Harlan Ellison, an SFF writer, at least once said when asked that he got his ideas from Poughkeepsie. “$25 a Week and they send me a fresh six-pack of new ideas fifty-two times a year” (Shatterday: Stories by Harlan Ellison).
Where do you get your ideas?
I’m getting mine from the cats these past few months.
Our new cat, Princess Charlotte, looks like a Norwegian Forest cat or a Maine Coon cat. Both breeds are friendly, chatty giants with long fur and athletic ability. Princess Charlotte (or Charli for short) showed up in our barn on February 15.
She holds herself like a princess, but attacks dem fishies like a warrior queen. And Norwegian Forest cats come with their own mythology and legends, so it’s natural
that I’d try to fit Charli into my space cat world. I’m not there yet, but here are some of the ideas Poughkeepsie sent over.
Princess Charlotte is an escaped juvenile princess brought to a space station by a loyal retainer who loves her very much, but dies shortly after arrival. She makes friends with Captain Greebo and Tabby Kate (who I wrote about during last year’s National Novel Writing Month) when Tuxedo Jones assaults her and they rescue her.
They decide it’s best to keep the poor kitty’s identity under cover. But “poor” Charli is a natural diplomat, charmer, and she’s got some martial art skills that keep her out of trouble even when Greebo and Kate aren’t around. The dynamic duo find themselves saving the space station from Charli’s unconscious attempts to turn it into a tribute state (and the space station inhabitants LOVE Charli) as much as they are trying to save Charli from political assassins and the pride-wounded Tuxedo Jones.
So far, the story’s only in my head, and it’ll probably change a great deal as it travels through my fingers into the computer. Still, a tip of my hat to the Poughkeepsie Idea Service of New York. This is a fun one!
Note: about a year ago, I wrote about some ideas from the Poughkeepsie Idea Service that weren’t any use to me. I still don’t find them juicy enough to write, but help yourself!