Today you will stop procrastinating
Your desire to write is crippling. You sit down at the computer and after the first page you stop and question yourself. "Why am I wasting my time," the voice inside your head squeaks.
Don't listen, just write, and write, and write. Exorcise the words from inside and let them come alive on the screen. Stop looking for perfection, it does not exist. Spit those words out and once they are out of you treat them kindly.
Some of those words need to go away, some need to be replaced with other words, some will help tell your story, some will not. What you need to do is stop procrastinating and tell yourself that you are, in fact, a writer.
Now go write and stop until you finish that first draft! Then go drink a half bottle of something and begin the second draft.
IS IT TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT WRITERS?
E.L.Doctorow wrote, "Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia."
Let us ponder a moment and observe this statement as a community of writers.
Sitting alone, day after day, creating fictional characters in a mythical land, talking to yourself, angry the story is not moving along, giddy with how each chapter evolves. People say we're crazy for writing, but no one says a word when we eat soup with a fork!
You know things are no longer normal when...
Morning comes. You look out the window and see two bright suns in the sky.
This is My Land, No, This is My Land
We've always hated each other because we are different. That makes us enemies. Let's fight.
Christmas is Cancelled
"Do you know I've about had it," said the three horned being.
"Not again, please I don't want to go through this again," replied the lizard creature.
"We have too talk about it and make a change. Every year the same thing, we get this one day.."
"Here we go. Yes I know, every year. Go on, get it off your chest, if that is what you call that part."
"I'm just saying that Halloween comes one day a year and then it's gone."
"Yes go on, what about it."
"I've done it for 20 years with you, but on my own I've been celebrating Holloween for almost 100 years when I was nothing more than two horns, two claws, twelve fingers, and my skin was young and purple."
"Alright Betty White, what's your point?"
"Years ago we built up to the big day and then scared children and stole their big bags of candy. When candy was candy. Today, candy is not what is used to be. No, today people go to their stores and read labels before they buy."
"Is this about candy?"
"No, it's about the day after. We're forgotten until next year. I want more like that fat guy gets."
"Do you mean Santa Claus?"
"Stop, I get nauseous just mentioning his name. But yes, like him. On the day after Halloween they'll be putting up decorations and celebrating for weeks. Singing and eating. That's what I want. Singing and eating. I want to come out of the dark and have people sing about me and eat..."
"What dead animals like we do all year."
"I hate living underground in this cave and sneaking out at night. I can't be seen until Halloween, what kind of life is that?"
"I'm sorry to tell you Moog, but it's our lot in life."
"I'm going to change that."
"How, write halloween songs?"
"NOOO, we're going to kidnap fatty."
"Santa, stupid. We're going to kidnap Santa."
"How original, have you ever read The Grinch Who Stole Christmas? You know the Grinch."
"You mean the one who lives over in the next state."
"The very one. Moog it just makes you a copy cat. Don't you think Santa is under high security. Look at all those stupid elves. You can't just walk up to him and take him."
"Then what are we going to do. Another October 31st, and 'Oh kids run I'm going to scare you. Run, scamper, go on.' Please, there has got to be more, I can't live this way."
"I've got it!"
"What is it?"
"Twister's got a computer doesn't he?"
"Yeah, what about it."
"Tomorrow we open accounts on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest,Tumbler, and whatever else we can join."
"We start telling people that Christmas has been cancelled this year. Get all our buddies to post morning, noon, and night the day after Halloween. There is no Christmas. We'll flood the Internet. People will believe anything. And we get help from you know who in Washington.
He'll tweet all day, he owes us, not those Russians. They had nothing to do with him getting that job."
My, What Big Teeth
"Hello, is this Shep's Fish Store, I have a small problem."
"This is Doctor Dale and I just need to know if you would be willing to make a house call.? Why? Well, as I said I have a small problem. Actually not a small problem but a big problem. What kind of problem? I have giant goldfish and they're walking around my house."
"Hello, I was just on the phone with someone from your store and we got disconnected. Oh, that was you? As I was saying I have giant goldfish--what, how big? That's hard to say. I can't weigh them they're too big. I'd say one is the size of a Great Dane, hello, hello."
"Hello, it must be my phone, I'm sorry. No, I'm not kidding but the other three are smaller. German Shepard size I would say. Listen, I'm a Doctor and I was working in my lab, which is here in my house. Did you just hear that? The big one just broke the dining room table. How, it tried crawling on it. Hello, damn it."
