By John Yohe
A wolf, coming-of-age, mix between White Fang and Watership Down.
Something called The Witch’s Daughter, a young social-outcast boy meets young social outcast girl, with a cool alternative mom, who the boy is also sort of enamored of, but not overtly of course, and tragedy ensues.
A female version of Lord of the Flies.
A boy runaway—from Michigan—train-hopping.
A bike messenger in New York—a day in the life—attracted to another female messenger—but quits at the end of the day, I don’t know why.
But anybody quitting ends up sounding like A&P, so not sure.
More fire-fighting stories.
I have a vague one about a day-in-the-life on a fire, jumping from person to person as they arrive and as the fire grows—could be a novel or novella maybe.
Woman’s POV, different descriptions of old boyfriends, each of which has a nickname, like, The Earnest Pornographer, or the Stone Mason, or the Insecure Carpenter.
A Bolaño-esque thing about a woman musician.
Steal an idea from Vargas Llosa about a guy and his relationship to a girl/woman throughout their lives—how she uses him to introduce herself into new jobs/lives—but like I said it rips off Las travesuras de una chica mala.
Maybe something about a couple, white, who decide to try having a black guy have sex with her while the white guy watches, etc, but would have to avoid the outright sex parts and focus on the personality dynamics—it’d have to be more told than shown I think.
Or maybe instead of The Story of a Breast, it could be about a pair of legs.
Or a boy growing up in Michigan with an emotionally distant father?
No, been done.
Or a café, scenes interwoven, convos, descriptions, w/o explanations, just a space between them.
Or the story of a pussy.
Or of an asshole.
Except that would be autobiographical and therefore technically creative non-fiction
But no sex.
No more sex.
I’m tired of it.
I see a woman and she just looks like a quivering mass of issues and problems that would want dominion over my quivering mass of problems and issues.
So take out sex.
Have a story about guys.
A guy telling about another guy, a friend.
But don’t let it slip into subtle homo eroticism.
Especially if they herd sheep or something.
Not because I’m opposed to homo eroticism but that it just becomes about the interaction of teeming masses of issues and problems again.
Which brings me back to the wolf story.
His father gets killed by the pack leader.
Then he himself gets kicked out.
So he travels and meets a fox and a coyote.
Learns from both of them.
About different things about humans.
About how to adapt and live with humans.
Though not like dogs, which they all hate.
But then the coyote and fox get killed.
So he really learns that humans can’t be trusted.
Though meanwhile he has returned to his pack.
The pack leader has been killed by humans, trappers or something.
So our wolf takes over and leads more by wits than strength.
Though meanwhile all the wolves in the area are being killed, even his pack.
But two humans, who he met with the fox, a man and woman (though this is not about the commingling of two sets of issues and problems) have organized or become part of a group trying to save the wolves and relocate them to Yellowstone National Park (this part is kinda true) and they end up tranquilizing our wolf protagonist, his sisters and remaining pack members and our last scene is of him (from the human’s POV) waking up in a new territory, slightly confused as we all would be, but getting his bearings, hearing the howls of his sisters up in the mountains and running off to join them.
Whether he will actually stay within the Park boundaries is unknown, the humans hope so, but all we know is we see him stop and look back once at us, as if thinking.
As if figuring out that he may have been saved from extinction.
- - -
Born in Puerto Rico, John Yohe grew up in Michigan, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. He has worked as a wildland firefighter, deckhand/oiler, runner/busboy, bike messenger, wilderness ranger, as well as a teacher of writing. He has lived in Mexico, Spain, France, and traveled to six continents.