Be the first to correctly guess which of the Henderson Writer’s Group members wrote the following short story and win a dig through the Book Bag!
When I sit at the computer ready to line out beautiful prose cradling wisdom with a sniff of calm and peace, I freeze. For many reasons.
Since I went to school with Ben Franklin (he kept tricking me into holding the tail of that damn kite), I’m a late writer. With whatever days or years I have left for writing, I am compelled to compose my best stuff, to create effortless narrative that crackles with wit and runs line to line error free. Well, I would if I weren’t afraid of wasting so much time and energy getting down a mediocre draft that might be salvaged through edits.
I often stare at the screen, searching the corners for the flash of an important idea, a notion that would pull readers with magnetic force like a tractor beam from an alien ship. Not the trivial discourse of common days but the solution to producing stellar content from the banal syllables found in every writer’s toolbox.
Can you feel the north wind?
My introverted (and slightly serious) self feeds the anxiety demon as I finger the keys waiting for the betraying tremor of a conversational tone, an easy flowing monologue that joshes enough at the edges that some reader will believe I’m just a regular guy.
Do you see that July snowstorm drifting the first edges that will climb the stucco siding of my house?
Or, in spite of my research, planning, and nightmares, the end destination of every piece lies in the distorting haze of uncertainty. How does anyone get from here to there?
You’ve felt the bone chill, too? That shiver pulsing in your muscles, shaking the hands as they poise above the keys.
By definition, we’re on the right path. Writers have a healthy fear of words. Words can mean more than the sum of their connotations. Words, well-strung, provoke images and feelings and experiences that readers share with writers. To be or not to be. Call me Ishmael. I have a dream. In the case of Obergefell V. Hodges…
When the cold creeps into your lower back and your hips squirm with numbness, you have unlocked the gate to the writers’ community. You are in the land of risk takers and the first to be arrested in totalitarian regimes.
When I sit and sense the frozen mist crawling from my torso to the fingers held aloft, I remember I’m a writer. So many resources stand by my shoulder to stare back the demon: Books. Articles. Blogs. Critique partners. Writers groups. And readers.
The only time the cold wins is when a writer is cut from the herd and isolated beyond the support buoying the creatives.
Enough of this shit. Back to explaining Good and Evil in one syllable words.