"I really am so sorry, I don't know what's wrong with my phone but can you come over. Why, because you deal with fish and I don't. Maybe you could bring a net or something. Take them to the ocean or the lake just outside of town. I'll pay you fifty bucks, damn it hold on. Listen I need your help now, please I'll double it if you get here in five minutes. The address is 123 Elmhurst, I got to get off the phone, but I have one last question........Do goldfish have big teeth? Hello, hello, hel---"
Smile when you write, it will only confirm to everyone else you’re crazy
Anyone who thinks that writing is easy has never really sat down and written a story. Sometimes, like most, when I get in a bit of a funk I find quotes from other writers to cheer me up.
We're all in a club, we writers, with one thing in common. We're all crazy in love with writing, which drives us crazy.
I found this quote from Dorothy Parker who lived in the first half of the twentieth century. Every time I read this quote I laugh, because it says it all about our obsession with writing.
"If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE. The first greatest favor of course, is to shoot them now while they are still happy."
The Faint Glow Behind the Door, a Halloween Tale
"You got everything," asked Bobby.
"Yeah," replied Adam.
"That's your costume?"
"Yeah, what's wrong with it?"
"A top hat, that's it? Nothing more, no makeup, no mask, just a top hat."
"It was my granddad's."
"Is that how he dressed? C'mon let's go."
"Wait is that your costume?"
"What's wrong with my costume?"
"An arrow through your neck, really Bobby?"
"Okay, that's it. You're wearing a top hat and I have an arrow through my neck. They're great. Can we go now?"
"Sure, where are we going?"
"You know where we're going."
"Uh-uh, not that house."
"It's Halloween and I've been waiting for this all year. We go up there, ring the bell, and I have trick I want play. Then we run like hell."
"What are you talking about?"
"Look what I've got," said Bobby reaching into his pocket.
"Yep, a cherry bomb."
"What do you plan to do with it?"
"What do we plan to do with it?"
"I ring the bell; I'll be holding this in my hand. You light it and I toss it in when they open the door."
"Bobby, are you crazy? There are no 'they' in that house, there's an it or a thing, but there ain't no they."
"That's nothing but rumors it's an old person living up there."
"Ever see this OLD PERSON?"
"But nothing, no one has ever seen this old person, no one lives there. It's empty."
"Adam, it's empty except on Halloween and no one has the guts to go there."
"I'll wait here and wish you the best. Does your mom have any candy."
"Look, it's all a joke. It's some college guys who hide inside. This will scare them."
"They'll chase us and beat us up."
"No they won't cause I've already been up there and set a booby trap when they come out."
"Two days ago. C'mon let's do this."
"Bobby, one more question."
"What is it?"
"Do you have matches?"
"Wait here, I'll be right back."
Adam and Bobby walked through the neighborhood which was busy with children in all sorts of costumes running from house to house. At the end of the third block they turned right.
It was as though they entered another dimension. The two lone street lights, one on each side of the street, flickered sporadically and the night air grew colder. Adam glanced over his shoulder, the area was deserted.
"Bobby, I'm not getting a good feeling."
"This is what Halloween is all about. We're supposed to be scared. Tomorrow we'll laugh about this once we go up there and you'll see it's nothing. Two more blocks, that's all. I also have a surprise for you."
"What is it and it better not be a trick."
"Look at this, you call this a trick," said Bobby pulling out two small pieces of paper.
"Tickets to the 8:30 show at the Cinema. We do this and run all the way to see Stephen King's 'IT'. On me."
"Still want to turn around, because if you do no movie."
"Damn you Bobby."
The boys stood by the rusted gate of the old house sitting up on a small bluff. Thirty stairs separated them from the front door. It was an old house, it's wooden siding skin had all been plucked away. Most of the windows with either cracked or broken except for the large one over the door. Nine small panes of glass all clean, not a scratch on any, and the wood, barely weathered.
"What's that inside," asked Adam, grabbing his friend's arm."
They saw a faint glow float across the window and vanish.
"It's just those college guys that's all. They're trying to scare us."
"They've succeeded. Let's leave, I'll pay for the movie."
"No way, I've been planning this for two months and I'm not turning around."
