Without taking even a moment to ponder the question, he answered "Gatos Marteis." I'm guessing at the spelling; he pronounced the second word mar-TACE. Gatos is, of course, Spanish for cats, but I'm not sure why my son would know that, since his school teaches Chinese as its foreign language. I have no idea what marteis would mean or what language it would be.
I asked what kind of food they would serve. Again, without missing a beat, he said, "Italian." He promptly invited me to be a partner in this enterprise and we began brainstorming (meaning, I asked a bunch more questions about our restaurant). Further highlights include:
- You can eat on the roof, and there are FIVE roofs
- They have a song there, and there's a party every Saturday
- They will be open for one full year, 24 hours a day, and then closed for one full year (to build anticipation? Perhaps he stole this idea from AMC?)
- The sign will have a green background and white letters and a piece of pizza under it. And the writing will be in Greek.
"Yeah, we can have a little shop there," he answered. "Let's do it!"
This kid, like most kids, spends 99% of his waking life imagining stuff. (Largely involving the defeating of ninjas and the transforming of vehicles into robots). Writing fiction means you get to keep that part of you alive and in good health and even get paid for it. Which is awesome.
You mind talking a little shop? Next time you've got writer's block, try the five-year-old approach, which is also the improv approach: don't think; react! What's the restaurant called? Gatos Marteis! Can you eat on the roof? Duh--there are FIVE roofs. You know how to generate creative material from nowhere. Remember that. Your first instinct may not be the best, but it will do until something better comes along.