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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Wait! I have another good idea!

I became fascinated with the concept of memoirs a couple of years ago. Not that I'm particularly interested in reading them. Nor that I have anything particularly memoir-able about my life that I think would interest the reading public. I thought that some day in the distant future, my daughter would like to know some of the things about my life that I often wondered about my parents, but never got around to asking until long after they were gone. When I sat down to write, I started with the title "Wait! I have another good idea!"

It seems that is what my life is really all about. I keep coming up with good ideas and they happen so fast that I can't carry any of them to fruition. This started in 3rd grade. I distinctly remember the playground where I conceived of an organic sailing vessel fabricated from the body of a giant fish. It occupied me for weeks on the playground as I imagined sailing around the world in my fishboat. Somehow the smell of rotten fish never entered the equation.

I filed a number of patents on reading and layout technology in the late 90s and early 2000s. Most have issued. Three, for a technique of automating typographic layout based on the shape and characteristics of the font, were really fabulous. Two of the three have issued. But they are unlikely to ever be put in practice. They lie in the vaults at Microsoft as protected intellectual property. I invented and documented a system for automatically creating color schemes of one, two, or multiple colors that would work together and complement each other, back in the late 90s. No one was interested. In 2006, I saw the exact same system presented at a Microsoft Tech Fair by a Chinese engineer. He was shocked when he read my paper that was nearly ten years old. It could have been documentation for his system.

Even today, I am backlogged with ideas. I have conceived a movie script that I want to write in April. I have three "front burner" book ideas that I want to write. I have a short-story that I hope to finish by April 1. There is another cookbook rolling around in my head. That doesn't even begin to touch the "back burner" ideas that I have for books, scripts, and stories (and even a non-fiction how-to) that are in my someday file. And in the midst of that, I am trying to actually complete projects and publish them.

I'm reminded of a well-known story, the source of which I can't call to mind, of a woman who kept remodeling and adding on to her house because of the belief that she couldn't die until it was finished. I am not even concerned with the unfinished works that I have. When my life reaches its ultimate conclusion (which I hope is many years away) I'm afraid I'll still have things I haven't written.

I can't die. I have another good idea!