Party would have expelled. CJ will lose his case: but expulsion from heaven will prove to be meaningless because, as Sartre has been arguing all along, it turns out that heaven and hell are identical. There's nowhere else to go. CJ must accept that this is all there is.
Now of course, considerable trickery, magic, and personal drama must be added to the mix to make this drama and not a lecture, but this is an old problem I've faced and solved many times before. I think I can do the second. The third will be the hardest, requiring more research on the issue than I've done in the past. 

By Tom Strah, that I've named CJ
Now will I actually write the trilogy? I don't know yet. But it came to me this morning with more than usual clarity. And, of course, I'm in love with CJ. How could I not be?

So we'll see.

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