Each wooden step groaned under the weight of boys. The nails embedded in the old wooden planks popped like buttons on a shirt three sizes too small. As a covert operatives Bobby and Adam failed miserably.
"Shhh," I don't want them to hear us coming.
"Maybe you should have oiled each step when you were here two days ago."
The boys were extra careful on the last two steps doing everything they could not to make any more noise. When they were at the front door Bobby whispered his plan to his friend.
"Here are the matches. I'm going to hold the cherry bomb in my left hand. When I knock, light it."
"They'll open the door, I toss it, we run."
"What's your booby trap?"
"The last four steps jump, because I cut them just enough that when they come down they'll snap under their weight. First college guy goes down, the other's will trip."
If Bobby could see Adam's face, "That's your idea of a booby trap. Cutting four stairs at the bottom."
"You have a better idea?"
"Not being here for one."
"Shhh, I hear something."
There were heavy footsteps coming towards the door.
"Adam light the cherry bomb."
"Light the bomb," Bobby said loudly.
Adam, hand shaking, opened the pack of matches and pulled out a match. He struck the match, but it flew out of his hand. The footsteps were coming closer.
"Adam, light it!"
The second match lit the explosive just as the door flew open, a large hand grabbed Adam and Bobby, and closed with a crash. The cherry bomb exploded on the front porch.
"Did you hear that," said one of the four kids walking by the old house.
"Yeah, I wonder what it was," replied another.
"Let's go see," said the third, "Jimmy, you got your flashlight?"
"Yeah, but I'm not going."
"Let me have it, I'll be right back. I just want to shine a light on the door."
The boy stepped on the first stair snapping it in half under the weight of his footfall.
"Come on John, that's enough. This place is creepy and that's a sign to stay out."
As the four kids walked away they were too far to see the faint glow inside the old house. There was no light source to explain its origin, as it moved slowly up the staircase to an open door where it drifted into a blackened room. The owners of the fake arrow and top hat, which were lying on the floor had vanished.
Remnants of the cherry bomb sprinkled the porch along with two unused tickets to the movies that Halloween night.
The last sentence of Remain Alive
It never noticed the slight twitching in Hackett's or Verdugo's legs.
The creature walked away from the three bodies. Hackett tried to open his eyes but the knock out gas from the canister caused the tear ducts to dry impeding his ability to open them. He reached up to rub his eye when a hand grabbed his arm.
"Don't move," whispered a voice.
"Yeah, lie still don't move."
"Where are we," asked Hackett.
"I don't know."
"What about the lieutenant?"
"I think so."
"The last thing I remember is the fight with the doctor and then climbing up the ladder."
"The thing is dead, that I know. Something tossed those canisters into the silo and all I remember is falling backward."
"How'd we get here," asked Hackett.
"We brought you," said a deep muffled voice.
Forcing his eyes open Hackett looked up to see three robots standing over them with guns. Verdugo and Hackett watched one step behind the other and begin moving its arm in a downward motion. It lifted its hands and began peeling away the black outer skin around the head.
Behind the cover as it fell away was the face of a man. "I am Joseph Peters, who are you?"
"What are you," asked Verdugo.
"Human, if that's what you are concerned about, but before I answer any more questions who are you?"
"My name's Hackett, this is Sergeant Verdugo."
"Where is the fourth man who was with you?"
"You mean Doctor Lupton. He was neither a doctor nor human, he was one of them."
"It's dead, I killed it," said Verdugo.
"Okay, we've answered your questions, now how about answering ours. Where are we?"
"Did you bring us here?"
"We dragged you here, yes."
"Who are you," asked Verdugo.
"Not yet, not until we are sure of who you are."
"Uuhhh," moaned Dowling.
"Your Lieutenant is hurt. His leg is broken."
"Did you people do this, if you are people?"
"I told you Hackett, we are human," said Peters.
We’re Writers-We See the World Differently
A pedestrian walks down a busy street with one thought. "I must arrive at my destination."
A writer walks down the same busy street with many thoughts. "Who lives and works behind those doors. Fifty years ago. Fifty years from now. What monsters lurk in the shadows.
An unnoticed nickle on the ground. A window, a table, two chairs, a couple falling in love. A lone soul, hands in pocket, head down, shoulders bent, everything lost.
A boy and his scruffy dog running down an alleyway. Bumper to bumper traffic, anger, happiness, laughing, yelling."
To a writer, every thing they observe is a prop for their stories.