Futons. What a fabulous word. Go on, say it: Fuuuutonnnns. Can you hear it? Doesn’t your mouth love making those sounds? Ain’t it just plain fun? And isn’t it completely spectacular that there is a person in this world who could, in all seriousness, give a piece of furniture such a delightfully quirky name? I love the word “futon” so much that I simply had to work it into my teen novel HONK IF YOU HATE ME. Had to. Period.
But how to do it? I had my main character, Mona, setting fire to a furniture plant, so I could mention futons as one of the plant’s products, right? Nah. Somehow that didn’t do the word justice; it didn’t milk its quirkiness. I had to think big. But how big? What to do…what to do… I know! I’ll make Mona’s dad a futon designer, the very best futon designer, the top award winner on a competitive National Futon Design Circuit, and have him specialize in custom futoning. He could design futons that evoke the spirit of dolphins, the flight of eagles, the very essence of nature itself! Ah, now that’s quirky.
At least it was to me. And that’s the fun of writing your own novel, you get to tickle your own funny bone. Hey, I love a good laugh, or even just a wry snicker. Had I known the joy one could have in playing with random details and words in a novel, I would’ve started writing long before I actually did. Instead, I spent years entertaining people with quirky emails in which I used words like “futon” for no real purpose other than to use the word. And why not? Life is all about having fun, right? And what’s more fun than “futon”? Not a ding-dang thing, I say!
Hey. Now there’s a fun word. “Ding-dang.” It’s silly . . . its alliterative . . . it’s a keeper! Untitled Novel #3, you’re about to get ding-danged. My job now is to figure out how to work it into my Texas Hold’em plot. Hmm, now there’s a stumper. And I really do love stumpers. In fact, just the word “stumper” gets me excited, Hey! Now there’s another fun word. “Stumper.” What to do…what to do…
Boy, did I find the right job for me, or what?