I once read Stephen King penned a story so horrifying, so ghastly, so macabre, he suffered terrible nightmares while writing it.
It disturbed him to such a degree, he could never bring himself to send it to his publisher.
The manuscript remained ever locked in his desk drawer.
He eventually tossed the key into the deep waters of a harbor close to his home.
May have been Dave Barry.
Regardless, it goes without saying even though I’m saying it anyway that every author maintains a dark file of stories that will never see the light of day.
Perhaps they’re stories so freakishly scary, their release would risk sending readers into cardiac arrest.
Perhaps they’re stories so sad, the authors can’t complete them past flowing tears.
Perhaps they’re stories so beautiful yet so personal, the authors can’t bear to share them with the public for fear they won’t receive the love they deserve.
Or perhaps they’re stories that just plain suck.
Mine apply to that last one.
Here are titles of story ideas I simply had to flush and the reasons why:
My Last Physical Exam
My general physician strongly recommended I lose an amount of weight proportionate to that of a Northern Pacific baby sea lion.
I decided I would post this story only after I’d lost the weight.
How to Lose Weight When You’re Over 50
This can’t be done.
Cobra Kai (The Karate Kid Sequel): A Movie Review
This ended up sounding like a thousand word rant about how good Ralph Macchio looks at 56.
And it contained way too much profanity.
My review, not the movie.
An Easy Way to Clean Your Barbecue with Safe Chemicals
I don’t want to relive this.
In the Girls’ Room with Pink Curtains Near Asphyxiation
What I thought was the making of an excellent mind-blower of a science-fiction tale was just bits and pieces of a hallucination I experienced while repainting our poorly ventilated daughters’ bedroom.
My transcription was twenty-two paragraphs comprised of one word: mot.
I don’t know what that means.
Anime is Awesome!
This story took root when I made an earnest attempt to embrace anime films.
My daughters are enamored with them, so I’d rented three movies from the library, made popcorn and settled in for a Miyazaki marathon one Sunday afternoon intent on gaining a powerful appreciation.
I had pen and paper ready as the magic began to unfold.
I gave up thirty minutes into the first one.
I stumbled from the room certain I was suffering a paint fume relapse.
World War Walmart
I began this story following a shouting match with a Russian couple after they cut me off in a discount store parking lot.
Things escalated quickly then stopped abruptly when we weren’t able to understand each other’s insults.
We ended up shaking hands.
I thought this encounter, if worded properly, could be shaped into an intelligent allegory shedding light on important topics such as global relations, diversity, acceptance, the human condition and rolled back prices as they all relate in today’s political arena.
Fond Memories as a College Freshman
I have no fond memories as a college freshman.
My roommate was a stoner, my professors were assholes and Sammy Hagar joined Van Halen.
My Daughters Hate Me
I started this post during a bad week when my three teenage daughters all became angry with me for some reason.
I don’t know what I’d done, but this was a major turning point in my life as a parent.
The story was to be a deep dive into my shortcomings as a father and how the relationships I shared with my daughters had changed forever.
My Daughters Love Me
I stopped working on the previous story when my daughters suddenly returned to being nice to me again.
The Wisdom of a Wife
Apparently those last two stories shared a logical explanation which was revealed to me in a private conversation with my wife who was careful to use small, slowly spoken words.
A terrible misunderstanding.
She also suggested I kibosh the whole subject.
That was for the best.
Medium: The Board Game
Actually I’m not done with this.
So now that I’ve dredged up the embarrassing rejects of my otherwise masterful body of work, I hope you feel encouraged to share an idea you intend to keep hidden under lock and key forever.
I don’t want to feel alone on this.
Thanks so much for reading.
And not judging.
I shall now resume publishing the quality subject matter you so richly deserve.