Ingrid and I were driving on I-5 last weekend, and I invented a road game to beguile the long hours. (It’s entirely possible that others have invented this game or similar ones, and that this is a case of convergent evolution. If you’ve ever played this game or one like it, let me know!)
The game: Exit Sign Novel Titles. Rules: When driving by highway exit signs, you pick out ones that seem like titles of novels, and come up with plot summaries.
Here are some of my favorites:
Henley Hornbeck. An adventure book for children — probably aimed at boys — about a 19th century sailor. Sort of a junior Master and Commander. It may be the first in a series: Henley Hornbeck and the Secret Island, Henley Hornbeck and the Pirate Gold.
Hilt. A mystery novel, part of a series in which all the titles are parts of murder weapons. Other books in the series: Trigger, Blade.
Wonderland Blvd. and Mountain Gate Wonderland. (IIRC, these signs came right after each other on the highway). Wonderland Blvd. is a novel set in the Haight-Ashbury in 1967, written by a Tom Robbins wanna-be. Mountain Gate Wonderland is the sequel, with the same characters a few years later living in a hippie town in the Cascade mountains.
Grenada Gazelle. A children’s book about a friendly gazelle named Grenada, and her adventures with other animals in the African plains. Other titles in the series (I obviously love coming up with serieses for this game): Ernestine Elephant, Gina Giraffe, Wanda Wildebeest.
Turntable Bay. A hip-hop act in a small coastal town becomes an overnight sensation and starts a recording label in the town, which unexpectedly becomes a locus of hip-hop culture. How will the town cope with its sudden transformation from Port Harbor to Turntable Bay? The novel explores cultural, racial, and economic tensions with both drama and humor.
Vollmer’s Delta. The tangled, darkly intertwined lives of the Vollmer family, whose great-great-great-grandfather, Elijah Vollmer, founded their small town in the Mississippi delta.
Siskyou Summit. A tense political thriller about global superpowers on the brink of war. Espionage, double-crossing, triple agents — you know the drill.
Sunset Hills Auction Yard. A gritty, down-to-earth set of interwoven short stories, each telling the tale of an item sold at the auction yard and the down-on-their-luck lives of the people who buy and sell them.
What plot summaries would you give these exit signs? What exit sign do you drive by every day that needs to be a novel title?
Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care about that may not have serious implications for atheism or social justice. Any day is a good day to write about whatever the heck we’re interested in (hey, we put “culture” in our tagline for a reason), but we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun. Check out what some of the other Orbiters are doing!